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West Virginia

August 17, 2007

Wood County Corrects Error

After filing her notice of intent, HSLDA member Gail Trent was surprised to get a letter back telling her she needed to use the public school system’s own form. Additional sheets indicated she must teach 315 minutes per day, that only “qualified” persons could teach, and that the state content standards for each grade must be taught.

Understandably concerned, she called Home School Legal Defense Association for help. HSLDA attorney Scott A. Woodruff followed up and called the official who had sent the letter.

The official immediately acknowledged that families are not required to use the school system’s form. He also agreed that families operating under the notice of intent option, the option commonly used, are not subject to the requirements for minutes of instruction, qualification of teachers, and subject content. These only apply to families operating under West Virginia Code 18-1-1(c)(1), the approval option, which is much more restrictive.

We expect that in the future the school system will not send confusing, inappropriate approval option information to families who have clearly indicated they want to operate under the notice option. We also expect that notices of intent will not be rejected merely because they do not use the school system’s form.

The school system’s notice of intent form, on the other hand, is a model of restraint. Wood County officials and attorney Woodruff worked together a couple years ago to revise the form, so that today it lines up squarely under law.