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5/18/2005 11:27:04 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia - School District Seeks Unauthorized Information from Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 17, 2005

Virginia - School District Seeks Unauthorized Information from
Homeschoolers

Dear Virginia Beach HSLDA member and friends:

If you homeschool under the notice of intent rather than the religious
exemption, you have probably received a letter dated May 10, 2005,
from the Coordinator of the Office of Student Services for Virginia
Beach City Public Schools. The letter outlined the requirements for
home instruction and included a form that could be used for filing
your notice of intent.

The letter said that parents who provide home instruction must notify
the superintendent annually by August 1st. I spoke to the coordinator
and she acknowledges that August 15th is the correct date, not August
1st.

The letter suggests that you must "apply" to homeschool and that you
need the "approval" of the school system. Virginia law does not
require that you apply or receive approval. I have discussed this
with the coordinator and she said that she will consider changes
before the letter goes out next year. There are requirements that
families must satisfy, but once a family has filed their notice of
intent, they can begin homeschooling immediately. They do not need to
wait for "approval" to begin home instruction. The coordinator
acknowledges this fact.

The notice of intent form that the city provided asks for a great deal
of information that is not required when you file your notice of
intent. Items the form calls for which are not required include:

1. Are you a current or previous Virginia Beach City Public School
home instruction parent?
2. First time applicant?
3. Date of birth.
4. Grade level.
5. Special education category.
6. The name of the public school the children would have attended if
enrolled.
7. Immunization information.
8. The form asks parents to "certify" certain items.

The form states that a family must notify the superintendent by August
1st if they wish to continue home instruction. The correct date is
August 15th.

The computer age has brought with it the dangers of identity theft.
For this and other reasons, I recommend that you submit to school
officials only the information that is actually required under law.

Since the Virginia Beach notice of intent form calls for information
that is not required under law, I recommend that you do not use it.
The members-only section of our website contains a notice of intent
form that covers all of the required information, but only the
information that is required. A notice of intent can also be filed in
simple letter format.

The law requires only the following for filing a notice of intent:

A. File at the appropriate time (August 15th, or "as soon as
practicable" if starting homeschooling mid year, or moving into the
state);
B. Your name and the child's name, and identify yourself as the
child's parent;
C. Briefly describe your curriculum;
D. State that the child is of compulsory attendance age, or state the
child's age;
E. Provide evidence as to which of the 4 options you are going to
homeschool under:

1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college;
2. Have qualifications the Board of Education requires to teach in a
public school;
3. Enroll the child in a correspondence course the Department of
Education has approved for this purpose; or
4. Use a curriculum or program of study that includes the Board of
Education's standards of learning objectives for language arts and
math

Please help us protect liberty for all homeschool families by only
supplying information that is required under law.

Nothing in this message, or the coordinator's letter, applies to
families homeschooling under the religious exemption. Contact us if
you would like information about whether you would qualify for the
religious exemption. Families under the exemption are not required to
file an annual notice, or a year-end evaluation.

Sincerely,


Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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