2006 Code of Virginia § 22.1-254.1 - Declaration of policy; requirements for home instruction of children

22.1-254.1. Declaration of policy; requirements for home instruction ofchildren.

A. When the requirements of this section have been satisfied, instruction ofchildren by their parents is an acceptable alternative form of educationunder the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any parent of any child whowill have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any schoolyear and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday may elect to provide homeinstruction in lieu of school attendance if he (i) holds a high schooldiploma; or (ii) is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board ofEducation; or (iii) has enrolled the child or children in a correspondencecourse approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction; or (iv) providesa program of study or curriculum which, in the judgment of the divisionsuperintendent, includes the standards of learning objectives adopted by theBoard of Education for language arts and mathematics or provides evidencethat the parent is able to provide an adequate education for the child.

B. Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of schoolattendance shall annually notify the division superintendent in August of hisintention to so instruct the child and provide a description of thecurriculum to be followed for the coming year and evidence of having met oneof the criteria for providing home instruction as required by subsection A.Effective July 1, 2000, parents electing to provide home instruction shallprovide such annual notice no later than August 15. Any parent who moves intoa school division or begins home instruction after the school year has begunshall notify the division superintendent of his intention to provide homeinstruction as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with therequirements of this section within 30 days of such notice. The divisionsuperintendent shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction of thenumber of students in the school division receiving home instruction.

C. The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall provide thedivision superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which thechild has received home instruction with either (i) evidence that the childhas attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on anynationally normed standardized achievement test or (ii) an evaluation orassessment which the division superintendent determines to indicate that thechild is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress.

In the event that evidence of progress as required in this subsection is notprovided by the parent, the home instruction program for that child may beplaced on probation for one year. Parents shall file with the divisionsuperintendent evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education fortheir child in compliance with subsection A and a remediation plan for theprobationary year which indicates their program is designed to address anyeducational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by thedivision superintendent, the home instruction may continue for oneprobationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence are not accepted orthe required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following theprobationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent shall makeother arrangements for the education of the child which comply with 22.1-254. The requirements of subsection C shall not apply to children whoare under the age of six as of September 30 of the school year.

D. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a pupil and his parents fromobtaining an excuse from school attendance by reason of bona fide religioustraining or belief pursuant to subdivision B 1 of 22.1-254.

E. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the division superintendent mayappeal his decision within 30 days to an independent hearing officer. Theindependent hearing officer shall be chosen from the list maintained by theExecutive Secretary of the Supreme Court for hearing appeals of theplacements of children with disabilities. The costs of the hearing shall beapportioned among the parties by the hearing officer in a manner consistentwith his findings.

F. School boards shall implement a plan to notify students receiving homeinstruction pursuant to this section and their parents of the availability ofAdvanced Placement (AP) and Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)examinations and the availability of financial assistance to low-income andneedy students to take these examinations. School boards shall implement aplan to make these examinations available to students receiving homeinstruction.

(1984, c. 436; 1986, c. 215; 1991, c. 306; 1992, c. 131; 1993, c. 992; 1994,c. 854; 1998, c. 435; 1999, cc. 488, 552; 2005, c. 377; 2006, cc. 562, 567,911, 932.)

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