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What To Include In a Notice of Intent Letter

to comply with West Virginia Code 18-8-1, subsection (c) subdivision (2)

The letter should be addressed to your county superintendent of schools or his/her designee. The following is a list of items to include in the letter. Please note that these are only suggestions to aid you in formulating your intent letter and are not intended to be legal advice.

1. Date

2. Superintendent’s name and address

3. Intention to homeschool under subsection (c) subdivision (2) of the compulsory attendance statute of West Virginia, 18-8-1 (a)

4. Name, address, age, and grade of child or children you are homeschooling

5. A copy of your high school diploma or its equivalent

6. In the spirit of cooperation, include an outline of a plan of instruction. An outline can be as simple as one of the following:

 

i.      a list of subjects your children will study and the materials they will use;

ii.      a request to use the textbooks supplied by the county.

iii.      the Content Standards and Objectives for WV schools for your child’s grade (available at http://wvde.state.wv.us/csos/.)

 iv.      the name of the curriculum you are using (Sonlight, Oak Meadow, etc.)

 v.      a detailed description of what you plan to accomplish.

7. Request any available assistance – textbooks, standardized testing in the school, classes

8. Indicate that you will submit the results of an assessment of the child’s progress by June 30

 

WV Code 18-8-1 subsection (c) contains two subdivisions that allow for “home instruction.” Under subdivision (1), the approval option, the county superintendent and school board must approve a “request for home instruction;” each county determines its own guidelines for homeschool approval and reporting. In subdivision (2), the notice of intent option, the law itself specifies what a family must do to homeschool. It also requires a superintendent to obtain an order from the circuit court to stop a family from homeschooling, which means that the superintendent must have proof that a child’s education is being neglected. Learn the law well so you can discuss it intelligently with county personnel. In the past, most differences of opinions between county personnel and homeschooling parents have been handled with relative ease. Most problems are due to a misunderstanding of the law, not out of dislike for homeschoolers. Indeed, in many counties the public school personnel have been very helpful. If county personnel request information the law does not require of homeschoolers, you can send them a note explaining your understanding of the legal requirements and a copy of the law with the appropriate sections underlined.