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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 within stated deadlines 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 Policies and Regulations for Henrico County residents and for nonresidents:

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

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

Policy P6-03-004, “Admission of Nonresidents to Henrico County Public Schools”

Regulation P6-03-004-R, “Admission of Nonresidents to Henrico County Public Schools”

Variance Application Deadlines: 

  • Variance applications for the following school year must be submitted no earlier than the start of the second semester and no later than the last day of the current school year for students currently enrolled in HCPS and for current HCPS employees.
  • Families who move within Henrico County or outside of Henrico County during a school year 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 if they are in compliance with residency guidelines to notify schools of address changes. 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.
  • Parents/legal guardians who move into or out of Henrico County after the last day of a school year must enroll their child in their school of residence and have 30 calendar days following the date of enrollment to submit a completed variance request form to the principal of their school of residence.
  • Newly hired HCPS employees must submit variance requests within 30 calendar days of their hire date.

Variance Application Process for Henrico Residents: 

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.

NOTE: The Variance Application for the 2023-2024 school year will be posted on this webpage in mid-January 2023.

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.

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.)

Change in Residency 

Variance requests involving a move must be accompanied by proof of residency.  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).

Pursuant to § 22.1-264.1 of the Code of Virginia, any person who knowingly makes a false statement concerning the residency of a child, as determined by § 22.1-3, in a particular school division or school attendance zone, for the purpose of (1) avoiding the tuition charged authorized by § 22.1-5 or (2) enrollment in a school outside the attendance zone in which the student resides, shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. False statements concerning residency may result in criminal charges, liability for the cost of nonresident tuition, and/or immediate withdrawal from the school or School Division. 

Below are limitations and restrictions regarding variances:

  1. The student and parent/legal guardian must be in and remain 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. A principal may only grant a variance that is expressly permitted per HCPS Policies and Regulations.
  3. Placements based on academic programs or exceptional education services are not variances and will be handled by the appropriate director in School Leadership or Exceptional Education.
  4. Variances are granted only for one school year at a time and on a space-available basis of the school and/or grade level. Variances will not be approved for schools that are over capacity.
  5. Transportation is the responsibility of the parents/legal guardians for approved variances. Transportation is not provided by HCPS, even if the family member providing childcare for an approved variance lives in the transportation zone of the requested school. The family-member providing childcare must take the student to and/or pick up the student from school.
  6. Variances are not granted to siblings of students attending a school in a special program or on a variance.
  7. 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.
  8. Variances are not provided for remote virtual school attendance.
  9. 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. 
  10. A student can only be granted a variance due to a move one time per move.
  11. Variances are not provided for commercial daycare.
  12. Students may not transfer from one JROTC program or specialty program to another.

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