In West Virginia, you can choose one of two legal options by which you may homeschool. The first option enables you to homeschool by seeking approval from the local school board. The second option enables you to homeschool by sending a notification to the school board or superintendent.
Homeschooling by seeking school board approval
If you choose to seek approval from your local school board, you will be required to teach the subjects approved by the school board for 180 days per year. Instruction must be in a place approved by the board and for a time equal to the school term of
the county. If requested, you must furnish attendance, instruction, and progress information. The school board may deny approval in writing for “good and reasonable justification.” The board also determines the method of assessment you
must use in your homeschool. Although HSLDA does not generally recommend this approach, it may be appropriate for some families. Members, please contact HSLDA for personal assistance in considering this option. To become a member of HSLDA,
Homeschooling by submitting a notice of intent
Parents may also choose to homeschool by submitting a notice that meets certain requirements to the school board or superintendent. HSLDA recommends this approach because it does not require obtaining permission to homeschool; as long as the notification complies with the law, the child is excused from compulsory attendance.
To homeschool under this option, you must follow these requirements:
1. Ensure that the person providing the home instruction has the required qualification.
The person providing home instruction must have a high school diploma or equivalent, or a post-secondary degree or certificate from a regionally accredited institution.
2. File a notice of intent with your school board or superintendent.
Your notice of intent must include your child’s name, address, and age. You must assure that your child will be instructed in reading, language, mathematics, science, and social studies and assessed annually. You must also provide evidence that the person providing home instruction possesses the required qualification.
The law requires that you submit the notice on or before the date you begin homeschooling.
Your notice of intent is effective until you move to a different county or stop homeschooling.
The superintendent is not legally permitted to deny your notice of intent. If a superintendent believes a parent’s right to homeschool should be denied, he or she must seek an order from the circuit court, which will only be granted if the superintendent shows evidence that the child will suffer educational neglect.
If you receive any communication from the superintendent or an attendance director that asserts denial of your notice of intent or threatens legal action, HSLDA members should contact us immediately. HSLDA members may use our sample notice of intent attached below.
3. Assess your student annually.
You are required to obtain an assessment each year that you homeschool and to maintain copies of the assessment for three years. You may choose one of four options to assess your child.
One, you may select any nationally normed, standardized achievement test published not more than 10 years previously. The test must be administered by someone qualified according to the test publisher and according to the instructions of the test publisher. The test must cover reading, language, mathematics, science, and social studies. A child who scores in the 4th stanine (23rd percentile) or higher, or whose score has improved since the previous year’s assessment results, is considered to have made “acceptable progress” under the law. HSLDA members may use our sample test reporting form attached below to report these scores.
Two, you may choose to participate in the public school testing program. Acceptable progress will be based on the state testing program guidelines.
Three, you may obtain a written narrative that indicates a certified teacher has reviewed a portfolio of your child’s work and determined that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities. The narrative must include a statement about progress in the areas of reading, language, math, science, and social studies and note, if any, which areas show need for improvement or remediation. HSLDA members can use our sample assessment narrative attached below to fulfill this step.
Four, if the superintendent agrees, the child may complete any alternative academic assessment of proficiency. Acceptable progress will be determined by agreement between the superintendent and the parents.
Here is what will happen if your child does not demonstrate acceptable progress:
If assessment under one of the options above does not show acceptable progress, you may request the county to notify you in writing of available services to assess your child’s special education eligibility. You are required to initiate a remedial program. The remedial program does not need to be submitted to or approved by the school district, but it must foster acceptable progress. Members of HSLDA may contact us for further advice if they have any concerns about their child meeting acceptable progress standards.
4. Submit certain assessments.
You must submit the results of the assessment for your child for 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 11th grades to the county superintendent by June 30 of those years.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.