Mom helping two young students at home

Homeschooling

In Virginia, a child must attend school in compliance with the state compulsory attendance law. This means they must begin attending school when the child has reached their fifth birthday on or before Sept. 30 and has not passed their eighteenth birthday. 

Home instruction (also referred to as homeschooling) is one alternative to school attendance. 

Parents may provide home instruction following requirements as stated in §  22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Read the Home Instruction Handbook for more details about guidelines and requirements. A CCPS home instruction specialist is available to help with the necessary steps to legally provide home instruction.

A parent or guardian who elects to provide home instruction must notify the superintendent’s designee of this intention annually by Aug. 15. A parent who moves into Chesterfield County or begins home instruction after the beginning of the school year must provide notification as soon as practicable and comply within 30 days. 

Submit the 2024-25 Notice of Intent form.

Notice of Intent forms for 2024-25 will be processed beginning June 1.

When submitting a notice of intent please submit all the required documents, including evidence of progress and the list of subjects to be studied to expedite the process.

Evidence of progress must be submitted annually by Aug. 1 for the previous school year.

Once all documents are received, you will receive a verification letter. If applicable, your student will be withdrawn from Chesterfield County Public Schools.

The notice of intent and evidence of progress may also be submitted via email or mail. Please note that submitting documents in this manner may require additional time to process.

CCPS does not provide curriculum materials. Visit the Virginia Department of Education for more information about curriculums. Additionally, there is no master list of correspondence schools and distance learning programs for parents to review. Parents must identify a program that meets their child’s unique needs.

To begin home instruction, follow these steps:

Young student working alone at home.

Mother helping student working at home

Evidence Of Progress

To comply with Virginia state law, evidence of academic progress must be submitted to the CCPS home instruction specialist annually by Aug. 1. Note: the evaluation requirement does not apply to children under the age of six as of September 30. Evidence of academic progress may be provided in one of the following ways:

  1. Attainment of a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test; or an equivalent score on the ACT, SAT or PSAT test; or 

  2. An evaluation or assessment  which the division’s superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress, including, but not limited to:

    1. an evaluation letter stating the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress from

      • a person licensed to teach in any state or

      • a person with a master’s degree or higher in an academic discipline who has knowledge of the child’s academic progress

    2. a report card or transcript from a college, college distance learning program or home-education correspondence school

Examples of nationally-normed, standardized tests include: The California Achievement Test (CAT), the IOWA Assessments, the Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford 10), TerraNova2, PSAT, SAT and ACT tests. Parents may submit their child’s test scores from a nationally-normed, standardized achievement assessment of their choosing. CCPS does not maintain a list of test publishers; parents must identify and purchase an applicable test for their child. Any evaluation or assessment must be sufficient to allow the division's superintendent to determine the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress.

Note: Score reports for the ACT, SAT or PSAT test may not contain scores expressed in stanines. These tests may show reports in percentiles. Students with a national composite score at or above a percentile score of 23 meet the requirement for academic progress.

If the child’s performance does not fall within the fourth stanine, the equivalent or higher, or the required evidence of progress is not provided, the child may continue with home instruction the following school year. The home instruction program may be placed on probation for one year and the parent/guardian must file a remediation plan and evidence of the ability to provide an adequate education. The division's superintendent is not required to place the program on probation or accept the remediation plan. However, if the plan and evidence are not accepted or the required evidence is not provided by Aug. 1 following the probationary year, home instruction must end and the parent must make other arrangements that comply with the compulsory attendance law.

Other options for parents

Virginia Certified Tutor option to provide home instruction under §22.1-254(A) of the Code of Virginia: Under the certified tutor option, parents do not file a Notice of Intent

Notification should be in the form of a letter indicating that you are in compliance with  §22.1-254(A).

A child may receive home instruction from a tutor who holds a valid Virginia teaching license and has been approved as a tutor by the superintendent. An approved tutor remains approved as long as they hold a valid teaching license. The tutor may be a parent if they meet the tutor qualifications.

  • Parents who select this option must notify the division home instruction office in writing. 

  • A copy of the tutor’s valid Virginia teaching license must be provided. Upon renewal, it must be resubmitted to retain the tutor status.

  • Instruction may take place in or outside of the home.

  • Completion of a notice of intent is not required.

  • Proof of academic progress is not required.

Religious Exemptions

Parents seeking a religious exemption must petition the School Board. Contact the Office of Pupil Placement at 804-639-8666 for filing instructions.

Part-Time Enrollment In CCPS

To enhance the educational experience, students who live in Chesterfield County and receive home instruction may enroll in Chesterfield County Public Schools on a part-time basis. This is defined as taking not more than one 3-credit career and technical course at CTC@Hull or CTC@Courthouse or two 1-credit courses (or the equivalent) taken at a comprehensive middle or high school; or, two 1-credit online courses through CCPSOnline or Chesterfield Virtual School.

  • All middle and high school courses in the subject areas identified in the Appropriation Act are available to such students.

  • The school division may administer a diagnostic test to determine appropriate placement in selected courses.

  • Students must attend the school in the attendance zone for their residence

To enroll in an in-person course, the parent/guardian must complete the part-time enrollment form and submit it to the principal of the appropriate school no later than March 1 of the preceding school year. A student who relocates to Chesterfield County after March 1 of the preceding school year may register for part-time enrollment by Aug. 15.

Partially-enrolled students are not eligible to participate in Virginia High School League designated school-sponsored athletics, student organizations, and clubs.

Testing and more

Transitioning To Public School

Students who are currently participating in home instruction and would like to enroll in a Chesterfield County school should contact staff at their home school for guidance. Additionally, the home instruction office must be notified of this change. Find your school here, and make an appointment at the school to register your child.

When an elementary or middle school student enters a Chesterfield school from a home instruction program, the principal will determine grade placement based on evidence of progress provided by the parent or guardian. This may be standardized testing scores or a homeschool program report card. If further evidence is necessary, consultation with school staff or testing may be required. 

Upon enrollment, parents of high school students should present documentation of coursework to the counseling department of the student’s school to determine what credit(s) may be awarded. 

  • A student requesting credit for high school courses taken via home instruction must provide a list of completed courses, course objectives and evidence of achievement. A report card or transcript from a homeschool program or correspondence school may be submitted. 

  • Courses for which credit is desired must generally match the description of or can be substituted for courses for which the receiving school gives standard credit. 

  • If evidence of achievement is not sufficient, the principal may require an examination in each grade or course placement or credit being sought. Any credit granted by CCPS for courses taken under home instruction will be designated on the student’s scholastic record as credit transferred from home instruction. 

Secondary schools accept credits toward graduation from Virginia nonpublic schools accredited by an approved accrediting constituent member of the Virginia Council for Private Education

Additional information is available in the Code of Virginia regarding Transfer Students and the Guidelines for Home Instruction in Virginia.

Mom helping student at coffee table