Homeschooling Mid-Year: Starting Immediately
Q. How do I withdraw my child from public school and begin homeschooling during the school year?
A. The Virginia homeschool law provides a way for parents to start homeschooling after the start of the school year. It states:
“Any parent who moves into a school division or begins home instruction after the school year has begun shall notify the division superintendent of his intention to provide home instruction as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with the requirements of this section within 30 days of such notice.” (§22.1-254.1(B))
Parents who are withdrawing their children from public school should complete the steps provided in our beginning mid-year guide and retain proof of their compliance with the law BEFORE removing their child(ren) from a public school.
Proof of compliance includes evidence that you have submitted a Notice of Intent form or letter to the division superintendent or his designee. Evidence could include a certified mail receipt, a time-date stamp from an email, a signature for a hand-delivered NOI, or a fax confirmation receipt. Keep this evidence of compliance along with a copy of your Notice of Intent form or letter.
When You Can Begin Homeschooling
The law does not require parents to receive approval to homeschool or wait for a response from the superintendent or his designee. It requires notification of your intent to provide home instruction.
Once you have notified the superintendent of your intent to homeschool and have proof you have submitted your notification, you may begin homeschooling.*
Unfortunately, it is common for school personnel to be unfamiliar with the homeschool law. Parents may, for example, be incorrectly advised by their child’s teacher or school staff that they are “not allowed” to homeschool until they’re “approved” to do so or their child will be marked absent. The law does not say this. In these situations, it is prudent to request the representative put their feedback in writing to be forwarded to the superintendent’s office. It is the superintendent’s responsibility to know the law, promptly process homeschool notices of intent or other documentation, and update public school records. The law does not require the parent to wait for this process to take place. A parent is required to provide notification to the superintendent of their intent to homeschool, not ask permission or seek approval.
*Please consult an attorney if you have a special circumstance, have a joint custody agreement, or are involved in court proceedings.
How To Withdraw from Public School
The law does not address the procedure for withdrawing a child from public school, however, local schools may have withdrawal policies in place. Informing the school that your child will not return may prevent an unnecessary truancy investigation.
If you have any questions regarding this process, or if it is an emergency situation, please contact HEAV for accurate information.