FL Homeschool Evaluations
Q: I'm putting my child in school in January. We haven't homeschooled her for a year yet. Since it's been less than a year do I need to turn in an evaluation?
A: Per Florida law, an evaluation is due once a year (by the anniversary of your letter of intent) OR within 30 days of sending in a Letter of Termination to tell the school district that you are done home educating your child.
If your child is being enrolled in school in January, you'll need to turn in a Letter of Termination before enrolling the child in school. The Letter of Termination officially lets the school district know that you are no longer home educating your child. Most people send in an evaluation with the Letter of Termination, but the evaluation can be done up to 30 days before or after the Letter of Termination.
Anytime from now until the end of January would be appropriate for the evaluation, but a school might want to see that an evaluation was done in order to place the child in the grade expected for the child's age--rather than back a grade level.
Florida public schools will place students according to their Pupil Progression Plan which basically places students according to their age as long as a passing evaluation is on record.
While not legally required, I also recommend typing a report card and/or transcript in order to smooth the process of enrolling your child in school. You can find a lot of sample report cards and/or transcripts online. (There are lots of styles because schools use a wide variety of styles. Don't worry about the style. Just pick one.) You can even find some templates that will allow you to just fill in the appropriate information.
For example, fasttranscripts.com has a template available for a subscription fee (you can pay for a month and then cancel if you don't need it further) that you can send through an electronic clearinghouse to a school if you want to go through the same channels that many schools do to send their official documentation.
Florida public schools are required to accept documentation parents give them as long as the child passes the first grading period in school. Of course, be sure that the documentation accurately reflects what the child has learned so you aren't setting your child up for failure. (Note that Florida public schools place students by age rather than curriculum levels used. A report card or transcript won't change that but can help with registering the child and placing in regular or advanced classes or in recording high school credits earned, if any, though the child may have to take the EOC exams in Algebra 1, Biology, and/or Geometry to finalize credits in those subjects.)
Let me know if we can help.
The Trzasko Family
Cheryl & Mark Trzasko (pronounced Trahs-koh) have always homeschooled their children; two graduated high school, as homeschoolers, with college credit. Both Cheryl and Mark are long-time Florida certified teachers. Together, they are a team of experienced evaluators with a passion to help other homeschool families.