September 6, 2006

Amelia Withdraws Request for Notice from Exempt Family

The Cooks of Amelia County notified their school board that they would be homeschooling under the religious exemption. Some time later, the coordinator for student services sent them a letter saying that even though they were under religious exemption, they still needed to file a notice of intent.

This member family asked us for help. Attorney Scott Woodruff called the official to discuss the letter. She was very willing to learn as Woodruff explained how the religious exemption statute related to the notice of intent statute. He explained that families under the religious exemption are excused from filing a notice of intent, and also excused from submitting an annual evaluation.

At the conclusion of the conversation, she agreed it would not be necessary for the family to file a notice of intent.

As school boards have become more familiar with the religious exemption, many—including Amelia County’s—have conveniently added a box to check on their notice of intent form where a family can indicate that it wants to homeschool under the religious exemption. While this simplifies the administration of the religious exemption, we must be alert that it not lull officials into an erroneous belief that that the religious exemption requires an annual notice of intent.