Evaluation Station!

Frequently Asked Questions...


Your question:

"Should I focus on choosing curriculum that satisfies "COMMON CORE" requirements?"

My answer: An emphatic, "NO."

Read this important article on the "Common Core" to understand how important it is that we not follow after this huge educational mistake!

 Who needs a portfolio?

EVERY homeschooled student in the state of Florida is required to have a portfolio of their work, and to be

able to produce it within fifteen days if the county Superintendent calls for it. Each portfolio is to be kept for

two years. To find out what a legal portfolio should include, visit our Services page! Since this is such a

great representation of a student's progress, we highly recommend using it to meet the requirements

for your evaluation by allowing a super skilled certified-teacher/ homeschool mom like Loraine look it over!

Who needs an evaluation?

Every homeschooled student registered in the state of Florida needs an evaluation through grade 11.

Students in grade 12 who are graduating (whether or not they are going to college, etc.) do NOT need

a formal evaluation (because they do not wish to continue in the homeschooling program.) They

simply need to send a letter signed by the parent/guardian in charge of their homeschooling to their

county liaison which states that they have completed the course of study determined by their

parent/guardian and they wish to be officially removed from the Homeschooling Program. (They may

require, and its not a bad idea to have this letter notarized.) Since the county has no authority to

graduate or even advance a homeschooled student to the next grade, and the sole purpose of an

evaluation is to determine if the student is making progress so s/he may continue in the program...

a student in grade 12 can just close out their program with the state and proceed to working towards

the requirements for their next adventure- which may include a graduation ceremony, college, trade

school, or employment, etc.

What are the legal options, according to state law, for having my child evaluated?

Each student must do one of the following each year:

1) Have educational progress evaluated by a teacher holding a valid regular Florida teaching certificate and

selected by the parent. The evaluation must include review of a portfolio and discussion with the student;

2) Take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;

3) Take “a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher,

at a location and under testing condition approved by the school district”;

4) Be evaluated by a Florida licensed psychologist or school psychologist; or

5) Be “evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon.”


Do students enrolled in FLVS need to be evaluated by a certified teacher?

This can be a pretty confusing issue depending on which county you live in and what level of education your

child is currently in.

HSLDA (the Homeschool Legal Defense Association) advised me that if a student is completely enrolled in

the FLVS, then s/he is considered to be a public school student. (Most counties agree this has to be a FULL

CLASS LOAD of 6 classes.) Parents should contact FLVS and have them send the student's transcript directly

to the Home Education office in their county of residence. (They often even accept a downloaded FLVS

transcript mailed directly by the parent.)  They would not need to be separately evaluated by a certified

teacher such as myself because they have been taught and graded (online) by certified teachers, carrying a

full class load. HOWEVER... Hillsborough and Pasco Counties accept these FLVS transcripts as proof of

evaluation, but the Pinellas County Home Education office does not (even if the student is enrolled in 6

classes.)  So, if your student is enrolled in FLVS and you live in Pinellas County, I will be happy to conduct an

evaluation for you. Things change all the time so just double check with your county liaison.

There are also other issues to consider when trying to determine whether or not you need an evaluation.

  Whether a student is considered a "Homeschooler" or a "Publicly Schooled" student taking classes online at

home can depend on their grade level, whether or not they are enrolled in an in-state or out-of-state

umbrella school, or exactly which type of virtual school they are using. Contact your county Home

Education liaison and they will let you know whether or not you need an evaluation by a certified teacher

(like me!) or if you just need to have your child's records transferred from your umbrella or virtual school to

their office.  

Here is a list of the county liaisons for Homeschooling in FL:  LIAISONS

If the student is only partially enrolled with FLVS (taking less than 6 classes) and is taking other coursework

that is independent of FLVS, then they are considered a homeschooler and need to have an

evaluation.  They may meet this requirement with standardized testing, an evaluation by a licensed

psychologist, or a portfolio evaluation. (Every homeschooler is required to have a portfolio, so as I always

say... Why not use it to meet that evaluation requirement!)

What items/paperwork need to be provided for the evaluation if the student is enrolled in FLVS?

Evaluations of FLVS students are a little different than your average homeschooler because all the records

are online and kept by the county. (BE AWARE: Work samples are NO LONGER AVAILABLE on the FLVS

website after the semester has ended. You need to download samples prior to that time.) Because the state

regulations still have to be met, there are a few items you will need to provide for your evaluator:

-If you have it, I would like to see a current copy of the student's transcript showing their classes and


Next, we are looking for a page (one per subject/ course) that can serve as a "Daily Log." This is the page

that shows the date you submitted your assignments. It may be under, "My Grades" on the FLVS site- then

go to  the "Summary."

-a list of any textbooks that were used in the online classes (if any). Most FLVS online classes do not utilize

a textbook, so these may not be available. If not, we'll just list the curriculum as, "FLVS."

-a list of the pleasure books that were read during the year, (This is something you compile. A simple list will


-work samples- For EACH subject, submit one sample from the beginning of the year, one from the middle

of the year, and one from the end of the year. (Remember, I have to determine that your student is

progressing!) You can also submit photos or videos of any special projects. It would be great to have some

samples of essays.

Parents and older students NEED to set a date on your calendar as a reminder three times throughout the

year so that you can download a sample of student work at that time and file it away (using one of the

methods described in the center section of my Services page) in anticipation of your end of the year

portfolio review. (All this organization is not expected to be perfect for the first evaluation.)



assignments to a file on your computer, so please explore that possibility and provide what you can.

Do students in umbrella schools need to be evaluated by a certified teacher?

If the umbrella school is registered as a private school with the Board of Education in Florida, those students

do NOT need a separate evaluation.  If the umbrella school is registered out of state, then the student DOES

need an evaluation by a FL certified teacher. (I personally see no need for umbrella schools.)



Does my child need to participate in the evaluation?

Yes. Part of the legal evaluation process is an interview with the student. Not to worry, however, the

questions I ask are light-hearted and nothing the students can’t answer.  For example: What is your most

favorite thing you did this year in homeschooling?  What would you like to do better next year?  What are

you most proud of?  What kind of things would you like to study next year? If they are old enough, I have

them read to me a bit from one of their favorite books! One of my young clients said I was, "1,000 percent

nice" so no need to worry! This is my absolute favorite part of the whole process.


How long does a portfolio evaluation take?

Well, this is the wonderful part! Because we are using the cyber option, you will not have to wait while the

portfolio is being examined. Once the portfolio has been evaluated, an appointment will be made for the

interview portion. Interviews can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes and are really the best part of this

entire process. Ideas are shared, progress is celebrated, questions are answered and guidance and

encouragement are given as well. In the end, you will think... That was easy!


If I'm doing an online/cyber evaluation, when should I send you my student's portfolio?

As soon as possible. Please use one of the methods described in the center of my Services page. As I

receive portfolios, I save them in files on my computer. I will need to have everything two days (or more)

prior to the evaluation. IF it is my busy season (June, July, and August,) I will need more time due to heavy

volume. Be sure to view our power-point, "How to Prepare for a Portfolio Evaluation, without losing your

mind!" for the most current information and download our "Homeschool Portfolio Checklist" to get an idea

of what you need to send to me. These items are also on the Services page.

Will I get the Certificate of Review letter that I need to send into the county right away, or will it be

mailed to me?

I email the Certificate of Review to the parent and to the county liaison immediately after a successful

evaluation. You don't have to do a thing but celebrate!



Should I make a copy of the Certificate of Review letter for my files?

Always a good idea!


How much are your portfolio evaluations and what form of payment do you accept?

My portfolio evaluations are $45. You can pay instantly with VISA,

MASTERCARD, or DISCOVER by using PayPal which may be found on our "Services" page. Payment is due

PRIOR to my reviewing the portfolio.


When is my evaluation due to the county?

The date of your evaluation should coincide with the date you declared to the county that you were going

to homeschool. If you sent the Letter of Intent to homeschool in September, then you need to send in your

annual Certificate of Review in September.


If I was evaluated using a standardized test, do I send in the test results to the county along with the

Certificate of Review? 

The HSLDA recommends that you send in ONLY the Certificate of Review issued to you by the certified

teacher who conducted the testing. The results of the testing are private and should not be shared with

the county.

Do you provide references?

Yes! Please check the "Testimonies" page on this website. If you would like to speak to someone directly,

please let me know and I will be happy to provide contact info for some of our clients who have indicated

that they would be happy to speak with you about their personal experience with our services.