For parents of middle-school and high-school-aged students

If your child is headed to college or wants to use FLVS for some middle school or high school courses or might apply for Bright Futures or wants to use the dual enrollment option. . . things can get complicated.


Note that not all of these complications apply to all students. If your child is not going to college or applying for Bright Futures, you don’t need to meet the Bright Futures requirements. If dual enrollment at the local state/community college is not being considered, no need to worry about that confusing mess. If you don’t want to use FLVS, you don’t have to. Most Florida Unschoolers parents will not have to deal with these issues right now, if ever.



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Transcripts: High school is 9th through 12th grades. If your child is headed to college of any kind, you will need to work with him to put together a transcript for those years. Find a simple template online -- one or two pages. It should be titled Official High School Transcript and should include:


student’s name, address, email, phone number, birthdate

high school name and address (Florida Unschoolers, 8680 SE Eagle Avenue, Hobe Sound, FL 33455) school code: 3463

graduation date

number of volunteer/community service hours

course names, subject areas, course codes, course credits

(https://sso.osfaffelp.org/BFIEHS/Course/ComprehensiveCourse)

grades received

GPA


You will need to supply a Social Security Number at some point but you don’t have to put it on the transcript.


The course information may come from FLVS and/or dual enrollment courses taken or independent study or activities -- either using a curriculum or not. You should document the volunteer hours.


You may need a transcript for other reasons, as well. It is easier to keep the information as you go along than to try to pull it all together at the end of 12 years of homeschooling.


There are sample transcript formats here -- Transcript Samples.



FLVS:  Florida Unschoolers is affiliated with FLVS (www.flvs.net).


Under the FLVS Flex option, students may choose one course to supplement their other learning or to learn more about something they are interested in or enough courses to create a complete curriculum.


Many Florida Unschoolers students have happily used the FLVS Flex option over the years but it is a choice, not a requirement.


If your child is interested in using this option, you will need to go to the website and set up an account with him. You would need to select private school (not homeschool), Martin County (that’s where I am), Florida Unschoolers and Nance Confer as Guidance Counselor. You request a course and it shows up on my FLVS page. I verify enrollment and that is the end of my involvement. After that, you will hear directly from FLVS.


Your child will be assigned to a class and the teacher will contact both of you. There will be frequent, regular contacts with the FLVS teacher. While there is no FSA or other standardized testing required of FLVS Flex students, there will be tests and quizzes and deadlines appropriate to each class.


It is a good idea to start with one course while you and your child get used to the way FLVS works.


Taking courses through FLVS does not result in a diploma unless you are a public school student enrolled with FLVS-Full Time, in which case all the public school standardized testing and curriculum requirements would apply.


Note: You may see an option to select "Florida Virtual School" or "Mosaic Digital Academy" when you first set up your account. You may choose either option but there may be a smaller selection under the Mosaic choice.



Dual Enrollment: This is an option for high-school-aged students to take courses at their local state/community college with no tuition charges (books and other expenses are not covered). But, in June 2013, new legislation was passed that has changed the way this option works.


The bottom line is private-school-enrolled home educators, like Florida Unschoolers students, no longer have the dual enrollment option at most of the state/community colleges. (Check with me about the few exceptions.)


It is complicated but the details are here -- http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7480/urlt/0082773-dualenrollmentfaq.pdf -- see item 40.

I suggest anyone who wants their child to take dual enrollment courses at their local state/community college withdraw their child from Florida Unschoolers and register him with the county as a homeschooler. Here’s a good FAQ about the HEP/county-registration option --
hhttp://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7709/urlt/Home_Ed_FAQs_10-8-15.pdf


Make sure that you meet with the Dual Enrollment Advisor at the college to be very clear on the AA graduation requirements. They change and are not the same as the requirements to graduate from high school. In particular, foreign language credits done at home, without utilizing an accredited school, have been increasingly problematic and may need to be validated with SAT2 or other proficiency exams, when needed for college entrance and exit requirements.

Note that the move to county registration of your Home Education Program should be made before 11th grade. That is when most dual enrollment is available (some colleges have courses for 10th graders) and Bright Futures requires that students be registered with the county for at least the last two years of high school to qualify as homeschoolers. Counties will usually accept the transcripts from dual enrollment courses as the annual evaluation but go over all of this with the homeschooling coordinator at your local school board.



Bright Futures: Private school students, like those enrolled with Florida Unschoolers, may apply for Bright Futures, a Florida grant program for college financial aid. You will need to go to the website -- http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/bf/ -- to see the different options. Look under “Requirements for Three Scholarship Types", pages 3-6 (not home-educated), for eligibility requirements.


In addition to your child meeting the academic, volunteer/community service and test score requirements, you will need to fill out a Florida Financial Aid Application (https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/ua/sawstua_uaform.asp).


You should also fill out a FAFSA (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) even thought Bright Futures doesn’t require it any longer. You will need it for other financial aid.


This is one of the reasons you need a transcript for your high schooler. You can see if your child has met the Bright Futures requirements and document them on his transcript. Then you send the transcript to me and I enter it into the Bright Futures system. I can’t access your child’s Bright Futures application until you submit a Florida Financial Aid Application which usually can’t be done until at least January of your child’s senior year. You will need your income information, tax return, etc., to complete the financial aid applications.


Update from the FL DOE as of 5-18-16: The Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA), for students seeking funding for the 2017-18 year, will be available starting October 1, 2016.

As you may be aware, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available this year beginning in October rather than the usual January. In order to limit confusion and hopefully increase the chances that Florida students will complete both applications, our FFAA will be available October 1 as well, instead of December 1 as in previous years. The FFAA for 2017-18 funding will close August 31, 2017.


After everything is entered, Bright Futures processes the application and I can access an evaluation report, usually the next day. I will send you a copy of the evaluation report to check to make sure everything is complete and correct, we’ll make any changes needed, and then I will submit the application for final processing. The whole process usually takes less than a week if we have all the information ready.

Note that the requirements for county-registered homeschoolers are different from the requirements for private school students. Also note that Bright Futures requirements change so keep an eye on them.



GED: For information on the GED, see this page -- http://www.fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/hse



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Remember, you don’t need to memorize any of this or learn everything about the items that do not apply to you. Many homeschoolers go right through their school years never concerning themselves with any of these options.


This is my understanding of where things stand today but things can change so be aware that these options and issues exist and get the latest information ahead of the time when your child will need it.

Subpages (1): Transcript Samples