1. What is a heritage school?
California Education Code (EC) Section 33195.4 defines “heritage school” as a school that serves children who are at least four (4) years and nine (9) months of age and no older than 18 years of age, and who also attend a public or private full-time day school. Also included in the definition is the requirement that heritage schools do all of the following:
Specify regular hours of operation.
Offer education or academic tutoring, or both, in a foreign language.
Offer education on the culture, traditions, or history of a country other than the United States.
Offer culturally enriching activities, including, but not limited to, art, dancing, games, or singing, based on the culture or customs of a country other than the United States.
Maintain membership in a state or national cultural, or language association.
Comply with relevant local government regulations, where applicable.
Do not operate out of a residential home.
Comply with the requirements of EC Section 33195 and maintain in its possession a copy of the registration form electronically filed with the Superintendent. The heritage school shall make this form available upon request, including to the State Department of Social Services, to verify exemption from child care licensure.
Note: A heritage school, as defined above, is exempt from licensure by the State Department of Social Services as a child day care center. Attendance at a heritage school does not satisfy California compulsory education requirements pursuant to EC Section 48200 .
2. Where can I find all of the requirements pertaining to heritage schools?
California EC Section 33195 (chaptered on September 24, 2010) establishes and defines in statute heritage schools. It includes requirements pertaining to filing the Heritage School Registration (HSR) Form annually; cultural activities offered; health and safety; membership in a state or national cultural, or language association; parent notification; employment and contracting practices; payment of a registration filing fee; and other operational issues.
3. Have the heritage schools that appear in the California Department of Education (CDE) Heritage School Registration Form Search Page been licensed, evaluated, or approved by the CDE?
No. Consistent with EC Section 33195(c) , neither the Superintendent of Public Instruction nor the CDE evaluate, approve, recognize, accredit, nor endorse any heritage school.
Note: The CDE has no regulatory authority over heritage schools and does not monitor heritage school operations, instruction, or data submitted. The CDE’s only role with respect to heritage schools is to maintain the HSR Form and process defined by EC Section 33195.
4. Must heritage school employees be fingerprinted and submit to a Department of Justice background check?
Yes, consistent with EC Section 33195(a)(6) , heritage schools must comply with EC Section 44237, which specifies that each applicant for a position submit fingerprints to the California Department of Justice so that the school can obtain a confidential criminal records summary. For information about this process and the Live Scan Service, please visit the California Department of Justice Background Checks Web page.
5. My organization oversees more than one heritage school in California. May I submit one HSR Form annually on behalf of all of my heritage schools?No. EC Section 33195(b) requires the submission of a separate HSR Form annually for each heritage school.
6. How can I locate a heritage school in my area?
The Heritage School Registration Form Search Page contains registration forms submitted by heritage schools that have completed the annual Heritage School Registration filing process. The search feature allows users to search heritage schools by city, county, or name of the heritage school.
7. May heritage school coursework be given credit by public schools or colleges?
Local school districts, colleges, and universities make their own determinations regarding granting school credit for outside activities. Contact the school, college, or university directly for a determination regarding course credit.
8. Are heritage schools that have filed the Heritage School Registration Form entitled to state funding?
No. EC Section 33195(d) specifies that filing the HSR Form does not grant a heritage school any right to receive state funding.
9. Who determines that the building where a heritage school operates is safe and properly equipped?
A heritage school building, like any other privately owned building, must comply with the requirements imposed by the county, city, and other agencies within whose jurisdiction the building is located. Such requirements include zoning, health and safety codes, fire codes, and other local ordinances.
10. Are there health and safety requirements for heritage schools?
Yes. EC Section 33195(d) identifies specific health and safety requirements for all heritage schools, as follows:
a) A director of a heritage school shall undergo at least 15 hours of health and safety training, which must include all of the following components:
1) Pediatric first aid
2) Pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
3) A preventive health practices course or courses that include instruction in the recognition, management, and prevention of infectious diseases, including immunizations, and prevention of childhood injuries.
4) Training in pediatric first aid and CPR, pursuant to (1) and (2), shall be provided by a program approved by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or the Emergency Medical Services Authority pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 1797.191 .
5) Training in preventive health practices, pursuant to (3) above, shall be provided by a training program approved by the Emergency Medical Services Authority.
6) In addition to the training programs specified in (4) and (5) above, training program or courses in pediatric first aid, pediatric CPR, and preventive health practices offered or approved by an accredited postsecondary educational institution are considered to be approved sources of training that may be used to satisfy the training requirements of paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
7) Persons who, prior to the effective date of this section, have completed a course or courses in preventive health practices as described in paragraph (3), and have a certificate of completion of a course or courses in preventive health practices, or certified copies of transcripts that identify the number of hours and the specific course or courses taken for training in preventive health practices, shall be deemed to have met the training requirement for preventive health practices pursuant to paragraph (3).
b) All employees and volunteers of a heritage school shall be in good health, as verified by a health screening, including a test for tuberculosis, performed by, or under the supervision of, a licensed physician and surgeon.
c) Pupils attending heritage schools shall have access to working sinks, toilets, and drinking water.
d) No pupil attending a heritage school shall have access to medication or cleaning supplies, except as otherwise provided by law.
11. Are heritage school employees mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect?
Yes, effective January 2013 EC Section 33195(a)(8) defines this requirement. As a result, the Acknowledgements and Statutory Notices section of the annual HSR Form includes Items 17 through 20, requiring all heritage schools that register to certify that:
- The director of the heritage school and all employees are mandated reporters subject to the requirements established by the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, which is defined in Article 2.5 commencing with Section 11164 of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code.
- The heritage school employer acknowledges that he/she is encouraged to provide its heritage school employees with training in the duties imposed by the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.
- The employees of the heritage school have signed a statement provided by the employer certifying that the employees have knowledge of the Child Abuse and neglect Reporting Act and will comply with its provisions.
- The employees of the heritage school have been notified by the employer of their reporting obligations and confidentiality rights, pursuant to Penal Code Section 11165.9.
12. Are heritage schools licensed?
No. Consistent with EC Section 33195.6(e) and (f) , heritage schools (as defined in EC Section 33195.4) are not subject to licensure by the State Department of Social Services as child day care centers. Upon a pupil’s enrollment in a heritage school, the heritage school must provide a notice to the pupil’s parent or guardian that states that the heritage school is exempt from child care licensure, and that attendance at a heritage school does not satisfy California’s compulsory education requirements defined in EC Section 48200 .
However, child care facilities that enroll students younger than four (4) years and nine (9) months must be licensed through the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services .
13. Is there a fee associated with filing the Heritage School Registration Form?
Yes. Consistent with EC Section 33195.5(b) , the California Department of Education (CDE) may charge a fee that is sufficient to cover, but not exceed, the costs incurred by the CDE to implement the registration process. The 2014 fee is $250 per heritage school, and it is payable by money order, cashier’s check, or credit card. Step 9 of the Instructions for Filing the Heritage School Registration Form details the payment process.
14. Can a registered Heritage School make changes to the submitted information?
A Heritage School which has registered with the California Department of Education can only make changes to the following submitted information:
The physical address of the Heritage School
The name of the director of the Heritage School
In order to change the physical address of the Heritage School, the director, owner, or board of trustees, named on the registration form needs to submit the change by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to change the name of the director of the Heritage School, please mail the change of information on letter head, signed by the board of directors or the owner of the Heritage School, to:
Heritage School Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4309
Sacramento, CA 95814
All other changes need to be made at the time of the next Heritage School Registration period, which is January 1 – 31st each year.