Virginia Homeschooling Laws
Homeschooling in Virginia can be achieved through four different options available:
1. A home study program
2. Teaching with a religious exemption
3. Having a certified teacher provide instruction
4. Homeschooling in a private school
Homeschooling requirements in Virginia
There are 3 basic homeschooling methods in the state:
1. Home study program under the homeschooling statute which requires parents to meet the education requirements provided, submit their notice of intention to homeschool, ensure the child has been vaccinated and submit an annual academic report.
2. Obtain a religious exemption to exclude your child from attending a public school with valid religious reasons.
3. Having a certified teacher give instruction to homeschoolers.
This page provides information on how to legally homeschool in Virginia including:
· Requirements to Homeschool in Virginia
· Letter of Intention to Homeschool
· Enrolling in a Homeschool program
· Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Virginia
· Requirements for Graduation
· Switching from Homeschool to Public School
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Virginia
Every child between 5 years and 18 years in Virginia must attend school, either in a public school, private school or a homeschool. Most families who choose to homeschool their children prefer to do so under the statute on homeschooling which requires every family to:
1. Submit a notice of intention to homeschool
2. Submit a list of the intended subjects and curriculum for the preceding academic year
3. Proof that the parent giving instruction has a high school diploma, a GED or is certified as a teacher in Virginia, proof that the child will receive instruction in the homeschool, online school or that the parent will give adequate instruction.
4. Submit an annual progress report of the child before 1st of August of that year.
Homeschooling by a Certified Teacher
Families who opt for this method should ensure that:
· The teacher is certified by the state
· The superintendent of school approves the certification
· Teaching can be either in the homestead or outside the home
· Any parent or appointed individual can provide instruction so long as they are certified
· Provided the credentials of the tutor are updated, there is no need to submit the annual assessment records or notifications.
Homeschooling under a Religious Exemption clause in Virginia
The exemption is only granted to families that:
· Have strong beliefs against enrolling their children to a school
· Have evidence of the religious beliefs against enrolling their children to a school and submit the evidence to a school board
· Do not base the beliefs on sociological, personal, philosophical or political views
Homeschooling in a Private School
Students in private schools are allowed to receive instruction online so long as the amount of time required for instruction is achieved; the number of days in a year, the hours in a day and during the same period as public school students.
Notice of Intent to Homeschool in Virginia
Parents in Virginia are required to submit their notice of intention to the superintendent of schools in their district before 15th of August. Homeschooling can start at your preferred time but is considered legal after one submits this notice. This notice is not necessarily a standard form; it can be a letter showing the intention to homeschool and the qualifications of the tutor. The office may however provide official forms to act as notices.
Parents can show that they are qualified to teach by providing a copy of their diploma from high school or transcripts, certification of the tutor or evidence that the tutor is certified such as an enrollment letter in a teaching school. The notice should include the subjects that will be taught in the coming academic year. One may submit the letter either online or via certified mail for those who wish to have a receipt as evidence of submission.
Transferring from Public School to a Home Study program
Parents are required to formally withdraw their children by informing the school of their decision to homeschool so as to avoid any truancy complications. It is a good idea to first submit your notice of intent and wait for confirmation of receipt from the school before withdrawing the child from the school.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Virginia
Homeschoolers under the statute are required to submit proof of the child’s academic progress every year. This evidence may be in the form of:
· An assessment or evaluation
· State standardized tests results
The student who chooses to take standardized test must pass above the 4th stanine or get an equivalent score on the SAT, ACT or PSAT. Students choosing to be evaluated must ensure it is done by a certified teacher, could also be a report form from a correspondence school or a community college.
Parents are advised to create a homeschool portfolio which is beneficial when creating homeschool transcripts, returning to public or private school after homeschooling, applying to colleges, universities, and workplaces, as well as the military. Some of the things the parent should consider to include in the portfolio are: work samples completed by the student, tests taken while homeschooling, a summary of the curriculum, a detailed high school transcript for students in high school, etc. Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Requirements for Graduation in Virginia
There are no requirements to graduate for homeschoolers in Virginia. Parents are advised to discuss with the student of their post- secondary interests, such as joining colleges/universities, the military or workplaces, so as to align the homeschool goals and the curriculum with those. For students who wish to join colleges or universities after high school, parents should research on the minimum requirements to join those institutions to guide in curriculum creation.
It is also recommended to inquire from local schools on the requirements for graduation for high schoolers in public schools for comparison and to ensure your homeschooler’s credits are relevant and relatable to those of other students from public schools.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Virginia.
Diploma requirements in Virginia
High schoolers in Virginia must complete 22 credits to graduate and receive a diploma.
Parents in Virginia have the liberty to determine when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms.
|Testing requirements in Virginia
|There is no law in Virginia that forces high schoolers to take a test to graduate.
There is no law in Virginia that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Virginia high school transcripts
The transcripts awarded should have information on particulars of the student, the scores on standardized tests taken, attendance records, credit history by title of subjects, grades awarded in each credit and the overall grade in every semester as well as the credit totals.
Parents in Virginia can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in Virginia
|Students must complete 4 credits in English, 3 credits in science laboratory, 3 credits in mathematics,3 credits in social studies, 2 credits in foreign language, 2 credits in physical education and health, fine arts or career, credits in technical education, 1 credit in personal finance and economics, and 4 credits in electives.
Many parents in Virginia choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in Virginia
Students who are 18 years and above but do not have a high school diploma are eligible to take the GED. They must not be enrolled in a public school while taking the test.
Homeschoolers in Virginia are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Virginia
There are no laws in Vermont on reenrolling back to public school after homeschooling. Every school in Virginia has different rules and guidelines in enrolling students from homeschools. It is the duty of every parent to inquire from the school the requirements they must meet to have their students enrolled in that particular school. Most schools may require the homeschool records to assist in appropriate placement of the child while others may require the child to take a placement test. The decision on homeschool credits and grades that can be transferred to public schools lies with each specific division.
Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Virginia
Have other questions about homeschooling in Virginia? You may find the following pages helpful.