The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Private School

From the Business Plan to Policies & Procedures

And everything in-between. We've put together this guide because we love working with new schools. Once you've read this guide, you'll have a good understanding of what it will take to grow a successful school.

Read the Guide

The A-Z, Broken Down Into 10 Chapters

Preparing to open a school is a significant undertaking. This guide is intended as a starting point with considerations and resources that can help with your planning.  We hope you find it valuable!

We’ve organized our guide by topic. While we hope you’ll find value in every section, feel free to jump to the sections that are most important now, and come back to other sections as you need them. Following is an overview of what to expect from each chapter.

At Twine, we are excited about helping schools, passionate about transforming learning and focused on improving student achievement. We are proud to provide technology solutions that help schools achieve their goals. Best wishes to you on this new journey!

Note, we've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations, additions, or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone.

Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters.

Every School Needs Great Software

Twine helps schools simplify their administration, automate scheduling/staffing, and lesson the load placed on teachers and administrative staff. Twine also helps with enrollment, marketing, and more. See what Twine can do:

Parent Communications

Informed parents become engaged parents and engaged parents can supercharge your school.

Websites & Admissions

A high-impact website attracts students while Twine makes admissions easy.

School Management

Twine makes it easy for teachers and administrators to do everything they need to do.

Online Classrooms

Educate, collaborate, and discuss with integrated online classrooms powered by Twine.

In-Depth: How to Start a Private School

We gathered so much information that we had to break it down into 10 chapters. This free information is well-researched- we even hunted down the rules and regulations for each state! If you're thinking about starting a private school, you will find this guide very handy!

School Identity

Build your school's brand & philosophy

Choosing a name and developing a brand for your school is a great place to start.

In this chapter we’ll provide ideas for how to develop not just a name, but defining the vision and values that will become the core of your school culture. While some business spend big money to develop their brand, we have some exercises and resources that can help you to do this work without breaking the bank.

Read: School Identity

Legal & Operating Requirements

State & federal regulations for running your school

Regulation of business entities and schools happens primarily at the state level. While many requirements, such as the need to register as either a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, are common across states, each state has varying requirements for instructional hours, teacher certification, required courses, and more.

We’ve looked at all 50 US states and assembled many of these state-specific requirements, with pointers to additional resources for each.

Read: Legal & Operating Requirements

Business Plan & Budget

Planning for Your New School

Every business needs a business plan and budget, and schools are no exception. Having a plan will help guide you about hiring, growth, marketing, recruitment, and more.

In this section we provide multiple resources and templates to help you build both your plan and budget.

Read: Business Plan & Budget

Marketing & Online Presence

Getting found & Setting Yourself Apart

Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, search engine optimization, paid search, banner ads… developing a ‘digital strategy’ can quickly become overwhelming.

Our Marketing chapter is designed to distill down these different options and help you focus on the most important things you can do to attract families to your school.

Read: Marketing & Online Presence

"Information is power. Twine allows us to make quicker decisions with better information, and of course all that is going to benefit the child and their progress."

Lori Riti, Principal / De LaSalle Academy


Planning a Space for Your School

Finding a facility can feel daunting, but we’ve seen successful schools start in a wide variety of environments.

Our Facilities chapter includes considerations you’ll want to take into account as you determine what you need and how you might configure your space.

Read: Facilities


Finding, hiring, & keeping the right staff

How do you find, recruit, train, and keep the right staff for your school?

This important work takes time and attention, but there are great resources available, and recruiting is a skill that most leaders can learn to do well if they start with the right foundation. We’ve assembled some of our favorite staffing resources and recommendations in this chapter.

Read: Staffing

Funding & Finance

Finding Investors, Grants, & More

Perhaps the most consistent concern for new school owners is funding. How much is needed to start your school? What sources of funding are available?

We’ve assembled a range of ideas for possible funding sources, and ideas for ways you may be able to start with less than you thought.

Read: Funding & Finances


Defining Your Product & Educational Speciality

Front and center for most schools is their educational approach: what and how are you going to teach?

Our curriculum chapter examines core subjects & requirements, various educational models, and considerations for textbooks, online resources and other learning materials.

Read: Curriculum

Policies & Procedures

Governance for your new school

A student handbook and conduct code is a common starting point when thinking about policy, but schools also need to consider staff handbooks and operations.

We’ve included recommendations and templates to help you develop your school policies & procedures.

Read: Policies & Procedures


Connecting With Others

Our comprehensive list of national, regional and local associations is a critical resource for launching your school. There’s no better way to find support than joining a community of educators who share your vision and passion.

Read: Associations