Accreditation & Member Associations
Change of Address
Curriculum, Books & Resources
Graduation & Diplomas
Laws; Home Education
Accreditation & Member Associations
FCA is a charter member of the Tennessee Association of Church Related School (TACRS).
FCA is recognized by the Educational Research Bureau in Princeton, New Jersey, S.A.T., A.C.T., and Educational Services. (S.A.T. & A.C.T. School Code for Testing is No. 431252)
FCA serves home educator’s world wide. We were founded in 1990 in the state of Tennessee. In most states, families that choose to home educate have the freedom to choose the organization in which to register. There are some states however, such as Tennessee that requires its residence to enroll in the state of residence. In most cases in which state enrollment is required FCA has sought and seeks state registration to qualify families to register as a home educator through it’s program.
FCA is registered with the State of Tennessee as a Category IV School, as outlined in Tennessee Law 49-50-801
FCA is registered with the State of Florida as a 617 non-profit corporation.
Because of conflicting and changing public opinion regarding homeschooling, the inconsistency of how public officials define the homeschooling law, and the fact that some of our programs have not been challenged in courts, it is not possible for FCA to guarantee that families enrolled in our program will never be scrutinized by authorities.
FCA wants all members to be aware of their legal right to home educate. Home education laws vary from state to state. Please visit FCA’s Home Education Law to get a copy of your state law.
FCA is a member of the Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA Discount No. 294057). We strongly recommend that each home educating family know its state homeschooling law and consider joining the Home School Legal Association.
Compulsory Attendance Requirements
Family Christian Academy meets or exceeds state Statutes regarding attendance.
In the case of home-educated students, the term “school attendance” usually means 180 days of school per year and a minimum of 4 hours per day of learning.
Many state laws require that FCA notify the local superintendent and the Department of Transportation if the student fails to reenroll or comply with FCA’s policies and procedures.
Enrollment is open year round. We begin the new school year on July 1st and the school year ends on June 30th.
Credit may be given for field trips and other family learning activities, hands-on learning experiences, part-time jobs, etc. Do not limit learning to time spent in books only.
Change of Address
Mailings are sent bulk rate and the Post Office will not forward bulk mail. If you move, notify FCA of your change of address using their form. Please do not call with this information.
ATTN: All high school students are required to contact us and schedule a Senior Consultation to evaluate student’s file & determine further graduation requirements. See below for Home Education High School Graduation Credit Requirements.
Graduation Requirements (Credits)
Twenty-one credits are required to graduate. High school normally lasts 4 years which averages out to approximately 5 courses per year, although high school may be finished in as little as 2 ½ years (2 full school years plus 2 summer schools).
Credits are assigned for students taking high school courses, not K-8th grade level work.
Credits may be assigned to students who are not in high school but are taking high school level coursework. It is recommended, however, that the student be enrolled in high school if the majority of coursework is high school level.
FCA uses the information provided by the parents to prepare a credible transcript representing the student’s academic work. Therefore, the information provided by the parent must be accurate.
When assigning credits, it is important to list actual subjects. An example would be Algebra 1 rather than Math; Biology rather than Science; World History rather than History or Social Studies. Also, do not give credits for courses such as spelling or grammar as these are included in each year of English.
The courses that you assign credits for on the Attendance & Progress report will become a part of your student’s high school transcript. Some activities during high school do not belong on a transcript but are more appropriately placed in a student’s portfolio or resume. Transcripts are for academic coursework. This includes honors the student has received such as: community, volunteer, missions work, etc.
Assigning Credits For Students Taking College Courses
Students taking a college-level course by Advanced Placement or dual enrollment should assign the student a half (½) high school credit for a 3 credit college course and assign 1 high school credit for a 5 or 6 credit college course. FCA must receive a copy of the student’s final report from the college level class being taken.
Many resources are available through FCA’s Online Bookstore or On Campus Bookstore to meet your curricula needs. While the traditional subjects such as Algebra 1 and English 1 are mostly learned through textbooks, workbooks, or computer courses, it is important to understand that all learning does not only come from these methods. Many main courses and electives can be learned hands-on. Home education provides the freedom and flexibility for a student to take courses they would otherwise be unable to take in a traditional school setting. Parents may create their own subjects by writing a course description and include what is required to gain mastery and award credit. (ie. a student volunteering at a vet office or on a farm for 150 hours may be awarded a credit in Animal Science). This also allows the opportunity for your student to begin developing skills in the area they may wish to pursue as a career. One hundred fifty (150) academic hours are normally sufficient to earn one high school credit. This is equivalent to 180 days of 45-minute classes.
Curriculum, Books & Resources
Members of FCA are encouraged to use the curriculum, books and resources they feel are best suited for their children. We do not limit our members to a specific curriculum.
FCA offers both local and online bookstores. We provide wonderful resources that home education families have found to be of great value. Members receive a 10% curriculum discount and are not required to pay taxes on educational materials offered through the local and online bookstores.
Members are required to submit the Curriculum List(Form E) within 30 days of enrollment. The curriculum list asks for the specific names of books, publisher name and grade level that you will be using for your current school year.
Family Christian Academy rarely needs to take disciplinary action against a family or student. However, FCA reserves the right to expel or suspend a student that is not in compliance with the policies and procedures agreed to at time of enrollment.
This policy is in effect for students while on or off campus. FCA will not support the enrollment of a family or student that does not adhere to Christian conduct as a lifestyle. The actions of a student off campus acting in an inappropriate manner reflect poorly on the student body and school as a whole. FCA desires to serve parents that are serious in their commitment to home educate their child. Parents not taking this responsibility serious must know and understand that their actions jeopardize
the freedoms that many families today have fought so hard to maintain.
The following reasons for taking such action include, but are not limited to: violation of dress code, bad language, improper behavior, abuse of tobacco products or drugs, or any other action that would bring reproach to the Lord or the school.
Family Christian Academy students need to be mindful that they represent the values of their school to the community at large. While attending any function associated with the school, students will not be allowed to wear offensive shirts with demonic text or pictures, gang-related colors or paraphernalia. Students must dress modestly and appropriately. Girls are allowed to wear one pair of earrings on their ears, no tank tops or shorts. Boys are not permitted to wear earrings, no sagging pants, chains or showing of undergarments. Body piercing or gothic appearance is not allowed. Students violating this dress code will be asked to comply and/or leave the school event. Lack of cooperation constitutes immediate expulsion.
Driver’s License forms must be requested in writing, use form Q.
Student’s birth certificate must be on file with the FCA records office.
Student must have been enrolled with FCA at least 30 days, and their file must be current.
Allow 7-10 days for a processing.
Cut-off date for this form is June 1st or upon enrollment for the new school year.
Driver’s License form remains valid for 30 days from date of issue. At the end of 30 days the form expires and you will need to request a new form.
FCA recommends that you make plans to use the form within the first week of it being issued. In the event a student doesn’t pass their driving test, they are usually required to wait 1-2 weeks before being allowed to retake the test. If you wait too long to use the first form you may have to request a second form for a second visit. Subsequent requests are $10 each.
Home-educated students may dual enroll in Family Christian Academy’s On Campus Classes as a part-time student.
Many community and 4-year colleges are accepting home-educated middle school and high school students for individual coursework or for early entry into college. This allows students to earn both high school credit and college credits at the same time. If this sounds like a viable option for your student we recommend that your student prepare and sign up to take the college entrance ACT exam (generally taken between 10th-12th grades). Some home-educated students are able to take 11th and 12th grade course work while in college and earn both high school and college credit at the same time. Depending on the college, students may or may not receive college credit for the course(s) taken. This is an important consideration if parents want their high school age students to receive college credit. Check with the college. When a student takes a college course, the parents will enter the course on the student’s Attendance & Progress report (form K-N) and assign ½-high school credit for a 3-credit college course and 1-high school credit for a 5 or 6 credit college course. A complete transcript from the college must be submitted with the Attendance & Progress report (forms K, L, M, & N).
FCA offers enrollment to home-educating families throughout the world. Homeschooling laws vary from state to state and abroad. Although FCA’s academic and attendance requirements meet or exceed those of most states and countries, it is the responsibility of parents wishing to enroll their students in FCA to become informed regarding the laws of the land in which they reside. FCA is on record as supporting the rights of parents to home educate using the program they choose is best for their family.
FCA’s program is open year round, with enrollment beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30th. Enrollment into FCA begins the day we receive the student’s application and it expires on June 30th. Families must enroll their student(s) each year. Failure to enroll will terminate your child’s legal participation in Family Christian Academy and may be subject the family to truancy violations.
It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to accurately report to FCA any difficulties the student has encountered with authorities in his/her previous school. (ie. suspensions, expulsions, disciplinary actions, etc.) Failure to disclose this information to FCA may result in immediate nullification of enrollment and loss of fees paid.
FCA will not allow immediate enrollment to any family currently undergoing legal scrutiny. However, the application will not be turned down, but will be held until the legal scrutiny is resolved.
FCA does not accept the enrollment of students who have been: suspended, expelled, arrested, held for questioning, substance abuse users, pregnant, fathered a child, smokes, involved in a cult or gang, or married. However, FCA believes in supporting a parent’s decision to choose the method of education they feel is best for their student. For this reason, FCA refers ineligible applications to New Beginnings Family Academy, an affiliate school that is able to assist you with the same services available to FCA members. FCA shares it’s contact information and offices with NBFA. Members of New Beginnings Family Academy adhere to a different fee schedule and are required to purchase and complete the Bible study, God’s Plan for Man, Upon successful completion of this course, students may earn 1 Bible credit. To enroll, complete forms A-E. (see NBFA fee schedule under Home Education on form A)
FCA offers a variety of services and programs to it members. Become familiar with the information contained in this packet.
After selecting the program that best suits your family, complete and sign all appropriate enrollment forms and submit to FCA with the proper fees.
It is important that all materials and fees belonging to the previous school be resolved as this will delay records transfer until all outstanding obligations have been met.
FCA will request records from your child’s previous school on the day we receive your enrollment unless otherwise noted on your paperwork.
If a student is transferring from another school, the previous school should have all the information FCA is requesting. If the previous school does not transfer these items, we require that the parents furnish this information. The documents needed include: birth certificate, school medical exam form, and immunization form or letter explaining religious exemption from immunization.
FCA assumes that all information submitted is true and accurate and the family is not under investigation by any legal authority. Application is conditional, pending receipt of the above, and that the information proves to be true and accurate. Falsifying information will cause your student to be expelled and all fees paid will be forfeited!
Return your Curriculum List (form E) to FCA within 30 days of enrollment.
FCA members must enroll every year and should enroll no later than the beginning of the 1st school day in their county of residence.
Students must be enrolled before beginning classes. FCA can only give attendance credit for registered students.
Returning students must have satisfied all obligations from the previous school year (particularly filing student progress and attendance reports and paying unpaid fees) in order to reenroll.
Return your Curriculum List (form E) to FCA within 30 days of enrollment.
For Home Educated students in grades K-8, please give the student a grade using a letter and/or percentage.
For grades 9-12, give all of the following: a percentage, letter grade, and the number of credits earned. For more information on assigning credits, see Credits.
FCA’s grading scale is as follows:
Graduation & Diplomas
The teaching parent is responsible to make certain the student fulfills all requirements for graduation.
Upon satisfactory completion of any of FCA’s Programs, the student may attend FCA’s graduation ceremony and receive a diploma.
Family Christian Academy offers three different diplomas:
1. Family Christian Academy High School Diploma
Students must meet all of the following requirements:
Student’s final transcript shows that student has met the minimum credit requirements for graduation.
Student has received a Stanine score of at least 4 on the 11th or 12th grade Stanford Achievement Test, or a score of at least 20 on the college entrance ACT, or a score of at least 500 verbal/ 500 math on the college entrance SAT, or student must produce an unqualified letter of acceptance from a college.
2. Family Christian Academy High School Diploma (Parent-Directed)
Students must be 18 years old and meet one of the following requirements:
Student’s final transcript shows that the student has met the minimum credit requirements for graduation and has either not taken a standardized test, or student’s test scores are below those required to receive a regular Family Christian Academy High School Diploma (#1 above).
Student is considered a Special Education Student.
3. Family Christian Academy High School Diploma (Apprentice)
Student has successfully completed the requirements for FCA’s Apprentice Program.
11th & 12th Grade Students: to graduate early, student’s final transcript must show that the student has met the minimum college prep credit requirements and must have a 10th or 11th grade Stanford Achievement Test on file with a stanine score of 7 or higher or an ACT score of 24 or higher. Students not meeting these requirements will not be eligible to graduate earlier than the end of their 12th grade year.
Making Graduation Plans
FCA offers an unforgettable Graduation Ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry each year. We invite you to be a part of this celebration for the whole family. The ceremony is usually held the first or second week in June. See Graduation for more details.
First year, high school enrollees should consult with an FCA guidance counselor by phone or on campus appointment to determine an academic plan for student to graduate. Consultations are $50 for a one hour session.
Complete Diploma Request on form R. FCA will evaluate your student’s file to make sure graduation requirements have been met. There is no charge for the diploma. If we must return your Diploma Request Form for any reason, a $15.00 reevaluation fee will be charged.
In order to issue your student’s diploma, student’s file must contain the following:
1. All required courses and credits.
2. All required documentation such as birth certificate, immunization records or exemption, all Attendance & Progress Reports (form K, L, M, & N), Curriculum List (form E), achievement test taken, including any ACT & SAT’s for college and Diploma Request.
The Attendance and Progress report is not required to be submitted until July 15th, however, seniors need to submit the form by May 15th or the last day of their school year to give FCA time to evaluate the final transcript.
Allow 2-3 weeks for processing Diploma Request (form Q)
Diplomas are issued December 15th, January 30th or June 15th and July 30th. All are printed by computer in bulk, therefore request for diplomas at other times will incur a cost of $15.00.
If the student will be applying to a private university or college, a current catalog should be obtained for its admissions requirements. Universities and colleges differ widely on their admittance requirements.
Most colleges require that a student take an ACT or SAT college entrance exam and provide a copy of the results and the student’s current transcript. If you want FCA to send a copy of your student’s final transcript to a college or university, do not assume FCA knows where to send your transcript. Please communicate this in writing (form Q).
Laws; Home Education
Student records are generally requested the same day of enrollment from student’s previous school upon receipt of completed application and proper fees. This also serves as a notification to the previous school that the student has transferred enrollment and will no longer be in attendance or counted absent.
It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to receive all records from student’s previous school. Because this is a lengthy process, FCA recommends that parents of all high school students request a copy of the student’s transcript from the records office. Often schools will not release this information to the parents until the FCA enrollment papers have been completed and the previous school is in receipt of the Transfer Request, completed at the time of enrollment.
To review a student’s records, please call our
office to schedule an appointment. Copies can
be mailed to you by submitting form (form J) with proper fees. All records are kept strictly confidential and may only be viewed by parent, legal guardian, and FCA personnel.
Reports Required from Parents
Each home-educating family must submit an attendance and progress report twice annually, summarizing the work of each student on a subject-by-subject basis. For detailed directions on grading and/or assigning credits, see Grading and/or Credits section of policies and procedures. This report may be found on forms K, L, M, & N.
You may also type this information into your student’s file by accessing the FCA Online Service Center. You will need your family ID number and password to access this file online.
The Attendance and Progress Report must contain written documentation of days attended and absent with a cumulative total of days attended to date. The first semester report is to track grading July-December, and is due on January 15th. The second semester report is to track grading January-June, and is due on July 15th. Notice: Reports are due 15 days after completion.
A late fee of $10 will be assessed for each report submitted after the deadline.
Student reporting must be kept up-to-date. If parents do not supply FCA with required reports in a timely manner, the following may occur:
1. Reports may not be posted until next grading period.
2. FCA will not be able to create a credible student transcript for graduation.
3. The records department will be unable to transfer records until all reporting obligations are made current.
4. Families not submitting required attendance report by due dates are truant and in violation of enrollment policies. Membership to FCA is suspended until records are brought current.
If you wish your student to skip an entire grade (or take a single higher-level course), the student should first be given a placement or achievement test to determine the student’s ability to accomplish higher level work. Students must achieve a stanine score of 7 or higher on the Stanford Achievement test to be eligible to skip a grade. Students must follow early graduation requirements when completing high school in less than four (4) years.
Students not yet in high school may take high school course work and earn high school credits. The student should first take a placement> or achievement test to determine the student’s mastery of course work already completed. To assign credits for high school courses, see section entitled Grading.
Parents are required to submit enrollment application for each grade level, unless student has been approved to skip a grade..
Teacher/Student ID Cards
Upon acceptance into FCA, members will receive teacher and student ID cards. Members enrolling online must print their ID cards from the FCA Online Service Center.
These ID cards contain family and student ID numbers and confirm the achievement test site location.
FCA issues one teacher card per family. Each additional card cost $5 and may be requested by completing the FCA Document Request form J.
If your card is stolen or misplaced, replacements are $5 each or you may print additional cards online by accessing the FCA Online Service Center.
FCA offers two types of testing. The first is a Diagnostic test offered year-round. This test is helpful in determining the appropriate grade level in which a student should begin course work. The second type of test is the Stanford Achievement test offered in the spring. This test is helpful in determining student’s retention levels.
Diagnostic testing is offered year round and is highly recommended for first time home educators. Please contact the office to schedule this test. Fees can be found on Form A for this service.
The test takes approximately 1-2 hours, is given one-on-one and is not timed.
Type of Test and Results
FCA administers the Stanford Achievement Test Christian School 10th Edition. The “Stanford” is an Achievement Test, not a Placement Test. It can be used as an indicator of weak academic areas which need to be strengthened. FCA offers Diagnostic Testing specifically designed for helping with grade placement and with choosing curricula. The Stanford Achievement Test is offered in the spring, usually between March 15th–April 15th.
The Stanford Corporation scores the tests and sends the results to FCA in June. FCA provides a date and time in late June for parents to pick up their test, re-enroll, and receive bookstore discounts.
Testing Requirements & Recommendations
Students home educating with FCA are not required to take the SAT test. However, in order to graduate with an FCA approved diploma, students must meet the FCA credit requirements and obtain a qualifying score from one of the following tests during the 11th or 12th grade. High school Stanford Achievement Test – minimum stanine score of 4, College entrance ACT – minimum score of 20, College entrance SAT– minimum score of 500 verbal/500 math.
FCA recommends that students be tested at least one year in the elementary level (3rd), middle school level (6th) and every year in high school (9th-12th), unless your student is scheduled to take a college entrance exam. Letting your student have a testing experience periodically allows parents to monitor progress and keeps students practiced in the skill of taking tests. Testing is recommended every year for students that are on a college path and/or plan to return to the school system.
What the Test Measures & Provides to Parents
The test is an excellent tool to measure strengths and weaknesses on a broad range of subjects including the following:
Word Analysis (K-2nd)
Reading Skills/Comprehension (K-12)
Study Skills (4-12)
Social Studies & Science (K-12)
The test provides to parents scaled, percentile grade-equivalent scores, and an ability/achievement comparison on combination test.
Length of Test
Grades K-8: 3 hours per day, 2 consecutive days
Grades 9-12: 2-3 hours per day, 2 consecutive days
Testing Dates and Locations
FCA offers testing across the state of Tennessee. (See FCA Enrollment form D,to see a complete list of testing locations). FCA will assign your test location which will be printed on your student’s ID card. Site locations are subject to change due to availability, and FCA reserves the right for final site approval.
Tests are currently given in cities across the state of Tennessee. If you have a large support group you may qualify to have tests administered at your location. FCA suggests that you monitor our website for specific information on testing dates and events.
It is the responsibility of parents to verify their student’s testing dates, times and locations. If you are not sure of your testing date or site, you must call the Records Department for that information or check the website. FCA is not responsible for missed test.
Parents may choose to have their student(s) tested by a certified teacher in the privacy of their home. If you would like your child tested privately by a teacher in your area, we ask that you arrange for a certified teacher to administer the test. We require the following:
Teacher must provide FCA with name, address, phone number and proof of certification within 30 days of enrollment.
The certified teacher may not be a parent or relative of the student.
Teacher must return the test no later than April 15th. Tests that are returned after the deadline will incur a late fee. All testing deadlines must be followed. If the teacher is not sure he/she can complete and return the test within the time frame required by FCA, the teacher’s services should not be used.
Administering teacher must follow all policies of FCA.
FCA will mail the test to the teacher between February 15th and March 15th.
FCA also offers private one-on-one Stanford Achievement Testing through our Old Hickory office for a fee of $150.00. This fee covers the cost of test and teacher’s services.
Students who become married (male or female) and/or pregnant, after enrollment, are required to contact the school to test privately. Additional fees apply.
Deadline for all private testing registration is February 15th.
Registering and Paying for the Test
If you know that you want your child to take the Achievement Test it is best to choose a location and pay for it at the time of enrollment. It is less expensive to sign up for testing before May 1st.
If you decide to wait to sign up for testing, you must do so before the Achievement test deadline which is February 15th. Please contact the office or go to the bookstore to register.
Test Fees are non-refundable.
If, for any reason, a student is unable to test on an assigned date, or if the student missed part of a test, parents must transfer to another test site or arrange for Private Testing through FCA. Call the office, additional fees will apply.
Changing Test Location
If for any reason, the test location must be changed, parent(s) will be assessed a $30.00 fee for changes.
What to Expect the Day of the Test
Our testing policies are in effect to ensure a proper, fair and safe testing environment. Please help us maintain these policies so our students can have a good testing experience.
Students must test in the grade in which they are enrolled.
Parents are able to be in the room with K-2nd grade students testing.
Testing begins promptly at 9:00am each morning. Parents and students are asked to arrive at 8:30am the first morning to receive a brief orientation and classroom assignments.
Testing last from 9:00am-12:30pm for 2 consecutive days. Schedule varies by site, watch for details on your site location by web or mail.
Students should eat a good breakfast and come to test well rested.
Bring scratch paper, at least 2 sharpened #2 pencils, a ruler (with inches and centimeters) and a calculator for 4th grade and above.
FCA uses facilities graciously donated to us. Please take care of the property and be sure to stay within designated areas. Students are allowed in testing rooms, break rooms and bathrooms only.
Please realize we are all witnesses as home-educators. Instruct your children to obey all rules and teachers or they will be expelled from testing (and, possibly from FCA).
Parents must be able to supervise their children not being tested and students finishing early.
Parents are encouraged to bring juice, fruit or any other nutritious snack.
No student will be permitted to leave the premises before testing is over.
College Entrance Testing
ACT, SAT and PSAT
If the student will be applying to a private university, it is recommended that they take the college entrance test instead of the high school Stanford Achievement Test (SAT). The ACT and SAT college entrance tests are offered up to six times annually. Students usually increase their scores on these tests each time they are taken (after Algebra 1) and colleges usually accept the highest score.
FCA’s school code for the SAT & ACT college entrance tests is: 431252
Warning: When a student applies for a scholarship, some colleges average all ACT or SAT test scores taken. This could hinder the student’s chances for a scholarship if the student has taken these test several times in the lower grades “for practice.”
The PSAT should be taken in October (or the sophomore year for those completing high school in 3 years) for the purpose of entering the valuable National Merit Scholarship Competition.
Upon written request, transcripts are provided for students in grades 9-12.
FCA will provide the parent/guardian with two certified copies: one for college application and one for the parents.
Additional copies may be requested at a cost of $10.00 per copy.
Transferring Out of FCA
Student records will be sent directly to the new school. This process may take up to 4 weeks.
Records will not be transferred if all reports are not filed and all fees paid in full.
For students transferring out of FCA mid-semester, semi-annual reports must be turned in up to the day of transfer.
If we do not have all Progress and Attendance Reports on file, the new school may challenge the student’s placement.
Some schools may require the students to undergo testing to verify student has covered material for credits granted while registered with FCA.