DEFINITIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES

Will you tell me what I should teach my child?

NO, the Parent/guardian who assumes the responsibility of educating a child at home also assumes the responsibility for providing a curriculum, educational materials, and evaluations necessary to determine student progress. The school system does not supply texts, curriculum guides, or education standards for the home education student. 

Who can teach in a home education setting?

A parent is not required to have a valid Florida teaching certificate to home educate a student.  Furthermore, the instruction is no longer required to take place in the home nor must the parent be the person to deliver instruction.

May child is 5 years old. Do I need to submit a Notice of Intent?

Districts are not required to accept a letter of intent for a 5-year old; however, some districts have chosen to accept these letters. In that case, the home education parent should maintain a portfolio, and the student will be evaluated in the same manner as a student who is subject to regular attendance.   The Home Education Program applies only to student's ages six (6) through sixteen (16). Five (5) year old kindergarten children who are being taught at home are not required to register for the Home Education Program. However, if you choose to register your five (5) year old in a home education program for kindergarten, grade placement will be based on the following:
a. To enter the kindergarten Home Education Program the child must be five (5) on or before September 1 of the school year of enrollment.
b. To enter first grade the child must be six (6) years old by September 1 of the school year of enrollment in the public school.
c. Placement of the child in first grade for the Lee County Public Schools will be determined by the school administrators according to district policies.
Please consult the FAQ portion of the FPEA website for more details regarding home educating at the kindergarten and first grade levels, IS KINDERGARTEN MANDATORY?, http://fpea.com/about-homeschooling/faq . 

What are the responsibilities of parents who establish a home education program?

As required by Section 1002.41, F.S., to establish a home education program and maintain compliance with the statute, a parent must:
a. Send a written Notice of Inent to the school district superintendent.
b. Maintain a portfolio of records, consisting of a log of educational activities, writings, worksheets, and creative materials used or developed by the student.
c. Make the portfolio available for inspection by the superintendent upon a 15-day notice. (The legislation does not require the superintendent to inspect all portfolios.)
d. Provide an annual educational evaluation for the student’s educational process to the school district superintendent.
e. Preserve each student’s portfolio for two years.
f. Submit a Notice of Termination upon completion of the home education program or withdrawal from the program.

What are The School District of Lee County's responsibilities to me, a home education parent?

Public school systems have very few responsibilities for the Home Education Program because the family has essentially withdrawn from the public school system and entered him/her in a separate system, much the same as if the student were entering any private school. Instead, the school system's responsibilities are to the requirements of compulsory school attendance. That is the reason HEP students must register with the superintendent's designee.

How many hours each day/week am I required to instruct my student?

There are no specific hourly attendance requirements for students in a home education program.

How do I know if my student passes to the next grade level?

As long as the student is registered with the district and enrolled in a non-accredited home education program, promotion to the next grade level is a decision made by the parent operating the program.  However, when the childs returns to the district public school, grade placement is subject to those standards outlined in The School District of Lee County Pupil Progression Plan.

What if my child was assigned to The Success Academy?

Students who are assigned to The Success Academy or another school for disciplinary reasons must complete the alternate placement before returning to their school of assignment.

What if my child was enrolled in a public school and I decide in the middle of the school year to home educate? May I?

Yes, you may enter the Home Education Program at any time during the school year. Once you withdraw from The School District of Lee County (return all school materials including ChromeBook) and register with the Home Education Department, the decision of what to teach, when to teach, etc., is entirely your responsibility.

What if my child is failing in the public school and I decide to home educate and he/she passes? Can I enroll him/her in the public school in the next grade level?

Yes, the child may be re-enrolled into The School District of Lee County school system. However, placement in the next grade is subject to the child satisfying the standards outlined in the School District of Lee County Pupil Progression Plan as it relates to promotion, remediation, placement, and retention. It is important to note that the home education program is one of five educational options open to a parent that enables them to satisfy the regular compulsory school attendance requirements only. Many times parents will register a child in the home education program hoping to circumvent a recommendation by district schools to retain their child. Because the home education program is a non-accredited program, registration in the program for one year, and re-registering them back in a Lee County public school the following year, will not guarantee that the child will be promoted to the next grade level.

Do I submit a Notice of Intent each year?

NO.  Once enrolled, state law does not require the parent to register their child each year for the home education program.  Parents should notify the Home Education Office by calling 337-8259 to report address, phone number or email changes.

How can I get in contact with other parents who are home educators? Where do I find resource options?

Home education contact persons, supports, organizations, and curriculum resources are provided as a reference and available on this website for review. Please consult the "Curriculum Provider Ideas" and "Community Supports & Services" link on this website (The links are to third-party web sites that are neither hosted nor endorsed by The School District of Lee County).

How do I get started?

Review the "Enroll/Register with Home Education" link on this website.  

Who do I contact for more assistance?

Home Education Department

Monday-Friday, 8:00am thru 4:30pm

2855 Colonial Blvd
Fort Myers, FL 33966
EAST Entrance
F) 239-461-8451


Dawn Robertson-Andre' 
Secretary
239-337-8259
[email protected] 


Meredith Berry, NBCC
School Counselor
239-337-8681
[email protected]

ANNUAL EVALUATION/PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENTS

What information should be included in the contents of my child's portfolio?

Section 1002.41, F.S., defines a portfolio as "A log of educational activities which is made contemporaneously with the instruction and which designates by title any reading materials used and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.  Consult the "Annual Evaluation/Portfolio Requirements" link on this website for specific details.

The portfolio shall be preserved by the parent/guardian for two years and shall be made available for inspection by the superintendent, or the superintendent's agent, upon a 15-day written request.

When is my portfolio due for review?

A student in a home education setting must be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level equivalent to his or her abilities.  The parent/guardian selects the method of evaluation from those provided in the Florida Statute, then files a copy of the evaluation annually in the superintendent's office.

If a student has been found to exhibit a pattern of nonattendance, the parent must submit a portfolio to be reviewed by a home education committee every 30 days until the committee determines that the home educaiton program is in compliance with Section 1003.26, F.S.

What does the annual educational evaluation include?

A student in a home education setting must be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level equivalent to his or her abilities. "Annually" is defined in Florida Statute as one year from the date of the Notice of Intent.  The parent/guardian selects the method of evaluation from those provided in Florida Statute, then files a copy of the evaluation annually in the superintendent’s office. The evaluation must consist of one of the following:

a. A Florida certified teacher chosen by the parent/guardian may evaluate the child’s progress based on the review of the portfolio and discussion with the student;
b. The student may take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
c. The student may 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;
d. The student may be evaluated by a psychologist holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of Section 490.003 (7) or (8), F.S.; or
e. The student may be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the school superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student’s parent/guardian.

NONATTENDANCE TRUANCY

My child has a pattern of nonattendance. Can he/she enroll as a home education program student?

Yes.  However, at the time that a student who has been found to exhibit a pattern of nonattendance is enrolled in a home education program, the home education contact will:
a. Provide the parent or guardian with a copy of the home education law, Section 1002.41, F.S., and the accountability requirements of the truancy law, Section 1003.26, F.S.; and
b. Refer the parent or guardian to a home education review committee composed of members as specified in Section 1003.26, F.S.

The parent must submit a portfolio, as defined by Section 1002.41, F.S., to be reviewed by a home education review committee every 30 days until the committee determines that the home education program is in compliance with Section 1003.26, F.S. The first portfolio review must occur within the first 30 calendar days of the establishment of the home education program. 

Once the committee determines that the home education program is in compliance, the parent will no longer be required to submit a portfolio to the home education review committee. The parent will be required to comply with the requirements of a home education program pursuant to Section 1002.41, F.S., as is any parent involved in a home education program.

If the student/parent fails to provide a portfolio for the review committee, the committee shall notify the superintendent of schools who shall then terminate the home education program and require the parent to enroll the student in an attendance option provided under Section 1002.41, F.S., within three days. Failure of a parent or guardian to enroll a student in an attendance option after termination of a home education program shall constitute non-compliance with the compulsory attendance requirement and may result in criminal prosecution of the parent under Section1003.27(2), F.S. 

INTERSCHOLASTIC EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Can my child participate in "interscholastic extracurricular activities" offered at the public school?

YES, Section 1006.15 F.S., requires that home education middle/high students be given the same opportunity as public school students to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities.  Consult the "Extra-Curricular Interscholastic Activities" link on this website for specific registration details.

  

What if the extracurricular activity requires a on-campus class to be taken in order to participate?

If a class is required in order to take part in the extracurricular activity, such as band class during the day in order to take part in the school’s marching band, the district must afford the home education student the opportunity to enroll for that class, pursuant to Section 1006.15(5), F.S. 

How do I sign-up my student to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities?

Step #1:  Visit your local Student Assignment with the following documents, if they do not already have them on file:

  • proof of address
  • immunization records
  • last physical exam
  • birth certificate

Step #2:  Student Assignment will then assign you a school for purposes of participating an extra-curricular activity.  

Step #3:  Take the "Extra Curricular Activities Assignment" form to the assigned school.

Step #4:  If the desired extra-curricular is a sport, receive the Florida High Schol Athletic Association packet from the assigned school.  Submit the EL7V Form (Verification of Student Registration with Public School District home Education Office) to the Home Education Program office (at the LCPEC) for compliance verification.

Step #5:  Return the original signed EL7V Form to the assigned school to finalize student participation in the desired sport

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Will my student be eligible for Bright Futures?

Yes. Home education students may qualify for a scholarship through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program if they are registered with their districts as home education students during the 11th and 12th grades.  Students who wish to qualify for Bright Futures and receive a diploma from The School District of Lee County should consider enrollment in a Lee County public high school for both their 11th and 12th grades.

What type of diploma do home education student receive?

School districts, adult high schools, and community colleges are NOT authorized to award a regular high school diploma to home education students. A home education student may take the General Educational Development (GED) test at an education center and be awarded a Florida GED diploma if the student receives a passing score.  A homeschooling parent may issue their child a diploma.  The parent confers the diploma on the student, indicating the successful completion of their prescribed homeschooling course of study.

How are my student's credits validated?

State Board Rule 6A-1.09941 establishes a uniform transfer of credit at the high school level as follows: If the student does not possess an official transcript or is a home education student, credits shall be validated through performance during the first grading period.

Can my child enroll in a public school during their Senior year to receive a diploma?

If a home education child(ren) is working at the secondary level (grades 9-12), no high school credit is earned. If the student enrolls in a public school, grade placement and credits will be determined by the school administrators according to district policies and the transfer of credit rules, http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5423/urlt/2012_Transfer_of_Credits_FAQs.pdf.  

Home Education students who wish to receive a diploma and participate in the graduation ceremonies MUST enroll in a Lee County high school for the last SEMESTER of their senior year.

DUAL ENROLLMENT

Can my student dually enroll at a postsecondary institution?

Pursuant to Section 1007.271(10)(a), the home education student may participate in dual enrollment at Florida Southwestern State College, FGCU, Fort Myers Technical College and Cape Coral Technical College. Home school students may earn credit toward their high school courses and an associate degree. A home education student not using the district's interinstitutional articulation agreement must provide proof of enrollment in the home education program and be responsible for instructional matrials.  Contact the postesecondary site for eligibilty requirements and enrollment details.

Do I have to pay for the dual enrollment course?

No.  The family is NOT required to pay for the course but they will have to purchase any course-required materials.