General regulations

  • State approval for private schools in Connecticut is optional but requires accreditation. Schools can choose to not pursue the state approval process but must still submit enrollment information to the state.

  • The Connecticut 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 Connecticut.

  • Connecticut requires home schooling be completed by families and annual portfolios must be submitted to the state to ensure students are meeting education criteria.

  • The Connecticut DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Education regulations and resources for starting a private school in the state of Connecticut

State funding sources & support

Connecticut does not provide funding for private schools, though local school districts are legally permitted to lend money to nonpublic schools for construction or renovations of physical facilities used for educational purposes.


Curriculum requirements

The state requires that nonpublic schools provide regular instruction in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and United States history and citizenship. Courses must be presented in English except in official bilingual programs created to assist students in learning English.


Teacher certification & hiring

Teacher certification is optional for nonpublic schools.


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Food services / school lunch

In Connecticut, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.


Length of school year

No policies exist regarding length of school year.


Recordkeeping and reports

Schools must file attendance reports as well as “reports similar to those required of public schools” except those concerning finance. Schools must also implement a policy for reporting school transportation safety complaints and for reporting accidents near school bus stops.


Health and safety requirements

Students enrolled in nonpublic schools must be immunized before enrolling in school, though exemptions (such as religious reasons) apply. Buildings must be inspected by a local fire marshal at least once per year.  


Transportation

When a majority of students attending a nonpublic school are residents of Connecticut, the municipality or school district must provide the nonpublic school students the same transportation services provided to k–12 students attending public schools.


Testing

There are no standardized testing requirements for nonpublic schools.


State and regional associations

  • Association of Independent Schools of New England: With 200 member schools, AISNE is one of the largest regional associations in the country and represents a diverse range of schools in terms of size, pedagogy, religious affiliation, and, of course, mission.

  • Connecticut Association of Independent Schools: a voluntary association of 95 non-profit independent schools serving over 30,000 students from all Connecticut towns and many other states and countries. 

  • Connecticut Association of Private Special Education Facilities: CAPSEF is an association of private schools which provide quality, cost effective, special education and related services to the special needs children and adolescents (birth-21) of CT who benefit from individualized academic, behavioral, social and vocational programs designed to enable them to succeed in the latest restrictive environment.


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!

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Disclaimer

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.


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