What is an Umbrella School?2 min read
If you’re just getting started with homeschooling, then you may be a little thrown off and confused by weird and unusual homeschooling terms such as “umbrella school”. What on earth is an umbrella school, right? And why would a homeschooling family require one?
Let’s find out!
What is an Umbrella School?
Umbrella school is sometimes also called cover school or CRS (church-related school). An umbrella school is basically an entity that is typically considered a private school and serves to oversee homeschooling families. It also helps them to meet the requirements of the state’s homeschooling laws.
In some cases, an umbrella school could be a physical private school that homeschooling families can partner with. In other cases, it’s an organization that is established to help homeschoolers to work in compliance with the state homeschooling law.
Why should you use an Umbrella School?
Various families use an umbrella school for various reasons. Some use an umbrella school to make things like graduation and transcripts easier. Others use an umbrella school as their state’s legal homeschooling option.
Umbrella schools or cover schools in many areas are also relatively inexpensive. Many homeschooling families use them for convenience.
Therefore, the main reasons why homeschool families use an umbrella school includes guidance on curriculum as well as course options, compliance with homeschooling laws, the convenience of maintaining records such as transcripts and attendance and even in order to have a report card or diploma issued by an entity that is more official-looking.
What exactly does an Umbrella School do?
An umbrella school basically helps by providing oversight as well as maintaining records for homeschooling families. Some umbrella schools provide more oversight than others.
You may have to submit grades and attendance at the end of every semester and also an education plan when enrolling every year.
If you don’t feel completely sure about what aspects of your education plan and curriculum you’ll be using but your umbrella school requires you to update it quite early, then you could always list minimum options and update the plan later on.
Umbrella schools are basically there to help you out.
What services can an Umbrella School offer?
An umbrella school may offer the following services
- Graduation ceremonies
- Issuing diplomas
- Guidance in choosing the right curriculum
- Field trips, clubs and scholarships
- Teacher and student identity cards
- Testing (for states that require this)
- Discounts for other organizations
- Maintain records (such as grades, attendance and course descriptions)
Everyone may not have the exact same experience with umbrella schools. While some umbrella schools are quite lenient and allow more freedom, others can be stricter. Some umbrella schools may want to have more of a say in what resources and curriculum you choose to use for your kids. Other umbrella schools will simply ask you to submit an education plan that they will need to approve of. It is always advisable to look for a cover school that suits your family the best.