The Buena Vista City School Board recognizes that when the requirements of Va. Code § 22.1-254.1 are complied with 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
(i) holds a high school diploma
(ii) is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education
(iii) provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner
(iv) or provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child.
For purposes of this policy, "parent" means the biological parent or adoptive parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of a child.
NOTIFICATION BY PARENTS
Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance shall annually notify the division superintendent no later than August 15 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. 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 comply with the requirements of this policy within thirty 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.
EVIDENCE OF PROGRESS
A parent who elects to provide home instruction to a child who is over the age of six as of September 30 of the school year shall provide the division superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either (i) evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine any nationally normed standardized achievement test or (ii) 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 (a) 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 (b) a report card or transcript from a community college or college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school.
In the event that evidence of progress as required in this subsection is not provided by the parent, the home instruction program for that child may be placed on probation for one year. Parents shall file with the division superintendent evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education for their child and a remediation plan for the probationary year which indicates their program is designed to address any educational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the division superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence are not accepted or the required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following the probationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent shall make other arrangements for the education of the child which comply with Va. Code § 22.1-254.
Any parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of a child being home instructed, exempted or excused from school attendance shall comply with the immunization requirements provided in Va. Code § 32.1-46 in the same manner and to the same extent as if the child has been enrolled in and is attending school.
Upon request by the division superintendent, the parent shall submit to such division superintendent documentary proof of immunization in compliance with Va. Code § 32.1-46.
No proof of immunization shall be required of any child upon submission of (i) an affidavit to the division superintendent stating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the parent's or guardian's religious tenets or practices or (ii) a written certification from a licensed physician or nurse practitioner that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to the child's health, indicating the specific nature of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization.
NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS
Students receiving home instruction and their parents will be notified 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. Such notice will be given when the parent notifies the division that the student will receive home instruction.
Adopted: 08/23/04; 06/27/05; 08/24/06; 06/26/08
Legal Refs: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1‑254, 22.1‑254.1, 22.1-271.4,
32.1-46.Pollard v. Goochland County School Board, No. 3:00CV563 (E.D. Va. Sept. 27, 2001).