FAQ – Public School Related Issues

My child has a current IEP. I know he is entitled to receive services, but how do I proceed?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all children with disabilities have available a free appropriate public education designed to meet their individual needs in conformity with the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Both the regulations and the United States Department of Education’s General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) make clear that public education is not the only alternative for children with disabling conditions. Therefore children who are being educated in home instruction programs, are still entitled to take part in related services provided by the school division for which they are eligible. School divisions must remain ready to serve these children when parents seek services either through regular enrollment or as nonpublic students.

Virginia’s Department of Education says questions regarding special education should be addressed to the VDOE Division of Special Education and Student Services, at (804) 371-7420 or 1-800-422-2083 or call your school division’s special education director.

Is it possible in Virginia to homeschool kids for some classes and send them to public school for other classes?

Partial enrollment is allowed in many school divisions in Virginia but not all. Each school division makes its own policy concerning partial enrollment. Contact your local school division offices or website for their policy.

Please note that any competitive high school activities such as sports, band, debate etc. are overseen for schools by a private organization called the Virginia High School League. Their current policy prohibits homeschool students from participating in any competitions they oversee.

Can my homeschooled kids play sports in the public school?

There are two kinds of public school sports access in Virginia:

* Inter-scholastic sports (where one school team plays another school team) are governed by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). The VHSL does not allow homeschooled students to participate in public school interscholastic sports. VHSL rules only allow participation in inter-scholastic sports by full time students who are taking and passing five courses. This is a statewide policy and affects students in all school divisions across the state.

* Intra-scholastic sports (where students practice and play together and do not ever play against other school teams) are governed by individual school divisions. Some school divisions allow homeschooled students to participate in intra-scholastic sports, while others do not. Most after-school sports clubs are considered intra-scholastic. Contact your local school division for availability of intra-scholastic teams and whether their policies allow for homeschool participation.

You can read more about public school access issues in Virginia here:

Homeschoolers Access to Public School Sports

Homeschool Sports Access

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