Virginia homeschooling laws and requirements
Virginia homeschooling laws and requirements to homeschool in Virginia. Virginia homeschooling laws. Ways to homeschool legally within Virginia.
This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library or online at the Home Education Reference Site from the PDE.
Compulsory attendance – Between 5 and 17 years of age.
Compulsory Attendance and Home Instruction Related Statutes
(Excerpted from the Code of Virginia; Effective July 1, 2008)
§ 22.1-254. Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article.
A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.
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.
§ 22.1-254.1. Declaration of policy; requirements for home instruction of children
A. When the requirements of this section have been satisfied, 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 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday may elect to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance if he
(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.
B. Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance shall annually notify the division superintendent in August of his intention to so instruct the child and provide a description of the curriculum to be followed for the coming year and evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing home instruction as required by subsection A. Effective July 1, 2000, parents electing to provide home instruction shall provide such annual notice no later than August 15. Any parent who moves into a school division or begins home instruction after the school year has begun shall notify the division superintendent of his intention to provide home instruction as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with the requirements of this section within 30 days of such notice. The division superintendent shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the number of students in the school division receiving home instruction.
C. 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
(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 or college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school.
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 educational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the division superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence are not accepted or the required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following the probationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent shall make other arrangements for the education of the child which comply with § 22.1-254. The requirements of subsection C shall not apply to children who are under the age of six as of September 30 of the school year.
D. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a pupil and his parents from obtaining an excuse from school attendance by reason of bona fide religious training or belief pursuant to subdivision B 1 of § 22.1-254.
E. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the division superintendent may appeal his decision within 30 days to an independent hearing officer. The independent hearing officer shall be chosen from the list maintained by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court for hearing appeals of the placements of children with disabilities. The costs of the hearing shall be apportioned among the parties by the hearing officer in a manner consistent with his findings.
F. School boards shall implement a plan to notify students receiving home instruction pursuant to this section and their parents of the availability of Advanced Placement (AP) and Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) examinations and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take these examinations. School boards shall implement a plan to make these examinations available to students receiving home instruction.
Other Resources for the Virgina Homeschool Laws
Comprehensive Guide to Homeschooling in Virginia
As a public service, VaHomeschoolers has compiled this Homeschool Guide for those who homeschool or are curious about homeschooling. Some of this information is specific to Virginia, while parts of the guide apply to homeschooling regardless of location. Includes the Virginia Homeschool Laws and Policies.
Virginia Law Related to Home Education
If you have additional questions not answered here, or would like more information on Virginia homeschooling legal and political issues, please contact VaHomeschoolers Government Affairs. VaHomeschoolers.