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FAQs

WHAT IS A CALIFORNIA PRIVATE SCHOOL SATELLITE PROGRAM?

A Private School Satellite Program (PSP) is a registered private school in California whose member parents provide at least 51% of home-based instruction to their own children. Mantellum Matris Academy (MMA) files the annual California Private School Affidavit, under which each currently registered California family and enrolled student is covered. Each family household is considered a “satellite campus” of MMA, and parents, the “faculty.” Private schools are not governed by the California Department of Education. For reference, other Catholic PSPs in California are Seton Homeschool, Mother of Divine Grace, and Kolbe Academy. California Private School Education Codes can be accessed at: CA Education Code for Private Schools. Parents who teach their own children are exempt from background checks and fingerprinting.

Homeschooling families across the nation can now enroll in the PSP. Assistance will be offered to help you navigate your state's home education requirements and prepare reports for submission.

SO, CAN MMA BE MY SCHOOL-OF-RECORD ELSEWHERE?

Yes! Just as other California-registered programs such as Seton, Kolbe, and Mother of Divine Grace, act as a school-of-record for families in any state, MMA can also be your school-of-record. There are two distinct differences, however, between MMA and these others, and those are:

  1. MMA does not dictate nor require a specific curriculum or course of study. Parents are FREE to choose, purchase, and employ their own preferred curriculum, virtual classes, co-ops, and more.
     

  2. MMA works with individual parents in understanding and fulfilling their state's homeschool laws. I do not leave you to navigate this on your own, you have me as a partner!

CAN CALIFORNIA AUTHORITIES ACCESS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?

No. Identifying information of enrolled families, parents, and students, is not reported to the State. MMA strongly recommends that families become members of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) or the California Homeschool Network (CHN), or your state's homeschool association. If you are ever visited by an official requesting access to your home or records, you have the right to refuse. Refer them to HSLDA if you are a member, then immediately contact the MMA Director.

Elsewhere, I will help you to only submit and report that information which is legally required by your state or district.

DO MY CHILDREN NEED TO BE VACCINATED?

No. Since MMA does not offer in-person instruction, students are exempt from SB277, the California mandatory vaccination law. However, if you enroll your child in any sort of classroom-based activities, please check with that entity as to its vaccination requirements. Students enrolling in First Grade are required to submit Medical and Oral Examination Forms, or parents may submit a waiver of one or both.

IS MMA ACCREDITED AND DO I NEED AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL/PROGRAM?

No. MMA is not accredited. Personally, I do not believe K-12 curriculum requires accreditation. First, there are so many accrediting agencies and so many varied standards that practically anyone can acquire accreditation at some level from someone, but what would that really mean? In our 24-year history, MMA transcripts have never been refused for non-accreditation and actually, have simply never been refused for any reason. Further, I encourage parents to inquire if an entire curriculum is accredited or perhaps only a portion of it is, or if it's only accredited for a particular use. There are many aspects to accreditation and I always question accreditation of anything. MMA always recommends that parents research their student’s college of choice to determine whether an accredited curriculum is required for admission.

WHY DO YOU NEED MY "TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS?"
WILL I BE DETERMINED TO BE UNQUALIFIED TO TEACH MY CHILDREN?

Private schools in California are often elsewhere are required to maintain records of their teacher qualifications. Since MMA parents are the teachers, this information is required to be kept on file. However, a college degree or teaching credential is not required! Parents simply provide their educational experience and any additional work or life experience, if they desire. All information is kept secure and confidential in the MMA records.

DOES MMA REQUIRE TESTING?

No, MMA does not require testing. In fact, private schools in California and some other states are not required to test, although many do. When parents teach their own children, they see progress and challenges on a daily basis. The majority of curricula we use comes with tests and quizzes built-in to lesson plans; there is no need to make children learn new material or memorize facts based on any additional standardized test.

I recommend that parents employ the Classic Learning Test (CLT) battery of exams for both progress assessment and college entrance. All of the Newman Guide Recommended Catholic Colleges accept the CLT and many offer scholarships based on scores.

IOWA tests were the most commonly used over decades for private and homeschooled students; however, IOWA aligned themselves with the Common Core Standards in 2010. MMA is a "Common Core-Free Zone," therefore, I cannot advise that these tests be used.

Due to a variety of reasons, more and more colleges and universities are becoming either test-optional or are removing the testing requirement for college application. I advise parents and high school students to research their college of choice as to whether an exam, or specific exam, is required.

DO I NEED TO TURN IN REPORTS AND DO YOU REQUIRE WORK SAMPLES?

Yes to reports, No to work samples.

 

As a California private school program, I am required to collect attendance and grade reports annually.

 

I am not required to collect work samples, although I suggest that parents keep their own samples as a memento of their children's work.

For those states or countries that do require work samples, tests, etc., I will collect what is needed and help parents fulfill and report their folios to authorities.

CAN I HOMESCHOOL MY SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENT UNDER MMA?
DO YOU REQUIRE ASSESSMENTS AND/OR AN IEP?

Many parents choose to independently home educate their special needs children under MMA. Private schools do not require IEP's but if you have one, I will keep it in your child's cumulative file. Many parents are able to arrange for services via their private insurance companies or their school districts. If you need any assistance securing services, I am available to help.

DO YOU ALLOW A FLEXIBILE SCHOOL SCHEDULE AND THE ABILITY TO TAILOR COURSE AND CREDIT REQUIREMENTS?

Yes. As a private school, MMA publishes a recommended Course of Study and High School graduation requirements. These may be adapted upon consultation. As a private school supporting Catholic families, I do require that if you are Catholic, our Faith is taught in every grade level and that the Sacraments are received, as appropriate.

Parents should consult the published guidelines and speak with me to discuss alternatives in tailoring a Course of Study to their student’s needs and goals.

Registration is for a 12-month period from September 1st to August 31st and includes the two traditional Fall and Spring Semesters with an optional 3rd or Summer Semester. This 3rd Semester may be used to complete a grade, to get a head start on the new year, or for vacation!

WILL MY STUDENT'S HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT AND DIPLOMA BE ACCEPTED AT COLLEGES AND BY EMPLOYERS?

MMA transcripts and diplomas are official documents issued by a private school. They are signed by the Director and embossed with the school's State Seal. Throughout our history, our transcripts and diplomas have never been refused or disputed at colleges across the nation, including California state and UC schools, trade schools, the military, seminaries and convents.

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