HSLC had an opportunity to sit down with Dr. Kristine Landry, Director of Student Services, at Lake County Schools. As homeschoolers, we fall under Dr. Landry’s department and our contact, Evelyn Diaz, is under her supervision.
We have been very blessed that Dr. Landry is open to forming a relationship with our group, giving us her time on several occasions and opening her office to spend time discussing many issues that concern our community and her office.
One of our parents was very interested in the possibility of the school system implementing vocational options for high school students. Dr. Landry advised us that although this is a topic of continuous discussion, there are no concrete plans of implementing these programs yet. She reminds us that Lake Tech offers programs and that different high schools have CTE programs that we can research for more information. There also may be “college and career readiness” programs at your local high school that may be available. Those parents that are interested in the future development of these types of programs within the school system can visit the Lake County Schools website here for updates.
We know there a few options in home education: a private/hired tutor, full enrollment in Florida Virtual, register under an umbrella/private school or register under Lake County. Our recent conversation with Dr. Landry centered around those students that are registered under her office.
Many new homeschoolers cannot believe it is as easy as – send your letter of intent, keep a portfolio with a lesson plan and send in the student’s annual evaluation form. BUT IT IS!! And Dr. Landry confirms this while pointing out the fact that the state of Florida laws and regulations make homeschooling a very easy endeavor overall.
We spent a few minutes reviewing the statutes, and focused on 1003.26 that addresses the requirement for attendance. The county and the state are looking for a minimum of 180 days. Dr. Landry agreed that when you include a dated “lesson plan” or a dated record of what was done by/with your student, you have met this requirement and attendance has been documented and proven. And this, along with samples of work that show the student’s progression, fully meets the requirement when registered under the county.
For more information on what a portfolio contains, check out this post on our website.
The subject of annual evaluations was thoroughly discussed. Both homeschoolers and the Student Services Department share the concern of timely evaluations. While the county does not currently send out reminders or notices when evaluations are due, they are looking to the homeschooling parent to be diligent about meeting this requirement in a timely manner.
One of our evaluators asked us to communicate a concern they experience when trying to get an evaluation scheduled before the student’s “due date”. Remember that each student’s evaluation is due 365 days from the date of the letter of intent that was submitted. It does not correlate to the public schools’ calendar or anyone else’s date. Many of our evaluators are booked several months in advance and then book quickly as the months go by. DO NOT WAIT! You should have your next evaluation already scheduled.
There are more homeschool students than there are evaluators. Check our list of local evaluators here.
And all our evaluators will tell you, it is NOT a big deal. Most children love the evaluation experience and you should expect it to be affordable and stress free. There is NO REASON for any homeschooler to not comply. Our requirements to the state are very minimal.
If you want more information, email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All that said, when doing your best to get it done on time and still, you are late, what do you do?? Email Evelyn at email@example.com and let her know – “My student ___________’s annual evaluation form is due on 1/1/2021, however, the soonest appointment date available was 1/10/2021. We will send in the form as soon as we can.” And then, make sure you get next year’s evaluation scheduled before the due date.
If you do not remember when you sent in the letter of intent and therefore do not remember the date the annual evaluation is due, Dr. Landry said we are welcome to send an email to Evelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask. And then…write it down, mark your calendar, or whatever it takes to meet this simple requirement.
Dr. Landry agreed that doing our best to comply goes a long way and helps her office stay in compliance with the State of Florida as well.
When asked for her final thought, Dr. Landry stressed – Keep your contact information current! Homeschoolers enrolled under Lake County should call or email when you have a change of address. This is how they can reach us, advise us and send us important information.
As a group, Homeschoolers of Lake County is very thankful to Dr. Landry for her time and advice. We are committed to getting the word out about the homeschooling requirements in our county, to offer support and advice to homeschooling families in our area, and to show our support of Lake County Schools and ultimately the State of Florida. We count ourselves blessed to live in a state that allows us to make our own choices while asking little in return.
If you still have questions or concern, email us. Our email is email@example.com.
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