Here are some quick answers to common questions asked about establishing and maintaining a home education program in Florida. For a few quick FAQs about homeschooling in Florida, see General Questions About Homeschooling in Florida. You can read more detailed information about homeschooling in Florida in our articles section.
How do I establish a home education program?
As required by Florida Statute 1002.41, to establish and maintain a home education program you must send a written notice of intent to the district school; maintain, make available, and preserve a portfolio of records; provide an annual educational evaluation for your child's educational process to your district school superintendent; and submit a letter of termination upon completion of your home education program or change of residence. See also Establishing a Homeschool Program in Florida.
What is a Notice of Intent?
As required by Florida Statute 1002.41(a), you must notify your district school superintendent of your intent to establish and maintain a home education program. The notice must be in writing, signed by you, and include the names, addresses, and birthdates of all children being enrolled as students in your home education program. You must file this notice in your district school superintendent’s office within 30 days of establishing your home education program. Your district school may have an optional form you can download on their website, or you can download a sample notice of intent here.
What are portfolios?
A portfolio can be a simple as a three-ring binder. Your portfolio needs to consist of a chronological log of educational activities and instruction, including a list of any reading materials used and samples of your child's work. More specifically, as specified by Florida Statute 1002.41(b), a log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with the instruction and that designates by title any reading materials used; and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student. See also Portfolio Requirements for Florida Homeschoolers.
How long do I have to keep my portfolio?
Florida Statutes require that you preserve your portfolio for 2 years.
Who do I have to make my portfolio available to?
You have to make it available for inspection by the district school superintendent, or the district school superintendent’s agent, upon 15 days’ written notice, however, nothing requires the district school superintendent to actually inspect it. You may also need to make it available to the person conducting your child's annual evaluation.
How is my child evaluated?
Your child must be evaluated once a year to document educational progress at a level equivalent to his or her abilities. You select the method of evaluation and file a copy of the evaluation with your district school superintendent's office. As required under Florida Statute 1002.41(c), the evaluation must consist of one of the following:
- You may choose a Florida certified teacher to evaluate your child's educational progress through review of your portfolio and discussion with your child;
- Your child may take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
- Your child may take a state student assessment test used by the district school and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the district school;
- Your child may be evaluated by an individual holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or
- Your child may be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by your district school superintendent.
How do we end our home education program?
Whether you move to a different county, move out of the state of Florida, have decided to enroll your child in a public school, have enrolled your child in a private or umbrella school, or your child has graduated from your home education program, you must file a written notice of termination of your home education program in the district school superintendent’s office within 30 days after said termination. Your district school may have an optional form you can download on their website, or you can download a sample notice of termination here.