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Williamsburg-James City

HEAV contacted the Williamsburg-James City school board regarding the unconventionally swift, ten-day review and adoption timeframe of a policy that included text inconsistent with the home instruction law. The district’s policy incorrectly indicated parents must attain the required evidence of progress scores “on a battery of achievement tests approved by the State Board of Education for use in the public schools.”

Although the school board did not respond to our communications, the HEAV School Board Monitor Team discovered our correspondence was, indeed, received and reviewed by the school board attorney. Three months after our initial concerns were presented to the board, the policy was updated, and the error was corrected.

HEAV appreciates the board’s action in ensuring their home instruction policy is consistent with the Virginia Code.

What You Should Know:

  • The law states: “Each local school board shall maintain and follow up-to-date policies. All school board policies shall be reviewed at least every five years and revised as needed.” The review, revision, and adoption process generally takes between two to four months, ensuring the public has ample time to respond and address concerns before final action is taken on the item.
  • The law offers several evidence of progress options to parents including, “…evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test.”
  • The law does not require the State Board of Education to maintain a list of approved achievement tests. The VDOE Home Instruction Handbook notes: “…VDOE does not maintain a list of approved tests and evaluations.” The handbook verifies, ‘a parent may use any nationally normed standardized achievement test as evidence of academic achievement.’
  • Reference: HEAV’s Virginia Laws Flowchart, §22.1-254.1(C), VDOE Home Instruction Handbook, p. 8, §22.1-253.13:7

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

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