In Virginia, parents must ensure that a child attends school in compliance with the state compulsory attendance law as specified in § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia when the child has reached his 5th birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and has not passed his 18th birthday. Parents who believe that a child is not mentally, physically, or emotionally prepared to attend school may inform the school board that they want to delay school attendance until the following year if the child has not reached his 6th birthday on or before September 30.
The compulsory attendance law permits a child subject to that law to attend a private or public school or receive an education through alternatives to school attendance outlined in state law unless the child is excused from attendance by a local school board, as stated in § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia.
Home instruction or home schooling is one alternative to school attendance. In Virginia “any parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or charge of a child” may provide home instruction as prescribed by § 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.
PGCPS requires that you submit your documentation to the Student Services Department.
You may send it to the following address:
Prince George County Schools Department of Student Services
6410 Courts Drive
P.O. Box 400
Prince George, VA 23875
Other Options for Parents
Section 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia allows parents to have their children taught by a tutor or a teacher who meets the teacher licensure qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education when that individual has been approved as a tutor by the school division superintendent. To meet the qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education, the tutor must have a valid Virginia teaching license in any area and may be a parent who meets the tutor qualifications.
Parents seeking a religious exemption must petition the school board and show that, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief, the pupil, together with his parents, is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. The term bona fide religious training or belief “does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal code.” (§ 22.1-254.B.1, Code of Virginia)
Home Instruction Qualifications
As prescribed in § 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia, any parent who elects to home instruct a child in lieu of school attendance must meet certain requirements annually.
A parent may be eligible to provide home instruction by complying with one of the four options indicated below:
- The teaching parent holds a high school diploma.
- The parent has earned a high school diploma or a higher credential (e.g., a certificate, an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a doctorate). A high school equivalency certificate (e.g., a GED) would not meet this requirement.
- The teaching parent meets the qualifications for a teacher prescribed by the Board of Education.
- The teaching parent provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner.
- If the child is enrolled in a correspondence course or distance learning program, the parent must submit evidence of such enrollment and a list of the subjects to be studied for the coming year to the school division; however, no judgment of the materials is required of the school division superintendent. If the teaching parent provides a program of study or curriculum that is delivered through any other manner, a list of the courses to be studied for the coming year must be submitted to the school division. Submission of these materials is for information purposes only.
- For driver education correspondence courses, the Virginia Department of Education approves these programs as specified in § 22.1-205, Code of Virginia. (See http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/citizen/drivers/homeschoolers.asp for information about driver education correspondence programs for home schooled students.)
- The teaching parent provides evidence that he or she is able to provide an adequate education for the child.
- Evidence of a parent’s ability to provide an adequate education is locally determined. Prior to submitting the notice of intent and other required documents, it is recommended that parents contact the local school division to determine what its requirements are for this option.
Parents may continue to use the Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives as a basis for their programs of study under any of the options in § 22.1-254.1.A , if they choose to do so. You will find information about the SOL objectives at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/index.shtml.
For more information regarding Homeschooling contact:
You may also call 804-733-2700