Starting a Private School in Delaware
Regulations, Resources, & Support
Delaware State 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.
State Funding Sources & Support
Delaware does not provide funding for private education.
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.
Food Services / 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 & 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.
Healthy & 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.
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.
There are no standardized testing requirements for nonpublic schools.
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Delaware State Resources
State & 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.
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