General regulations

  • Accreditation is optional and there are no requirements for registration or licensing. All elementary and secondary schools must be approved by the superintendent of public instruction.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in North Dakota.

  • Homeschooled students must be taught by their parents.

  • The North Dakota DPI 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 North Dakota

State funding sources & support

North Dakota does not provide funding for private education.

Curriculum requirements

The state has extensive curriculum guidelines that are part of the approval process but include English language arts, math, social studies, including courses on US and North Dakota history and politics, science, physical education, health, fine arts, and career and technical education.

Teacher certification & hiring

All teachers must be licensed or certified to teach and have majored in the grade level or subject area they teach.

Looking for more?

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 North Dakota, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Public Instruction.

Length of school year

Students must receive at least 175 full days of instruction.

Recordkeeping and reports

The state reports on each approved nonpublic school each year. Schools must submit attendance data, as well as information on student standardized test participation/exemption to the state.

Health and safety requirements

The school must be inspected once every 3 years by the state fire marshal. Schools are required to conduct fire, tornado, and lockdown drills. Each school must have a bullying policy in place.


Nonpublic school students may receive transportation to school on public school buses running on public school routes if authorized by the local school board, and if passenger room is available.


Nonpublic school grade 11 students must take the ACT, including the writing test, or three WorkKeys assessments recommended by the career and technical education department and approved by the superintendent of instruction, who is responsible for the cost of securing and then administering the test.

State and regional associations

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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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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