Who Files The Private School Affidavit (PSA) And When?

It’s that time of year again, folks! The annual “Filing of the Affidavit”, or what I like to call “Homeschool Independence Day!”

Who needs to file the Private School Affidavit? All private school owners that have students currently enrolled in their school.

How does that apply to “homeschoolers”? In California, there is no special law for homeschooling. Our kids are all either enrolled in a public school, a private school, or being tutored by a credentialed teacher. One option is for a family to create it’s own private school and enroll their children in that school. It’s a relatively simple process and gives parents the most freedom in choice of education style and content. If you have chosen this option, you are required to file that Private School Affidavit with the State of California’s Department of Education.

If you have enrolled your children in something else, like a public charter school, a district independent study, or a private school satellite program, you should not file this form. Basically, if you filled out an “enrollment” form, you are enrolled in someone else’s school. You are a customer of that school and they will do the administration part of the job.

When and where do you file? All private schools file the Private School Affidavit with the Department of Education each year between October 1 and 15th. You can find the link here. The statewide advocacy groups, CHN and HSC have links on their sites that give you detailed instructions on how to fill out that document.

What is the Private School Affidavit? It’s a way for the State of California to know how many private schools are operating in the state and how many children go to them. It is not permission or a license to operate a private school. It’s done in October and not September so that generally people have settled down into the schools for the year and they can get a more accurate count. Filing the affidavit does not create your school. When you decide on a name, create the required documents, and enroll a student, you are creating a school. The PSA is usually after the fact that your school is created.

I might want to pull out of the school my kids are at later this year. Should I file now, just in case? No! There is no need. If you did, your kids would be counted twice, once in the school they are attending and once in the school you are creating. You don’t want that and you don’t need to. Just wait. The link to file is up year round. Yes, the filing period is October 1-15, but if you create your school in November through June you can still file that form then. It’s just that generally schools are formed over the summer and it helps them to try and get everyone to file at once.

So, that’s about it in a nutshell. I hope this helps clear up any confusion about who should be filing the PSA. Now it’s your turn. Go file your PSA and then do something special with your kids to celebrate your independence!

One more thing, if you are in the Yucca Mesa area and would like help filing, please email me at info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com We can take some time going over it at the Enrichment Club on October 5th!

Happy Homeschool Independence Day!

What it means to “establish” a private school.

Summer is already coming to an end. I really can’t believe it! As the rest of the parents prepare to send their kids off to school, homeschoolers are looking to the new “year” for new opportunities to explore and learn in the world. Of course, we’re still stocking up on the school supplies at the sales since pencils, pens, notebooks, and backpacks are essential for anyone on the go! And who doesn’t want one of those awesome lunch boxes with all the compartments?!

If you have decided to homeschool privately this year, you’re starting to get a bit nervous as well. Is it really this easy to start a small home based private school in California? Is there nothing else to do but pick a name, create a few files, and enroll a student? Can I just send a letter to my child’s old school and request records as the new school?

The answer is YES! Yes, it is! There are two great places to get a walk through on creating your own private school and taking charge of your children’s education, setting your family free from the traditional school schedule and making your own way in the world. California Homeschool Network has some great pages about getting started. Along with reading “Just the Facts”, you should also be perusing their “How to Homeschool” pages that include details about record keeping and choosing curriculum. The HomeSchool Association of California also has great “Establishing Your Own Private School” pages that can help you.

I have noticed one thing that many new homeschoolers get a little confused about when they first start like this and that is the use of the term “establish.” When you establish your school, you pick a name and create the files required by law to keep. Then you enroll a student and communicate with the last school about sending the cumulative file for that student. The only contact your new school generally has with the State of California is when you file the Private School Affidavit. The filing period is October 1st – 15th, so what if you’re starting your new school in August or September?! Take a deep breath! ALL private schools file in October. It is expected that you will not have filed until then. The affidavit is not a permit or license, it’s like a statistics gathering tool. The Department of Education only wants to know how many private schools exist, how many students attend them, and where they are located, hence the legal term “private.” August and September are generally times for a lot of shifting in enrollment, so they wait until October to gather the information when things have settled down a bit.

Do you need to file now and then again in October for the 2016-2017 school year? No. You can start your school today and then wait until the filing window without any problems.

Is there a problem if you have already filed over the summer for the 2016-2017 school year? No. It’s really not a problem, only an extra step (and a very small one at that). You WILL need to file again in October, though. The one you filed online over the summer was for the 2015-2016 school year and it isn’t valid after October 1st of this year.

You are legally a private school in California the day you decide on a name, create the required files, and enroll a student, so go out and do some learning! If you’d like some help or just want to talk it over with a live person, please email me and we can chat online or over the phone. My email is info@californiadeserthomeschooolers.com

Also, you are welcome to download and use the forms I’ve used over the years located by clicking HERE!

Happy Homeschool Independence Day!

For those using the private school option to homeschool this year, congratulations! Today is the first day of the filing period for Private School Affidavit. It takes all of five minutes of your day, a printed out file, and you’re done! I consider it a small token of rebellion each year as I take back from the State the responsibility of educating my own children, a sort of Independence Day!

To comply with California’s Compulsory Education law, (among other records you need to keep) you must complete the Private School Affidavit between October 1st and 15th each year. What is an “affidavit”? It’s a a “written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court”. It’s not permission or license. You only need to fill it out and keep in in your files as evidence of a statement. It is important, legally, that you do so to comply with the law.

If you’d like line-by-line help filing out the online form, you can find it at the California Homeschool Network website. There are two links there, one for the form and one for the pdf of help. Be sure to have your printer ready when you fill out the form, as you will be asked to print the confirmation and keep in your school files for several years.

When you’re done, go out and celebrate! You’re taking on a momentous task that will change your children’s lives and those that interact with them too!

Private School Affidavit

If you’ve decided to comply with California’s compulsory education law by filing with the state as a small private school this year, you’ve already started homeschooling by naming your school, gathering the documents you are required to keep, and enrolling your children at your new school. The last thing you need to do to be in compliance is to file the Private School Affidavit with the California Department of Education. The filing period starts on October 1st and ends on October 15th.

On October 1st, the link on the CDE‘s website will work and you can follow the directions there to complete the online form and print ( you NEED to print it and keep it in your schools files) the confirmation they give you.

Statewide groups like CHN and HSC will have special links with line by line directions to follow. They have to wait until the state puts up the form, go through it to see if there are any changes, and then put up a link to help anyone through the from. If you’re worried that it might be challenging or time consuming, put those thoughts aside. They only thing you should be prepared for is an internet connection, ink in your printer, and your school name.

The beginning of our school year is always August 1st. I switch out the old attendance sheet for the new year, print out a new course of study for each of my kids, and that’s about it. I look at what we might be doing that year. There are always loads of field trips being organized in the Fall. Homeschool days at museums and amusement parks are announced. My kids and I have a “meeting” we do about every three months where we discuss what they may be interested in learning. Are there any classes they might want to take? Skills they think might be interesting? Books they’d like to read?

But October 1st is when our school is official for me. I know the PSA a statistics gathering tool for the CDE and that it doesn’t grant me permission or license to school at home, but it feels official and it’s the last official school stuff I need to do for the year. It’s kind of a rite of passage I look forward to every year.