Operating a Delaware Private School
Delaware students between age 5 (by August 31st of the school year) and 15 must be enrolled in a public school, homeschool or private school. Delaware private schools include any non-public school in the kindergarten to grade 12 system that operates under a board of trustees, has a faculty and maintains a location that is properly supervised. This includes accredited or approved colleges or universities.
Please note: DDOE does not provide, endorse, accredit, approve or monitor curriculum for any nonpublic school (private or homeschool), or validate any type of credential provided by these schools. Students and parents/guardians must investigate the school themselves and ask if they are accredited. Students and parents/guardians may wish to contact a college, university, training program, licensing entities or employer to determine if they will accept the diploma from the nonpublic school under consideration.
How to open, register a Delaware private school
Private schools must first register with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) in order to start enrolling students. Once registration is approved by DDOE, a private school is considered open and active and does not have to re-register unless it has previously closed.
Students interested in enrolling in a Delaware private school must withdraw from a Delaware public or home school as well. To do this:
- The private school must be registered and in open status with DDOE
- The private school must enroll the student before the student withdraws from the public or home school
- DDOE must receive the student's enrollment status from the private school liaison using the nonpublic school application
- The private school must provide the student's family a copy of the student's enrollment acknowledgement (available in the nonpublic school application)
- The student's family must present the acknowledge page to the student's current school in order to withdraw
Student who do not follow the requirements outlined above may be considered truant.
Under Delaware 14 Del.C. § 2704, private school administrators must annually report student attendance and enrollment information to DDOE.
1) Report attendance: Each year, private schools must report to DDOE the total number of days the school was open for the school year as well as the total number of days students attended the school. Private schools that fail to report their attendance information during the attendance reporting window will be closed and enrolled students withdrawn. End-of-year attendance information is due to DDOE each year on or before July 31.
2019 Attendance Reporting Window: Monday, June 3, 2019 - Wednesday, July 31, 2019
2) Report enrollment: Each year, private schools must submit enrollment information to DDOE each year on or before October 5. This is a statement of pupil enrollment as of the last school day in September.
Private schools registered with DDOE may report attendance and enrollment information using the nonpublic school application.
Please note: DDOE does not maintain private school records for currently open or previously closed schools. Students and families must contact the private school administrator to retrieve school records; however, DDOE may have contact information for these schools. Please contact X for more information.
For students wishing to withdrawal from a private school, a private school administrator is required to:
- Withdraw the student from the private school via the nonpublic school application
- Print an acknowledgement letter from the nonpublic school application that shows the student has been withdrawn from the private school
- Provide a copy of the acknowledgement letter and an accurate academic portfolio to families so they can use the information to enroll the student in another school