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October 3, 2017

Seton Home Study School Students Don’t Need to File Notice of Intent, Official Says

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SCOTT WOODRUFF
Contact attorney for Virginia

A Virginia mom who had been teaching her child at home received a threatening letter from the public school demanding that she enroll her child in school or face the legal consequences. The mom had filed a notice of intent to provide home instruction, but had not complied with the year-end assessment requirements for a couple of years.

She sought HSLDA’s help. After looking carefully at her situation, I realized that she had never needed to file a notice of intent or year-end assessment at all! Her child was enrolled as a full-time student in Seton Home Study School, a bona fide private school based in Front Royal, Virginia.

Virginia parents do not need to file a notice of intent or year-end assessment with respect to a child who is being educated in a private school.

I wrote the school official and explained that the child was enrolled in a private school. The official promptly acknowledged that Seton Home Study School is a private school and withdrew her threat of legal action against the family.

HSLDA has advised our members for decades that full-time enrollment in Seton Home Study School satisfies Virginia compulsory attendance law, and following the homeschool laws in such cases is not necessary. We are comfortable continuing to give our members this advice.

Although this particular story involved only one school division, no division has ever pursued truancy against an HSLDA member family in the Seton program. In some situations, it might nevertheless be advantageous to follow the homeschool laws, such as where a family desires to establish eligibility for parent-taught driver education.