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School Assignment/Variance

Students enrolled in Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) are expected to attend the schools within their zone of residency unless they have been accepted to either a HCPS regional or division-wide educational program. Parents/guardians may apply for a variance to request that their children attend a school outside of their attendance zone only for reasons allowed per HCPS Policies and Regulations.

Click the links below to read the HCPS Variance Policy and Regulation:

P6-03-011, “School Assignment/Variance Procedures”
P6-03-011 – R, “School Assignment/Variance Procedures” 

To apply for a variance that meets the criteria listed in HCPS Policies and Regulations, parents/guardians should submit a completed Variance Application VR-3 to the principal of the school for which their child(ren) is zoned to attend. Families should contact the school within their zone of residency with any questions about the Variance Application.

Some variance requests require additional documentation to be submitted with the Variance Application:

  • To request a variance for a family member to provide childcare, the Family Member Childcare Variance Application VR-3S also must be submitted to the home school.
  • To request a variance for a documented medical need, submit to the home school at least one recent letter from a doctor (mental health doctor if a psychological or psychiatric reason is cited) and a signed Release/Exchange of Confidential Information
  • To request a variance to attend a school in the zone where a family is contracted to move within 90 days, submit a copy of a legally binding contract for the construction/completion of an apartment or home or the lease or purchase agreement of an apartment or home. Submitted documents must be signed by all parties and free of contingencies.

Variance requests involving a move must be accompanied by proof of residency. Families who move within Henrico County or outside of Henrico County may apply for a variance for students to finish a semester or school year at their school to minimize mid-year disruption to their education. Except for 11th-grade students, variances for a move can only be used to complete the current year or remain for the final grade of a school, but not both.

Nonresident HCPS employees who are full-time or permanent part-time employees may apply for a tuition-based variance to have their child(ren) attend an HCPS school. The nonresident HCPS employee variance application is available through The Locker and accessible to employees who are logged into the HCPS network. (See HCPS Regulation P6-03-004R for more information regarding the admission of nonresident students.)

Variance application deadlines: Pursuant to HCPS Regulation 06-03-011-R, the following deadlines are intended to ensure operational and instructional planning and effectiveness:

  • Submit variance requests for high school students by February 15 for the following school year.
  • Submit variance requests for elementary and middle school students by April 15th for the following school year.
  • Exception: The parents/legal guardians of a child who move into Henrico County after February 15 or April 15, as applicable, shall enroll the child in his or her zone school and shall have 30 calendar days following the date the student first enrolls in the zone school to submit a completed variance request. Any such request shall be submitted to the principal of the zone school.

Residency documentation: Pursuant to HCPS Policy P6-03-002, “within 10 business days of a change in domicile (recent move), the parent/legal guardian shall be required to provide valid and current residency documentation to each school in which they have a child enrolled.” If a family is found to be out of compliance with residency guidelines, they are ineligible to apply for a variance (see HCPS Regulation 06-03-011-R).

Below are limitations and restrictions regarding variances:

  1. The student and parent/legal guardian must be in good standing to be eligible for a variance. Good standing includes regular, prompt, full-day school attendance; academic effort and assignment completion; adherence to school rules and the HCPS Student Code of Conduct; and full compliance with all residency requirements. Address changes must be communicated to the school within ten school days of a move. (P6-03-002-R, Verifying Residency/Reporting Address Changes)
  2. Variances are not granted to siblings of students attending a school in a special program or on a variance.
  3. Pre-K students are not eligible for a variance to continue at the school where they attended Pre-K if it is not their home school.
  4. Variance requests must be submitted by the deadlines communicated by the school.
  5. Variances are not provided for remote virtual school attendance.
  6. Students who withdraw from a Specialty Center before 11th grade are not eligible to remain at the Specialty Center school for 11th and 12th grades. 
  7. Parents must provide transportation to and from school.
  8. A student can only be granted a variance due to a move one time per move.
  9. A principal can only grant a variance that is expressly permitted per HCPS Policy and Regulation.
  10. Variances are not provided for commercial daycare.
  11. Students may not transfer from one JROTC program to another.
  12. For family-member childcare variances, the family member must pick up the child from school each day.

Please contact your child’s school of residency for questions related to HCPS school assignment/variance requests.

HCPS Variance Office:
Heather Allen, Assistant Director of Policy and Constituency Services
Office: 804-652-3714