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A parent contacted HEAV after receiving written correspondence from a local school official advising that her child will be marked absent until they receive notification of the “approval” of her homeschool “application.” HEAV corresponded with division counsel regarding the importance of processing notice of intents promptly and ensuring school personnel communicate the law accurately to parents.

Stafford’s division counsel thanked HEAV for sharing our concerns and advised they will continue ongoing efforts to ensure staff use correct terminology regarding home instruction and understand the governing statute. Counsel also thanked HEAV for the educational resources provided on our website. HEAV appreciates Stafford’s prompt and positive response.

What You Should Know:

  • It is not uncommon for district personnel to be unfamiliar with the law.
  • HEAV believes it is essential for each parent to know the law for themselves (see “Reference” section below).
  • The law does not indicate public school districts have the statutory authority to “approve” a parent’s decision to enroll in a private school, hire a Virginia-certified tutor, or homeschool.
  • The law states: “Any parent who…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.”
  • The superintendent is responsible for promptly processing legal homeschool documentation and updating their systems.
    If the superintendent’s office does not process a notice of intent and update public school systems promptly, an inappropriate truancy investigation may be triggered. This could result in an unnecessary burden to both district staff and parents.
  • Reference: HEAV Law Flowchart, HEAV’s Information for School Personnel, HEAV’s 2023 Letter to Superintendents, HEAV’s Notice of Intent Form, 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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