WHAT IS A PRIVATE SCHOOL SATELLITE PROGRAM?
A Private School Satellite Program (PSP) is a registered private school in California whose member parents provide at least 51% of home-based instruction to their own children. Regina Caeli Academy (RCA) files the annual California Private School Affidavit, under which each currently registered family and enrolled student is covered. Each family household is considered a “satellite campus” of RCA, and parents, the “faculty.” Private schools are not governed by the California Department of Education. For reference, other Catholic PSPs in California are Seton Homeschool, Mother of Divine Grace, and Kolbe Academy. California Private School Education Codes can be accessed at: CA Education Code for Private Schools. Parents who teach their own children are exempt from background checks and fingerprinting.
Homeschooling families across the nation can now enroll in the PSP. Assistance will be offered to help you navigate your state's home education requirements and prepare reports for submission.
CAN THE STATE ACCESS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?
No. Identifying information of enrolled families, parents, and students, is not reported to the State. RCA strongly recommends that families become members of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) or the California Homeschool Network (CHN). If you are ever visited by an official requesting access to your home or records, you have the right to refuse. Refer them to HSLDA if you are a member, then immediately contact the RCA Director.
DO MY CHILDREN NEED TO BE VACCINATED?
No. Since RCA does not offer in-person instruction, students are exempt from SB277, the California mandatory vaccination law. However, if you enroll your child in any sort of classroom-based activities, please check with that entity as to its vaccination requirements. Students enrolling in First Grade are required to submit Medical and Oral Examination Forms, or parents may submit a waiver of one or both.
IS RCA ACCREDITED AND DO I NEED AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL/PROGRAM?
No. RCA is not accredited. Personally, I do not believe K-12 curriculum requires accreditation. First, there are so many accrediting agencies and so many varied standards that practically anyone can acquire accreditation at some level from someone, but what would that really mean? In our 24-year history, RCA transcripts have never been refused for non-accreditation and actually, have simply never been refused for any reason. Further, I encourage parents to inquire if an entire curriculum is accredited or perhaps only a portion of it is, or if it's only accredited for a particular use. There are many aspects to accreditation and I always question accreditation of anything. RCA always recommends that parents research their student’s college of choice to determine whether an accredited curriculum is required for admission.
WHY DO YOU NEED MY "TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS?"
WILL I BE JUDGED ON WHETHER OR NOT I'M QUALIFIED TO TEACH MY OWN CHILDREN?
Private schools in California are required to maintain records of their teacher qualifications. Since RCA parents are the teachers, this information is required to be kept on file. However, a college degree or teaching credential is not required! Parents simply provide their educational experience and any additional work or life experience, if they desire. No judgment is ever made. All information is kept secure and confidential in the RCA records.
DOES RCA REQUIRE TESTING?
No, RCA does not require testing. In fact, private schools are not required to test, although many do. When parents teach their own children, they see progress and challenges on a daily basis. The majority of curricula we use comes with tests and quizzes built-in to lesson plans; there is no need to make children learn new material or memorize facts based on any additional standardized test.
IOWA tests were the most commonly used over decades for private and homeschooled students; however, IOWA aligned themselves with the Common Core Standards in 2010. RCA is a "Common Core-Free Zone," therefore, I cannot advise that these tests be used.
I do recommend that parents of middle and high school students employ the Classic Learning Test (CLT) battery of exams for both progress assessment and college entrance. All of the Newman Guide Recommended Catholic Colleges accept the CLT and many offer scholarships based on scores.
Due to a variety of reasons, more and more colleges and universities are becoming either test-optional or are removing the testing requirement for college application. I advise parents and high school students to research their college of choice as to whether an exam is required or not.
DO I NEED TO TURN IN REPORTS AND DO YOU REQUIRE WORK SAMPLES?
Yes, RCA is required to collect attendance and grade reports annually and I provide templates for both for your use.
No, I do not collect work samples as RCA is not required to do so. I do suggest parents keep their own samples as mementos of their children's work.
CAN I HOMESCHOOL MY SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENT UNDER RCA? DO YOU REQUIRE ASSESSMENTS AND/OR AN IEP?
Many parents choose to independently home educate their special needs children under RCA. Private schools do not require IEP's but if you have one, I will keep it in your child's cumulative file. Many parents are able to arrange for services via their private insurance companies or their school districts. If you need any assistance securing services, I am available to help.
DO YOU ALLOW A FLEXIBILE SCHOOL SCHEDULE AND THE ABILITY TO TAILOR COURSE AND CREDIT REQUIREMENTS?
Yes. As a private school, RCA publishes a recommended Course of Study and High School graduation requirements. These may be adapted upon consultation. As a private school supporting Catholic families, I do require that if you are Catholic, our Faith is taught in every grade level and that the Sacraments are received, as appropriate.
Parents should consult the published guidelines and speak with me to discuss alternatives in tailoring a Course of Study to their student’s needs and goals.
Registration is for a 12-month period from September 1st to August 31st and includes the two traditional Fall and Spring Semesters with an optional 3rd or Summer Semester. This 3rd Semester may be used to complete a grade, to get a head start on the new year, or for vacation!
WILL MY STUDENT'S HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT AND DIPLOMA BE ACCEPTED AT COLLEGES AND BY EMPLOYERS?
RCA transcripts and diplomas are official documents issued by a private school. They are signed by the Director and embossed with the school's State Seal. Throughout our history, our transcripts and diplomas have never been refused or disputed at colleges across the nation, including California state and UC schools, trade schools, the military, seminaries and convents.