THSC Woodlands

THSC definition of a home schooled student:
A home schooled student predominantly receives instruction in a general, elementary or secondary education program that is provided by the parent—or a person standing in parental authority—in or through the child’s home [Texas Education Code 29.916 (a)].

The parent or person standing in parental authority might contract with outside sources in order that the student receives additional instruction. For example, a private tutor, co-op class or a college class. However, this source or these sources do not circumvent the parent’s role in determining the overall success or failure of the student.

Diploma mills — A warning about so-called diploma mills:
What families need to know: Please refer to the THSC definition of a home schooled student and please know that certain entities may offer degrees, diplomas or certificates for a fee that indicate to the general public that the individual has successfully completed a program of secondary education or training.

One indicator that an entity might be a diploma mill is the ability to obtain a diploma after a test with little or no coursework. Please know that these entities are harmful, are being pursued in the courts and that diplomas issued by these entities are not valid. Home schooling is legal in the state of Texas.

What home school group leaders need to know: Please keep in mind that diploma mills are typically entities offering a diploma after a test, with little or no coursework. We do not support the use of diploma mills and we encourage groups to avoid serving in capacities causing them to appear as diploma mills.

Fit parent:
The official legal definition is “a parent who adequately cares for his or her child.” This means that the parent is not abusive or neglectful in any way. Courts are constitutionally required to assume that a parent is a fit parent and that the decisions a fit parent is making are best for that parent’s child unless there is evidence to prove that the parent is unfit or that a particular decision is substantially harming the child.

Home school group:
All home school groups on our list seek to serve families who meet the definition of home schooling. This means their children participate in the group, but the group will not attempt to become an authority over the student’s education, per the definition of home schooling. THSC Partner Groups meet criteria as defined on THSC Types of Groups.

IEP Generator Tool:
The THSC IEP Generation Tool is an easy-to-use online interface for parents who home school students with special needs, are second language learners, or receive nontraditional home school instruction. This tool creates a document to track student-specific testing records, accommodations and modifications, and learning goals.

Online public school:
The Virtual School Network is an online public school option available through the local school. Students who wish to take “public school at home” can enroll full time through the online courses but must have attended a public school in the prior year. Some courses may also be purchased and used as independent courses through the VSN “catalog.”

Private school:
Private school is a broad category of describing any non-public school. This includes traditional accredited private schools that require daily attendance and tuition, unaccredited private schools which are similar but not subject to the same accreditation requirements, home schools which are a type of private school but not regulated the same way as other types of private school, and other options that are a hybrid of these different types. For example, in a university model school, a student might attend the school 2-3 days per week and then be schooled at home for the rest of the week.

Special needs student:
A special needs student is a student who has specific learning needs related to a physical, intellectual, medical, behavioral or emotional condition that impedes learning.

Temporary order:
An order given by a court that requires one of the parties to take or not take a particular action; this is not a “final” order given at the end of a case when the case is being closed. A “temporary” order is not subject to appeal and can last an undefined period of time. It is designed to allow the court to exercise some level of control over the parties during the pendency of the case rather than only at the conclusion of the case when a “final” order is given.

Virtual school:
The Virtual School Network is an online public school option available through the local school. Students who wish to take “public school at home” can enroll full time through the online courses but must have attended a public school in the prior year. Some courses may also be purchased and used as independent courses through the VSN “catalog.”