Virginia Law


There are several provisions under the Virginia law which enable parents to home educate their children. These provide the means for all parents to educate their children at home. GRHE has compiled this information to assist parents in understanding how they may home educate in Virginia. We are not lawyers and this information does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that families join Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to obtain legal counsel. GRHE doesn’t endorse any specific avenue to home educate your child.
It is important that parents read and understand the law completely and choose the best option for your family.
You can obtain a quick overview of the Law, in graphical form, at the following page from Home School Legal Defense Association: Summary of VA Homeschool

Instructions for Home Educating in Virginia

Please note: THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE GIVING OF LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT HSLDA FOR LEGAL ADVICE

  1. 1984 HOME INSTRUCTION STATUTE, § 22.1-254.1. Declaration of policy requirements for home instruction of children.
    1. When the requirements of this section have been satisfied, instruction of children by their parents is an acceptable alternative form of education under the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any parent of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday may elect to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance if he
      1. holds a high school diploma; or
      2. is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education; or
      3. provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner; or
      4. provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child.
    2. Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance shall annually notify the division superintendent in August of his intention to so instruct the child and provide a description of the curriculum to be followed for the coming year and evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing home instruction as required by subsection A.Effective July 1, 2000, parents electing to provide home instruction shall provide such annual notice no later than August 15. Any parent who moves into a school division or 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 division superintendent shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the number of students in the school division receiving home instruction.
      Explantion of Section A & B
    3. Testing- The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall provide the division superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either
      1. evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test or
      2. an evaluation or assessment which the division superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress, including but not limited to:
        1. an evaluation letter from a person licensed to teach in any state, or a person with a master’s degree or higher in an academic discipline, having knowledge of the child’s academic progress, stating that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress; or
        2. a report card or transcript from a community college or college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school. Explantion of Section C
    4. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a pupil and his parents from obtaining an excuse from school attendance by reason of bona fide religious training or belief pursuant to subdivision B 1 of § 22.1-254.
    5. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the division superintendent may appeal his decision within 30 days to an independent hearing officer. The independent hearing officer shall be chosen from the list maintained by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court for hearing appeals of the placements of children with disabilities. The costs of the hearing shall be apportioned among the parties by the hearing officer in a manner consistent with his findings.
    6. School boards shall implement a plan to notify students receiving home instruction pursuant to this section and their parents of the availability of Advanced Placement (AP) and Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) examinations and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take these examinations. School boards shall implement a plan to make these examinations available to students receiving home instruction.

June 2017
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