General regulations

  • Delaware does not have accreditation, licensing, or approval requirements, but does require that schools report student enrollment to the state in order to ensure they are meeting the compulsory attendance law.

  • The Delaware 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 Delaware.

  • Delaware allows for both single-family and multi-family home school environments, and student enrollment information must also be reported to the state for these students.

  • The Delaware 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 Delaware

State funding sources & support

Delaware does not provide funding for private education.


Curriculum requirements

The state requires that nonpublic schools provide regular instruction in the subjects required for public schools in the state, including courses covering the US Constitution, the Delaware constitution and government and the free enterprise system.


Teacher certification & hiring

Teacher certification is optional for nonpublic schools.


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Our comprehensive Starting a Private School guide includes great information for funding, curriculum, hiring & much more that applies no matter where you’re opening your school.

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Food services / school lunch

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


Length of school year

No policies exist regarding length of school year.


Recordkeeping and reports

Schools must report enrollment, age of students, and attendance to the DOE each year and maintain a written policy concerning the education records of students, including accessibility, confidentiality, and how records may be amended.


Health and safety requirements

Private schools must set dates for fingerprinting students (grades k–9) and provide school facilities and personnel. The superintendent of state police will provide training for volunteers who are nominated to assist the private schools for this purpose. Private school officials must notify parents or guardians of the date set for fingerprinting. Only pupils with signed authorization by parents or guardians may participate. Private schools must cooperate in setting up the program, but the fingerprinting of students is not mandated.


Transportation

The Delaware constitution allows for the state to provide transportation for nonpublic schools but must regulate nonpublic school transportation the same as for public school transportation and limited to within the described boundaries of a public-school district.


Testing

There are no standardized testing requirements for nonpublic schools.


State and regional associations

  • Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools: A dynamic community of independent schools in the Greater Delaware Valley and beyond, ADVIS enriches and sustains schools through advocacy, thought leadership, professional development, and networking opportunities. 


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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