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Private School/Home School

Private School/Home Schooling Affidavits


In the fall of 2002, the California Department of Education began using an online process for filing Private School Affidavits at  For more information, please call 916.319.0373.

Private Instruction

There are three options available to parents who want to provide a setting other than a public school classroom: 

1.  Private Schools
Children who are instructed in a private, full-time day school are exempt from public school attendance (Education Code Section 48222).  Private schools must offer instruction in several branches of study required in the state's public schools:
4Course of study for grades one through six--English, mathematics, social science, science, fine  arts, health, and physical education (Education Code Section 51210).
4Course of study for grades seven through twelve--same as above plus foreign language, applied arts, vocational education, and driver education (Education Code Section 51220).

California private schools serving kindergarten through grade twelve are required by state law to file an informational affidavit with the Specialized Programs Division of the California Department of Education each year by October 15.  This affidavit is not a license.  The affidavit is necessary for the pupil's exemption from public school and for the school to be eligible to receive the appropriate records from the pupil's last school of attendance.  School districts have the responsibility to ensure that all school-age children in the district either are in attendance at a public school or are legally exempt.

The California Department of Education is not empowered to license, evaluate, recognize, approve, or endorse any private elementary or secondary school or course.  The State of California does not accredit public or private schools.  Some schools, however, have elected to be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  For information regarding whether a specific private school has been accredited by WASC, call (650) 344-4805.  Private school owners/administrators are subject to local city and county ordinances (e.g., health, safety, zoning, business license, and so forth) that may be applicable to the operation of private schools. 

The annual California Private School Directory lists all private schools with an enrollment of six or more that have filed the informational affidavit.  The directory also contains a summary of selected California laws that are applicable to private schools and a list of private school organizations.  This directory may be purchased by contacting CDE Press at (800) 995-4099; it is also available in public libraries.

2. Tutoring
Tutoring is a statutory exemption from the compulsory public school attendance law (Education Code sections 48200 and 48224).  The tutor (who may be any person, including a parent/guardian) must have a valid teaching credential for the grade level being taught, and instruction must be in the branches of study required in the public schools.  Tutoring must be provided for at least three hours per day for a least 175 days per year.

3. Independent Study
(Taken from:

Independent study is an alternative to classroom instruction consistent with a school district's course of study and is not an alternative curriculum.  It provides individual students with a choice of ways to acquire the values, skills, and knowledge all students should gain as verified in a written agreement.  Independent study can be part of, be separate from, or be in addition to a regular classroom program.

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