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What Is an Umbrella School? And How Is Bridgeway Different?

by David Engle | Jan 20, 2022 | 2 min read

Umbrellas are easy to use…why would anyone need to go to school to learn how? Sorry, sorry…terrible dad joke. There is actually such a thing as an umbrella school–but it’s not where you learn how to make or operate an umbrella. An umbrella school (also known as a church-related school or cover school) is an entity, usually considered a private school, that oversees homeschooling families and helps them satisfy their state’s homeschooling laws. Many times, an umbrella school is essentially a group or organization, though in some cases, an umbrella school is actually a physical private school that partners with homeschoolers.

About Umbrella Schools

According to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “umbrella schools exist primarily as a way to satisfy a state’s compulsory attendance law.” In some ways, an umbrella school is very similar to a homeschooling group, especially considering that many umbrella schools are put together by homeschooling families and have no actual campus. In some cases, however, an established private school may offer a program that enrolls homeschooled students.

What Do Umbrella Schools Offer?

Here are some of the services an umbrella school may (or may not) offer:

  • Record-keeping services, such as transcripts and attendance
  • Compliance with homeschooling laws
  • Diplomas and report cards
  • Help with curriculum and courses
  • Testing
  • Extracurricular activities

What DON’T Umbrella Schools Offer?

What umbrella schools don’t offer is a short list–but those two items are EXTREMELY important when it comes to homeschooling. What it boils down to is, some families prefer to use an umbrella school because they can serve as the “middleman” between families and school districts, they offer easy access to homeschool groups/co-ops and activities, and they help maintain school records.

How Bridgeway Academy Differs from an Umbrella School

First and foremost, Bridgeway, as an accredited homeschool academy, offers a huge variety of instruction and curriculum options, and we provide accreditation. Plus, just like an umbrella school, Bridgeway offers record-keeping services, compliance with homeschooling laws, diplomas and report cards, a dedicated academic advisor to help you and your family every step of the way, testing, and access to the global Bridgeway community! So, yeah, we have everything an umbrella school has–and so much more!

If you’re looking for the perfect homeschool partner, look no further! Bridgeway Academy offers all of the services an umbrella school does, but with so many amazing homeschool programs and curriculum from which to choose. Call us today at (800) 863-1474 to speak to a Homeschool Specialist about our Total Care programs, Live Online Classes, Grade Level Kits, Records & Support, and so much more!

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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