COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 171

August 27, 2004

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Home Instruction Update

 

Attached is an updated list of correspondence schools whose courses may be used to comply with Section 22.1-254.1 (a), Option (iii) of the Code of Virginia pertaining to home instruction. These approvals are effective July 1, 2004. The list may be updated periodically. It should be made available to parents or other interested persons upon request.

 

Parents who wish to use courses offered by a school that is not on the list should contact the school and request the names of the appropriate officials to obtain information from the Department of Education. As an alternative, they may submit the curriculum to your office for review in accordance with the requirements of Option (iv) of Section 22.1-254.1 (A) of the Code of Virginia.

 

The list identifies schools that are accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U. S. Department of Education, and sets restrictions on the use of courses offered by some schools.

 

Of note this year, the driver education courses offered by several schools that were approved in past years have been removed from the list because the programs no longer meet the requirements for driver education programs in Virginia. Other courses may be restored or added to the list when it has been determined that they are in compliance with our requirements.

 

We have had inquiries concerning the courses offered by these schools by students enrolled in Virginias public schools for the purpose of earning credit for graduation. While the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia permit students to earn credit through the use of correspondence courses and other emerging technologies in 8 VAC 20-131-180.B. and C., the approval of these courses should not be construed as an automatic authorization of their use for that purpose. The content of the courses offered by these schools has not been reviewed for correlation with the content of the Standards of Learning. Principals should take steps to ensure that the courses students take for this purpose include content that, at a minimum, substantially correlates with the standards, where appropriate, and that policies adopted by a local school board have been addressed prior to allowing students to use courses offered by these schools to earn credit toward graduation.

 

Finally, we frequently have inquiries from parents who wish to home school their child for one subject while that student remains enrolled in a public school. This is not considered home schooling because the student is enrolled in school. The provisions outlined in 8 VAC 20-131-180.B. or C. of the standards may be used, depending on the local policy adopted as required by the standard.

 

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Charles W. Finley, assistant superintendent for educational accountability services, at (804) 786-9421 or by e-mail to (mailto:cfinley@pen.k12.va.us).

 

 

JLD/CWF/pfm

Attachment

 

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2004/inf171a.pdf