It's that time!
It's officially Spring and the end of the school year is quickly approaching. Homeschooling families should be preparing for annual evaluations and/or assessments, which must be completed by a certified teacher and submitted to the superintendent of schools. Avenue Education is here to help!
What are the requirements?
According the Florida Department of Education, Statute 1002.41 states that homeschooling parents are responsible for providing one of the following five options:
- Portfolio review by a Florida certified teacher ***
- Nationally-normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher ***
- State assessment administered at a district testing location
- Evaluation by a licensed psychologist
- Other measurement tool agreed upon by the superintendent
*** Service available from Avenue Education. Contact us today for prices and availability!
How do I prepare for a portfolio evaluation?
A great student portfolio should always include authentic work samples which display the depth and breadth of learning that has taken place during the year. In addition, an evaluator will be looking for evidence of "sequentially progressive instruction." This simply means that you have given instruction in an organized and methodical manner, which moves the student through new content and skill levels. An excellent way to show proof of this is to save curriculum materials such as workbooks, tests, and other materials that will demonstrate the order and structure of your instruction.
Date everything! Every item, from workbook pages to posters, should show the date of completion. Work samples should illustrate the progress your child has made over the course of the year. A great strategy is to write in the table of contents of workbooks the dates that each section was covered. Parents can also use a calendar or agenda to record what topics or chapters were covered each day/week.
If your child has special needs, it is also important to keep track of what kinds of accommodations and levels of support you have given. For example: Did your child write his/her essay totally independently? Did you help them with spelling only? Did you type it for them as they dictated to you? This is relevant information because you want to accurately convey to the evaluator what your child is capable of doing.
What standardized assessments are available?
The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a norm-referenced achievement test which must be administered by a certified teacher. It is commonly used as an alternative to the state assessments. This test takes a total of about 4 hours, which is broken up into many smaller sections. The test covers Language Skills and Mathematics, as well as optional Science and Social Studies sections. The materials are received and returned securely by mail. If you are interested in this option please notify your evaluator at least 30 days in advance to allow time for the materials to be ordered and shipped.
If you have any questions about homeschool evaluations and/or assessments, please contact Avenue Education. We will be more than happy to help you decide which option is best for your child.