Starting A Non-public School
West Virginia code §18-8-1 outlines the exemptions to public school attendance for students of the compulsory attendance ages of 6-17. There are two types of non-public schools, Exemption (b) and Exemption (k) schools.
Exemption (b) schools are non-public schools that fall under the jurisdiction of a local county board of education. Such schools are approved to operate by a local county board of education and must have an instructional term equal to W.Va. Code 18-5-45. The county board determines assessment requirements for students and other types of school reports.
To start an Exemption (b) school, please refer to our school directory page for county superintendent contact information. Once the local county board of education has approved the operation of your Exemption (b) school, please send notice to the state superintendent of schools so we can properly update our directory of non-public schools. For more information about W.Va. Code §18-8-1 (b), please visit the West Virginia Legislature.
Exemption (k) schools are non-public schools that elect to register with the state superintendent of schools and are subject to W.Va. Code §18-28, et. seq. These schools are required to submit standardized testing scores annually that demonstrate proficiency at or above the fortieth percentile. Additionally, they are required to maintain a 180 instructional calendar, average five hours of instruction per day and are subject to health, safety and fire inspections by local, county and state officials.
To start an Exemption (k) school, please send a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Operate a non-public school to the attention of the state superintendent of schools. The letter must include the following information:
- Name of the school;
- Name of the head administrator;
- Mailing address of the school;
- Physical location of the school (if different than the mailing);
- Phone number for the school;
- Email address for the administrator;
- County of operation;
- Grade levels to be served;
- Intended start date.
The mailing address to send the NOI is: 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6, Room 360, Charleston, WV 25305. For more information about W.Va. Code §18-8-1 (k) and §18-28, please visit the West Virginia Legislature.
To start a non-public PK program, a license must be obtain from the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Please call (304) 558-0628 or visit their website to begin the process.