Dear Home School Parents,
Below is the response from the Florida Department of Education which clarifies your ( and my) responsibility under Covid-19 Safer-at-Home restrictions. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell: 850-879-5103. Stay safe.
Recent guidance from the Florida Department of Education:
Thank you for reaching out for clarification on this. As I’m sure you are aware, the annual requirement to demonstrate educational progress for home schooled students is a means by which parents demonstrate that school attendance laws have been met for home schooled students. While the remaining state assessments have been cancelled this year as a result of COVID-19, that is only one of the five methods to demonstrate educational progress for home schooled students. Use of the other methods to demonstrate educational progress should be considered by parents of home schooled students. These methods may need to be modified to be conducted virtually or in-person consistent with the CDC guidelines for distancing. For example, the discussion with a Florida certified teacher can be conducted virtually, with the portfolio mailed or uploaded for review. Also, consideration should be given to delaying the timing of the evaluation or review, because the review is not confined to the public school year. An important note (as per the included outline of the statute below) is that the fifth method of demonstrating educational progress is any method mutually agreed to by the superintendent and parent. That option affords broad discretion to you the superintendent. Please let me know if additional guidance is needed.
(1)(f) The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the student’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability. The parent shall select the method of evaluation and shall file a copy of the evaluation annually with the district school superintendent’s office in the county in which the student resides. The annual educational evaluation shall consist of one of the following:
1. A teacher selected by the parent shall evaluate the student’s educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the student. Such teacher shall hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level;
2. The student shall take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
3. The student shall take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district;
4. The student shall be evaluated by an individual holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or
5. The student shall be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the district school superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student’s parent.
There is a requirement for an evaluation selected by the parent, but there are 5 ways that can be met – only one of which is the option to take the state assessment.