406R-A - Determination of School Residency of Students

To determine whether a person of school age, as defined by the Code of Virginia § 22.1-1, is entitled to tuition-free attendance in the Frederick County Public Schools, this regulation provides guidance to school officials.
  1. Eligibility of school age individuals to attend, tuition-free, a public school in Frederick County, requires that an individual meet one of the following requirements. Each situation shall be reviewed (case-by-case) based on the information available to the principal or designee:

    1. The student lives in Frederick County with a natural parent or parent by legal adoption (as shown by court order); or

    2. The student's natural or adoptive parents are deceased, and the student lives in Frederick County with a person in loco parentis, who is a legal resident of Frederick County; or

    3. In accordance with the provisions of Va. Code § 22.1-360, the student is living with a non-custodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis, not solely for school purposes, pursuant to a Special Power of Attorney executed under 10 United States Code § 1044b by the custodial parent; or

    4. The parents of the student are actually unable to care for the student, and the student lives with another person who:

      1. is a bona fide resident of Frederick County and is the court-appointed guardian of the student (as shown by court order);

      2. is a bona fide resident of Frederick County and has legal custody of the student (as shown by court order or by a satisfactory marital separation or other agreement); or

      3. the student is living with the person noted in section a. or b. above not solely for school purposes; or

    5. The student is living with an adult relative providing temporary kinship care as that term is defined in Va. Code § 63.2-100. Both parents and the relative providing kinship care must submit signed, notarized affidavits (a) explaining why the parents are unable to care for the person, (b) detailing the kinship care arrangement, and (c) agreeing that the kinship care provider or a parent will notify the school within 30 days of when the kinship care arrangement ends. The parent must also provide a power of attorney authorizing the adult relative to make educational decisions regarding the person. A parent or the kinship care provider must also obtain written verification from the department of social services where the parent or parents live, and the department of social services where the kinship provider lives, that the kinship arrangement serves a legitimate purpose that is in the best interest of the person other than school enrollment. If the kinship care arrangement lasts more than one year, the school division must receive continued verification directly from both departments of social services that the parents are unable to care for the person and that the kinship care arrangement serves a legitimate purpose other than school enrollment; or

    6. The student is an emancipated minor (as shown by court order) and is a bona fide resident of Frederick County and not living in the county solely for school purposes; or

    7. The student is living in Frederick County and is determined to be "homeless" or an "unaccompanied youth" as defined in the Code of Virginia § 22.1-3 (homeless or unaccompanied youth student status shall be determined by the director of student support services or his/her designee).

      When all or any portion of the building in which the person resides (i) with another person as set forth in items 1-5 above or (ii) as an emancipated minor as set forth in item 6 above is taxable by the locality in which the school division is located.

  2. To establish legal adoption, guardianship, or legal custody, a copy of the petition filed with the Court for this purpose and a copy of the order from the Court must be produced to the school. Legal custody may also be shown by proper legal marital separation documents or other court agreements. While legal documents must be provided to the school in these circumstances, they are not the only factors that determine whether the student is entitled to tuition-free attendance in Frederick County Public Schools. The administrator should make an independent determination, based on all relevant circumstances, whether bona fide tuition-free residence has been established satisfactorily. By way of illustration only, an administrator may determine that a court order or written agreement establishing adoption, guardianship, or legal custody was sought and/or obtained solely for the purpose of tuition-free attendance in Frederick County Public Schools. Such a determination, along with consideration of other information, may lead the administrator to conclude that residence was not bona fide, notwithstanding a court order or an agreement.

    In addition to having a copy of the petition and the appropriate court order, the administrator must also determine whether the parent or parents of the student are genuinely "unable to care" for the student. A serious disability, extended illness, or other comparable circumstances may demonstrate a bona fide, significant inability to care for the student for an extended time.

    If the student is an emancipated student, the director of student support services or his/her designee must receive a copy of the petition and order establishing emancipation (see Code of Virginia §16.1-331). However, even with these legal documents, the principal is to make an independent determination of whether the order was sought and obtained solely for school purposes.

    At the conclusion of an investigation of the facts, a temporary waiver may be granted by the director of student support services or his/her designee. In such cases, the "Temporary Enrollment Form” (see attachment A) must be signed, notarized and filed with the school.

  3. For purposes of seeking approval to home instruct children or to seek religious exemption from compulsory school attendance, parents or guardians of such children must meet the above residency requirements, in order for the school board to consider approval for home instruction, as provided for by Regulation 405R-D, Students – Home Instruction.  

    The following situations should help to clarify when tuition is to be charged:

    Type of Residency Tuition
    Parents are nonresident and child lives with another family or family member in the county Tuition is charged
    Parents are residents, and the child lives outside the county with another family, family member, alone or with a friend Tuition is charged if emancipated; otherwise, tuition is not charged, and these circumstances present an attendance zone question.
    Parents are nonresidents, and the child lives alone or with a friend in the county Tuition is charged unless it is clearly established to the satisfaction of the administration that the child is emancipated
    Parents are residents, and the child lives elsewhere in the county Tuition is not charged, and these circumstances present an attendance zone question
    Parents are homeless (homeless status shall be determined by the director of student support services or his/her designee) Tuition is not charged
    Student is unaccompanied youth (unaccompanied youth status shall be determined by the director of student support services or his/her designee) Tuition is not charged

    Any person aggrieved by an administrative decision on student school residency may have the decision reviewed by the superintendent, whose decision shall be the final administrative decision of the school division.  

Legal Reference(s):
Code of Virginia, Section(s) 16.1-331; 22.1-1 et. seq


Cross Reference(s):
Regulation 406R-A-Appendix: Temporary Enrollment Form


Adopted: November 27, 1990
Amended: May 9, 2001
Amended: December 7, 2006
Amended: November 22, 2010
Amended: June 6, 2012
Amended: August 28, 2013
Amended: July 2, 2018
Amended: September 12, 2018
Amended: June 19, 2019