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State Superintendent interpretations of specific aspects of the law governing homeschooling 

October 1990: 

Q.        Does availability refer to teaching materials a county system may happen to have on hand, or are we required to order either different or a larger quantity of materials than needed for our school for use by homeschoolers? 

A.        You must provide homeschooled children free textbooks, workbooks and other instructional materials necessary for successful completion of their curricula as though they were attending public school. 

October 1992:

            Q.         Can the county ask a family to include the child’s age and grade in the “Notice of Intent”? 

            A.         Yes, a county board of education needs to know a child’s age in order to tell whether the child is of compulsory school attendance age. It needs to know a child’s grade to ascertain age, and it needs to know a child’s grade in order to ascertain the child’s educational progress or lack of advancement through instruction at home or in some other approved place. 

June 1992: 

            Q.        Can the June 30 testing deadline of WV Code 18-8-1, Exemption B(b) be waived by the state superintendent’s office or by the WV Board of Education? 

            A.          No. This is required by statute; therefore, a waiver would have to be made by the legislature after application through its Oversight Commission. The application should be made to the following address: 

                        Legislative Oversight Commission on Educational Accountability

                        West Virginia Legislature

                        E-132 State Capitol

                        Charleston, WV 25305                  

            

             Telephone: 304-558-2040

Other Aspects of the WV Code 

What constitutes remediation

WV Code 18-2E-3(a) states: “Compensatory and remedial programs may include special homework, tutorial sessions, extended school day instruction, modified instructional materials, other modifications in the instructional program, summer school instruction, retention in grade and such other programs as are appropriate for providing special instruction inside or outside the regular classroom designed to increase student knowledge in given subject areas.” 

Is kindergarten mandatory?  

WV Code 18-8-lA states: “Prior to entrance into the first grade... each child must have either (1) successfully completed such publicly or privately supported, state-approved kindergarten program or Montessori kindergarten program, or (2) successfully completed an entrance test of basic readiness skills approved by the county in which the school is located.” 

However, a child who has not completed an approved kindergarten program may enroll in first grade after the school year begins. The parent can file the notice of intent as usual and then discontinue homeschooling by enrolling the child in public school first grade as early as a few weeks after school begins. The school may test and/or evaluate a portfolio of the child’s work in order to place him or her. 

As former Executive Assistant to the State Superintendent for Non-Public Instruction Karen Larry wrote:

WV Code 18-8-1a is the culprit in this case.  This is one of those laws apparently written without knowledge of other related laws.  It is out of sync with a couple of other state code sections.   

The mother can continue home schooling her child for first grade, following the 18-8-1 stipulations.  This home schooling arrangement can be discontinued during that first year or at a later time and the public school will have to enroll the child.  I know – this makes no sense!  When you read the law, you will see this is what we face.   

Can the county ask for the age of a homeschooled child

WV Code 18-8-4 states: “When any doubt exists as to the age of a child absent from school, the attendance director shall have authority to require a properly attested birth certificate or an affidavit from the parent, guardian, or custodian of such child, stating age of such child.” 

In many counties the attendance officer oversees homeschooling records. Why

WV Code 18-8-1 states: “Exemption from the foregoing requirements of compulsory public school attendance shall be made on behalf of any child for the following causes or conditions, each such cause or condition being subject to confirmation by the attendance authority of the county.” 

Does the state superintendent have the authority to interpret the WV code

WV Code 18-3-6 states: “At the request in writing of any citizen, teacher, school official, county or state officer, the state superintendent of schools shall give his interpretation of the meaning of any part of the school law or of the rules of the state board of education.”

 

WV State Superintendents have interpreted the law in response to other questions. Review our collection of  State Superintendent interpretations from the 1980s to early 2000s.