California Homeschooling: How to File a Private School Affidavit, Step by Step Instructions

Step 5: Filing the private school affidavit

NOTE FOR OCT 1, 2020: I JUST got finished updating this for CDE’s new system! These are all new screenshots and instructions! They moved all the questions all around from previous years. I think that the new system is super slick and easier to use! I like it! New instructions below! And I have a video that I am working on as well. I will post that as soon as I am done with it. But this is super easy…no worries, you GOT this! 🙂


Ok, now it’s time to go to the CDE’s “Filing the Private School Affidavit webpage.


Once there, it will look like this, screen by screen:

Under FILING THE AFFIDAVIT, Click the “Private School Affidavit” link.

If you DID file last year, choose YES, and it will take you to a different page than I am going to show you next. It will ask you for a number that *I* never received, but also will allow you to use the email address that you used last year to file. It will send you a number to that email address. This will allow you to not have to fill everything in, as it will pull some info from last year.

THIS IS WHY IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO FILE USING AN EMAIL YOU CAN ACCESS!!
That, and they send you confirmation emails, and also, with the new system they send you heads up notices before filing now. So MAKE SURE that you put an email address that you can access AND that you CHECK!!

If you make a new email just for your homeschool, as I did…you can choose to forward it to your most used email address so you never miss anything.


School Information

Now you’re in the section titled “School Information.” Most of this is pretty self-explanatory. But I’m going to walk you through everything.

Notice the school year at the top. Read below for info on this page…
  1. Name of School: Fill in the name you choose here. It can be anything. Pick whatever name you like. If you want some ideas, check out this webpage.
  2. CDS code: You can’t fill this in.
  3. County: Find your county in the drop-down.
  4. District: If you don’t know your school district, click on the question mark and there is a link to the GreatSchools website to help you find out. (It opens in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place.)
    1. At the top of the GreatSchools page, type your address in the search box and it will pull up your assigned schools.
    2. Find the school for your child’s grade and click the link to take you to the school’s webpage.
    3. On the new page, under the school name, it will tell you what district they are in.
    4. Then go back and find that district in the drop-down for this box.
  5. School Type: You are COEDUCATIONAL. Even if you only have all boys or all girls, or just one child. Boys only and girls-only schools are a whole ‘nother ball of wax. Don’t go there.
  6. School Accommodations: You are DAY ONLY. Again, boarding schools are a whole other thing, with different regulations. That’s not what you are.
  7. Does your school provide special education? NO. Even if you have a special needs child. Even if they are receiving services somewhere. This is another thing that would require a whole different set of regulations if you answered yes.
  8. Does the school provide a high school diploma: Unless you have a 12th grader this year, you will answer NO.
  9. Low grade: Only list the lowest grade of the children CURRENTLY ENROLLED, this year only! So if this year your youngest is 2nd grade, that’s what you put.
  10. High grade: Put the grade of your oldest student THIS YEAR.
  11. Classification of school: NON-RELIGIOUS. Even if you are a religious family, you are a non-religious private school. Again, just easier. Religious schools have different regulations.

School Address

This section is short and sweet and self-explanatory. Just know that your school address is your home. Private school info IS public information, but only schools that have 6 or more students have their info published on the web in the private school directory.

12. Physical Address: Your home address, you cannot use a P.O. box.

13, 14, 15, 16. City, State, Zip, Zip4: Self-explanatory.

17-21. If this is the same as your physical address, just use the “copy physical address” link to automatically fill this with that info.


School Contact Info

Another super easy section.

22. Phone: Number for your school. Either your home phone or a cell.

23. Fax number: Not required, leave blank.

24. Primary Email: Use an email that you check periodically, or that you forward to your main email. That way you don’t miss the confirmation email they are going to send to you here. They also now send helpful reminder emails when it’s getting close to filing time.

25. Website: Not required. You can leave this blank.


Prior Year Changes

This only applies to you if you filed previously.

If you filed previously and one of these things has changed, this is where you can change the info. If not, or if you never filed before, just check “NO.”


Statistical Information

Most of this will depend on the age of your students this year and will change year after year. I’ll go through this below…

Students Ages: Self-explanatory. Just like how they wanted the grades before, they want the ages here. They want the youngest in years and months and the oldest in just years. Remember to wait until your youngest is 6. If you only have one child to list, then put their age in both boxes.

Enrollment: Just put a number in the grade box of your students. So if I have one first grader and one 5th grader this year, I would put a number 1 in each of those boxes. Unless you have twins or special circumstances, most people will have 1s in the relevant grades. They just want this for stats.

Graduates: ONLY put a number if you had a child graduate last year.

Number of Staff: 1 for you, as a full-time teacher. Lots of homeschoolers like to consider their spouses the “principal” or administrator. I personally don’t, since my husband isn’t involved in our homeschooling at all, so I just put 1 full-time teacher and leave it at that. Single parents would also need to leave it at 1 full-time teacher. It will total the staff at the bottom, so you can’t put yourself in more than one box.

Also, it’s best to just not have any other staff to deal with because of legal paperwork issues. Other than a spouse, other family members or friends will most likely require you to have to deal with things like background checks and such.


Administrative Staff

I just put myself and my info for all of this.

You could also put a spouse if you like. Notice the “Copy Site Administrator” link to copy the info above to the space below, if it’s going to be the same info. Saves you time.

Also, here is where you get to choose from the “Title” (#54) dropdown and pick a title for yourself. I’ve always gone with “Head of School.” But you can pick whatever you like from the list. Remember the title you chose because you will need to use it again later.


School Records

I’m also the contact and records keeper…so all this I fill in as all my info again. Here’s where you use the title again. You could choose to put a spouse for contact here if you like, but be consistent and relevant on who you assign what jobs.


Tax Status

You are not tax-exempt for ANYTHING, so just check “NONE OF THE ABOVE” here.


Acknowledgement & Statutory Notices

You HAVE to acknowledge and accept this…you should read it through first, of course…but you must check the box to move to the last page.


Review

Here you get to review AAAAAAAALLL the info you filled out. Make sure to go over it all and make sure it’s correct. The electronic signature part is at the bottom. This is a long page so I didn’t screencap it all…but I got the bottom part in the next image…

Signature

To electronically sign, you need to fill in your title (whatever you chose prior), your name, your email, and pick a security question and answer. 

Here’s where you get to use your school title again! I just put a sample bit of info in this one and canceled out…but you will need to, of course, hit “SUBMIT”.

Double-check everything on this review page! Give it all a once-over to check for typos or anything you may have missed.

Then click the SUBMIT button at the very bottom and…

VERY IMPORTANT: Print up a copy of your affidavit to have in your files.

I also like to choose “print as pdf” and save a copy of the file somewhere safe. They will also email you a link to the file to print. But it’s always good to have extras, just in case something gets lost somewhere.

ALSO!! Something new and kinda exciting!

With the new system, they will not only email you a confirmation, they send you a link to the actual affidavit that allows you to print it again whenever you need to (has a print button right there) AND there is a link they also give you to enable you to edit that PSA as well!! Nifty, eh?

So that’s it!! You’re all done until next year!!

Easy, right?

And each year it gets easier because you already know what to do. 

And also: Use the previous year’s photocopied affidavit to copy any answers from the following year’s form that you may forget how to answer. No need to remember what to put each year. Just copy from the previous year, changing the grades of your children, and tweak anything else that has changed and BOOM. Done!

So that’s it!