What is an Umbrella or Cover School?
What is an Umbrella School?
There is no universal definition for an umbrella (or cover) school because home education laws vary from state to state. In some states, homeschoolers can get some level of support and legal protection for their home education program. Umbrella schools typically provide legal legitimacy to a family's home education program, maintain attendance records, host field trips and activities, and more.
What is an Umbrella School?
An umbrella school is an entity, typically considered a private school, which serves to oversee homeschooling families and help them meet the requirements of their state’s homeschooling laws. Sometimes the umbrella school is an actual physical private school with which homeschooling families can partner. In other cases, an umbrella school is more of an organization established to help homeschoolers comply with the law.
The Perks of an Umbrella School vs. Remaining Independent
At one time or another, many homeschool families examine the possibility of enrolling in an umbrella or cyber school. An umbrella school is a homeschool program operated by public charter schools or directly by regular public schools.
How to Comply with Colorado's Homeschool Law
In Colorado, there are three options under which you can legally homeschool. You are free to choose the option that best meets your family’s needs. These options include homeschooling under Colorado's homeschool statute, homeschooling with an independent school, and homeschooling with a certified teacher.
Learn How a Homeschool Umbrella School Works: Is It Right For You?
A homeschool umbrella school is an independent school that offers enrolled families a way to comply with state laws. In most circumstances, these schools offer families a chance to homeschool under private school laws, where they may find much more freedom from intervention than following homeschooling regulations individually. These types of schools can be set up as a local organization, or as a distance or online school. In some states, legal homeschooling may only be done through an umbrella or cover school, while in other states, umbrella schools can offer benefits to homeschooling families, but are not required by state law.
Umbrella School: Why You Should Homeschool with an Umbrella School
An umbrella school is generally a private school which has an option available for homeschooling. An umbrella school has students which actually attend the private school, as well as students who are registered as homeschoolers.
What Are Homeschool Umbrella Schools?
An umbrella school is a homeschooling “school” that oversees the high schoolers’ education. Different states have different names for umbrella schools.
Umbrella Schools - Pros and Cons
This forum discussion goes over the pros and cons of using an umbrella school. In some states, there is a requirement for homeschoolers to register with an organization, and umbrella or cover schools offer this.
Why an Umbrella School?
This forum discussion gives reasons why some families choose the option of a homeschool umbrella school.
Umbrella and Cover Schools in Colorado
Christian Cottage Schools
Ascend Micro School
Ascend Micro School is a faith-based K-5 hybrid school in northern Colorado Springs that partners with families to provide an engaging, learner-driven education rooted in compassion for the local community and the people in it. Your child can attend one, two, or three days a week, with the rest of learning happening at home, receiving highly-individualized instruction paired with collaborative learning. They embrace the strengths of curious, driven, passionate, gifted students and empower them through highly individualized instruction, place-based education, hands-on learning, and character development so that each child can strengthen the gifts that are uniquely theirs and vital to our world.
Desiderata School offers homeschool support and distance learning for all grades K through 12. Using Desiderata as your umbrella school offers you the opportunity to homeschool your students while easily meeting the State of Colorado's compulsory attendance and records requirements. You have the freedom to choose your own curriculum and learning schedules, while they maintain your school records and files. Desiderata also offers accredited transcripts and diplomas. Desiderata firmly believe that any place in which learning takes place is a classroom.
High Country Home Educators
High Country operates an independent school, High Country Christian Academy. HCCA is incorporated as a private school, and students enrolled are not under the home school law but under the private school law. Enrolling in an independent school is one of the three legal options for homeschooling in Colorado. HCCA was established to support Christian families in raising their children according to Deuteronomy 6 and to assist and encourage them in their calling to educate their children at home.
CHEC Independent School
A part of Christian Home Educators of Colorado, the CHEC Independent School is an umbrella school that serves homeschool families across the state from our home office in Parker. They believe that parents are responsible for the education of their children, and through the Independent School, they purpose to help Colorado parents to succeed in that God-given role. Enrolling with the CHEC Independent School offers the opportunity to satisfy your legal responsibilities, recordkeeping, and access to the support services of CHEC.
Poudre River School
Poudre River School is an independent, private school for homeschooling families in Colorado, also known as an umbrella school. PRS provides legal enrollment in a private school while parents direct the daily education of their children. Enrollment is open to students in kindergarten through high school. PRS believes that parents/guardians are capable of educating their children according to their individual needs and should be trusted to provide a high-quality education for their children. All styles of instruction are honored and accepted, including unschooling.
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (STAA) is a Catholic independent school serving the Colorado Catholic homeschool community. Through enrollment, you can comply with Colorado state laws regulating home education without needing to register with a public school district.
West River Academy
Colorado Heritage Education School System Independent School
The Colorado Heritage Independent School, a private Christian school, provides homeschooling families "umbrella school" services (record keeping, etc.). Homeschooling families who are not enrolled in an independent school must report their records to a public school district. Students enrolled in their independent school are considered private school students, and as such, submit records to Colorado Heritage. They also provide curriculum and scheduling advice, as well as encouragement, to families who are pursuing the noble pursuit of educating at home.
Spiral Academy is dedicated to serving the needs of homeschooling families, primarily in Colorado, who desire the benefits of private school enrollment with minimal oversight over their educational activities. Their sole intent is to lend support for academic excellence that is always conducted in the spirit of religious and cultural tolerance. Religious and political beliefs are not part of Spiral Academy's identity or purpose. Students have an eclectic mix of beliefs, political affiliation, and cultural diversity.
Front Range Christian School Homeschool Program
Front Range Christian offers homeschool options for K-12 students. Elementary and junior high students (K-8) may participate in a one day per week homeschool enrichment program. Senior high students (9th-12th) may choose from any core or elective courses (on a space available basis). Front Range Christian School also offers a complete umbrella program for families desiring assistance with record keeping, graduation and more.
FACE (Family Academy of Christian Education) is a private and independent school, founded in 1996, to support and enhance the home education experience of families in Colorado and worldwide. FACE also serves as an official records-only program for Colorado home education that satisfies homeschooling law in Colorado. FACE offers multiple enrollment choices and exciting opportunities for families.
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