Effective July 1, 2015, the Code of Virginia Section 22.1-254, “Compulsory Attendance and Home Instruction,” states that, except for exemptions from the article, “…instruction of children by their parents is an acceptable alternative form of education under the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any parent of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 20 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday may elect to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance if [the teaching parent] (i) holds a high school diploma; or (ii) is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education; or (iii) provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner; or (iv) provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child.” (NOTE: A high school equivalency certificate will not satisfy requirement (i), above.)
For purposes of home instruction, 2015 Virginia Code states that “Instruction in the home of a child or children by the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of such child or children shall not be classified or defined as a private, denominational or parochial school.” Home instruction in Virginia is subject to the same attendance schedule as is Virginia public schools which require 180 days or 990 hours classroom instruction annually (Virginia Code Section 22.1-254.)
Also effective July 1, 2015, Virginia parents who elect to provide home instruction rather than public school attendance must “annually notify the division superintendent in August of his intention to so instruct the child and provide a description of the curriculum, limited to a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year, and evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing instruction as required” by Virginia Code. Such notice must be presented no later than August 15th of each year. A parent who begins home instruction after the beginning of the school year must notify the superintendent “as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with the requirements of the section within 30 days of such notice.”
Additionally, Virginia Code requires home instruction parents to maintain records and conduct evaluations and assessments as follows: “The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall provide the division superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either (i) evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine** on any nationally normed standardized achievement test, or an equivalent score on the ACT, SAT or PSAT; or (ii) an evaluation or assessment which the division superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress, including but not limited to: (a) an evaluation letter from a person licensed to teach in any state, or a person with a master’s degree or higher in an academic discipline, having knowledge of the child’s academic progress, stating that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress; or (b) a report card or transcript from a community college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school.”
[NOTE: **”Stanine” is a nine-point scale used for normalized test scores, with 1-3 below average, 4-6 average, and 7-9 above average; one of the steps in a nine-point scale of standard scores.]
“In the event that evidence of progress as required in this subsection is not provided by the parent, the home instruction program for that child may be placed on probation for one year. Parents shall file with the division superintendent evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education for their child in compliance with subsection A and a remediation plan for the probationary year which indicates their program is designed to address any education deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the division superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year.”
Virginia Homeschool State Laws Links:
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