If you live in Delaware and your child(ren) is/are between the ages of 5 (by August 31st of the school year) and 18, your child(ren) must be enrolled in a public or nonpublic (private or homeschool) school. This is due to compulsory attendance laws in Delaware.

There are two requirements to keep a nonpublic (home or private) school open and active once registered. Pursuant to Delaware law, 14 Del.C. § 2704:

  • (a) All persons conducting nonpublic schools shall report end of the year attendance information to the DDOE annually, on or before July 31, on such forms as shall be prescribed by the DDOE.
  • (b) Such persons shall also submit annually, no later than October 5, a statement of pupil enrollment as as of the last school day in September, on such forms as prescribed by the Department of Education.

Annual enrollment and attendance information are reported through the Nonpublic School System.

Homeschools[ Back to Top ]

If you plan to homeschool children in Delaware, you must open a nonpublic school (NPS) with the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) and enroll your children

The use of an online school, program, or curriculum is acceptable, but you are still required to open a homeschool. You do not have to open a homeschool with the DOE if your child is 16 or older; however, we welcome and encourage you to do so.

For multi-family homeschools, the school’s liaison/administrator is responsible for registration, reporting, and enrollment. They will add students to the multi-family homeschool as part of the enrollment process and provide the parent/guardian with a copy of the acknowledgement page. If you plan for your child(ren) to attend a multi-family homeschool, you must contact the liaison/administrator in order to determine what steps you must take to enroll your student.

Once your student is enrolled into a homeschool, you must withdraw from public school or your previous nonpublic school.

Private Schools[ Back to Top ]

Parents/Guardians

If you plan on sending your child(ren) to a private school, that private school must be in an “open status”, have a physical location which your student is attending (this does not pertain to remote learning instituted by the school due to unforeseen circumstances), and your child(ren) enrolled in that private school before your child(ren) is/are withdrawn from a Delaware public school. The DOE must be made aware of their enrollment in the private school or the student will be considered truant in their previous school.

The DOE recommends that students and parents/guardians research the private school prior to enrolling their students. They may want to look into accreditation, curriculum, grading and promotion policies, document retention policies, etc.

If you plan on your child(ren) attending a private school, you must contact the private school in order to determine what steps you must take to enroll your student. The private school is responsible for notifying the DOE of their enrolled students.

Once your student is enrolled into a private school, you must withdraw from public school or your previous nonpublic school.

New or Existing Private Schools

According to DE Admin Code 255.2, a “Private School” means a school having any or all of grades kindergarten through twelve, operating under a board of trustees and maintaining a faculty and plant which are properly supervised.

In order to open a private school in the State of Delaware, you must register with the Delaware Department of Education (DOE). You must also obtain proper business licensing for the Delaware Division of Corporations.

Any private school registered with the DOE must have an address and a physical location within the State of Delaware. The DOE does not allow virtual private schools to register with the DOE as a Delaware nonpublic school.

Application Steps[ Back to Top ]

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) reviews and approves or denies nonpublic school applications in the order that they are received.

The DDOE will review your submitted application and open or deny the school. If needed, they will call for any additional information. Please be aware we do our best to review the information as quickly as possible. The DDOE will deny a NPS application and/or student registration if an active truancy case exists.

Whether you are opening a Private School or Homeschool, the process contains three steps:

  • Step One: Apply for an EdAccess Account and select Nonpublic School Account from the dropdown. Once you have submitted the form, be sure to check your email for a confirmation and next steps.
  • Step Two: Log into the Nonpublic School Application via EdAccess. Select the Nonpublic School Application icon, select the +School blue button at the top of the page. Then select the type of NPS you are opening, enter the school’s demographic information, contact information, and add student(s) to be enrolled. If you are opening a homeschool, make sure to link your students to a parent/guardian. Be sure to save and continue on each page, review the information one more time, and then submit. At this time, your nonpublic school request will go into a pending status.
  • Step Three: Print or obtain a copy of the Acknowledgment Letter indicating that your NPS has been opened and your student(s) is/are enrolled. Public schools will not withdraw your child(ren) to a NPS without this Acknowledgement Letter.

Please note, if you are registering a nonpublic school for next school year, you will need to wait until after August 10th to do so.

Once the DDOE notifies you that your NPS is approved/open, you can access the homepage for your NPS by logging in through EdAccess and clicking on the NPS icon. This will take you to your NPS homepage for your school.

Acknowledgement Letter[ Back to Top ]

This is the official document that shows your nonpublic school has been registered with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). This document will also show the status of your student enrollment. The DDOE encourages you to keep a copy of this document for your records any time the status of your school or student changes.

To locate the Acknowledgement Letter, please log into the NPS Application via EdAccess. Select the Records tab at the top of the screen and then Acknowledgement Letter. You will need to select the School Year for which you want to print the letter. You can click the Print All button to print the letter containing all students enrolled in the school, or you can select specific students and then click the Print Selected button.

Withdraw from a Public School[ Back to Top ]

If your child(ren) withdraws from a Delaware public to enroll in a Delaware nonpublic school (homeschool or private school), that nonpublic school must be opened, and your child(ren) enrolled in that nonpublic school before your child(ren) is/are withdrawn from a Delaware public school. The DOE must be made aware of their nonpublic school status through nonpublic registration and enrollment, or the student will be considered truant in their previous public school.

Once your child(ren) is/are enrolled in an open Delaware NPS, you are required to provide the Acknowledgement Letter to the public school to withdraw your child(ren). Public schools will not withdraw your child(ren) to a nonpublic school without this acknowledgement document.

For multi-family homeschools and Private Schools, the school’s liaison will provide the parent/guardian with a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter.

If your student has not been enrolled in a Delaware public school because you are new to the state or now entering kindergarten, you do not need to withdraw from public school.

Re-enroll in a Public School[ Back to Top ]

Be sure that the student(s) have been withdrawn from the nonpublic school. Log into EdAccess and re-print the Acknowledgement Letter found under Records which will now show that the student(s) have been withdrawn from the NPS. Take this document and an accurate portfolio, including tests, quizzes, assignments, report cards, etc. to the public school. An accurate portfolio will be helpful for re-enrollment in the public school, since it is the public school’s decision which grade level the student(s) is/are placed when re-enrolled. You may wish to contact the public high school you intend to enroll your child(ren) to determine what it may require.

Single Family Homeschools:

The school administrator, often the parent or guardian, must

  • Withdraw their student(s) from the homeschool
  • Re-print the Acknowledgement Letter showing the student(s) has/have been withdrawn
  • Take the Acknowledgement Letter and an accurate academic portfolio to the public school

Multi-Family Homeschools and Private Schools:

The school administrator must

  • Withdraw the student(s) from the homeschool
  • Provide a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter showing the student(s) has/have been withdrawn to the parent/guardian

The parent/guardian must

  • Take the provided Acknowledgement Letter and an accurate academic portfolio to the public school

Please note, if a student returns to public school in Delaware, it is the public school’s decision which grade level a student is placed when re-enrolled into a public school.

Moving To or From Delaware[ Back to Top ]

If you are moving to Delaware from another state and enrolling your student into a Delaware nonpublic school, you are not required to provide the Delaware Department of Education with any academic records from your previous State of residency. However, if you are enrolling into a Private School, they may require these records. If you are opening a homeschool, please follow the application steps. You will not need to withdraw your student from a Delaware public school district.

If you are moving from Delaware to another state, please be sure to submit the Service Desk Form. Select School Closure from the dropdown. Be sure to let us know you are moving out of the State of Delaware and the closure date. Once your school is closed, we encourage you to print a final copy of the Acknowledgement Letter for your records showing the school as closed and your student(s) as withdrawn.

Truancy[ Back to Top ]

If a public school district has an open truancy case involving a student pending enrollment into a homeschool, that student will be denied enrollment by the DDOE.

If a public school district is preparing to file truancy but a student is enrolled into a homeschool before they do so, the public school district may still choose to pursue truancy charges.

Enrollment into a nonpublic school should not be used as a way to avoid truancy charges.