In 2020, two Cheryls, each a certified teacher and veteran home education evaluator, saw a need for a support group for Florida home education evaluators. They wanted a place to share information, answer questions, and support each other, while also enabling members to better support their clients. They wanted to help the next generation of evaluators to serve the homeschooling community well. Each set up a group on Facebook and gathered a group of educators and a mixture of experienced and inexperienced (but willing to learn) evaluators. Each Cheryl eventually learned of the other's group and joined it. Cheryl Witt, founder of the group Florida Homeschool Leadership for Evaluators and Consultants approached Cheryl Trzasko, founder of the group FL Homeschool Evaluators, in the summer of 2022 about the possibility of together forming a more formal organization. With about 330 members now in just one organization, this seems like an idea whose time has come. After a variety of discussions online, video conference calls, ordinary phones and emails, the group called Association of Florida Evaluators was registered with the state of Florida.
Evaluators have repeatedly expressed how helpful the group was to help them learn the ropes, network, have a place to discuss complicated situations, share tips on renewing their teaching certification or psychologist licenses with others who often didn't have access to district professional in-service trainings, learn about resources they weren't aware of and changes in Florida law or FL Dept. of Education policies, discuss best practices in documentation, issues with some districts and/or parents and/or students, and more. Having resources in one place was very helpful. Having colleagues in one place has helped our evaluators direct clients to other qualified evaluators when the clients needed specific skills or experience--such an evaluator fluent in another language to help a parent with limited English or with experience regarding certain disabilities
Both Cheryls hoped that they could help to make sure that the homeschooling community wouldn't suffer a terrible setback as those with vast experience reach retirement age. They wanted a website that could train and support a new generation of evaluators, ones who would know the legal requirements and offer evaluations of the highest-professional caliber, and provide information to homeschool parents, district officials, and other interested parties. A group that would help educators work together to help parents provide the best education possible for the growing numbers of homeschooled student. The Association of Florida Evaluators is our vision for the future of Florida's home education population. Jan. 2023
The Association of Florida Evaluators is a professional organization that offers a variety of support services to teachers, psychologists, and school psychologists who offer homeschool evaluations and perhaps other educational services. We offer mentoring, training materials and other training, liability insurance, tips on legal and policy requirements, and offer advertising for our members who are taking on new clients.
We plan to be a presence at Florida home education conferences and/or host our own for evaluators and for parents and others interested parties. And more.
We offer the public a list of vetted evaluators as well as information about evaluations and the requirements for them, as well as useful information for those teaching their own.
The AFE Board
Experienced Educators and Evaluators.