Removing daughter from school to focus on CHPSE

Hello -
We have made the decision to remove my daughter from school due to extreme societal anxiety issues, which she is working on through therapy.  She wants to focus on taking the CHPSE this fall.

My understanding is that, because she is in her sophmore year in high school, that she needs to be enrolled somewhere while she prepares.  I have seen recommendations for Berkeley High school's Independent Study program but this would be problematic with her anxiety.  I have no idea how to proceed with possible homeschool options.

Any advice on how we can pull her out of school but still remain within California's rules about enrolllment?

Thanks so much.

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Hey there, I did the CHPSE back in the early 90s -- awesome that it's still an option, although I'm sorry to hear your daughter is struggling. I have been homeschooling my younger kids for the past two years, and it's super easy to file to a PSA in California, a private school affidavit. This is how Californians homeschool, when they aren't associated with a charter (a charter involves support and guidance but also several requirements that it sounds like you wouldn't want/need.) For the PSA, you essentially become a tiny private school and can do what you want, with the only real requirements being to file the paperwork and take attendance (and, officially, to offer coursework). Here's the link from the state:

There are a number of CA homeschool support or legal sites to help you walk through the forms, but they really are quite doable and don't take long. Kudos to you for supporting her in the way that she needs... my own reasons for going that route were different, but it allowed me to test out of the system at 16 and attend community college the following year, followed by transferring to a 4-year school, all intrinsically motivated (unlike high school) and all pretty positive experiences (unlike high school!). Best of luck to you!

My son was enrolled in a small private school but was completely failing and only taking a few classes.  He took the CHSPE last year.  I don't think they really check.  Just enroll her in public or private school so you have one to list on the application.  Having high school behind him has relieved a lot of his anxiety and he's now taking a few classes at community college.   I felt so bad that he wasn't going to finish HS but it seems to have been the best option for him.  I hope it's as good for your daughter as it was for my son.  Good luck.

A private school affidavit like the other poster mentioned is really easy to do. I did it for the first time this year during a free seminar out on by a homeschool consultant named Jamie Heston (I think she’s listed on BPN).

If you’re looking for support/funding, you might check out one of the homeschool charter schools. We did Connecting Waters East Bay, but I’ve also heard good things about Valley View. I believe their requirements at the high school level are more strict, but they provide funding for classes/materials and you’re assigned a teacher to meet with once a month who can help make suggestions/guide you/offer resources. Good luck! It’s great that there are so many options now for kids.

So sorry your daughter is struggling. Both of my teens have left Berkeley High due to mental health issues and the school environment/administration just being totally not equipped to support them. 

My older child went into the BUSD Independent Studies program. It was a mixed bag in terms of quality of instruction (but so was Berkeley High ;), but for kids with anxiety and other mental health challenges it is a pretty good program. The caveat is that they really do have to be intrinsically motivated to get their work done. For my child, it actually laid a great foundation for college. And her senior year she had the most amazing math teacher (Corey Wade) who, even though the whole year was remote/online, prepared her so well for college-level Calculus classes.

The principal at Independent Studies is supportive and understands kids with anxiety and the accommodations they need.

There is also Tilden Prep, which is a private high school program where kids meet one-on-one with teachers and then do most of their work independently. It is quite expensive though.

as the previous poster said, homeschooling is your answer here! I did this for my son, same reason. But even before you get the forms submitted and turned in, you can pull her out of school. Just tell them you are homeschooling her.

No need to register anywhere with a public school, simply create your own private school.  See for an easy explanation of the process.  Welcome to school-free school!

I am familiar with the CHSPE, as my son took it at 18 in lieu of attending senior year.

First, has your daughter already turned 16? If so, my understanding is no need to be enrolled in high school.

If she is not yet 16, consider enrolling her in an independent high school that follows a 1:1 tutoring model. I'm not aware of programs in the East Bay. My son attended Lydian Academy in Menlo Park for a while. The small, nurturing environment kept him going little longer. I imagine a school such as this could do the CHSPE prep with your daughter.

Good luck.

My daughter, for whom high school did not work, took the CHSPE summer after sophomore year (2020) but we learned in August she didn't pass all four parts. We were not going to try to make her go back to high school, and so we just completed the shockingly simple affidavit process on the California Department of Education website: I basically registered us as a one-student home school that did not offer a degree, and it seemed all we needed to do was affirm that we would keep attendance records (yep, she was here, every day!). We sent the CDE paperwork to Berkeley High School and BUSD so they would not mark her truant; they did not give us any problems. And then we let her self-educate until she passed the CHSPE, the next time they offered it, and she's now happily enrolled in community college. Good luck!