Starting a Private School in South Dakota
Regulations, Resources, & Support
South Dakota State Regulations
There are no registration, licensing or approval requirements and accreditation is optional.
The South Dakota Department of Education has assembled a page of guidelines for private schools.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in South Dakota.
Homeschooled students must take periodic state assessments to ensure learning goals are being met.
The South Dakota DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State Funding Sources & Support
South Dakota does not provide funding for private education.
Schools must offer instruction in language arts and math for an equivalent period of time as public schools. All nonpublic schools must provide regular courses in the constitutions of the United States and the state of South Dakota beginning no later than eighth grade and continuing through high school.
Teacher Certification & Hiring
Instructors do not have to be certified. In nonaccredited schools, instructors cannot teach more than 22 students.
Food Services / Lunch
In South Dakota, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of School Year
The number of hours in the school term for kindergarten may be no less than 437.5 hours, for grades one through five may be no less than 875 hours, and for grades six through 12 may not be less than 962.5 hours, exclusive of intermissions. An intermission is the time when pupils are at recess or lunch.
Recordkeeping & Reports
Schools must keep enrollment information as well as request birth certificates to ensure student age and identity.
Healthy & Safety Requirements
Students must be immunized or provide documentation of a medical or religious exemption.
Transportation is not provided by the state or district for private schools students. All school busses must be inspected annually.
Students must annually take a standardized achievement test.
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South Dakota State Resources
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