Religious Exemption From Compulsory Attendance
Religious exemption is not home instruction. It is a request that your child be released from compulsory school attendance through his/her eighteenth birthday. Parents may or may not elect to provide instruction during this time period. Proof of academic progress is not submitted. Students who have been exempt are not eligible to participate in any testing opportunities or to enroll as a part-time student with Loudoun County Public Schools.
Code of Virginia §22.1-254 B. "A school board shall excuse from attendance at school:
1. Any pupil who, together with his parents, 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; and..."
How do I request a religious exemption for my child?
STEP 1: Write a letter to the Department of Pupil Services, attn: Religious Exemption, c/o Dr. Clark Bowers, Director of Student Services, containing the following information:
- Your name and address (phone number is requested but optional in case we have questions)
- Your child's name and age -Children must be of compulsory attendance age before you can request a religious exemption. This means they must be at least five years of age by September 30 of the current school year.
- The faith to which you and your child adhere
- The tenents of your faith that are in opposition to public school attendance
- Any additional reasons why you do not want your child to attend school
STEP 2: Acquire a detailed letter or affidavit from a friend, relative or member of your faith or religion, including pastors, deacons or others knowledgeable in the faith system, demonstrating the sincerity of you and your child's beliefs and the length of time you and your child have held these beliefs. At least one letter or affidavit is required.
STEP 3: Parents may send the above documentation electronically to Clark.Bowers@lcps.org or by fax (571) 252-1242.
STEP 4: Once the documents have been received and reviewed, they will be submitted for the next, scheduled School Board meeting. If approved, families will be sent an approval letter via U. S. mail.
Incomplete requests will not be processed.