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.
When a parent elects to provide home instruction for their school aged child it is up to the parent to develop and deliver the curriculum in any manner they choose. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) does not provide curriculum and/or educational resources for home instructed students.
If you choose to home instruct your child please notify FCPS of your intent by submitting a notice of intent and documentation to [email protected]. If your child is currently enrolled in FCPS, please submit a withdrawal form to the school registrar and return all FCPS items.
Qualification by Parent or Guardian (one of four required)
To be eligible to provide home instruction, a parent or guardian must meet one of these four qualifications:
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.
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.
Online Private School or Home Instruction Program
To determine whether the resource you will be using to educate your child is an online private school or a home instruction program, visit Home Educators Association of Virginia.
Learn About Home Instruction
1. Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction (Form SS/SE-270)
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.
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.
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.
Documents & 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.
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.
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.
Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) Test Fees
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.
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 GED letter, please email [email protected] the following information:
- A letter from the parent/guardian indicating the student has completed a home instruction program; and
- A copy of the students GED Ready® practice test.
Visit GED.com for more information on GED Testing.
Part-Time Enrollment Courses
Parents or guardians who have met the requirements to home school in accordance with Section 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia may apply to enroll their middle and/or high school aged students (grade 7-12) in up to a maximum of two courses per year. Available courses include English, mathematics, science, social studies, world language or Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC). Courses may be accessed either on-site and/or 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.
Part-Time Enrollment Forms
Part-time enrollment forms must be submitted between April 15 and June 1 for the following academic year to [email protected].
- SE-271: Part-Time Enrollment Application (Required)
- SE-285: Parent or Guardian Agreement (Required)
- FCPS online campus application (Optional - For Online Courses Only)
- Annual Notice of Intent
Part-Time Enrollment Approval
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. Requirements for part-time enrollment are outlined in detail in the SE-285: Parent or Guardian Agreement.
Part-Time Enrollment After Withdrawal from FCPS
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 in accordance with Section 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia may apply for their child to remain enrolled in a maximum of two courses (English, mathematics, science, social studies, world language, or Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC)) 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 school assigned to their home address as identified by the FCPS Boundary Locator to schedule a registration appointment.
Driver education may be taught at home for home instruction students. The acknowledgement letter received from Fairfax County Public Schools may be presented for verification of enrollment.
Please visit the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Education Information for Home Schoolers website for details.
FCPS Adult and Community Education (ACE) Courses
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers driving classes through FCPS Adult and Community Education (ACE). All students who register for driving classes must reside in Fairfax County. These classes are for high school students only. All classes are taught by Fairfax County Public Schools instructors. View ACE Course Registration Information
When an elementary or middle school student enters Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) from a period of home instruction, 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 the school assigned to your home address as identified by the FCPS Boundary Locator to schedule a registration appointment. For information on the registration process, view General Registration Requirements (Grades 1 -12), Kindergarten Registration, or Online Registration.
Home Instruction Resources
- Virginia Department of Education – Virtual Learning
- 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 instruction 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.
- Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE)
Accreditation through a VCPE Approved State Recognized Accrediting Association guarantees the transfer of student credits from the state recognized accredited private school to a public school and ensures recognition of teacher licensure credits for time served in an accredited private school. If a parent enrolls their child full-time in a VCPE approved virtual school, the child will be enrolled in a private school and not considered home schooled.