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 strongly encourages all parents to retain proof 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 notify the district as a courtesy, but it is not required. Home visits, especially those that are made unnecessarily or in error, can be very stressful for parents and children. Remember, parents are not required to let anyone into their home without a search warrant.
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