Q: When does the new curriculum description law go into effect, and what information should be included?
A: The curriculum description law change goes into effect July 1, 2012. For those who file a Notice of Intent, the new language limits the required curriculum description to “a list of subjects.” Parents should include only a list of subjects they plan to study, i.e., English, mathematics, history, Bible, science, PE, etc. Parents are no longer required to include course descriptions, outlines, textbook titles, explanations of methods, tables of contents, or scope and sequences as requested by some superintendents.
The new language is in italics below:
§ 22.1-254.1 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, limited to a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year, and evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing home instruction as required by subsection A.
The law does not give the division superintendent authority to “approve” the curriculum. Even though you may have previously included extensive descriptions that showed the in-depth work you planned to do, this type of detailed information is not necessary. Please do not exceed the requirements of the law.