Frequently Asked Questions

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Umbrella Schools

Do I need to submit a notice of intent to the school district if I enroll with an umbrella school?

Students enrolled in an umbrella school are not subject to the homeschool law. They are considered private school students, so a notice of intent is not required.

I already submitted a notice of intent (NOI) to my school district. Do I need to notify them if I enroll in an umbrella school?

No. There is no requirement to notify the district if you discontinue schooling under the homeschool law. This is true whether you enroll with a public school or private school, including umbrella schools. The school district may contact you at the beginning of the following school year to remind you that you haven’t submitted an NOI. At that time you can just tell them that your children are enrolled in a private school. You may also print or download your statement of enrollment from your account page if you wish to send that to the district.

Can my children enroll in a publicly funded homeschool enrichment program if they are enrolled in an umbrella school?

Yes, they can. The law restricts enrollment to only one publicly funded program. Since umbrella schools are not publicly funded, this isn’t a problem. The district may ask you to submit a notice of intent (NOI) because they will assume you are schooling under the homeschool law.

Why do you keep referring to private school law? We are homeschoolers!

In practical day-to-day life, you are indeed homeschoolers, but PRS is considered a private school under Colorado Law. Once enrolled, your children are legally considered private school students and you are subject to the requirements of the private school law. For more information, read “What is an Umbrella School?”

Poudre River School

How can I reach PRS by phone? I don’t see a phone number listed.

PRS is a small, home-based business and does not publish a phone number publicly. If you have an account on the PRS site, you will find the phone number listed on your account page and at the bottom of most PRS emails. You are more than welcome to call at any time. If you do not have a PRS account, you may request a phone call on the contact form. I will be happy to give you a call.

I read that PRS doesn’t require testing or evaluation. Is this true? How do we satisfy the Colorado law that requires homeschoolers to test?

Yes, that is true. PRS does not require any testing or evaluation. Children enrolled in an umbrella school are not considered homeschool students under the law. Instead, they are private school students and are subject to private school law. Private schools are not required to test or evaluate students.

Does PRS offer enrichment programs or classes?

No, PRS is a very basic records-only program and does not offer any enrichment programs or classes. However, children enrolled with PRS may also enroll in private or publicly funded homeschool enrichment programs. (see below)

Does annual tuition cover a calendar year or a school year?

Annual tuition applies to the PRS school year, which is July 1st through June 30th. Tuition is not pro-rated regardless of when you enroll. For example, whether you enroll in August or January, your annual tuition will apply through June 30th.

Why does PRS require grades? What about unschoolers and others who don’t grade their children?

To comply with the law, PRS must document in some manner that students are receiving this required instruction.  When you submit semester grades, you will also verify that your child has received the instruction required by law.  If for any reason PRS were to be audited, these records will provide back-up for your statement of compliance.  In addition, transcripts for high school students must include grades and if your child transfers to another school in the future, you may need grade records for their new school. If you don’t normally grade your kids, you can simply list basic core subjects as courses and assign pass/fail for grades. For high school students, letter grades and credits are required because they are included on the student’s high school transcript.

Why does PRS require attendance? What about unschoolers?

Colorado law requires that private school students receive 172 days of instruction each year. To comply with the law, PRS requires attendance for all students on a monthly basis. If you are an unschooler, it is up to you to determine which days you wish to report as “attendance” days. The attendance forms are set up to make reporting quick and easy. All weekdays are pre-filled for months September through May, so you only need to remove days you don’t want to count.

If I enroll in the middle of the school year, can I report past attendance for this year?

Absolutely.  In fact, you can report and update attendance for any days during the PRS school year of July 1st to June 30th at any time, including planned attendance for the entire year.  If you prefer, you may simply record attendance for the remainder of the year. In this case, the 172-day requirement is assumed to be met if your records show approximately 17 days per month.The minimum requirement is current attendance records at any given date, up to an including the previous month, for all months that you are enrolled with PRS.

My children are enrolled in a publicly funded homeschool enrichment program and the district is asking me for a notice of intent. What do I do?

You can submit your statement of enrollment for PRS instead. My own children attend an Options program while enrolled in PRS and I have had no problem using their statement of enrollment in place of an NOI. You can print or download a copy of your statement of enrollment from your account page.

My child is currently enrolled at another school. Can I transfer school records to PRS?

Yes, you can.  Download this Records Release form and submit it to the school holding the records.
Note: Beginning July 1, 2018 there is a fee to transcribe transferred grades to a student’s PRS transcript. Records storage only is free.

Do the course names I enter for grades need to match the list of subjects in required instruction?

No.  You may use any course names that you would like. It is not possible to convey exactly what has been covered by course names alone.  When you submit semester grades, you will check a box to verify that your child has received or will receive instruction in the required subjects during the school year.  Colorado law requires that private school students receive a “Basic academic education”, which includes instruction in specific subjects. It is entirely up to you to determine how those requirements have been met.

High School

Does PRS have requirements or provide guidelines for high school credits?
How do I view and print my child’s high school transcript?

To view a student’s transcript, click on “grades” next to the student’s name. From the grades page, click on the “VIEW HS TRANSCRIPT” button. To print, click on “Print Transcript” in the upper right corner of the transcript page.

Can non-credit courses be listed on a high school transcript?

Yes, they can.  All high school (grade 9-12) courses are included on the transcript.  To enter non-credit high school course, select “.00” under credits.  This course will now be included on the transcript with no credits and will not affect GPA calculations.