Are you new to SPA or homeschooling in general?
The decision to home school your child is a big one. Equip yourself with all the facts, so you can make the right decision for your child and your family. Check out these FAQs, and feel free to contact us any time with questions. SPA Home School education advisors will work with you to ensure you are well informed and enthusiastic to begin this next step in your child’s education.
How do I enroll in the SPA Home School Program?
What if I have questions about enrollment?
Please call our school office at (760) 630-4080. Our friendly staff will answer your questions, or put you in touch with one of our Home School Program Principals.
I plan to home school my child. What are the benefits of enrolling him/her at SPA?
Our home school program includes:
- Free enrollment, as NUA is a public charter school
- Caring, helpful teacher/coaches to facilitate your child’s learning
- Specific, practical feedback on how to improve your child’s school performance
- Annual educational funds to pay for curriculum, tutoring, and activities such as music, art, or sports
- Optional enrichment classes, field trips, and other fun activities
- The fulfillment of legal school enrollment requirements for your child
- A friendly, small school environment
- An easier transition back to a traditional/brick-and-mortar school if your family’s needs change, as NUA is a WASC-accredited charter school.
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are public schools that operate through a central district, just like any other public schools. Our chartering district holds us to high ideals, while ensuring our staff members stay up-to-date on training. All teachers who work for charters are fully credentialed within their school’s state of operation. Here at NUA, all our teachers hold valid California credentials and all new-to-the-profession teachers complete the required CA induction program with support from a veteran teacher.
Charter schools allow for flexibility and choice. We are an alternative to a traditional public school that may not be meeting the needs of your child. Charter schools often have lower student-to-teacher ratios, allowing for more personalized support.
Additionally, charter schools with home school programs offer support for homeschooling families. We pair each family with one of our fully-credentialed teachers. Your teacher will assist with curriculum choice, pacing out the school year, paperwork, and ensuring your child is staying on-track and making adequate progress throughout the year.
Because we are public schools, all charter schools are tuition-free. In the case of the home school program at NUA, students are provided access to a school account of instructional funds that they may use to purchase materials, supplies, and lessons or classes (see below for more information on funds).
What is the advantage of an accredited school?
National University Academy is fully accredited (K-12) through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Being WASC accredited means our school has been through a rigorous process of self-study and evaluation. We have been visited by an outside team of educational experts who further evaluated our school. This ongoing and collaborative process ensures NUA has school-wide goals that focus on student learning and success. WASC also ensures the school is following guidelines for student achievement, making sound judgements, and providing accountability for our students.
An added benefit of WASC accreditation is that we offer A-G coursework for our middle- and high-school students. A-G courses are required for freshman admission to the UC and CSU university systems in California.
This accreditation process is vital to our perpetual cycle of assessment, planning, and monitoring of student achievement and success. You might also think of the WASC acronym as meaning “We Are Student Centered.”
For more information on accreditation, please visit the WASC website.
How does the home school program work?
The parent is expected to be the primary educator of their child. You will be responsible for six academic areas (English-language arts, math, science, social studies, PE, and elective). You are free to choose how you cover each subject, but we do ask that families use the California and Common Core standards as a guide or a goal to reach by the end of the school year. Many homeschooling students take lessons and classes with our vendors as an option for covering some of the six academic areas.
Each family will work with an education advisor, a California-credentialed teacher. Your education advisor (EA) will meet with you at least once every learning period (about 20 school days) to discuss completed work, assessment results, and upcoming school events. These meetings are also a chance for you to ask questions, discuss curriculum choices, and plan out your school year. Your EA is available to assist you with many aspects of your child’s education. They also provide informal assessments, curriculum suggestions, and assist with paperwork.
What curriculum is available?
NUA Home School believes in parent- and student-choice. Families may choose their own curricula and use the materials and teaching styles that best suit each individual student. Your education advisor will be able to assist you with curriculum suggestions, if needed.
As a public school, we do give the state-mandated Smarter Balanced assessment in the spring of each year. The CA and Common Core standards should be thought of as maps/plans to help you guide instruction, as these are the items covered by the testing. These standards are goals to reach by the end of the school year. How you reach those goals is up to you. Your education advisor is available to help you map out your year and reach those goals.
Families may use sectarian materials as a supplement; however, we are unable to use school instructional funds to purchase such materials, nor can students submit those materials as portfolio samples.
Do you offer instructional funds or student stipends? If so, how much, and how does that work?
Yes. We will offer $3,000 per student in Instructional Funds for the 2018-2019 school year. Funding allotments differ based on enrollment date, and that will be covered during your initial phone call with one of our Program Principals.
Students may use instructional funds to purchase curriculum; supplemental materials (workbooks, manipulatives, educational software and games, basic school supplies, art supplies, etc.). There are some limits, which are covered in detail on pages 12-19 of our Home School Handbook.
Student instructional funds may also be used toward lessons, classes, and tutoring through our instructional services vendors. We do ask that families have their curriculum in place prior to ordering lessons/classes, but there are no other limits on these types of orders.
Where might I find your vendor list?
We have two vendor lists: One for materials vendors and one for instructional services vendors (lessons, classes, tutoring). Each list is further broken down by subject (materials vendors) and county (service vendors).
Our vendor lists are all available here.
What grade levels are covered?
NUA Home School is available for students in TK (Transitional Kindergarten) through grade 8.
NUA offers a high school Independent Study program for those students who wish to remain enrolled after grade 8.
How often do you collect work samples?
Your education advisor will view student work samples at every meeting. They collect formal portfolio samples each semester. Portfolios will include two samples per course, per semester.
Do you offer classes and/or social events for students and their families?
Yes! We currently operate three enrichment centers that offer classes to our students. Our classes are taught by NUA education advisors as well as some of our approved vendors. Enrichment classes are optional, but offer many great opportunities for our students.
We also offer social events throughout the year. These may include picnics, hikes, and beach days. Each year, we hold our Student Showcase event and Grade 8 Promotion.
I live outside of San Diego County; can I still enroll?
We accept students who reside in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.
What subjects are students expected to cover?
Home School students work on six academic subjects: English-language arts, mathematics, science, history-social studies, PE, and elective.
“Elective” covers anything not included in the other five. For example: computer skills, visual and performing arts, culinary skills, etc.
When can we start homeschooling through SPA?
We accept new students through March of each school year.
Where is SPA located?
Our central office and resource library are located in Vista; however, students can learn wherever they are in our three counties! Your education advisor will work with you to set a convenient location for your learning record meetings.
We have an enrichment center in Mission Viejo. San Diego and Riverside students are invited to join us for monthly park days with enriching teacher-led activities.
Do you offer field trips?
We also offer a number of field trips per school year; some are held in San Diego County and others are held in Orange County. All NUA Home School students are welcome to attend these trips, regardless of county of residence. (Please note, age restrictions may apply on some field trips.)
Do you have a school library?
We have a resource library in Vista that is open to all NUA home school families. Families may check out books and other supplies for free and may use them for the entire school year.