Home School Court Report
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No. 2

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Arlington Stumbles over Option Switch

This year, the Estrella family (name changed to protect privacy) decided to switch from homeschooling under Virginia's religious exemption statute to the notice of intent option. Although the family filed a proper notice of intent, they received a letter from Arlington Public Schools saying that “home instruction for your student has not been approved for the 2011–2012 school year due to incomplete records.” The letter said the Estrellas’ student was missing a record of evidence of academic progress for the 2010–11 school year.

Members of Home School Legal Defense Association, the Estrellas asked us for help. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff explained to Arlington Public Schools that the family’s student had been homeschooled under the religious exemption option for the 2011–12 school year and that the law does not require families to submit evidence of progress under that option.

Soon after, the school system informed the Estrellas that their homeschool program had been “approved.” HSLDA appreciates the school system’s tacit recognition that they erred in demanding progress records from when the student was exempt. But we also look forward to the day when Arlington recognizes that under Virginia law, families who wish to homeschool do not need to obtain prior approval from the school system.

—by Scott A. Woodruff