Starting a Private School in Wisconsin


Regulations, Resources, & Support

Our team has curated the best resources and information available about starting a private school in Wisconsin. Enjoy!


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Regulations

We’ve curated the laws and regulations about starting a private school in Wisconsin.


Resources

What resources and associations are available to help new education entrepreneurs?


Starting a School Guide

See what else you need to know about starting a private school. From your curriculum to your marketing, and everything in-between.

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Wisconsin State Regulations


General Regulations


Wisconsin State

  • There are no requirements for registration and licensing. Approval is optional. Accreditation is also optional except for schools participating in the funding programs listed below.

  • The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 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 Wisconsin.

  • A home-based private educational program is defined as instruction provided to a child by the child’s parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instructional program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program.

  • The Wisconsin DPI has no published requirements for school insurance — consult a professional for guidance in this area.


State Funding Sources & Support


Curriculum Requirements

According to Wisconsin’s statutory definition of a private school, the private school must provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health. This requirement does not mandate teachings in conflict with a school’s religious doctrines or exclude any teachings consistent with the school’s religious doctrines.


Teacher Certification & Hiring

Private schools are not obligated to employ licensed or certified teachers. However, the state superintendent of public instruction has the authority to license or certify teachers employed at private schools. Teachers employed by a school participating in the MPCP and the PPSCP are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

Food Services / Lunch

In Wisconsin, 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

According to Wisconsin’s statutory definition of a private school, a private school must provide at least 875 hours of instruction each school year. Private schools participating in the MPCP and PPSCP must provide at least 1,050 hours of direct pupil instruction for grades 1–6 and 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction for grades 7–12.


Recordkeeping & Reports

Schools must report enrollment information to the department of public instruction annually.

Healthy & Safety Requirements

Students must be immunized or provide documentation of a medical or religious exemption. Schools must conduct monthly fire drills.


Transportation

With some exceptions, school boards operating high schools must provide transportation for K–12 private school students if all of the following conditions are met: (1) the pupil resides two miles or more from the private school they attend; (2) the pupil resides within the private school’s approved attendance area; and (3) the private school is located not more than five miles beyond the boundaries of the pupil’s resident school district measured along the usually traveled route.


Testing

Assessment is not required for pupils attending private schools with the exception of assessment requirements for pupils attending private schools under the three state choice programs.

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Wisconsin State Resources


State & Regional Associations

Read the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Private School


We've put together one of the most comprehensive guides to starting a private school. Ready to open your school? Read our free guide!


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Guide Quick-Nav



Introduction to Starting a School

Introduction

We’ve developed these 10 topics to help you along the way. Take them all in at once, or start with the areas most relevant right now.


Creating Your School Identity

School Identity

There’s plenty you can do to develop your own brand, starting right from your personal ideals and goals for your school.


Creating Your School Curriculum

Curriculum

Our curriculum pages include ideas on where to go to find materials, and different associations and educational models you may want to consider.


Legal & Operating Requirements

Legal & Operating Requirements

You need to know the requirements at both the federal level and for your state. Here are the basic details for every state.


Introduction to Starting a School

Funding & Finance

Here we share ideas for possible funding sources, and ways you might be able to start with less than you thought necessary.


Creating Your School Identity

Business Plan & Budget

Having a plan for how you’ll operate and a budget to predict and allocate funds is critical for all businesses, schools included. We’ve pulled together resources here to help with both.


School Facilities

Facilities

What facilities are right for your school? We encourage new schools to get creative, and have compiled some considerations to take into account.


School Staffing

Staffing

How can you find and recruit the right talent for your school? What qualifications or certifications are required?


School Policies & Procedures

Policies & Procedures

Here we share ideas for possible funding sources, and ways you might be able to start with less than you thought necessary.


Marketing & Online Presence

Marketing & Online Presence

Having a plan for how you’ll operate and a budget to predict and allocate funds is critical for all businesses, schools included. We’ve pulled together resources here to help with both.


School Associations

Associations

What facilities are right for your school? We encourage new schools to get creative, and have compiled some considerations to take into account.