Home Instruction

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Parents must ensure that their child attends school in compliance with the state compulsory attendance law, when the child has reached their fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and has not passed their 18th birthday. The compulsory attendance law requires that unless the child falls within one of the specified exceptions, that they attend a public or private school or receive an education through one of the other Code of Virginia alternatives to school attendance. Home instruction (also referred to as “home schooling”) is one alternative to school attendance. Parents may home school “when the requirements...of the Code have been satisfied.”

The Code requires parents who home instruct to provide their local school division with:

  • Evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing home instruction (see "Criteria for Providing Home Instruction” below)
  • A notice of intent to home instruct
  • A list of the subjects to be studied for the coming year, and
  • Evidence of academic progress at the end of the school year, by August 1

All required documentation must be submitted to the local school division, which can be found on the Staff Listing by Division page.

Criteria for Providing Home Instruction

The Code of Virginia requires the parent providing home instruction to submit evidence to their local school division that they meet one of the following options:

  • Option I: The parent holds a high school diploma or a higher credential
  • Option II: The parent meets the qualifications of a teacher as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education
  • Option III: The parent provides the child with a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner
  • Option IV: The parent provides evidence that the parent can provide an adequate education for the child

Notice of Intent

Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance shall annually notify their local school division by August 15 of their intention to instruct the child. Parents who move into the school district or begin home instruction after the school year has begun must notify the school division as soon as practicable and comply with the provisions of the law within 30 days of such notice. Parents may use the Sample Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction to meet the notice requirement.

For additional information regarding the notice of intent requirement, please contact your local school division.

Evidence of Progress

The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall submit to their local school division, by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction, evidence of the child’s academic progress with either:

  • Evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test; or an equivalent score on the ACT, SAT, or PSAT test; or
  • 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:
    • 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
    • A report card or transcript from a community college or college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school

For additional information regarding the evidence of progress requirement, please contact your local school division.

Other Resources

Data & Statistics

  • Home Schooled Students & Religious Exemptions Reports - The number of students who have obtained an excuse from school attendance by reason of bona fide religious training or belief as well as the number of students whose parents have notified the division superintendent of their intention to provide home instruction