What is a Private (Umbrella) School?

An umbrella school is a term used to describe a private school for families choosing to educate their children at home. A homeschooling family enrolls in an umbrella school instead of establishing a home education program with their school district. In other words, the homeschooling family provides their children’s educational information to the umbrella school (e.g., attendance records), not the public school district (e.g., annual evaluations). When students are enrolled in an umbrella school, they are considered private school students, not homeschooled students, even though they are still being educated at home.

Why Choose a Private (Umbrella) School?

For homeschoolers that appreciate extra support, Private (Umbrella) Schools can provide added peace of mind and guidance.

A Private (Umbrella) School can relieve the burden and stress of record keeping. This is especially important during the High School years.

Privacy-The State recognizes your child as a private school student. Your child’s education will not be regulated by the Department of Education.

Is it Legal in Florida to Enroll your Child in a Private (Umbrella) School?

Yes, it is legal. Before the homeschool law came into effect in 1985, Private (Umbrella) Schools were the primary method to legally homeschool in Florida.

According to the HSLDA: “Homeschools have three options,.... Option 2: More than one homeschool can operate as a private school. A child who “attends” a private, parochial, religious, or denominational school is exempt from compulsory attendance. Fla. Stat. §1002.01(2)”

HSLDA, Home Schooling in the United States: A Legal Analysis, 2013-2014 Edition

Are You Accredited?

No, The Annesley Insitute is not accredited. The State of Florida does not accredit private schools nor does it regulate the agencies that do. Therefore, accreditation from a private agency would not substantially elevate our standing in the eyes of any institution of higher learning. In order to keep prices low and curriculum choices flexible, we have chosen to forgo accreditation.

The Annesley Institute is a valid Private School registered with the Florida Department Of Education (FDOE.)

Per the FDOE

“The Department of Education does not have jurisdiction over private schools. Legislative intent not to regulate, control, approve, or accredit private educational institutions, churches, their ministries, religious instruction, freedoms, or rites, is explicit. “

Who do I have to tell that I am enrolling my child in The Annesley Institute?

If this is the first time that your child will be attending school (i.e. K5) then you do not need to tell anyone.

If your child has been attending another private school or public school then you will need to withdraw your child from that school. They will have a form in the school office for you to complete. When they ask where your child is going to be attending then you tell them that you are enrolling them in a private school and give them our name.

If you have been homeschooling your child under the homeschool law then you will need to notify your school district. Just as you sent in a Notice of Intent when you started your homeschool, you will now send them a Letter of Termination. You may tell them that you are enrolling your child in a private school and give them our name. A blank Letter of Termination is available on our forms page for you to print, complete and mail to your school district.

Do you provide curriculum?

No, The Annesley Insitute does not provide curriculum, nor do we require that families use a particular curriculum. We believe that parents know their children best and are best able to choose an appropriate curriculum for their child. We do however, upon request, offer support to families choosing curriculums.

What counts as daily attendance?

It is up to the parent/teacher to determine what they will count as daily attendance. We only require that families meet the required days/ hours as determined by the state.

The State of Florida requires that children between the ages of 6 and 16 years of age attend class 180/year or recieve the equivalent hours:

Kindergarten: Five hundred forty (540) net instructional hours. Grades 1-3: Seven hundred twenty (720) net instructional hours. Grades 4-12: Nine hundred (900) net instructional hours.

It would be prudent for families to maintain good records of their students attendance, should their child’s education ever be called into question.

Can my child skip a grade?

While we completely support the right’s of the parents to make this decision for their child, we respectfully ask that they consider the long term effects of essentially rushing their child through his/her education.

We reccommend that rather than advancing a gifted student to a higher grade level, parents focus on enriching their child’s education by adding to the basic curriculum. Studies such as a foreign language, ancient history, specific sciences or a course in the arts can greatly enhance a child’s learning experience.