According to §22.1-254.1 (A), a parent must submit a Notice of Intent form (shown below) or personal letter to the division superintendent by August 15 each year he provides home instruction.
- Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction (4550) - Revised effective July 1, 2012
- Providing a Description of Curriculum
- Find Your Superintendent and Where to Send Your Notice of Intent
Chesterfield County Residents:
Instead of mailing your NOI to the superintendent listed on the Virginia Public School list, Chesterfield County has requested that you send your NOI to:
Superintendent of Chesterfield County
c/o Carolyn Hansinger, Home Instruction Specialist
4003 Cogbill Road
Richmond, VA 23234
New Homeschool Webinar
This webinar is designed specifically to answer your questions about the law and testing requirements.
It’s important to understand your rights as a parent and to know the correct application of the Virginia homeschool law. Let’s discuss some of the questions asked by new and veteran homeschoolers:
- What form do I use?
- How do I complete the Notice of Intent form?
- Where should I send my Notice of Intent?
- When do I notify?
- Do I wait for permission to homeschool?
- What if my superintendent asks for more information than the law requires?
- What happens if something goes wrong?
- Do I file a Notice of Intent (NOI) if my family is religiously exempt?
- View More FAQs
View the questions and answers from “Homeschool Q&A,” the popular feature in HEAV’s weekly e-newsletter, the Virginia Homeschool Update.
Some school districts provide their own form; however, you are not required to use a specific form. District forms may include requests for information the homeschool law does not require, such as a social security number or date of birth. The HEAV form only includes information specifically required by the Virginia homeschool statute. You may download HEAV’s Notice of Intent to Homeschool form or write a letter. You should request “Return Receipt” service so you will have proof they have received it. It is not necessary to deliver the form in person unless you file close to the August 15 deadline. Ask for a receipt if you hand deliver the NOI.
First, you must indicate on the NOI form or by letter that you have met one of four options given in §22.1-254.1 (A). The law states that a parent may homeschool if he has a high school diploma; or is a certified teacher; or 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 provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child.
Second, you must provide proof that you have met one of the four options listed above by attaching appropriate verification.
- Option (1), which requires you to hold a high school diploma, can be satisfied by attaching a copy of a high school diploma or higher degree from either parent. If you’re unable to locate your diploma, request a copy of your transcript from your high school or college and attach a copy of your request letter to the NOI form or your letter. Include a note stating you will supply the information as soon as it arrives.
- Option (2) may be used if you area certified tutor or teacher, and can be satisfied by attaching a certificate or letter of eligibility indicating current Virginia teacher certification.
- Option (3) requires you to use a program of study or curriculum through a correspondence course or distance learning program, and can be satisfied by including evidence of enrollment, such as a receipt for payment, letter of acceptance, or enrollment contract; or for an individualized curriculum, a copy of the table of contents or scope and sequence.
- Option (4) requires that you provide evidence that you are able to provide an adequate education for your child, and can be satisfied by a well-written letter indicating why you are able homeschool your child. You might briefly state that because you are the parent, you know your child best and you are able to determine his academic needs. You might also say you plan to exercise diligence in teaching your child and will be using a well-planned curriculum that will include the following subjects, and list the subjects that will be taught. Although the superintendent cannot judge your reasons, he will consider whether your statement exhibits a mastery of language, including basic grammar, and spelling.
Third, parents who comply with the homeschool statute are required to submit a description of curriculum with the Notice of Intent. The description is limited to a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year for each child. Examples of subjects could include math, algebra, geometry, history, world history, American history, handwriting, science, biology, physics, language arts, grammar, composition, British literature, music, art, rhetoric, Latin, foreign language, macroeconomics, etc.
Send your Notice of Intent to your local division superintendent. You can find a list of addresses here. If the superintendent has delegated this responsibility to an assistant, and you know the name of this person, you may send your NOI to the Office of the Superintendent in care of his assistant.
The division superintendent must be notified no later than August 15 each school year. Parents who move into a school division after August 15, or who begin homeschooling after the school year has begun, should notify the superintendent of their intent to homeschool as soon as possible and comply with the statute within thirty days of notification (§22.1-254.1 (B)). Refer to “Beginning Home Education after the Deadline” to understand what you might expect in these special situations.
No, Virginia is not a “permission” state. The law requires you to notify the division superintendent or his designee that you intend to teach your child at home–you are not asking permission. You may begin after you file the NOI. A Notice of Intent or letter indicates how you have complied with the law. You may or may not receive a letter of acknowledgement from the superintendent.
If a superintendent goes beyond the requirements of the law, such as insisting on birth dates or social security numbers, you are not obligated to supply this information. If he insists on calling for more than the law requires, ask him to put his request in writing. This will document his request for future reference.
If you are unable to resolve the division superintendent’s request or decision, you may make an appeal to an independent hearing officer within thirty days. You must inform your superintendent that you request an appeal. An independent hearing officer will be chosen to hear both sides of the disagreement according to §22.1-254.1(E).
Never ignore official correspondence or telephone calls. If, for some reason, the superintendent responds negatively,
- respectfully ask him to put his decision and/or requirements in writing and to mail you a copy;
- discuss the requirements of the law with experienced homeschoolers, or give our HEAV office a call (804-278-9200)–we have LOTS of experience and are here to help and answer questions;
- seek legal counsel, if necessary; and,
- if all else fails, within thirty days you may appeal his decision before an independent hearing officer. The cost of the hearing will be apportioned by the hearing officer based on his findings.
No, if you have met the requirements of religious exemption, you do NOT file a yearly Notice of Intent. Parents who have sincere religious convictions against sending their children to school may choose to comply with §22.1-254 (B)(1), which states:
A school board shall excuse from attendance at school any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, “bona fide religious training or belief” does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code…
In addition, §22.1-254(H)(5) states that children who are excused under religious exemption are excused from all provisions of the compulsory attendance law, including the homeschool requirements listed in §22.1-254.1.
The Notice of Intent–which is not for those homeschooling under religious exemption–shows how you have complied with the homeschool statute §22.1-254.1. Under this statute, you must provide yearly evidence of compliance (options i, ii, iii, or iv), a description of your curriculum, and an end-of-the-year assessment.
With religious exemption, you have complied with a different section of the Virginia Code §22.1-254 (B)(1), and you are not under these requirements.