PSAT vs. Standardized Achievement Test

Can the PSAT be used in place of a standardized achievement test for end-of-year homeschool testing in  Virginia? What are the differences between the PSAT and the SAT? On our blog, Yvonne Bunn demystifies Virginia homeschool law and helps beginners…

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Testing Virginia Homeschoolers

This weekly Q&A Live session with Yvonne Bunn answers your questions about what is required by law for end-of-year testing for Virginia homeschoolers, whether you choose a standardized test or private evaluation! Join us on Facebook each Wednesday afternoon at…

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Testing Accommodations

Q. Can I use testing accommodations for my child who is a struggling reader? A. Unless your child has a documented learning disability, you should comply with the test publisher’s instructions for test administration. Typically, you should test him at…

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Homeschool Probation by Mistake

A. I received a letter that I have been put on probation! I hand-delivered my Notice of Intent and test scores at the same time. My children scored above average. What should I do? B. This may be a mistake….

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Testing Before Homeschooling

Q. I moved from out of state and filed a Notice of Intent for the first time. The superintendent’s office replied that I needed to send in test scores before they could accept my NOI. Is this correct? A. No, this…

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Graduating Early

Q. Is it possible to graduate my 16-year-old Virginia homeschooled teen early since she has completed all her high school work, including several dual-enrollment college classes? Do I need permission from the superintendent?   A. Yes, you can graduate your…

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Sharing Information

Q. Although we provided test results and then notified that we were moving to another county, our previous superintendent has requested a copy of the “approval” letter from the new superintendent in order to confirm my child is being homeschooled….

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Public School Grade Placement

Q. My elementary-age children may need to return to public school. What can I do to make sure they will be placed in the correct grade? A. Each school district makes its own policies for students transferring to public school…

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Grade Level Assessment

Q. My daughter did not do well in a private school last year. I’m having her tutored this summer to catch up, but I don’t know what grade she should be in when we start to homeschool in the fall….

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Testing a Kindergartener

Q. My kindergartner will be six this May. Does he need to be tested? I’m confused about what is meant by the phrase “the school year” in Virginia homeschool statute. Does it mean this school year or next school year? …

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Testing with a Local School

Q. When I filed my Notice of Intent, the school district offered to test my child in the spring with the Iowa test. They said not many homeschoolers use this free service. Is there a reason? A. A few school…

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Testing and the Composite Score

Q. When testing, do you administer all or part of the standardized achievement test? A. The Virginia homeschool statute, § 22.1-254.1 (C), requires a composite score in or above the 4th stanine on a standardized achievement test. A composite score…

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Testing If Behind in One Subject

Q. My two elementary-age children did not do well in math, so I put them back one grade level in math when we began homeschooling in  September. They are doing well in other subjects. Do I have to test them…

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Testing at Public School

Q. Must my child take the history and science portions of a standardized achievement test when he takes the test at a public school? A. The law requires that a parent submit “evidence that the child has attained a composite…

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Common Core and Achievement Tests

Q. I’m concerned that my standardized achievement test is aligned with the Common Core and I don’t know it. How can I find out? This is a valid concern. Although we expect new versions of tests to move toward alignment…

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Testing Special Needs

Q. I have a child who is struggling to learn. I may need to have him tested, but I don’t know where to begin. Can you help? A. I know this can be a challenging situation for you and for…

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When To Test

Q. When should homeschoolers test? A. If you decide to use a standardized achievement test, the law requires you to provide a composite test score in or above the fourth stanine (23 percentile) by August 1 each year (§22.1-254.1 (C)….

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NOI Denied Without Test Scores

Q. We homeschooled last year but didn’t test because my teen wanted to go to public school this year. After eight weeks, I took him out and filed a NOI to begin homeschooling, but the superintendent denied my NOI because…

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Response Letter

Q. I received a Notice of Intent response letter from my superintendent stating that my child must be tested in the spring and results sent by August 1. My child is a five-year-old kindergartener. Is this correct and what should…

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Stopped Homeschooling – What To Do

Q. I filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) a few weeks ago, but have since enrolled my children in private school. What should I do about the NOI? A. Although the law does not require you to notify the superintendent…

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2015 PSAT Information Update

The PSAT® is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 2015. A homeschooler must register for the PSAT® at the local public high school in the school district in which he resides or at another school close by. Some larger private schools also provide…

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Test Scores Lost or Late

Q. What happens if a parent fails to send in test scores or sends them in late? A. If a parent does not provide test results or an evaluation letter—or if a parent sends test results after the August 1…

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SOLs and Reenrollment

Q. Is there a law that requires homeschooled students to make up missed SOL’s if they re-enrolled in public school? A. Public schools may—and often do—require SOL testing for transfer students, whether from homeschools, private schools, or out-of-state schools. If…

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AP Test

Q. My teen would like to take the Japanese AP exam from the public school next year. They do not offer this course. Can she still take the exam at the school? A. Yes, §22.1-254.1(F) states that local school boards…

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Evaluator Requirements

Q. What do I need to do to become certified as an evaluator for homeschool students? A. Special training or evaluator certification is not required to become an evaluator for homeschooled students. The testing statute, 22.1-254.1 (C), states the parent…

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Testing a Kindergartener

Q. I recently received a letter from my county superintendent saying my kindergartener must be tested. I didn’t think I needed to test this year. What should I do? A. Don’t be alarmed by this testing reminder. You have likely…

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Testing Level

Q. Which test level should I use to show educational progress? The one for the present year or the one for the year my child will be entering next fall? A. Unless the test publisher gives different ordering instructions, a…

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Evaluation Letter Contents

Q. What should be included in an evaluation letter? A. An evaluation letter should be written on letterhead with contact information and signed with the evaluator’s title and credentials. He may want to include documents that substantiate his educational background…

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