October 10, 2001

West Virginia County Confuses Home School Options

Home schools in West Virginia may choose to operate under one of two different provisions of the law: notice or approval. The laws governing each option vary, but Wood County recently tried to combine the two in a confusing mixture.

Concerned upon receiving an unfamiliar looking form from their school district, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family sent our office a copy of the Wood County Schools Notice of Intent for Home Schooling/Application to Request Instruction in the Home or Other Approved Place. Unfortunately, the form contained misinformation about how many days and minutes must be taught per year, teacher qualifications, information to be supplied to the school district, immunization records, instructional goals and objectives, and required subjects. Although our member home schools under the "notice" category, many of the demands for information were applicable only to the "approval" option.

Another form, the county's Notice of Intent/Application Form/Request and Assurance Statement, also contained many items which parents are not required to submit under the "notice" option. It included a request for the reason why the parents chose to home school, and the grade level, sex, date of birth, and age of the children.

HSLDA immediately sent a letter to Wood County correcting their misimpressions of state law and clearly delineating the differences between the two options. We explained that our member family had already submitted all information required by West Virginia law. Although the county hasn't yet responded to our letter, the family has heard nothing further concerning the forms.