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Wise County

A parent who had complied with the homeschool law received an unexpected home visit from two truancy officers, and we understand there are 14 other families on their list. There was no communication attempt prior to the visit, so the parent was not given an opportunity to resolve any concerns.

Because of the many variables that may be present for families that home educate, it is HEAV’s hope that home visits should not be pursued until less intrusive methods of resolution have been exhausted—a phone call, email, or letter to determine the status of the homeschool family. These are reasonable and respectful measures to take initially. In an effort to avoid further, unnecessary and uncomfortable home visits for Wise County home educators, HEAV has sent correspondence to the district to communicate our concerns and clarify the law. We are awaiting their response.

What You Should Know:

There could be several, valid reasons the district may not receive a notice of intent. Truancy should not be assumed.

  • Unfortunately, homeschool documentation may get lost or remain unprocessed in district offices. This is what happened in this situation. HEAV believes it is the best practice for all parents to retain evidence of the delivery of their homeschool documents—a certified/return receipt if mailed or a date stamp and initials if hand-delivered.
  • The law does not require parents to notify if they move out of the district, if they switch from home instruction to a private school or hire a certified tutor, or if their student is no longer under compulsory attendance laws (i.e. has graduated or turned 18). Parents may choose to notify the district as a courtesy, if they wish.
  • Home visits can be very stressful for parents and children. Remember, parents are not required to let anyone into their home without a search warrant.

Read more about school district incidents here.

We’d love to hear from you! If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at 804-278-9200 or via our contact form.

Patricia Beahr
Assistant Director of Government Affairs

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