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west virginia homeschool laws, West Virginia
west virginia homeschool laws, West Virginia

West Virginia Homeschool Laws

If you’re living in West Virginia and are looking into homeschooling, you’re in the right place! This page provides the resources and information you need to determine whether homeschooling in the Mountain State is right for you.

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Homeschooling in West Virginia

If you’re living in West Virginia and are looking into homeschooling, you’re in the right place! This page provides the resources and information you need to determine whether homeschooling in the Mountain State is right for you.

Homeschooling Laws in West Virginia

Knowing the requirements for homeschooling in West Virginia is one key to successful homeschooling. Below is a summary of the homeschool laws in the state of West Virginia. You can find additional information on Home School Legal Defense Association’s (HSLDA) website as well: West Virginia HSLDA Reference

Homeschooling Options in West Virginia

  1. Homeschooling through school board approval.
  2. Homeschooling by submitting a notice of intent.

West Virginia State Homeschool Law Summary

Homeschooling through school board approval. If you choose to seek approval from your local school board, you will be required to teach the subjects approved by the school board for 180 days per year. Instruction must be in a place approved by the board and for a time equal to the school term of the county. If requested, you must provide attendance, instruction, and progress information, and the school board may deny approval in writing for “good and reasonable justification.” The board also determines the method of assessment you must use in your homeschool. This method may not be for everyone.

Homeschooling by submitting a notice of intent. You can also homeschool by submitting a notice that means certain requirements to the school board or superintendent. To do so, you must follow these requirements:

  1. The adult doing the instruction must have a high school diploma or equivalent, or a post-secondary degree or certificate from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Submit a notice of intent that includes the child’s name, address, and age. Within this notice, you must confirm your intent in teaching reading, language, math, science, and social studies, and that you’ll assess the student yearly. When filing the intent, you’re also required to provide evidence of the instructor’s qualifications as mentioned in #1. This notice must be submitted on or before the date you start homeschooling. This notice of intent remains effective until you stop homeschooling or you move to a different county.
  3. You must assess the student every year that you homeschool. Once you obtain an assessment, you should maintain copies of it for three years. There are four option to assess your child:

                       a. Use any nationally normed, standardized achievement test administered by someone qualified according to the test publisher. The test must cover reading, language, math, science, and social studies. If your child scores in the 23rd percentile or higher, or his/her score has improved since the previous year’s assessment results, this is considered “acceptable progress” under the law.

                     b. Participate in the public school testing program. Acceptable progress is based on the state’s testing program guidelines.

                    c. Obtain a written statement that indicates a certified teacher has reviewed a portfolio of your child’s work and deemed the progress to be in accordance with the child’s abilities. This must include progress in the areas of reading, language, math, science, and social studies. 

                       d. You may administer any alternative academic assessment of proficiency as long as the superintendent agrees.

The HOPE Scholarship Program

The Hope Scholarship Program is an education savings account (ESA) program that will allow parents and families to utilize the state portion of their education funding to tailor an individualized learning experience that works best for them. An ESA allows each family to have access to an account for each eligible student in their household. All purchases will be made via an ACH transaction and will be pre-approved by the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office.

Step Up For Students-West Virginia, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that has been engaged by the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office to provide Hope Scholarship program management, including the application intake process and subsequent scholarship funding management. These functions will be supported by EMA, the Education Market Assistant. EMA will serve as the scholarship management platform for parents and providers.

To qualify for the Hope Scholarship program, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • The student must be a resident of West Virginia. Validating documentation may be required.
  • The student is under 21 years of age. If at any point during the school year the student turns 21, they will no longer be eligible, and their account will be closed. Validating documentation may be required.
  • The student has not successfully completed a secondary education program, AND is enrolled full-time and attending a public elementary or secondary school in West Virginia for at least 45 consecutive calendar days at the time of application. The student must continue to attend until an award letter is issued by the Hope Scholarship Board; to meet the attendance portion of this eligibility option, students shall not have unexcused absences during the public-school enrollment period that exceed the threshold to be considered chronically absent, which is ten percent of the calendar days enrolled in the public school. OR
  • The student was enrolled full-time in a public elementary or secondary school program in West Virginia for the entire instructional term during the academic year immediately preceding the academic year for which the student is applying to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program; OR
  • The student is eligible or required at the time of application to enroll in a West Virginia kindergarten program for the first time under West Virginia’s compulsory school attendance law (W. Va Code § 18-8-1a). (i.e., the student must be at least five years old prior to July 1). If the student won’t be five years old before July 1, the student may become eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program if the student successfully enrolls in a public kindergarten program in West Virginia through the public kindergarten program’s early entrance process.

If a Hope Scholarship student becomes ineligible to participate in the program during the academic year based on the above rules or by not filing a renewal application, his or her account will be terminated. If you have a student who would like to apply for the Hope Scholarship Program, please click here for the Hope Scholarship Parent Handbook.

Parents/guardians of a Hope Scholarship student must agree to use the funds deposited in their student’s Hope Scholarship account only for the following qualifying expenses to educate their student:

  • Private or parochial school tuition and fees at a participating school.
  • Tuition and fees for programs of study, curriculum, or supplemental materials in reading, mathematics, science, social studies, or the arts.
  • Tuition and fees for programs of study or the curriculum of courses that lead to an industry-recognized credential that satisfies a workforce need.
  • Tuition and fees for ongoing services that a public school offers to Hope Scholarship students, pursuant to W. Va. Code §18-31-8(f)., including individual classes and extracurricular activities and programs: Provided that students participating in the Hope Scholarship Program are subject to all eligibility rules applicable to participation in extracurricular activities governed by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission. Provided, however, that Hope Scholarship students attending a participating private school are eligible to receive free services that the public schools otherwise offer to private school students; Provided, further, that if a Hope Scholarship student has utilized their funds for other qualified expenses, the student shall be responsible to pay the tuition and fees to the public school from other sources in order to receive such services.
  • Tutoring services provided by an individual or a tutoring service: Provided, that tutoring services cannot be provided by a member of the Hope Scholarship student’s immediate family.
  • Fees for nationally standardized assessments, advanced placement examinations, any examinations related to college or university admission, any examinations for industry certification exams, and tuition and fees for preparatory courses for the aforementioned exams.
  • Tuition and fees for nonpublic online or virtual learning programs.
  • Tuition and fees for alternative education programs. 
  • Fees for after-school or summer education programs. 
  • Fees and materials for enrollment in dual credit or college level courses.
  • Educational services and therapies, including, but not limited to, occupational, behavioral, physical, speech-language, and audiology therapies.
  • Fees for transportation paid to a fee-for-service transportation provider for the student to travel to and from an education service provider.
  • Fees and materials for enrollment in dual credit or college level courses.
  • The cost of school uniforms required by a participating school.
  • Vocational supplies or equipment required for a K-12 course of study.
  • Technology equipment needed for an educational program, including but not limited to computers, printer, and required software.
  • Tuition and fees for programs of study, curriculum, or supplies needed for supplemental or elective educational courses.
  • Basic educational supplies, including but not limited to, paper, writing utensils, scissors, etc.
  • Any assistive technology or other equipment/supplies necessary to accommodate a student with a disability.
  • Any other qualifying expenses as approved by the Board.

Hope Scholarship funds may only be used for qualified educational purposes. However, it is not required that a Hope Scholarship student be enrolled, full- or part-time, specifically in either a nonpublic school, either in-person or virtually. Hope Scholarship funds may not be refunded, rebated, or shared with a parent or student in any manner. Any refund or rebate for goods or services purchased with Hope Scholarship funds shall be credited directly to a student’s Hope Scholarship account.

Parents/guardians of a Hope Scholarship student are not prohibited from making payments for the costs of educational goods and services not covered by the funds in their student’s Hope Scholarship account. However, personal deposits into a Hope Scholarship account are not permitted.

In order for an expense to be covered by the Hope Scholarship Program, the Education Service Provider or vendor must become a participating provider through the EMA platform. Reimbursement of Hope Scholarship funds for payments made with non-Hope Scholarship funds will only be considered on a case-by-case basis caused by extenuating circumstances. Any request must be made on a form prescribed by the Board and must require detailed supporting documentation. Any reimbursement requires approval for the Board.

For more information on the HOPE Scholarship Program in West Virginia, click here.

West Virginia State Education Resources

Here you’ll find websites for any questions you may have about education in the state of West Virginia.

West Virginia Homeschooling Support Groups

Whether you already homeschool in West Virginia or are looking to do so, these resources are quite useful if you’re searching for support, co-ops, or answers to questions about homeschooling in your state.

Top West Virginia Homeschooling Field Trip Ideas

One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility to explore! Here are some ideas for amazing–and educational–field trips around the great state of West Virginia!

  • Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley: Wheeling, WV
  • Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences: Charleston, WV
  • Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex: Moundsville, WV
  • Marshall University Geology Museum: Huntington, WV
  • Morgantown History Museum: Morgantown, WV
  • Museum of Radio and Technology: Huntington, WV
  • Oglebay’s Good Zoo & Benedum Planetarium: Wheeling, WV
  • West Virginia Independence Hall: Wheeling, WV
  • WV Division of Culture and History – The Cultural Center: Charleston, WV

Starting homeschooling in West Virginia has never been easier. Did you know that having an accredited homeschool partner means total support and protection? Contact Bridgeway Academy to find out how an accredited homeschool program can give you the peace of mind you’re looking for on your homeschool journey!

Virtual Open House! Join us on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 2pm ET to learn the benefits of working with a homeschool academy.