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

Step 5: Filing the private school affidavit

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

Once there, it will look like this:

Click the “All other schools” link.

Make sure to check that the page that opens has the correct school year at the top.

Make sure you read those top 2 paragraphs on the page (ESPECIALLY the red text!). There’s some important info there. It’s self-explanatory, so I won’t explain it here.

The “NOTICE” section is just weed out the people that don’t need to fill this form out. As a California homeschooler that is not enrolling their child in another program, you do. So you can move on to filling in the form.

The first part is where you declare that you are a private school (answer “yes”) and you will get this pop up:

You HAVE to say yes or you cannot fill out the form.

If you answer “no”, a different thing will pop up and tell you that you can’t fill out the form, and you won’t be able to click anything or fill anything in. So this part is easy peasy! 

On to the rest of the questions…

School Information

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

Info to figure out before you start filling this part out:

  • A name for your school. You’re going to need to come up with a name for your school. It can be anything. Pick whatever name you like. If you want some ideas, check out this webpage.
  • School district: You need to know what school district you live in. If you don’t know, you can check with your County Office of Education.  You may even be able to look up the district on their website. If not, you certainly can find their phone number to call and talk to someone to find out.
  1. Name of School: Fill in the name you chose here.
  2. CDS code: Homeschools don’t have one. Just leave this blank.
  3. County: Find your county in the drop-down.
  4. Public school district: You can’t type in the box, you HAVE to click on the “district name lookup tool.” Your browser needs to have popups enabled for this to work. Also, you are going to need to know what district to choose from the drop-down when you get to this question. 
  5. Address: Your home address, you cannot use a P.O. box.
  6. City, State, Zip: Self-explanatory.
  7. School phone: Your home phone. (I’ve never had anyone use it.)
  8. Fax number: Don’t need, leave blank.
  9. School email address: 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.
  10. Optional email: No need to provide.
  11. Optional web site: No need to provide.
  12. Mailing address: Only needed if different than above.
  13. Mailing city, state, zip: Only if you filled in #12.
  14. Type of School: 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.
  15. School Accommodations: You are DAY ONLY. Again, boarding schools are a whole other thing, with different regulations. That’s not what you are.
  16. Special Education services? NO. Even if you have a special needs child. Even if they are receiving services somewhere. Unless you are actually certified to provide special ed services, you answer “no” here. (And even if you are, it’s probably just easier to say no.) This is another thing that would require a whole different set of regulations if you answered yes.
  17. Grade span offered: Only list the grades of the children CURRENTLY ENROLLED. Not what you will eventually provide. So if this year your youngest is 2nd grade and oldest 7th, you are 2nd through 7th. Even if you plan to continue through high school.
  18. High school diploma offered: Unless you have a 12th grader this year, you will answer NO.
  19. Classification: NON-RELIGIOUS. Even if you are a religious family, you are a non-religious private school. Again, just easier. Religious schools have different regulations.

Prior Year Information

This section is short and sweet. And if this is your first year filing, you will breeze through it.

20. Filed a PSA before? The answer will depend on if you have or not.
21. Former name of school: If you have filed before under a different name, you would put it here.
22. School district change? If you moved or changes were made to your school district, you’ll need to let them know here about these changes. 
23. Former school district: If you answered “yes” to #22, put the former school district here.

Statistical Information

24. Range of student’s ages: List your youngest’s age in years and months. (Remember, wait until they are 6.) Your oldest in years. If you only have one child to list, put their age in both boxes.
25. Enrollment counts by grade: Find each child’s grade and put the number of students for each grade that is relevant. Unless you have twins or special circumstances, most people will have 1s in the relevant grades.
26. Number of 12th-grade graduates in (previous) year: Self-explanatory.
27. Number of school staff: 1 for you, the full-time teacher, and if you want to put 1 for administrator you can. Lots of homeschoolers like to consider their spouses the “principal”. 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.

Administrative Staff

28. Site Admin: Your name
29. Site Admin title: Choose from the drop-down. I picked “Head of School”, since that felt right to me. You pick what feels right to you.
30. Site Admin email: You can use the same email you used before.
31. Director or Principal Officer Name: I put my name, but you can put your partner’s name if you like. Many people do.
32. Director/Principal Officer Position: I put “Head of School” again. But you could choose a different title for your partner if you like.
33. Director/Principal Officer Address: Put your home address again.
34. Director/Principal Officer City, State, Zip: Self explanatory.
35. Director/Principal Officer email:  Not required, leave blank.

School Records

36. Custodian of Records: Your name. (Or you could have this be your partner if you prefer.)
37. Address: Your home address.
38. City, State, Zip: Self-explanatory
39. Email: Not required, leave blank.

Tax Status of School & Acknowledgements and Statutory Notices

40-42: NO. You are not tax-exempt under anything
43. None of the Above: Yes.
44-54: YES. Each box is required, so check them all. Make sure to read through them all at least the first time so you know what you are agreeing to.

Electronic Signature

To electronically sign, you need to fill in your name, your title (whatever you chose on line #29, your phone, your birthday and pick a signature question and answer. 

Double check everything. 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.

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 the answers to the following year’s form. 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!