Superintendent interpretations of specific aspects of the law
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?
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.
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.
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
Aspects of the WV Code
What constitutes remediation?
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?
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:
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.
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
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.”
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.