Q. Am I required to provide my child’s date of birth on my city’s Notice of Intent form?

A. No, the Virginia homeschool law, §22.1-254.1, DOES NOT require parents to disclose the birth dates or the grade levels of their children in order to homeschool. Many parents are concerned about privacy issues. A name and birth date can be used to track children. In order to show that a child is under compulsory school laws, a parent can provide a child’s age instead.

Because school officials are accustomed to having birth dates for public school students, some think they must have the same information for homeschooled students as well. To add to the confusion, some school districts’ websites, as well as the Virginia Department of Education website, have Notice of Intent (NOI) forms that ask for birth dates and grade levels. The law does not require you to use their form or any form. You may write a letter instead.

Don’t be intimidated by a follow-up phone call or letter from the superintendent’s office stating your NOI will not be “approved” without this information. Some parents quickly supply the requested information for fear of jeopardizing their right to homeschool. The law does not support a superintendent’s denial of a parent’s right to homeschool for this reason.

Please consider the implications of providing more information than is legally required. If enough parents comply, we can expect more unauthorized requests such as notarized signatures, social security numbers, birth certificates, etc.

I suggest parents download and print HEAV’s NOI form here. And, as always, it is important to KNOW the law–and to be cordial and polite–when speaking with those in your division superintendent’s office.

Yvonne Bunn

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