Yes, it’s possible, with some provisos, for home-schooled students in Florida to participate in high school athletics and other related activities under the auspices of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA). Those sport/activities include basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, baseball, cross country, football, swimming, track, volleyball, archery, fencing, wrestling, cheer, and band.
Here are the provisos:
The student must meet the standards for participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities, as defined in Florida Statute (F.S.) s.1006.15 and the requirements of the Home Education Program as defined in F.S. s.1002.41.
According to Florida Statute, students must comply with regular attendance under the compulsory attendance law. That means that the student must actually attend during the school day as defined by law and rules of the State Board of Education, and that can be accomplished by attendance in one — and only one — of the following ways:
- A public school supported by public funds;
- A parochial, religious, or denominational school;
- A private school supported in whole or in part by tuition charges or by endowments or gifts;
- A home education program that meets the requirements of chapter 1002; OR
- A private tutoring program that meets the requirements of chapter 1002.
Note that home-schooled students qualify, but it’s not a “free lunch”: A student’s eligible for extracurricular activities (s.1006.15 F.S.) only if he/she is registered with the school district in a Home Education Program and meets the requirements of s. 1002.41 F.S. Further, the student must declare a grade level when submitting the FHSAA EL7 form Registration Form for Home Education Students to Participate in Athletic Program at Member School. Students are also required to provide proof of immunizations, home address, and GPA.
There are other strictures:
A home-schooled student is eligible to participate the above sports and related activities only at the public school to which the student would be assigned according to district school board attendance area policies, or which the student could choose to attend pursuant to district or inter-district controlled open enrollment provisions, or at a private school with which the student has developed an agreement to participate in the interscholastic extracurricular activities of that school, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
The home-schooled student must
- Be in a home-school program that meets all requirements.
- Demonstrate educational progress as required in all subjects taken in the home-schooled program by a method of evaluation agreed upon by the parent and the school principal which may include: review of the student’s work by a certified teacher chosen by the parent; grades earned through correspondence; Grades earned in courses taken at a community college, university, or trade school; standardized test scores above the 35th percentile; or any other method designated in s. 1002.41, F.S..
- Meet the same residency requirements as other students in the school at which he or she participates.
- Meet the same standards of acceptance, behavior, and performance as required of other students in extracurricular activities.
- Register with the school his or her intent to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities as a representative of the school before the beginning date of the season for the activity in which he or she wishes to participate.
- Be able to participate in curricular activities if that is a requirement for an extracurricular activity.
We haven’t covered all of the details in this blog, but the above are the important ones, and we’re always available to provide you with more detail. So, contact us if you need more information or need clarification on one or more of the issues we’ve discussed.