Homeschool FAQ

  • Messiah Christian Academy

Homeschool FAQ

Homeschool Levels:

Level 1 = grades 1st-3rd     

Level 2 = grades 4th and 5th

Level 3 = grades 6th, 7th, and 8th

Level 4 = grades 9th & 10th

Level 5 = grades 11th & 12th

Do I need to inform the state if I am planning to enroll my child in MCA?

 Within 30 days after a program is established and by September 1 annually thereafter, the parents or guardians must file a Declaration of Intent with the Georgia Department of Education. This Declaration must include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located, and the dates of the school year.  (Georgia Department of Education)

 

You can submit the Declaration of Intent on the GDOE website, and you must provide a hard copy to MCA. 

 

Is a home study program to be operated within specified hours?

No. The law only requires the program to operate the equivalent of 180 days or at least 4.5 (four and one-half) hours of instruction per day or its equivalent unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement. (Georgia Department of Education)

Students at MCA attend classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.  On Tuesday and Thursday, it is the parents or guardian’s responsibility to homeschool their child(ren).

Does the law specify any promotion requirements, testing, or record keeping by the home study program?

The law does not specify any promotion requirements. However, it does stipulate that an “appropriate” nationally standardized testing program be administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm-referenced tests. The law further states that the student must be evaluated at least every three years, beginning at the end of third grade. Nationally-normed assessments must be given at the end of grades 3, 6, 9, and 12. Additionally, the records of such tests must be retained for three years. (Georgia Department of Education)

Please note the use of the term “appropriate” in the above paragraph by the GDOE.  This term suggests parents can decide what type of test they would like to administer to their child(ren), and parents therefore must decide when and if they would like to have their child(ren) tested.  Moreover, nationally-normed tests such as the ITBS are required by law for public school children; however, you may want to further investigate the laws specific to homeschool children as these laws are continually evolving.  MCA will also inform parents of legal and state requirements, but MCA will not offer test-prep courses for any standardized test.  It is the parents responsibility to either tutor their child(ren) for standardized testing, or enroll their child(ren) in test-prep programs offered at institutions such as Sylvan or Huntington Learning Center. 

Are home study programs required to keep attendance records?

As of July 1, 2013, you are no longer required to submit attendance records to the Georgia Department of Education.  However, attendance reports should be retained by the parent(s) or guardian of children in the home study program. (Georgia Department of Education)

For more information on state requirements, please visit the GDOE website:

http://www.gadoe.org/Pages/Home.aspx

What are the immunization requirements at MCA?

At MCA, we follow the state’s requirements for immunizations for the protection of all of our students, faculty, and staff.  Please read the following carefully.

Form 3300 (Certificate of Eye, Ear, Dental Exam)

A student, regardless of grade level, who has never been in a Georgia public school must provide certification of eye, ear and dental examinations on the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3300. Any child admitted to school without a certificate must present one within 120 calendar days. Forms may be obtained and completed at the local public health departments or physician offices.

Form 3231 (Certificate of Immunization)

Georgia Law requires children attending school (Kindergarten – 12th grade) to be age appropriately immunized with all the required vaccines at the time of first entry in school. A new entrant is a child entering a school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year. All students, regardless of grade and including foreign exchange students, must have the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3231 immunization certificate marked “Complete for School” unless any of the following situations exist:

  1. Medical exemption: in this case the 3231 has an expiration date no more than 12 months from date of issue. There must be an annual review of the medical exemption and the certificate must be reissued with or without indication of the medical exemption.
  2. Religious exemption: For a child to be exempt from immunization on religious grounds, the parent or guardian must furnish the school with a notarized statement and it must meet the following criteria: (A) State that their religious beliefs conflict with immunization requirements; (B) the statement must be signed and dated by the parent/guardian; (C) The statement must be notarized, dated, and signed by a Notary Public; (D) The statement should be submitted to the school in lieu of an immunization certificate (form 3231); (E) The statement does not expire.
  3. Waiver of 30 calendar days granted to new entrants by the superintendent or designee.
  4. Waiver of 90 calendar days may be granted by the superintendent or designee to students entering Georgia public schools from out of state, if documentation is on file from the county health department or a medical doctor stating that an immunization sequence has been started and can be completed within the 90 day waiver period.
  5. Immunizations are required for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). Protection against each of these diseases must be addressed on the form 3231. The form can be computer generated and if the child attends more than one school, an original or a photocopy of the form must be submitted to the second school.

Sixth Grade Requirements

All currently enrolled children entering sixth grade on or after July 1, 2007, must meet the following requirements:

  1. Two doses of Measles vaccine, two doses of Mumps vaccine, one dose of Rubella vaccine, or laboratory proof of immunity against each of these three diseases.
  2. Two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine or documentation of disease or laboratory proof of immunity. At the time your child entered school, only one dose of this vaccine was required.
  3. For more information about Georgia’s immunization program or the immunization requirements for school entry and attendance, please click on the following link to the Georgia Department of Human Resources:

health.state.ga.us/programs/immunization/index.asp.

 

What is the role of the parents (or guardians) in the homeschooling process?

Parents are encouraged to establish a learning environment at home by providing the student with a study place and set hours for instruction.  Some students work well in the morning, others in the afternoon, and in some cases it is best to split the time between morning and afternoon.  MCA recommends two to four hours of home instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays depending on the age and ability level of the student.  Parents and students are to be working on teacher assigned work on Tuesday and Thursday, and parents are encouraged to supplement instruction with various learning experiences based on the student’s needs and interests.  Parents also need to consider setting home expectations for their child(ren) so all work is completed by the assigned due date.

Does MCA accept students with ADHD and special needs?

For legal, moral, and ethical reasons, MCA does not accept students with special needs or severe learning disabilities.  We will consider enrolling a student with ADD/ADHD if the student is currently under a doctor’s care and receiving the recommended medications.  However, for the above stated reasons, we cannot accept children who are currently under a 504, or who require several and specific learning modifications.

What does tuition at MCA cover?

Tuition at MCA covers the following costs:

  • General overhead
  • Curriculum materials and resources
  • Consumable materials
  • Homeschool materials
  • Technology
  • Lab fees
  • Facilities

How can parents get more involved at MCA?

Parents are encouraged to join the PTA at MCA when enrolling their child(ren).  The PTA will be involved in community outreach programs and school sponsored events for our students.  Additionally, parents are welcome to volunteer as classroom helpers, or organize enrichment opportunities for the students through summer workshops or fall courses.  For more information on parent involvement, please contact the Homeschool Director.