15 Jun 2017

Virginia Homeschool Regulations and Requirements

Virginia compulsory school attendance age

Beginning in the school year during which your child is or will be 5 by September 30, you must start following Virginia’s compulsory school law.

Your child can be exempted if he or she is (or will be) 5 by September 30 but will not be 6 by September 30. Notify your school board that you do not want your child to attend school until the following year because the child is not yet mentally, physically, or emotionally ready. Send your notification in writing and keep a copy. The school board is required to exempt your child.

Once your child reaches his or her 18th birthday, he or she is no longer required to obey the school laws.

If a child graduates from high school and receives a high school diploma or the equivalent, or if a child gets a passing score on the GED or other equivalency test approved by the Virginia Board of Education, school attendance laws no longer apply, even if he or she has not yet turned 18.

HSLDA believes that a parent-issued diploma and transcript should be sufficient to demonstrate that a child has completed a secondary education. However, even if your child is beyond compulsory school attendance age, there may be situations where you would want to continue to follow the requirements of a home education option recognized under Virginia law until your child graduates from high school (filing a home education notice, keeping attendance and other records, etc.). These records may be requested in some situations, such as obtaining a driver’s license if your child is a minor, enlisting in the m​i​l​i​t​a​r​y​, applying to colleges, or demonstrating eligibility for Social Security b​e​n​e​f​i​t​s​. If you are a member of HSLDA and would like additional details, please contact us.

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HSLDA Offers In-depth Legal Information for Homeschooling in Virginia – Click Here.

The importance of recordkeeping

You can find Virginia’s specific recordkeeping requirements, they are listed above. In addition to those requirements, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.

These records should include attendance records, information on the textbooks and workbooks your student used, samples of your student’s schoolwork, correspondence with school officials, portfolios and test results, and any other documents showing that your child is receiving an appropriate education in compliance with the law. You should maintain these records for at least two years. You should keep your student’s high school records and proof of compliance with the home education laws during the high school years (including any type of home education notice that you file with state or local officials) on file forever. HSLDA’s high school webpage has additional information about homeschool recordkeeping.

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