Colorado state resources
Accreditation in the state of Colorado is optional, but all schools are required to have a business license from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to operate.
The Colorado Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Colorado
Colorado requires home schooling be completed by families and a qualified person must conduct an evaluation of student progress, or students must take standardized tests to prove sufficient academic progress is being made.
The Colorado DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State funding sources & support
Colorado does not provide funding for private education.
The state requires that nonpublic schools provide regular instruction in communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, and science. Students must also be educated in proper respect of the flag, and the US Constitution.
Teacher certification & hiring
Teacher certification is optional for nonpublic schools.
Food services / school lunch
In Colorado, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of School year
In order to meet the state’s compulsory school attendance law, students must attend school for a minimum of 172 days per year.
Recordkeeping and reports
Schools must provide, when requested, name, age, place of residence, and number of days of attendance of all children of school age, during the preceding month, who attended the school. Schools are also required to maintain immunization records for students.
Health and safety requirements
Students enrolled in nonpublic schools must be immunized before enrolling in school, though exemptions (such as religious reasons) apply. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sanitary standards must be enforced – the local county office should be contacted for inspection or more information. Private and nonpublic school officials have the responsibility of ensuring the buildings used meet local building codes, zoning requirements, and fire safety standards. School officials have the responsibility to check with both the local city and county on these matters.
There are no policies in place regarding transportation.
Nonpublic schools are not required to administer standardized tests, but can choose to, at their own expense.
State and regional associations
Association of Colorado Independent Schools: a non-profit organization dedicated to the continuous improvement of member schools by providing accreditation, professional development, and advocacy services.
Colorado Association of Private Schools: Its primary mission is to preserve the independence of Colorado’s private schools and to uphold parental choice in education.
Starting a Private School
Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!
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 for any resources 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, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.