How to File the Private School Affidavit
The step-by-step instructions included here were updated September 30, 2019. The Private School Affidavit Form is essentially the same as last year. All items below marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.
You are encouraged to use the information in The California Homeschool Manual" A guide to private home education in California to set up your private home school. If you don't have your own copy, you can order one at the CHEA Bookstore.
The PSA is available online at the California Department of Education (CDE) website: www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/rq/affidavit.asp.
Only information required by EDC 33190 must be included on the affidavit. However, the computerized online affidavit form has been programmed by the CDE to ask for some additional information. When filing online, it’s recommended that you provide only the asterisked information, which is what is necessary to file your affidavit online. Because the PSA form requests non-required information, some private schools chose to file their affidavit by sending a letter rather than using the CDE form. The CDE calls this filing an affidavit by a “Letter in Lieu” of the application form. “Letters in Lieu” are covered in detail in The California Homeschool Manual.
If you experience technical difficulties completing the online PSA, there is an alternative blank form available.
Steps for Filling Out the PSA Form Online
Finding the Proper PSA Form Online
Currently the CDE has one PSA form for schools with five or fewer students and another for schools with six or more students. The forms are basically the same; the difference is in how the information is processed in the CDE computer system. The larger schools are included in the Private School Directory and are assigned a CDS code number, while the smaller ones are not. Additionally, the larger schools are each given a password when they first file an affidavit. This password allows you access to the form for your school each year. The smaller schools (five or fewer students) do not have a password and need to fill out the affidavit form fresh each year following the directions below.
To find the forms, begin at the CDE website for private schools: www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/rq/affidavit.asp. Once there, click on “Filing the Private School Affidavit.” Scroll down to where it says “Filing the Online Affidavit Form” and, below the CDE statement, select the category which best characterizes your private school for filing the affidavit:
1. Existing schools with six or more students (password required)
2. All other schools (blank form)
If your school is in the first category, as explained above, you’ll need to enter a password to get to your form. The CDE sends the passwords to the larger schools which filed last year. You should have received it prior to October 1.
If your school is in the second category, a Private School Affidavit Form should appear on the next screen.
Step-By-Step Directions for Filling in the Private School Affidavit (PSA)
You must complete the form all in one online session; there is no way to save part of it and finish later. An asterisk next to any field on the CDE’s online form indicates that the information is required in order to submit your affidavit online.
Fill out the form following these guidelines:
Introductory Information and “Notice”
The paragraph at the top of the form and the “Notice” are for information only. The form begins with the following:
From EC Section 48222: This is "... a private full-time...school...[that]...offer[s] instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in public schools of the state,...[that offers this] instruction...in English [, and that keeps]...attendance [records]..."
A Private School Affidavit cannot be filed if the answer to this question is NO.
This is a recitation of the law as covered in The California Homeschool Manual
1. Name of School *
Choose a name for your school, if you have not already done so, and enter it here.
2. Enter your CDE-assigned 14 digit CDS code if one was previously assigned.
If you have one, enter it. If you aren’t sure, you probably don’t, so just leave this blank. See The California Homeschool Manual for more information on CDS codes.
3. County in which school is located. *
Select your county from the pull-down menu.
4. Public school district in which school is located *
If you know the name of the school district in which your private home-based school is located, select it from the pull-down menu. If you live in two districts (i.e. one elementary school district and a different high school district) then select the name of the district that most closely matches the ages and grades of your children. If you live in two districts and your children’s ages span all levels, it probably doesn’t matter which of the districts you select. If you don’t know what district you are in, you may want to call a friend whose children attend the public school yours would attend if you chose to enroll them, and ask your friend for the district name. If all else fails, call the local public school near you and ask the receptionist for the name of the school district, but there is not need to give any additional information.
5. Street Address (P.O. Box is not acceptable) *and
6. City * [plus State and Zip]
You must enter your street address (physical location) even if you use a post office box for mail.
7. School Telephone Number *
You must enter your telephone number. There is a possibility that the CDE may need to call you as the administrator of your school, such as to verify information or make corrections. This is one reason to avoid having young children answer the phone, particularly during the first couple of months after filing.
8. Optional School Fax Number
9. School Email Address (primary) *
10. Optional School E-mail Address
11. Optional School Web Address
12. Mailing Address (required * if different from #5 above) and
13. Mailing City [plus State and Zip] (required*only if response in #12)
Having a separate mailing address is optional, but if you do have one, enter it here.
14. Type of School *
Mark “Coeducational” even if you currently have only boys or girls.
15. School Accommodations *
Mark “Day Only.” Even though your children sleep at home, and your home is now a school, they sleep there because of its status as a home, not as a boarding school.
16. Does the school provide special education services?
Leave it checked as "no."
17. Grade Span Offered *
A “Lowest” of 1 and a “Highest” of 12 is the best choice because it leaves you options for the future, although you can change your original designation in subsequent years. We do not recommend including kindergarten, since kindergarten is not mandatory in California and formally enrolling kindergarteners will generate additional paperwork from the Department of Health.
18. High School Diploma Offered
Either answer, “Yes” or “No,” is acceptable and you can change your answer in a later year. Do not indicate “Yes” unless you have indicated that you offer through grade 12. It is acceptable to say “Yes” even if your children are years away from graduation.
19. Classification of school
Most private home-based schools are not officially affiliated with nor under the authority of a denomination and therefore should check “Non-religious” or check “Religious” then select “not affiliated with any denomination” from the pull-down list.
Prior Year School Information
20. Has this school ever filed a Private School Affidavit under a different school name? *
This doesn’t usually apply, so most will answer “No.” But if you have changed your school name, and you filed last year under the old name, then mark “Yes.”
21. Enter former name of school (if “Yes” answered to previous question)
Again, this doesn’t usually apply, but if you changed your school name this year, enter the old name here.
22. Has this school changed public school districts? *
This doesn’t usually apply, so most will answer “No.” But if you have moved into a new school district since the time you filed your affidavit last year, check “Yes.” This question most likely relates to the CDS code numbers that are assigned to schools with six or more students, since those numbers include a school district code.
23. Public school district in which school is located (if “Yes” answered to previous question)
Again, this doesn’t usually apply, but if you moved to a new district since the time you filed last year’s affidavit, enter the old school district here.
24. Range of Students’ Ages *
For the “youngest” field, type in the age of your youngest homeschooled child who is age six or older, and for the “oldest” field, type in the age of your oldest homeschooled child who is age 18 or younger. The range of your students’ ages will obviously change each year.
25. Specify the enrollment counts by grade on or around the date the affidavit is filed.* (Note: Do not report pre-school enrollment; pre-schools that do not offer kindergarten should not file this PSA.)
The fields for enrollment numbers each have zero as a default. Simply change the number of pupils at each grade level to match the number of children you have enrolled in each grade level. If you do not “grade” your children, either select the grade levels that would match their ages if they were in a public school (i.e. six years old is typically first grade), or select “ungraded elementary” or “ungraded secondary.”
The reason the instructions state to give the enrollment on a “single date” is that in large schools, enrollment can vary from day to day and this statistical information on your affidavit merely provides a snap shot of your school’s enrollment at the time the affidavit is filed.
26. Number of Twelfth Grade Graduates in 2018-2019 School Year *
Note that this question asks about graduates for last year.
27. Number of School Staff *
Count each staff only once. In a two-parent private homeschool, you will probably have one administrator and one full-time teacher. It is common for administrators to also teach, so if the father is listed as site administrator in the “School Information” section, count him as an administrator here even though he also teaches the children.
28. Site Administrator *
For most homeschooling families, the parents are the administrators and directors of your school. Fill in the name of whichever one of you is taking the role of head administrator. Probably most common among homeschoolers is for the father’s name to be listed here.
29. Site Administrator Title *
You can choose any of the titles, but most common among homeschoolers is for the father to be the site administrator and for his title to be “Principal.”
30. Site Administrator Email Address.* Response is mandatory.
31. Director or Principal Officer Name *
This will most likely be the same person listed as “Site Administrator.”
32. Director or Principal Officer Position *
List the same title you listed for the Site Administrator, typically “Principal.”
33. Director or Principal Officer Address *
34. Director or Principal Officer City [plus State and Zip] *
For homeschoolers, this will be the same street address as your school address.
35. Director or Principal Officer Email Address
36. Name of Individual Who Is Custodian of Records *
This is typically the same as the director or site administrator listed above.
37. Custodian of Records Address * and
38. Custodian of Records City [plus State and Zip] *
This is typically the same as the school address. Note that including the location of the school records does not imply that those records are open to inspection, unless the person requesting access has a court order or a warrant.
39. Custodian of Records E-mail Address
Tax Status of School *
40. through 43. Four boxes to choose from
For private homeschools, the appropriate choice is “None of the Above."
Acknowledgments and Statutory Notices *
Each box is required. Checking a box indicates your understanding of the statement and your school’s compliance.
The form cannot be filed by computer unless all boxes for questions 44 - 54 are checked.
44. All Private School Affidavits are public documents viewable by the public.
This is just for your information. It’s not common that someone would want to go view all the affidavits, but access to them is open.
45. The Private School Affidavit must be filed by persons, firms, associations, partnerships, or corporations offering or conducting full-time day school at the elementary or high school level for students between the ages of six and eighteen years of age.
This is just for your information. As a “person,” you can file an affidavit.
46. Preschools should contact the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) of the California Department of Social Services. Contact CCLD at 916-229-4500 or contact a regional office.
This is just for your information. Operating a Preschool is beyond the scope of these instructions. The Private School Affidavit is only for schools offering elementary or secondary instruction, which encompasses kindergarten and grades 1-12.
47. The Affidavit is not a license or authorization to operate a private school.
This is just for your information. You don’t need a license and you don’t need authorization to operate a private school.
48. The Private School Affidavit does not indicate approval, recognition, or endorsement by the state. Filing of this Affidavit shall not be interpreted to mean, and it shall be unlawful for any school to expressly or impliedly represent by any means whatsoever, that the State of California, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Board of Education, the CDE, or any division or bureau of the Department, or any accrediting agency has made any evaluation, recognition, approval, or endorsement of the school or course unless this is an actual fact (see EC Section 33190).
This is just for your information. It’s straight out of the Education Code as is simply meant to clarify that your filing of an affidavit does not mean you are approved by the State. However, you don’t need State approval to operate a private school.
49. Private school authorities are responsible for initiating contact with the appropriate local authorities (city and/or county) regarding compliance with ordinances governing health, safety and fire standards, business licensing, and zoning requirements applicable to private schools.
This is just for your information. As a private homeschool, you’re not running a business out of your home, so you won’t need to contact any of these authorities.
50. When a school ceases operation, every effort should be made to give a copy of pupils’ permanent records to parents or guardians. If records cannot be given to the parents or guardians, it is recommended that the school’s custodian of records retain the records permanently so that former pupils may obtain copies when needed for future education, employment, or other purposes.
This is just for your information. If you ever stop homeschooling, be sure to check the instructions in The California Homeschool Manual for handling school records properly.
51. Retain a copy of this document for a period of three years.
This is just a recommendation, but it’s a good one.
52. Filing a Private School Affidavit is not equivalent to obtaining accreditation. A Private School Affidavit does not signify that any accrediting agency has made any evaluation, recognition, approval, or endorsement of the school or courses offered by the school.
This is just for your information. Accreditation is not required of private schools.
53. A private school shall not employ a person who has been convicted of a violent or serious felony or a person who would be prohibited from employment by a public school district pursuant to EC Section 44237. This school is in compliance with EC Section 44237 to the extent that it applies.
This is just for your information since you probably do not have any employees for your school. See The California Homeschool Manual for more information on this topic.
54. The students enrolled in this private school and included in the school’s enrollment total are full-time students in this school and are not enrolled in any other public or private elementary or secondary school on a full-time basis.
This is not actually required by the law. However, if your students don’t attend a “full-time” private day school, your students are not exempt from compulsory attendance at public school. This doesn’t mean they can’t take some classes elsewhere, it just means that their enrollment status in your school is that of a full-time student. Most homeschoolers’ children are enrolled as full-time students in their private homeschools, so this statement most likely applies to your students and you can check the box.
By submitting this form and the electronic signature attached hereto, I declare under penalty of perjury and the laws of the State of California that I am the owner or other head of the school, and the information contained herein is true, accurate, and complete.
Name of owner or other head of school *
This should be the same person that you listed in Questions 28 and 30.
Use the same title you used previously for the Director or Principal Officer in Question 31.
Telephone Number *
Electronic Signature - Birth Month *
Electronic Signature - Birthday *
Electronic Signature - Question *
Electronic Signature - Answer *
This information is required to verify the electronic “signature.” Choose one of the security questions, which will allow you to access your school’s information in the future.
Click on the “Submit Form” button at the bottom of the online affidavit. Your completed form with a confirmation number at the bottom will be displayed.
Print a copy of the completed affidavit form for your file. Keep the copy in your school file for three years. This is your school's 2019-20 Private School Affidavit with confirmation number.
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