West Virginia Homeschool Law: An Explanation
West Virginia Code 18-8-1(a), states:
compulsory school attendance begins with the school year in which the sixth
birthday is reached prior to September 1 of such year or upon enrolling in a
publicly supported kindergarten program and, subject to subdivision (3) of this
subsection, continues to the sixteenth birthday or for as long as the student
continues to be enrolled in a school system after the sixteenth birthday.
Beginning with the 2011-2012 high school freshman cohort class of students, and
notwithstanding the provisions of section one of this article, compulsory school
attendance begins with the school year in which the sixth birthday is reached
prior to September 1 of such year or upon enrolling in a publicly supported
kindergarten program and continues to the seventeenth birthday or for as long as
the student continues to be enrolled in a school system after the seventeenth
[NOTE: A student under 18 who wants a driver’s
license or permit should continue to file the notice of intent and annual
West Virginia Code 18-8-1 subsection (c) contains
two subdivisions that allow an exemption to compulsory attendance for “home
instruction.” Under subdivision (1), the approval option, the county
superintendent and school board must approve a “request for home
instruction;” each county determines its own guidelines for homeschool
approval and reporting (see below for more details). In subdivision (2), the
notice of intent option, the law specifies what a family must do to homeschool.
It also requires that a superintendent must obtain an order from the circuit
court to stop a family from homeschooling, which means that the superintendent
must have proof that a child’s education is being neglected.
Most WV homeschool students file for an exemption to
compulsory attendance under subdivision 2, the notice of intent option.
of intent option -- subdivision (2) – requires the person
providing home instruction to:
file a notice of intent to homeschool annually with the county board of
education. The notice must include the name, age, grade level, and address of
the children to be instructed;
submit evidence of the instructor’s high school diploma or equivalent;
outline a plan of instruction
submit a report of an academic assessment each year by June 30 for each
homeschooled student. Assessment options include:
Any nationally normed, standardized achievement test
in reading, language, math, science, and social
administered under standardized conditions according
to publisher’s instructions (WVHEA’s testing service is authorized by the
publisher, McGraw-Hill, and has been approved by the West Virginia Department of
may NOT be administered by the parents
must have been published within the previous 10
criteria for acceptable progress can be met in one
of two ways:
Mean percentile score is equal to or greater than
If the mean percentile score is less than 50, but shows improvement
from previous year. WVDE agrees that improvement can be shown by a 1%
increase in percentile score (as per ESEA – No Child Left Behind Act) or an
increase in the scale score in the same test series (CTB/McGraw-Hill).
-- participation in the testing program in the public
schools. Criteria for progress is determined by current state guidelines for
school testing programs. Parents should notify the
county superintendent's office as early as possible if they plan to use this
option to ensure space and materials will be available.
Portfolio -- a
portfolio of samples of the child’s work reviewed by a certified teacher. The
portfolio itself is not “turned in” to any county official. The
parent submits a narrative signed by the reviewer stating whether the child’s
progress is in accordance with his/her abilities. The narrative must include a
statement about the child’s progress in reading, language, mathematics,
science, and social studies and note areas, if any, which show need for
improvement or remediation.
Alternative academic assessment – the type of assessment is agreed upon by the parent and
the county. Possibilities include grades and evaluations from a correspondence
school or video curriculum; results of a developmentally appropriate skills test
or professional assessment; evaluation through a program for special needs; a
daily log of instruction; a standardized test administered with modifications to
published instructions such as extended time limits or reading done by the test
administrator. If you have some other idea, check with your superintendent when
you submit your notice of intent and see what can be worked out.
initiate a remedial program if the student does not demonstrate acceptable
yearly progress (AYP).
the 1st year that AYP is not achieved, the county board must notify
parents in writing of the services available to determine whether the child is
eligible for special education services. Parents are not required to use such
services nor will the identification of a disability preclude the continuation
the 2nd consecutive year that AYP is not achieved, parents must provide
evidence that appropriate instruction is being provided. This does not give
the superintendent or the school board the power to approve or disapprove the
option -- subdivision (1) – specifies that:
the county board of education and the county
superintendent approve the home instruction program, including the instructor
and the place where the instruction takes place.
county board may deny someone the right to homeschool. The board must furnish
good and reasonable justification in writing when it denies a request to
the length of the school year must equal the school
term of the county.
the county superintendent may request that
information and records related to instruction, progress of the student, and
attendance be submitted to the county board.
(3) applies to both subdivision (1) and (2):
all available textbooks, resources, and other teaching materials, at the request
of the instructor.
· The county can allow homeschooled children to attend classes at the local public school, if the instructor requests it, subject to availability and normal registration.