Private School Regulation


Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: The State Board of Education is charged with the responsibility of licensing nonsectarian private schools. Wyo. Stat. § 21-2-304. A license issued to a private school permits the school to solicit, offer, and maintain courses of instruction. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 5(c). The licensing provisions, Wyo. Stat. § § 21-2-401 through 21-2-407, authorize minimum standards, degree, performance bond, and requirements. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 17 stipulate K-12 license application requirements. The provisions do not apply to parochial, church or religious schools. Wyo. Stat. § 21-2-406.

Recordkeeping/Reports: Licensed non religious private schools are required to submit an annual report to the State Board of Education which includes the following: (a) dropout rates for grades 9 through 12; (b) school averages for standard achievement tests; (c) the number of hours of classroom instruction; (d) the school's recommended course of study for college-bound students and percent of students who have successfully completed the course of study; (e) the types of and number of participants in parent and community involvement programs within the school; (f) the number of parental visits to the schools; (g) the number of students involved in extra-curricular activities and events; (h) the percentage of the school's budget spent on instruction, instructional support, general support and community support; (i) school goals for the year; (j) a description of efforts being made to reform, restructure and improve the educational quality and equity in the school, including teacher recommendations; and, (k) any other information the school believes relevant to the parents' understanding of the performance of the school. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 15.

Length of School Year/Day: To satisfy the compulsory attendance law, a private school must be open during the entire time that the public schools are in session in the district in which the pupil resides. (Public schools are required by statute to operate 175 days each school year unless an alternative schedule is approved by the state board.) Wyo. Stat. § § 21-4-102(a); 21-4-301.

Teacher Certification: All professional educational staff members in licensed non religious private schools must have certificates with the necessary endorsements covering specific assignments and be assigned in accordance with the certificates and endorsements, except if any staff member does not qualify for certification or endorsement, the private school must notify all parents and the public that their teachers are not certified by the state. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 12.

Curriculum: All students in licensed non-religious private schools must meet the student performance standards at the level set by the school in: (a) Language Arts; (b) Social Studies; (c) Mathematics; (d) Science; (e) Fine Arts and Performing Arts; (f) Physical Education; (g) Health and Safety; (h) Humanities; (i) Career Options; (j) Foreign Cultures Including Language; and, (k) Applied Technology. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 7.

All students in licensed non religious private schools must meet the student performance standards at the level set by the school in the following skills: (a) Problem Solving; (b) Interpersonal Communications; (c) Keyboarding and Computer Applications; (d) Critical Thinking; (e) Creativity; (f) Life Skills, Including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 8.

Licensed non-religious private schools must provide instruction in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, including the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals. Wyo. Regs. Chapter 18, § 9.

Special Education: State law authorizes the public placement of children in a private agency, if the local school district cannot provide the necessary and appropriate programs and services. Wyo. Stat. § 21-2-502.

Health: Students attending K-12 private schools must provide documentary proof of immunization within 30 days after school entry. School administrators must not permit a student to attend school beyond that time without proper immunization. Wyo. Stat. § 21-4-309.

Safety: Private schools are required to conduct a fire drill at least once every month. If a paid fire department is maintained in the area, the school must request a representative to attend and offer instruction and constructive criticism. Wyo. Stat. § 35-9-505.

It is illegal to operate a commercial oil field waste disposal facility within one mile of a private school without the school's consent. Wyo. Stat. § 35-11-306 (a) (ii).

Home Schooling: A home-based education program is instruction provided to a child by the child?s parent or legal guardian or by a person designated by the parent or legal guardian. Instruction provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based educational program. Wyo. Stat. ? 21-4-101(a)(iii).

Home-based educational programs shall provide for " a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, civics, history, literature, and science ". There is not a requirement for the inclusion of any concept, topic, or practice in conflict with the religious doctrines of the parents nor any prohibition against excluding from its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice consistent with the religious doctrines of the parents. Wyo. Stat. ? 21-4-101(a)(vi).

It is the responsibility of every person administering a home-based education program to submit a curriculum to the local board of trustees each year showing that the program complies with the requirements of the law. Failure to comply is evidence that the home-based program does not comply with the requirements of the law. Wyo. Stat. § 21-4-102(b).

Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The Wyoming Constitution prohibits appropriations from the public school fund for any private school, or school controlled by a church or sectarian organization or religious denomination. Wyoming Const. Art. 7, § 8.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, 1999 - This information is presented for research use only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for further information.