Homeschool FAQ

Enrolled Families FAQ

1- What is a vendor?

A vendor is a person or company that has been approved to sell their products or services to our families to be paid for with the learner’s instructional funds. All orders and purchases are subject to guidelines, so check with your educational facilitator if you have questions.

2- Do learners receive instructional funds and use them with the vendors directly?

Instructional funds are allocated for learner use, but they are still considered school funds. Following certain guidelines, families will collaborate with their Credentialed Support Teacher (from here on referred to as CST) to make decisions that benefit the educational path of their learner(s). Once your CST reviews the order, he/she will submit the request to the vendor department for final approval before ordering. All materials ordered are the property of heartwood Charter School. If a learner withdraws at any time, materials will need to be immediately returned to your CST.

3.  How much are the allotted instructional funds per learner?

Depending on the date of enrollment, funding will be allotted for the purchase of approved educational materials and services. Families can select approved educational materials and services. Funds may only be used during the school year in which they were allotted, and do not carry over from year to year. Use of instructional funds is up to the discretion of the CST; Please consult with your CST to determine the eligible use of instructional funds. For more information, please refer to these helpful guides. Funds are prorated after the first day of the school year. No school funding is provided directly to parents or students for any purpose.

4- How are Instructional Funds determined?

Each California state student generates funds by his/her average daily attendance (ADA). The funds are budgeted for use as outlined in the school’s Local Accountability Plan (LCAP). The amount of funding is based on the ADA calendar the state uses to appropriate school funds.

5- Does that amount change if I enroll late?

Yes. The instructional funding amount is prorated and differs depending on the student’s enrollment date. Students who are enrolled on the first day of the school year, will have the maximum amount of appropriated funds when planning their educational program. Students who enroll later in the year will have less than the maximum amount of appropriated funds with which to plan.

6- How can these instructional funds to be used?

Instructional funds can be used for basic educational activities and materials from vendors on Heartwood Charter School’s approved vendor list. The parent and their CST will work in cooperation to evaluate the most effective use of funds to produce the best possible outcomes in terms of student learning. It is the CST’s responsibility to help each family manage their instructional funds account within the guidelines set forth.

7- What sort of guidelines are there?

An explanation of ordering guidelines can be found here. Please be sure to read through this prior to placing orders.  Please note that this list is not all-inclusive (Please read the Ordering Guidelines section in our handbook). General Criteria:

  • Educational curriculum ordered is appropriate for the student’s courses and learning plan.
  • Materials must be used to meet state and program standards for the student for whom the materials are being purchased.
  • All materials must be non-sectarian and non-denominational.
  • As a general rule, basic, economical items/models must be selected. If the student requires a higher-priced, less than basic item/model, a statement from the ES justifying the purchase may be required.
  • Program & office supplies must be limited to what is reasonably adequate for learning basic course skills (paper, pencils, etc).
  • Materials for a documented educational project: fabric, wool, yarn enough for one project (exception: no food purchases allowed.) CSTs are responsible for monitoring the quantities of items purchased.
  • Educational software to instruct and enhance learning in a subject area.
  • Materials must not expose the CST or student to danger or serious injury.
  • Core Spending Requirements: All students must spend $400 per year on CORE curriculum and/or services (this depends on the amount of educational support funding our school has to offer).

– Items purchased with instructional funds should support learning within the school year and are limited to basic, economy-grade items.

8- Will we be able to use instructional funds for enrichment classes ?

Yes. Learners must first confirm with their CST that they have enough materials and/or services in the core subject areas before enrichment classes will be approved. Learners must also be current with their learning period meetings, activity logs and samples. For curriculum ideas and classes, please visit the Approved Vendors page under the Vendor tab. We are actively developing our learning center in Sonoma County.  It will be a one or two day drop-off morning program.  Please be patient while we firm up the details – coming soon!

9- May I use instructional funds to purchase a computer?

Yes. Laptops, desktop computers, and tablets are non-consumable items that may be purchased with instructional funds. Please read the Ordering Guidelines section in our handbook.

10- With regards to the purchase of materials, are there any items that are considered consumable versus non-consumable?

Yes! Consumable items are one-time use items that cannot be passed on to additional learners. Some examples of consumables include: glue, paint, a science experiment kit, workbooks, paperback books, and/or paper.

Non-consumable items can be used by multiple learners. These are items that need to be returned to Heartwood if you plan to withdraw or no longer need the item for instruction. Some examples of non-consumables include: teacher’s manuals, math manipulative kits, computers, tablets, microscopes, guitars, hardcover books, complete curriculum kits (minus the workbooks or worksheets).

11- When do I return non-consumable materials?

When a learner withdraws from the school, all non-consumable materials purchased with instructional funds must be returned to the school within three days. When materials are no longer being used by a learner, the materials must be returned to the school via the CST. During summer breaks (while your family is continuously enrolled with Heartwood), you may continue to maintain responsibility for those items so long as your learner or his/her sibling(s) will still be able to use the materials.

12- What happens if we accidentally break or lose one of the items?

If any item purchased by the school for instructional use is lost or broken by a learner, the family must pay to replace the item.

13- Where can we order books and materials?

There are numerous vendors on our Approved Vendors page from which a family may order. Please note that not all materials listed on a vendor’s website may be available for purchase using instructional funds. Please collaborate with your CST if you would like additional support in selecting specific curriculum and/or vendors.

14- Can all funds be used at once?

The CST will guide the family in using funds to meet student goals and objectives each learning period.

15- Can we use funds to purchase materials for next year?

No. Funds cannot be used to purchase materials for the following school year.

16- Is there a deadline to order materials?

Yes. Check with your ES for specific dates as they sometimes vary from year to year.

17- Once we purchase the materials, do we get to keep them forever?

All materials purchased with the state instructional funds, are the property of the Heartwood. The materials are loaned to the students while they are enrolled in the program and are for their use for educational purposes. When a student is no longer enrolled with heartwood, all the materials purchased with the state funds must be returned to Heartwood within 3 (it says 3 days above… want to keep it consistent) days.

18- Can funds be used for student field trips?

Field Trips are group activities that are organized and overseen by the Field Trip Coordinator and program representatives. Field trips are a great, fun way for students and parents to join other students while pursuing their individual learning plans. Your CST will keep you apprised of field trip opportunities.

19- If my children are enrolled at Heartwood Charter School and I become a vendor, can I use their instructional funds to pay for my vendor services?

No, student funds cannot be directed toward family members who are also vendors.

20- How do I submit an order?

We are working with Homeschool Concierge to process our vendor orders quickly and with minimal effort.  Your CST will describe what you will do when you are ready to place an order.

21- How will I know when I can begin using a service vendor? Can my student continue taking classes with a vendor who doesn’t have the PO in hand?

For families, your CST will let you know when the purchase order has been submitted.  Any services used without an active purchase order are not the responsibility of the school to pay for and must be worked out between the family and the vendor. It is important for both the family and vendor to ensure there is a signed purchase order before any services are provided as that is the school’s agreement to pay for the services provided.

22- I am a Heartwood parent, how do I request a new Service Vendor? 

Please speak to your CST and give them the contact information for the Service Vendor.

 23- I am an Heartwood parent, how do I request a new Materials Vendor?

Please speak to your CST and give them the contact information for the Materials Vendor.

24- If my children are enrolled at Heartwood and I become a vendor, can I use their instructional funds to pay for my vendor services?

No, student funds cannot be directed toward family members who are also vendors.