Educational Resource Center of Broward

Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I need to do to satisfy the State of Florida Homeschool Law?

A: There are several options to satisfy Florida State Home Education Statute 1002.41.  The two that we provide are personal evaluations and standardized testing.  Both need to be administered by a Florida State Certified Teacher, who will upon completion of testing and or evaluation that demonstrates progress commensurate with the child’s ability, provide you with your annual evaluation letter.  The letter should be mailed, return receipt requested, to the superintendent of the county school board your child is registered with.  As always, keep a copy of all paperwork for your records.

The remaining options are listed under the Florida Law page of this website, which was downloaded from the D.O.E., (Department of Education), website.  You can also link directly to the D.O.E. website from that document.

Q: What do I do when I am ready to have my child(ren) evaluated or tested?

A:  1. Decide which method of evaluation is most appropriate for your child/children, a personal evaluation or standardized group testing.

2. Register following the steps below.

Personal Evaluation

Standardized Group Test

1. Call to schedule an appointment.

1. Decide on a location/date.

2. Print registration form off website.

2. Print registration form off website.

3. Complete registration form.

3. Complete registration form.

4. Mail completed registration form and fee to the payment address listed on the registration form.

4. Mail completed registration form and fee to the payment address listed on the registration form.

5. Completed registration form and fee must be received, no later than, one week prior to appointment in order to hold your reservation.

5. Completed registration form and fee must be received by the deadline in order to hold your reservation.

3. Pay attention to deadlines and sign up early.  Sites fill up quickly. 

4. Shortly after receipt of your registration and fee, you will be emailed a confirmation.  Approximately, one week prior to the test/evaluation you will be emailed a reminder and directions about test day.

Q. How do I prepare my child for standardized testing?

A. You can purchase test preparation books for the IOWA, (ITBS).   "Scoring - High Test Preparation Program" is available for grades 3 – 8.  We have found this particular title to be the most thorough preparation program out there.  Scoring High drills students in test-taking strategies; reading, math, language, and study skills most often tested; understanding testing formats and time management techniques…Plus it reviews material covered on the specific test your child is scheduled to take.  Each student book also contains one practice test.  

Q. How do I prepare my child for personal evaluations?

A. If your child is taking the mini skills test, you can review your child's prior year's work with them or purchase a general review workbook.

Q. Do I need to bring anything to the personal evaluation?

A.  For a portfolio review, please bring your child’s work samples.  We are looking for progress (meaning your child this year in comparison to your child last year) in each subject your child studied.  If you are still not sure or have an area of concern, please call or email us.  If we have previously discussed any issue in particular and it has been recommended that you bring any specific material, please remember to do so. 

Q. How do I prepare my child for test day?

A. Make sure you child is well rested and fed.  Discuss the purpose for the test as a tool - to celebrate all your effort and accomplishments and to gauge and guide next year's instruction and curriculum selection.  Additionally, help your child feel relaxed and comfortable with the test day by discussing the schedule and what he/she can expect.

Q. How do I prepare myself for test day and the scores that follow?

A. Relax, breathe and take heart.  You are making one of the most noble and worthwhile sacrifices a parent can make.  You have chosen to "...teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" Deut.6:7.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" John15:13.  As parents, we dedicate our lives to our children to prepare them for success.  What we need to be aware and cautious of is how we define success. 

There are many pieces that fit together to form a complete evaluation.  One method of assessment (for example: a standardized test) may not accurately demonstrate your child’s progress or ability.  Don't place too much emphasis on the results of any one test.  Results are merely tools. 

Some children test better than others simply because that’s the way their brain works or they have had more practice and/or preparation.  Some children demonstrate what they know better by an experiment or one-on-one assessment. 

You, as the parent and primary educator of your child, need to determine if any particular area of concern with a test score is due to your child's level of test taking skills, lack of diligence in study, their maturity, or ability level.  We are here to help you, as you need, to come to the conclusions that will help you persevere in the instruction of your child(ren).

Q. What is standardization?

A. Standardized tests are assessment tools that employ the concept of "sameness" in terms of the tasks the children are asked to complete, the administrative procedures and the methods of scoring used.  They compare groups of students and their main purpose is to improve instruction by obtaining information to support instructional decisions, report student progress as shown via the scores/results and evaluate the progress of different groups of students.  

Results are tools for us to use in conjunction with other forms of assessment, (checklist, observation, portfolio, etc.), to draw appropriate conclusions that will assist us in creating and/or modifying our child's instructional program.  The results of an achievement battery should never be used to judge an entire instructional program, effectiveness of an instructor, intelligence or grade level of a child, or what should be taught at any specific grade.  The test items are small pieces of a very large puzzle that culminate (along with other methods of evaluation) into a more comprehensive educational program.

Q: What will my child need to bring to the test? 

A:  On the “Test Day” page of the website you will find all the directions needed for standardized test day.  These will also be emailed to you approximately one week prior to the exam.  Should you have any further questions, please call or email me.

 Q:  May I stay in the testing area or building while testing is in session?

A:  For standardized testing there are NO parents, guardians, or unauthorized personnel of any kind allowed in the building or general testing area.   For the benefit of those testing and the accuracy of their results we need to provide an atmosphere which is quiet and free from distraction.   In addition, we are using a nationally normed test that is a highly secured document.  It is unethical for anyone to view the actual test other then the students testing and only for the purpose of completing the test. 

For personal evaluations, you may stay in the general area, but I do require that you keep a sufficient distance during the actual testing portion.  This allows your child to maintain their concentration and have their evaluation yield accurate results.  We can then come together and review the results and any other information needed. 

Q:  When will I receive my scores/results?

A: For standardized testing, you will receive computerized test results approximately 4 - 6 weeks after the testing session has concluded.

For personal evaluations, I will mail your computerized test results within 3-5 days of the evaluation. 

Q: What do I need to send in order to comply with Florida Law?

A:  To comply with Florida State Law, we are only required to send an “Annual Evaluation Letter” which is signed by a Florida state certified teacher.   It is not necessary to send any scores or results.  Mail Return Receipt and keep copies of documents sent.

Q: Where do I send my Annual Evaluation Letter?

A:  Send you Annual Evaluation Letter to the school board superintendent’s office that you registered your child with.  Along with your evaluation letter and scores/results, you will receive directions on what to send, where to send it and to who's attention.  Always keep a copy of your correspondence for your records and send it return receipt requested.

Q: What if I still have questions that were not answered here?

 A: Because I have five children of my own who range 10 years in age and all of whom I am trying to fervently, in the excited term, educate in one way or another each day- as you are - it is probably best to e-mail me.  Then, I can answer you late at night while they are fast asleep.  I make fewer mistakes that way and I heard - that when five children are running around they could distract and even agitate their mother whom is trying to perform the tedious task of composing a well-written,  grammatically correct, perfectly spelled e-mail.  Did I mention well-thought out?  Can you relate?  E-mailing also spares you the noisy-hmmm phone conversation, where I repeatedly ask you to repeat yourself or vice-versa.  If after this you still want to communicate via the phone - call me.  It's o.k.  Just remember, I warned you.  I will also have to call you back if I can't get to the phone at that moment, but I will as soon as I can.

In the event you can’t reach me or do not hear back from me, please call one of the other teachers on the evaluator page.  They will be happy to help you and can usually answer your questions and/or concerns.

Hang in there and press on.  A very wise friend once told me,

"The days are long, but the years are short".   

 

The longer I travel this journey, I can whole-heartedly agree. 
 Don't sweat the small stuff and keep the main thing, the main thing.
One more very convicting thought:  Talk and act as though you really are accountable. 
If not now, one day. 
Thanks Pastor B 

Equipping home-educators to run the race.

Thank you for allowing us to serve your family!

Educational Resource Center of Broward

 Web Address: www.educationalrcb.org

 Email: EducationalRCB@Gmail.com

 

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