Visit the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Home Instruction Information page. There you will find the Home Instruction Handbook and Information for Parents along with other information and resources.
The Dinwiddie County 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/she
- Holds a high school diploma or a higher credential;
- Is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education;
- Provides a program of study or curriculum which is to be delivered through a correspondence course or a distance learning program or in some other manner;
- 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, limited to a list of subjects to be studies during 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 or designee 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 on a battery of achievement tests which have been approved by the Board of Education for use in the public schools or (ii) an evaluation or assessment which, in the judgment of the division superintendent, indicates 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 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.
- Annual notification of intent to educate children at home shall be provided by parents to the superintendent by August 15th prior to the opening of school. Such notification shall include evidence of meeting one of the four legal requirements for providing home instruction: (1) holds a high school diploma or higher credential, attaches a copy of the documentation and a description of the curriculum; (2) being a teacher with qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education; (3) provides a program of study or curriculum which is to be delivered through a correspondence course or a distance learning program or in some other manner, attaches a notice of acceptance or enrollment evidence showing the name and address of the school, the courses enrolled and a description of the program of study or curriculum; or (4) the teaching parent provides evidence that the parent is able to provide an adequate education for the child and a copy of the curriculum.
- Parents who begin home instruction or who establish residence in the school division during the school year shall provide written notice of their intention to educate their children at home as soon as practicable. Within thirty days of providing such notice, the parents shall provide a description of the curriculum to be followed for the rest of the school year and evidence of meeting one of the four legal requirements for providing home instruction listed in paragraph 1 above.
- Within 10 days of the receipt of notification of intention to instruct at home, the school division shall assure that the parents have submitted evidence of having met one of the four criteria listed in paragraph numbered one above, and a description of the curriculum to be followed for the coming year. Upon request, the school division shall provide a form to assist the parent in submitting a description of the curriculum to follow.
- Within 10 days of receipt of the description of the curriculum, the school division shall notify the parents of their compliance with the home instruction standards.
- Instruction in certain courses is required for a regular high school diploma, should a student who has previously received home instruction return to Dinwiddie County High School.
- For consideration of course credit an official transcript from an accredited program must be provided for all homeschool coursework.
- Parents who are new to Dinwiddie County must provide Proof of Residency.
Home school students enrolling in Dinwiddie County Public Schools after the ninth grade shall not necessarily be placed in the grade that corresponds to the level of their home instruction. The home school curriculum shall be analyzed to determine which subjects warrant credit.
Students may receive elective credit for full-year courses not offered at the high school. Semester credit is not given.
Students shall not receive credit for any home school courses completed that have an associated SOL test until the student passes the SOL test. The student shall have two chances to pass the associated SOL test. Failure to pass after two times shall warrant the student re-taking the course.
All graduates beginning with the class of 2001-2002 shall have earned the units of credit, as required by the Standards of Quality and prescribed by the State Board of Education. All first-time ninth graders in 2003-2004 and beyond shall have earned the standard and verified credits, as required by the Standards of Quality and prescribed by the State Board of Education.
Beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014, a student must also:
- Earn a board-approved Career and Technical Education Credential to graduate with a Standard Diploma; and
- Successfully complete one virtual course, which may be non-credit bearing.
Parents who anticipate that their home-instructed child will return to Dinwiddie County Public Schools and proceed to graduate should include these subject areas in their home-schooling curriculum and should confer annually with the assistant superintendent for instruction to ensure compliance with the most current course requirements. Such parents are strongly encouraged to return their child prior to the start of the ninth grade.
The Dinwiddie County Public Schools shall not be required to place home instructed students who subsequently seek public school enrollment in specific grade level classes unless the required subject/content areas have been satisfactorily mastered, nor will the Dinwiddie County Public Schools be responsible for enforcing such course requirements on home-instructed students who may, at some future point, seek a regular high school diploma.
Any parent aggrieved by a decision of the division superintendent may appeal his/her decision to an independent hearing officer in accordance with section 22.1-254.1(E) of the Code of Virginia.