Church-related schools (CRS)
are known as umbrella schools or cover schools in other parts of the
nation. In Tennessee if you don't want to register with the Local
Education Agency (LEA) you'll need to register with a
CRS to legally homeschool.
There are two ways to be
registered with a CRS.
The first way is
HOMESCHOOLING using the CRS as a cover
school. You'll need to follow their rules regarding how many hours
per day to teach, testing and curriculum, meeting with school
personnel and perhaps agreement with a code of conduct or statement
of faith. Many also provide extra-curricular activities, support
groups and other services such as online access. There will be
registration and other fees. The CRS will report their high school
students to the LEA.
There is no law that
says you must use a cover school near you, in your county, or on
Department of Education's list. The DOE doesn't have to 'approve' or
legally 'recognize' these schools. They become legal once they
meet the qualifications of the accrediting agencies enumerated
CRS law. The DOE keeps a list of CRS's as a
convenience for their staff and parents. The accrediting agency
provides the DOE with their list of schools. One accrediting
TACRS, has decided not to participate in this list stating
that their schools operate under the
Jeter Memorandum and thus their students aren't considered
homeschoolers but privately schooled and so should be included
in a 'homeschooling' list. Unfortunately, TACRS doesn't provide
a list of their schools on their own website either. Many of
them are listed on the
TnHomeEd CRS chart.
The DOE can and has directly approved two schools in recent
You may be asked
to fill in the form at left if you are homeschooling a
high schooler. You may not. Some CRS's may not realize that
the CRS form has been eliminated by the DOE.
The DOE does
their webpage: "Parents
serving as teachers in a church-related school must follow
the requirements for all church-related schools including
the duty to report only the names, ages and addresses of all
pupils in attendance to the LEA." My suggestion is that you
leave this reporting up to the church-related school--your
immediate authority in this matter.
This form has
been recently revised (June 2007). Previously it had not been revised since the
and as a result parents, and school personnel, were often
that some of this information isn't required. Some is marked
optional and some isn't.
includes Social Security and phone numbers. The law doesn't
specifically require proof of the parent's education. That
hasn't stopped the DOE and many LEA's from insisting that
parents include a copy of their diploma. You'll have to
decide for yourself if you want to comply or not.
CRS won't require you to fill this form in at all.
The second is the
SATELLITE or JETER OPTION which we call homeschooling but is
technically a form of private schooling according to the
. It is important that you understand this distinction. Applying for
college as a homeschooler or stating to any government agencies that
you're being homeschooled would be incorrect. It's not unusal for
them to check with the local school district to verify status and
your child's records will not be found and could result in serious
and frustrating consequences.
Using this satellite option you register with a church-related school, the
school considers your home a "satellite" of their campus and you a
teacher of their school.
As a result you
to register your high schooler with the LEA (the CRS handles any reporting)to submit to testing by the state (the CRS may require it's own testing),
a BA/BS to teach your high schooler. As in the first CRS option, above,
you are required to follow their rules regarding curriculum, hours, grading,
etc. Ask the CRS specifically if they offer this satellite (Jeter) option.
Registration and other fees vary by school.
Withdrawing from one school and
transferring to another
I don't know of any formal document for withdrawing and
transferring your child to another school. Usually, when you enroll your child
in a new school the new school requests your child's records from the old
school. This serves as a notice. However, if you're at all anxious about whether
this normal procedure will be done before the old school begins and they will be
expecting your child, here is my suggestion to avoid truancy issues. (You should
check with your church-related or Cateogry III school for their advice on how to deal with
notifying the previous school.)
After registering with your chosen church-related
school write a
formal letter like the one below to the school stating that you are transferring "Suzy Jones"
to ABC School. Include the new school's contact information. I suggest hand
carrying it to the office and noting on your copy of the letter the date,
time and the name of the person that accepts the letter. While you're there
make sure "Suzy" doesn't have any outstanding fines, has returned all her books,
locks, equipment of any kind. You don't want there to be any delay in the
transfer of records because "Suzy" didn't return a library book.
You may want to avoid any discussion of
"homeschooling". I would not have the children within earshot of any
remarks that these clerks might make regarding your decision to homeschool. Often these folks are just clerks and they are not very well
versed on the actual laws. You, however, have read the law and understand just
what you can do and they can't. Thank them for their concern and do "the happy
dance" when you get home.
informing the school that your child is being
transferred to a new school.
School's street address
School's city, TN School's zip
Dear Principal [insert their name],This letter
is to formally notify you that our child[ren], [full name of
the child/ren], has been transferred to [insert school
name, address and phone number] effective immediately.
[leave space for your signature here]
Your Street Address
Your town, TN, Your ZIP
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