Religious Exemption and Notice of Intent

Posted on Aug 11 2011 in Homeschool Q&A by Yvonne Bunn

This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topicsand the answers!

Q. Do I file a Notice of Intent (NOI) if my family is religiously exempt?

A. 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.

NOTE: For more information on religious exemption, see the Virginia Homeschool Manual.

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