Frequently Asked Questions
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Questions About Umbrella Schools
Q: Do I need to submit a notice of intent to the school district if I enroll with an umbrella school?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: Can my children enroll in a publicly funded homeschool enrichment program if they are enrolled in an umbrella school?
A: 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.
Q: Why do you keep referring to private school law? We are homeschoolers!
A: 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?”
Questions about Poudre River School
Q: How can I reach PRS by phone? I don’t see a phone number listed.
A: PRS is a small, home-based business and does not currently have a business phone number. If you have an account on the PRS site, you will find my personal phone number listed on your account page and at the bottom of most PRS emails. I have chosen not to post my number publicly online, but you are more than welcome to call at any time. If you do not have a PRS account, you may request a phone call from me on the contact form. I will be happy to give you a call.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: Does PRS offer enrichment programs or classes?
A: 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)
Q: Does the $50/yr tuition cover a calendar year or a school year?
A: Annual tuition applies to the PRS school year, which is July 1st through June 30th. Tuition is not pro-rated regardles of when you enroll. For example, whether you enroll in August or January, your tuition of $50 will apply through June 30th.
Q: Why does PRS require grades? What about unschoolers and others who don’t grade their children?
A: Colorado law requires that private school students receive a “Basic academic education”, which includes instruction in specific subjects. To comply with the law, PRS must document in some manner that students are receiving this required instruction. Filling out grades using an online form is a quick and easy alternative to submitting a written summary of what your child has learned. 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.
Q: Why does PRS require attendance? What about unschoolers?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Questions about High School
Q: How do I view and print my child’s high school transcript?
A: 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.
Q: Can non-credit courses be listed on a high school transcript?
A: 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.