Frequently asked questions about Essential Church School and enrollment:

  • What is required for enrollment?

    Tuition, Application, Church School Enrollment Forms for all students aged 6-17, and High School plans.  Please see our Handbook for details  or visit our Enrollment Page which lays out each step to the enrollment process with Essential.

  • Are you accredited?

    Currently, we are not accredited with any organizations.  Our purpose is to provide a flexible framework for our students which accreditation would make more defined and structured.  Accreditation involves fees and reviews which require higher tuition and more paperwork for our families.  We currently see no value in adding this additional financial burden on our homeschooling families.

  • Does accreditation affect college admittance?

    Our graduates have had no problem being accepted by colleges or universities or receiving scholarships.  Parents and students should check directly with the admissions office of a prospective college for special admission needs.  In addition, accreditation is not a factor with collegiate sports either.

  • Do you require testing?

    No. We do not require testing each year, but we highly recommend yearly achievement tests for grades 5 and up.   Testing is a popular measuring tool in our American culture, and we believe students should have experience and exposure  to testing environments.  Read more…

  • Do you require a special curriculum?

    No. We allow parents to choose curriculum to meet the individual needs and learning styles of their students.  Our staff is available to help parents evaluate curriculum choices, but as the teacher/tutor, parents are responsible for this choice.  Visit our Pinterest boards for links to curriculum information and resources.

  • Do you require meetings?

    No. We do offer informational meetings, but we do not require attendance at these meetings.  Teacher evaluations and consultations are available for additional cost.

  • What are your fees?

    Tuition is $150 per family for a school year.  All students within a family are enrolled for this fee.  Our tuition is not prorated for late or midyear enrollments which often require extra paperwork and office time.

  • Do you offer tuition assistance?

    Tuition assistance should be requested before August 1st for the upcoming school year.  We also provide a FREE curriculum library and information about FREE online resources to aid in financial difficulties.

  • Do you offer a high school diploma and graduation?

    Yes!  We love to celebrate and recognize the achievements of our students!  We offer 3 types of diploma designations which are detailed in our Handbook.  Contact us with any questions or concerns.

    Our graduation ceremony is an intimate and formal time with immediate family, caps and gowns, and inspiring speakers.

  • Do you keep student cumulative files?

    Yes.  We keep student attendance and academic records.  Grades and report cards are not required* though we highly recommend that these records are submitted each year to establish a complete school transcript.

    *High school students working towards an official school diploma are required to submit yearly classes and grades.  Independent homeschool diploma students must submit a complete high school transcript for recognition of graduation.

  • Do you offer sports and extracurricular activities?

    We are currently developing a sports program for our school and local homeschool families.  Extracurricular activities are offered as parents  and volunteers  step up to organize and plan.  Please watch our website  for these offerings.

    We do sponsor the activities of Birmingham Homeschoolers Community which connects our families to field trips, holiday parties, teen events, and local classes.

  • What if I need to enroll midyear?

    Midyear enrollment is offered for the month of December, but we close enrollment from September-April in order to focus on serving our current families.  Please note that midyear enrollments still pay the full tuition rate.

  • Why do you require attendance records?

    Section 16-28-8 of the Alabama law states “The principal teacher of each public school, private school, church school and each private tutor shall keep an attendance register showing the enrollment of the school and every absence of each enrolled child from school for a half day or more during each school day of the year.”

    Essential families keep attendance registers throughout the school year.  For integrity and additional legal foundation, we require those records to be submitted to Essential  by June 30th for student files.  If there was ever a question about the attendance of a student, we would quickly be able to support our families.

Still have questions?

Please read our Handbook for more specifics, and if you still have a question, please contact us.