Planning to Homeschool This Fall?
Your Notice of Intent (NOI) Is Due by August 15.
Every year, we get many Notice of Intent questions—from new homeschoolers and veterans alike—about specific situations and how to handle them in their NOI. We thought it might be helpful to YOU if we rounded up the top 10 questions in one place to help you comply with Virginia homeschool laws.
So, without further ado, here are…
Your Top 10 Notice of Intent Questions!
1. Who must send in a Notice of Intent?
All parents who intend to teach their children at home under the Virginia Home Instruction Statute must submit a notice of intent to their superintendent each year. This does not include families who have filed under the religious exemption or the certified tutor statutes.
3. My child is age 5. Do I have to file a Notice of Intent?
Not necessarily. Any parent (homeschooler or not) may choose to exempt their 5-year-old for one year if they feel the child is not yet ready for kindergarten. Note: There is no state-wide form or protocol for exempting a 5-year-old. Call the superintendent’s office and tell them you wish to exempt your child. Some may want written notice; others may not.
4. How do I file my Notice of Intent?
Some school districts provide their own form—but you are not required to use it. District forms may include requests for more information than the law requires, such as grade level, school they would attend, or date of birth. HEAV’s Notice of Intent only includes information specifically required by the Virginia homeschool statute. Alternatively, you may simply write a letter notifying the district of your intent to homeschool.
5. What about the description of curriculum?
If you have chosen option (i) of the Homeschool Statute, then along with your NOI, you must provide a description of your curriculum, which is just a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year. On a separate paper, simply list each child’s name with the subjects you plan to teach, e.g. language arts, mathematics, history, science, art, music, etc.
6. Must I include my high school diploma?
If you have chosen option (i), you must include a copy of your high school diploma or a higher degree. Don’t send the original document—send a scanned copy or picture. If you can’t find your diploma, you may request a transcript from your high school or college. A GED, or High School Equivalency, is not acceptable for option (i).
7. What if I don’t have a high school or college diploma?
If you don’t have a diploma, but your spouse does, then whoever has the diploma should sign the NOI—it need not be the teaching parent. Otherwise, you may choose one of the other options on your NOI:
8. Where do I file my Notice of Intent?
Send your Notice of Intent to your local division superintendent or his designee. You can find a list of addresses here. Some districts allow emailed NOI submissions—check your district website. You may or may not receive an acknowledgement from the superintendent, but do keep a documentation such as USPS return request receipt or an emailed or hand-delivered time-stamp receipt.
9. What if I don’t know! Should I file a NOI just in case?
No. You may begin homeschooling any time during the year. If you are still undecided, simply enroll (or keep your child enrolled) in his or her current school. Then, follow these guidelines for beginning mid-year.
10. Should I withdraw my child from his current school?
If you file your NOI before the August 15 deadline, you have complied with the law and don’t need to do anything else.
If you decide to homeschool after the start of the school year, comply with the law by filing your NOI first. Once you have a receipt proving you have complied with the law, you may begin homeschooling. Though the law doesn’t require a specific withdrawal procedure, you may notify your child’s school as a courtesy, and withdraw by phone, email, letter, or signed form.
Or, contact the HEAV office at 804-278-9200, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to speak with one of our consultants.