Home Instruction

Any parent may elect to provide home instruction for his or her school-age child

In accordance with Section 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia, any parent may elect to provide home instruction for his or her school-age child in lieu of school attendance. 

Home Instruction Related Forms

  • se270

    Notification By Parent or Guardian of Intent to Provide Home Instruction

  • se271

    Partial Enrollment Application for High School-Age Home Instruction Students

  • se285

    Partial Enrollment Parent or Guardian Agreement Form for High School-Age Home Instruction Students to Attend High School Classes

Definition of Parent

For this purpose, the Code of Virginia defines parent as a biological parent, adoptive parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of a child.

Qualification by Parent or Guardian (one of four required)

1. The parent or guardian holds a high school diploma.
2. The parent or guardian is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education.
3. The parent or guardian provides a program of study or curriculum, which may be delivered through a correspondence course, distance learning program, or any other manner.
4. The parent or guardian provides evidence that he or she is able to provide an adequate education for the child.

Annual Notification Requirement

Documents (all required)
1. Notification by parent or guardian of intent to provide home instruction. (See se270 in above list of forms)
2. Evidence of meeting one of the four qualifications described above.
3. Description of curriculum limited to a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year.
4. Upon request by the Division Superintendent, evidence of immunizations, medical contraindication certified by a licensed physician, or affidavit attesting that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with religious tenets or practices.

Time frame
1. By August 15 prior to the school year in which the child will receive home instruction.
2. A parent or guardian who moves into Fairfax County or who begins home instruction after the school year has begun shall provide notification as soon as practicable and comply with all notification requirements within 30 days.

Parents or guardians should send their notice of intent and supporting documents by email, fax, or mail by August 15 to:
HomeInstruction@FCPS.edu
Fax: 571-423-4317
Mailing Address:
Home Instruction
Fairfax County Public Schools
Gatehouse Administration Center
8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Acknowledgement
The information submitted is reviewed and a letter is sent to the parent or guardian indicating whether or not the notification documents comply with Section 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.

**Please consider sending your notice of intent for the upcoming school year when you send your evidence of progress.

Evidence of Progress Requirement

Documents (either) & Time
The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall provide the division superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either

  • (i) evidence that the child has attained 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
  • (ii) an evaluation or assessment which the division superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress, including but not limited to:
    • (a) an evaluation letter from a person licensed to teach in any state, or a person with a master's degree or higher in an academic discipline, having knowledge of the child's academic progress, stating that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress; or
    • (b) a report card or transcript from a community college or college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school.

**Please consider sending your notice of intent for the upcoming school year when you send your evidence of progress.

Parents or guardians should send evidence of progress by email, fax, or mail by August 1 to:

Email: HomeInstruction@FCPS.edu
Fax: 571-423-4317
Mailing Address:
Gatehouse Administration Center
8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Acknowledgement
The information submitted is reviewed and a letter is sent to the parent indicating whether or not the evidence of achievement complies with Section 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Probation or Denial
If the required evidence of progress is not provided by the parent or guardian and the evidence does not meet satisfactory evidence of progress, the home instruction program for that child may be placed on probation for one year. The parent or guardian shall file, with the Division Superintendent, evidence of ability to provide an adequate education and a remediation plan for the probationary year that indicates how the parent or guardian will address any educational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the Division Superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence of achievement are not accepted, or the required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following the probationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent or guardian shall make other arrangements for the education of the child that comply with Section 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia.

Home Instruction Registration

View the General Registration Requirements

Available Examinations

The following examinations are available to enrolled FCPS students and to students receiving home instruction: Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), and PreACT.

Home Instruction Exam Information provides families with registration information and deadlines. Fee waiver eligibility information is available on The College Board website or on the ACT website, depending on the assessment.

Please contact the Director of Student Services at your base school to confirm testing location, times, and availability.  You may access the FCPS boundary locator to determine the assigned base school.

Part-Time Enrollment

Parents or guardian who have met the requirements to home school in Virginia may apply to enroll their middle and/or high school aged students (grade 7-12)  in up to a maximum of two core curriculum courses (English, mathematics, science, social studies or world language) per year, to the extent that space and resources allow. Courses may be accessed either 1.) On-site and/or 2.) Online, as defined below.

On-site courses may be accessed on a non-tuition paying basis in the middle or high school serving the student’s attendance area, on a space available basis. Applications to a school outside of the student’s attendance area will only be considered if the requested course is unavailable or there is no space available at the school serving the student’s attendance area.

Online courses may be accessed on a tuition paying basis through FCPS Online Campus, on a space available basis. Parents or guardians must submit a FCPS online campus application, a part-time enrollment application, and a parent or guardian agreement.

A completed and signed partial enrollment application and a completed and signed parent or guardian agreement form must be submitted between April 15 and June 1 for the following academic year.

  • Part-Time Enrollment Application (See se271 in above list of forms)
  • Parent or Guardian Agreement (See se285 in above list of forms)

E-mail, fax, or mail to:
Lori Hershey, Specialist
E-mail: HomeInstruction@FCPS.edu
Fax: 571-423-4317

Mailing Address:
Gatehouse Administration Center
8115 Gatehouse Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

Final approval of applications for part-time enrollment of students receiving home instruction shall be given no later than August 15, provided parents or guardians comply with the requirement for notification and the requirement to provide evidence of progress outlined in sections V. and VI. of Regulation 2245.   

No student receiving home instruction shall be admitted to a course after the third class meeting of that course.

Part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction shall fulfill all enrollment requirements as defined in the current versions of FCPS Policy 2101, Physical Examinations, Immunizations, Contagious Diseases, Treatment of Injuries, and Policy 2202, Eligibility for Enrollment, and Regulation 2101, Physical Examinations, Immunizations of Students, and Tuberculosis Screening Requirements, and Regulation 2202, Required Admissions Credentials for Students.

Prerequisites for requested courses must be satisfied.  Student Registration staff members shall determine, with parental consultation, whether a student meets the prerequisite(s) for the requested course(s).  Assessment testing may be required.

Part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction shall be subject to all provisions of the current version of FCPS Regulation 2601 (Students Rights and Responsibilities) and all similar policies, regulations, and requirements pertaining to students, including grading policies.

Part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction shall comply with all requirements of the course(s) in which they are enrolled.  Any student enrolled in a course with a corresponding Standards of Learning (SOL) test shall take that test.  Students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses will have the option of taking the corresponding exams in the spring of the academic year.  In addition, part-time enrolled home instruction students may use SOL test results for math and language arts courses to demonstrate evidence of progress for the school year.

Part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction shall not be eligible for participation in school-sponsored athletics, student organizations and clubs, or other co- or extracurricular activities.

Part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction shall limit their presence on campus to the times of their class(es), except when attending events open to the general public or when complying with a bona fide request made by a teacher or an administrator when directly related to course(s) of enrollment.

FCPS does not provide transportation for part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction to access course(s).

Part-time enrolled students receiving home instruction shall not be eligible to audit a class, to receive an FCPS diploma, or to participate in commencement activities.

Parents or guardians who withdraw their child from a FCPS middle or high school during the school year to continue their education through home instruction may apply for their child to remain enrolled in a maximum of two core courses at the school from which the student withdrew, provided that parents or guardians comply with the requirements for home instruction as defined in FCPS Regulation 2245.

Eligibility for Participation in School-Sponsored Extracurricular Activities
Virginia Department of Education regulations require each enrolled student in grades 1-12 to maintain a full-day schedule of classes. Home instruction is a full-time alternative to school attendance. Except as noted above, home instructed students will not be permitted to enroll on a part-time basis or participate in academic or extracurricular activities, except as required by law.

Religious Exemption

In accordance with Section 22.1-254.B.1 of the Code of Virginia, the School Board shall excuse from attendance at school any pupil who, together with his or her parents or guardians, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief,is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, "bona fide religious training or belief" does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code.

Parents or guardians shall submit a written request to the School Board for exemption stating their religious beliefs that are in conflict with public school attendance. Older children (14 years or older) should provide their own individual statements of their religious beliefs that conflict with school attendance. Parents or guardians should provide letters of support from their religious leader or persons who can vouch for the authenticity of their beliefs.

Parents or guardians requesting religious exemption should send their letter and supporting documents by e-mail, fax, or mail by August 15 to:

Email: HomeInstruction@FCPS.edu
Fax: 571-423-4317
Mailing Address:
Gatehouse Administration Center
8115 Gatehouse Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

Any parent or guardian who moves into Fairfax County after the school year has begun shall submit their letter of request and supporting documents as soon as practicable.

The Home Instruction Office shall forward the requests quarterly to the School Board for consideration at their regular meetings. The School Board Office sends the letter of approval for religious exemption to the parents or guardians.

Once granted, the exemption applies for future years, although parents should notify the School Board in writing, referencing their religious exemption status, as younger children come of compulsory school attendance age.

Special Education Services

FCPS is responsible for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who reside in Fairfax County who are in need of special education and related services, including students receiving home instruction. Parents who suspect their child has a disability and is in need of special education, should contact the principal of their student’s base school.You may access the FCPS boundary locator at http://boundary.fcps.edu/boundary to determine your child’s base school assignment.

TESTING

GED Testing

In accordance with the Section 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia, applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age who have been home schooled and who have completed their home schooling, are entitled to take the GED. Applicants must provide the GED examiner with a letter signed by the FCPS superintendent or designee certifying that the applicant has completed a home instruction program.

To obtain a letter please contact:
Lori Hershey
lbhershey@fcps.edu
571-423-4323

Visit the FCPS Adult High School website for more information on GED Testing.

Driver's Education Information

If you are an approved home schooler, driver education can be taught at home. The student must currently be enrolled in a home-schooled program approved by the division superintendent. The acknowledgement letter received from Fairfax County Public Schools may be presented for verification of enrollment in a home school program.

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

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers driving classes through Adult and Community Education. All students who register for driving classes must reside in Fairfax County. These classes are for high school students only. Private school and home school students may attend during the summer sessions. All classes are taught by Fairfax County Public Schools instructors. Register early as classes fill quickly.

Virtual Learning Resources

A variety of commercial vendors offer courses for students, ranging from grades K-12, in various content areas. FCPS does not evaluate the quality of these programs and therefore is unable to make any recommendations.

Virtual Learning Resources:

  • Virtual Virginia - As a program of the Virginia Department of Education, Virtual Virginia (VVa) offers online Advanced Placement (AP®), world language, core academic, and elective courses to students across the Commonwealth and nation. Due to the robust course offerings available to FCPS students through the FCPS Online Campus, FCPS does not currently participate in the Virtual Virginia full-time program.

    Home school students may access Virtual Virginia and in these cases, are registered by their parents. Tuition, textbooks, fees and other materials are the responsibility of the enrolling party. Virtual Virginia tuition rates are available at http://www.virtualvirginia.org/faqs/index.html.

Transitioning Back Into Public School

  • When an elementary or middle school student enters Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) from a home instruction program, the principal shall determine grade placement based on evidence of achievement provided by the parent or guardian. If further evidence is necessary, consultation with school staff or testing may be required.

    A student requesting credit for high school courses taken in an approved home instruction program shall provide FCPS with a list of courses taken, the objectives for the courses, and evidence of achievement. The courses for which credit is desired must correspond to courses offered by FCPS. If the evidence of achievement is determined to be insufficient, the principal can require the student to take an examination in each grade or course for which he or she wishes to establish placement or credit. Any credit granted by FCPS for courses taken under home instruction shall be designated on the student's scholastic record as credit transferred from home instruction.
    Contact your base school to schedule an appointment for registration. Boundary information is available at http://boundary.fcps.edu/boundary/.