WV homeschooling families have been blessed by the 2016 legislature’s passage of a revised homeschool law. But many are asking, “What does it all mean?” We’re in the midst of assessment season, so allow us to share a few details of the revised law:
- The law does not take effect until 90 days after it was passed. It was passed February 23rd, so effective date is May 23, 2016.
- Annual assessments are required of every student annually, exactly as before. And the assessment choices are exactly the same. What is different now? Assessments will not have to be submitted to the county boards of education every single year, but only for students in designated grades (see below). Therefore, CHEWV recommends that you continue with the assessment choices you’ve already made for this year.
- The prohibition on parents testing their own children remains in effect until May 23rd, 2016. After that, administrators must be qualified in accordance with the test’s published guidelines.
- You, the parent, are responsible for keeping complete copies of your child(ren)’s academic assessment(s) on file at home for at least three years.
- Assessments must be turned in by June 30th for students in 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th grades. Note that the deadline is exactly as before.
- CHEWV will provide more information about assessments in the coming weeks. For those who test with us, our Report to the Superintendent will reflect the changes. Our website will help you switch your attention to the stanine score when considering your legal responsibilities.
- And finally, the remediation requirement and the “additional evidence” requirements are still in place – exactly as before! Those requirements are unrelated to whether you must turn in assessments this year. If your child does not make acceptable progress this year for the second consecutive year, your must give the county additional evidence of appropriate instruction – regardless of what grade he or she is in.
- For those who may be pulling students out of public or private school, the two-week waiting period will no longer be in place after May 23rd, 2016. Once these changes go into effect, the notice of intent must still be given to your County Board of Education on or before the date home instruction is to begin.
- HSLDA has confirmed that everyone should submit one more Notice of Intent with the information required in the revised law. Going forward, the NOI would only be needed for each additional child who is starting to homeschool, or when changes as specified in the law apply.
- The revised law no longer mentions a plan of instruction.
There are other details in the law’s 2016 revisions. We urge you, first of all, to read the law for yourself, which is your duty and privilege as a citizen. The actual wording of the law’s changes can be found HERE.
As always, if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us. If you are a member of HSLDA, you can get legal interpretation and help there. Please be patient with us! Christian Home Educators is working hard to provide accurate information to parents and will continue to update our website over the upcoming weeks to reflect the 2016 changes in the law.
We hope you will rejoice with us in God’s goodness and remember that greater liberty is always accompanied by greater responsibility. On the one hand, we’re blessed to take advantage of new freedoms where our reporting requirements are concerned. On the other hand, we must also prepare ourselves to take the responsibility entrusted to us and honorably comply with the changes to the law that God has helped us to achieve.
Note: This should not be construed to be legal advice. For legal advice, we recommend membership in the Home School Legal Defense Association.