Starting a Private School in West Virginia
Regulations, Resources, & Support
West Virginia State Regulations
In West Virginia, nonpublic schools are classified as either exemption (b) or exemption (k). Exemption (b) schools operate based on agreement with the county in which they are located. Exemption (k) schools operate based on compliance with WV Code §18-28.
Licensing is not required. Approval is optional and only relates to exemption (b) schools. Registration is optional only for exemption (b) nonpublic schools. Registration is required for exemption (k) schools. Accreditation is optional for all schools.
The West Virginia Department of Education has little in the way of detailed requirements for private schools but you can access the state statutes for more information.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in West Virginia.
West Virginia does not recognize home schools as private schools.
The West Virginia DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State Funding Sources & Support
West Virginia does not provide funding for private education.
Teacher Certification & Hiring
Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools.
Food Services / Lunch
In West Virginia, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of School Year
“Approved” private and parochial schools serving students in lieu of public school must be open for a time equal to the county school term. Private, parochial or church schools that are “registered” must observe a minimum instructional term of 180 days with an average of five hours of instruction per day.
Recordkeeping & Reports
“Approved” exemption (b) private and parochial schools serving students in lieu of public school are required to furnish county boards of education any information and records requested regarding attendance, instruction, and progress of pupils under 17 years of age. All schools must keep student attendance records.
Healthy & Safety Requirements
County boards of education may provide screening tests for vision, hearing, speech and language disabilities upon request for children entering nonpublic schools.
County boards of education have the authority to provide at public expense transportation for all school age children who live more than two miles distance from school.
Registered private, parochial and church schools, exemption (k) schools, shall administer a standardized test on an annual basis to every child registered between the ages six and 17 years
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West Virginia State Resources
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