Home Schooling

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 in the Code of Virginia

Read the Virginia Department of Education’s Home Instruction Handbook and the Chesterfield County Public Schools Home Instruction Guidelines 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.

Current homeschooling students

The notice of intent must be submitted each year by August 15 or if after the school year begins, as soon as practicable within 30 days.

When submitting a notice of intent please submit the required documents, including evidence of progress, 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 If applicable, your student will be withdrawn from Chesterfield County Public Schools.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.

If you do not plan to homeschool the following year, submit evidence of progress via email to [email protected] or mail to 13800 Hull Street Road, Midlothian, Va. 23112, with a note indicating why you will not continue home instruction (Example: Moved out of Chesterfield County, enrolled in CCPS or another public school, enrolled in a private school).

Home instruction guidelines

Home instruction may be provided in lieu of school attendance to any child who will have reached their fifth birthday on or before Sept. 30 of any school year and who has not passed their eighteenth birthday. 

A parent or guardian who elects to provide home instruction must notify the superintendent’s designee of this intention annually by Aug. 15. Click the button above to submit a notice of intent. 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. 

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:

Step 1: The parent must provide evidence of having met one of the following criteria as noted:

  1. Documentation of a high school diploma or higher credential, or a transcript
  2. Copy of a valid teaching license
  3. Documentation of a program of study or curriculum delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or another manner. This could include a notice of acceptance or other evidence of enrollment showing the name and address of the school. If the child is enrolled in a correspondence course or distance learning program, a list of subjects to be studied for the coming school year should be included.
  4. A statement explaining qualifications and the ability to provide an adequate education for the child.

Step 2: Research, select and/or acquire your curriculum. 

Step 3: If your child is enrolled in a distance learning program, correspondence school, or virtual school/class, provide proof of enrollment. 

Step 4:  Provide a list of subjects to be studied this year. For high school students, provide specific courses.

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 the 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
      1. a person licensed to teach in any state or
      2. 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 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, and 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 superintendent’s designee will determine whether these submissions are adequate. The designee 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.

Those who plan to continue home instruction should submit evidence of progress via the notice of intent form. Those who do not plan to homeschool the following year should submit evidence of progress via email to [email protected] or mail to 13800 Hull Street Road, Midlothian, Va. 23112, with a note indicating why you will not continue home instruction (Example: Moved out of Chesterfield County, enrolled in CCPS or another public school, enrolled in a private school).

Using a tutor to provide home instruction

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 and include their child’s name. 
  • A copy of the tutor’s valid Virginia teaching license must be provided.
  • 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.

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 [email protected] or [email protected] or two 1-credit courses taken at the school or via CCPSOnline, according to the following criteria:

  • 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.

PSAT/SAT/AP Testing

Homeschool students at the high school level may participate in advanced placement tests and the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Typically, the PSAT exam is given in October, and AP exams are administered in May. Contact the school counseling department of the high school in your attendance zone by Sept. 15 for registration information and the cost for each test. 

Learn more about registering for the SAT and ACT as a homeschooler.

Special Education

CCPS is responsible for identifying and evaluating children residing in Chesterfield County who need special education and related services, including students receiving home instruction. Parents/guardians who suspect their child has a disability and needs special education services should contact the principal of the school in their attendance zone. You can determine your child’s school with Find My School.

Drivers Education

Approved home school students may take driver education via home instruction. The CCPS home instruction acknowledgement letter serves as verification of enrollment in a home school program.

Visit the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Education Information for Home Schoolers website for details.

GED testing

Students may test to earn a high school equivalency certificate or may earn a general equivalency diploma (GED) under certain conditions:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age and not enrolled in public school or not otherwise meeting the school attendance requirements set forth by Virginia law
  2. Be at least 16 years or older and have completed home instruction 
  3. Be excused from school attendance based on provisions of the school compulsory attendance law 

Individuals under the age of 16 are not eligible for the GED test.

CCPS offers GED testing through the Adult Continuing Education Program.

Transitioning to public school

Previous CCPS students who are currently participating in home instruction and would like to re-enroll in a Chesterfield 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 Handbook.

Religious Exemptions

Contact the Office of Pupil Placement at 804-639-8666 for filing instructions.

More information

Carolyn Owens
Home Instruction Specialist

13900 Hull Street Road
Midlothian, VA 23112

Phone: 804-639-8900 ext. 1652

Fax: 804-739-6237