District featured

King George County

The HEAV legislative team reached out to the superintendent after identifying several concerns located on the district’s website and notice of intent form. We addressed instances where district resources were inconsistent with the law, a directive for parents to follow a particular office processing preference or risk having their legal homeschool documents discarded, and an instruction for parents not to send homeschool documents via certified mail or they may either not be received or processing may be delayed.

After several months and follow-up inquiries, HEAV is pleased to report we have seen positive updates on the district’s website and NOI form. All items of concern have been addressed. HEAV is thankful to King George for ensuring the information provided to parents is consistent with the law and best practices.

What You Should Know:

  • It is not uncommon for district resources to be inconsistent with the law. HEAV believes it is essential for each parent to know the law for themselves. HEAV’s website contains a wealth of information, and HEAV’s NOI form is consistent with the law, VDOE guidance, and case law.
  • In Sosebee vs. Franklin County, Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons states, “The power to amend statutes is the power to make law; that power rests squarely and solely with the General Assembly, not school boards.”
  • Parents are required to comply with the law. Once they have done so, HEAV believes it is the responsibility of each public school district to ensure legal, homeschool documents are processed properly in the district office and to receive and provide signatures for mail delivered to the published mailing address.
  • The law does not require parents to comply with office processing preferences including preferred submission dates, submission formats, or delivery methods.
  • The compulsory attendance law applies to “…any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday.”
  • The law requires parents to submit an annual notice of intent by August 15th and annual evidence of progress by August 1st.
  • The law does not indicate parents must provide their child’s date of birth when notifying the school board of their decision to delay enrollment; the compulsory attendance law is based on a child’s age as of September 30th.
  • The law indicates home Instruction is a way to comply with compulsory attendance law whereas religious exemption is an exemption from compulsory attendance law.
  • The law states parents notifying under option (iii) must submit evidence they are providing the child, “with a program of study or curriculum, which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner.”
  • The Virginia Department of Education provides the following guidance for option (iii): “If the child is enrolled in a correspondence course or distance learning program, the parent must submit evidence of such enrollment and a list of the subjects to be studied for the coming year to the school division; however, no judgment of the materials is required of the school division superintendent. If the teaching parent provides a program of study or curriculum that is delivered through any other manner, a list of the courses to be studied for the coming year must be submitted to the school division. Submission of these materials is for information purposes only.” (Reference: VDOE Home Instruction Handbook, p. 5)
  • Reference: 7 Steps to Begin Homeschooling In Virginia, Notifying Under Option (iii), HEAV Law Flowchart, HEAV’s Information For School Personnel, HEAV’s 2023 Letter to Superintendents, HEAV’s Notice Of Intent Form, Virginia Supreme Court: Sosebee v. Franklin County School Board, VDOE 2023 Home Instruction Handbook, Compulsory Attendance Law, Home Instruction Law

HEAV is always available should you ever have questions or need assistance. Please contact us anytime at 804-278-9200 or via our contact form.

Patricia Beahr
HEAV Assistant Director of Government Affairs

‌Read more about school district incidents here.

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