Private School Regulation
The approval of a private school by the County Superintendent
and State Superintendent is mandatory in North Dakota to comply with
the state's compulsory attendance statute. N. D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-03.
Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: Attendance at a parochial
or private school excuses a child from public school attendance if the
child is in attendance for the same length of time and if the school is
approved by the County Superintendent of Schools and the Superintendent
of Public Instruction. State approval requires 1) teacher certification;
2) curriculum offerings in accordance with state mandates; and, 3) compliance
with all municipal and state health, fire, and safety laws. N.D. Cent.
Code ' § 15-34.1-03. Government approval of private schools and the
teacher certification requirement under this provision has been ruled constitutional. State
v. Anderson, 427 NW 2d 316, cert. denied, 488 U.S. 965 (1988).
Private and parochial kindergartens complying with state requirements
that govern teacher certification, curriculum, days of instruction, health,
fire, and safety, and admission criteria may be approved by the Superintendent
of Public Instruction. N.D. Cent. Code ' § 15-45-02.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction has the authority to adopt rules
governing the accreditation of nonpublic schools. N.D. Cent. Code § 15.1-02-09.
Accredited high schools must comply with state course requirements and
class period guidelines. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 15-41-06.
Recordkeeping/Reports: The Superintendent of Public Instruction
is required by law to include in his biennial report to the Governor and
the Office of Management and Budget, the condition, educational and financial,
of the private schools and academies of the state as far as it can be ascertained.
N.D. Cent. Code § 15.1-02-09.
Students enrolled in private or parochial schools must be registered in
their legal surname and for all records maintained by the school and in
all communications requiring the use of a surname. N.D. Cent. Code § 15.1-19-01.
Length of School Year/Day: Attendance at a parochial or private
school excuses a child from public school attendance if the child is in
attendance for the same length of time. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-03.
Public elementary and secondary schools must provide for a school calendar
of at least 180 days, which include one hundred seventy-three full days
of instruction, 3 holidays, 2 days for teacher education association meetings
and 2 parent-teacher conference days. N.D cent. Code § 15-.1-06-04.
Teacher Licenses: To meet state approval requirements, parochial
and private school teachers must be state licensed. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-03.
High school teachers, except trade, industrial, technical and health teachers,
must hold a major or minor in the field that they are teaching. N. D. Cent.
Code § 15-41-25.
Curriculum: To meet state approval requirements, parochial and
private schools must provide instruction in spelling, reading, writing,
arithmetic, language, English grammar, geography, United States history,
civil government, nature study, and elements of agriculture. Physiology
and hygiene must also be taught, including the nature and effect of alcohol
and narcotics; the nature, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis; and
other contagious and infectious diseases. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 15-34.1-03;
High schools, grades 9-12, must offer a minimum of 4 units of course work
each year. Alternative high school senior curriculum plans may be adopted
if approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. All unit courses
must be taught a minimum of 40 minutes a day for at least 180 days, except
that natural science courses must exceed 40 minutes as determined by the
Superintendent. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-41-06. Course offerings must
include the following units of study: English (4); Mathematics (3); Science
(4); Social Studies (3 including world history and United States history
with a strong geography component); Health and physical education (1);
Music (1); and, any combination of business education, economics and the
free enterprise system, foreign language, industrial arts, vocational education
(6). N.D. Cent. Code § 15-41-24.
Regular courses of instruction in the Constitution of the United States
must be taught in all public and private schools beginning in the 8th grade
and continuing in high school. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-38-08.
Special Education: School districts must contract with accredited
private nonsectarian nonprofit corporations within or without the state
or out-of-state public schools for the education of students with disabilities
that are unable to attend public schools in the district because of their
disability if there are no public schools in the state with the necessary
facilities which will accept such students. Transportation must also be
furnished for these students. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-59-07.
Health: To meet state approval requirements, parochial and private
schools must be in compliance with all municipal and state health laws.
N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-03.
Private school teachers, administrators, parents and guardians are prohibited
from permitting children with significant contagious or infectious diseases
to attend school until permitted to do so under the regulations of the
local board of health. N.D. Cent. Code § 23-07-16.
Safety: To meet state approval requirements, parochial and private
schools must be in compliance with all municipal and state fire and safety
laws. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-03.
Plans and specifications for all new private school buildings and for
additions and remodeling for existing school buildings must be submitted
to the State Fire Marshall. N.D. Cent. Code § 18-12-03; § 18-12-05.
Private schools may organize and supervise school safety patrols to direct
students when and where to cross highways, streets, and roads. N.D. Cent.
Code § 15.1-19-11.
Transportation: Nonpublic school students may receive transportation
to school on public school buses running on public school routes if authorized
by the local school board, passenger room is available, and no state funds
are paid for mileage costs for any deviation from the established public
routes. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.2-16.
Home Schooling: Home education means an educational program for
a child, based in the child?s home and supervised by the child?s parent
or parents. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-00.1. Any parent intending to
supervise home education for the parent?s child shall file an annual statement
with the superintendent of the public school district in which the child
resides at least 14 days prior to the beginning of home education of within
14 days of establishing the child?s residency in the district. The statement
must include the names and addresses of the parent who will supervise and
the child who will receive home education; the date of birth and grade
level of the child; the intention of the parent to supervise home education;
the qualifications of the parent who will supervise home education; a list
of courses in which the child intends to enroll and the public school district
offering the courses; a list of extracurricular activities in which the
child intends to participate and the public school district or approved
nonpublic school offering the activities; proof of immunizations; and proof
of identity. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-06 (4).
A parent is qualified to supervise a program of home education is the
parent is licensed to teach in North Dakota; has a baccalaureate degree;
or has met or exceeded the cutoff score of the national teacher exam given
in North Dakota. A parent who has a high school diploma or GED certificate
is qualified to supervise home education but must be monitored by a licensed
teacher during the first two years the parent supervises home education
or until the child being instructed completes the third grade, whichever
is later. If the child being instructed receives a composite standardized
achievement test score below the 50th percentile nationally,
the required monitoring must continue. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-06
Home education must include instruction in those subjects required to
be taught in the public schools. Instruction must be provided for at least
four hours per day for a minimum of 175 days per year. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-06
Every parent supervising home education shall maintain an annual record
of courses taken by the child and the child?s academic progress assessments,
including any standardized test results. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-06
(4). Minimum indices of quality education are established in N.D. Cent.
Code § 15-34.1-07.
A high school diploma may be issued to a student by the student?s school
district of resident, a state-approved nonpublic high school, or the North
Dakota division of independent study if the student, through home education,
has met the issuing entity?s requirements for high school graduation and
the student?s parent or legal guardian provides the issuing entity with
the required documentation. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-34.1-11.1.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: Gross receipts
from the sale of textbooks to private school students and the sale of textbooks,
yearbooks, school supplies and food supplies to private nonprofit elementary
and secondary schools are exempt from state sales tax. N.D. Cent. Code § 57-39.2-04.5,
Miscellaneous: A private school classroom teacher is included by
statute on North Dakota's nine-member Education Standards and Practices
Board beginning January 1, 1995. N.D. Cent. Code § 15-38-17.