education options

education options2018-02-24T21:22:34-06:00

In Connecticut, you have more options than you may think…

Brick & Mortar Public Schools

Compulsory Attendance

Your child’s age is your first indicator of his or her eligibility for beginning school. In Connecticut students are required to start kindergarten if they turn five on or before January 1. The parent of the child may opt out of enrolling their child until he or she is 7 by signing an option form. The parent shall exercise such option by personally appearing at the school district office and signing an option form. See more by clicking here!

Required Documentation

Connecticut school districts set the requirements for what documentation is required prior to enrolling a student in their district. To get that information, contact the district directly.

Some legal documents are required for Connecticut students to attend school:

  • Certified Birth Certificate / proof of identity
  • Official copy of records/transcripts from the previous school the child most recently attended.
  • A shot immunization record (or proof that immunization is not required for the child).
  • Click here to view the immunization requirements. (Link to state specific immunization page)
  • Proof of home address (for example, a rental agreement or tax statement)

School Fees

Paying some fees is a part of public education, though it is primarily a free education. Students are expected to supply their own basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and notebooks. Each district has a list of approved expenditures for students. Fee waiver forms can be requested from the school if there is a situation that prevents a family from being able to pay for required materials or events.

Some typical items on that list include:

  • Lunch
  • Summer school
  • Student parking passes (high school)
  • Lost textbooks
  • Late or lost library books
  • Field trips
  • Special class-required fees (e.g., science lab fees)

Public Charter Schools

What are Charter Schools?

Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools operated by independent, non-profit governing bodies.

Parents, teachers, and community leaders sign a “charter” or contract with a school district or state agency to create a charter school and give students more educational options than their assigned school. Charter schools have flexibility over classroom hours, curriculum, and employment policies, but are subject to periodic reviews based on student performance. In Connecticut, public charter school students are measured against the same academic standards as students in other public schools. Local boards of education monitor the academic and financial performance of charter schools, and, can revoke or refuse to renew a school’s charter.

Connecticut Charter Schools:

A list of the active charter schools can be found at Connecticut Department of Education’s List of Charter Schools!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about charters can be found at Connecticut Department of Education.


Most charter schools do not have attendance zones. If you are interested in applying for your child, you must apply directly to the school. The application and selection process can be quite complicated. Make sure to contact the school early to determine the correct next steps to applying.

Virtual Public Schools

 In Connecticut, k-12 students have no fully-online programs and only a few supplemental opportunities for grades 9-12. Students in grades 9-12 have access to some supplemental learning opportunities through their district school, allowing them to earn high school credit under certain circumstances.


Connecticut Adult Virtual High School provides students enrolled in participating Adult Education Programs the option of taking courses online as a part of their Adult Credit Diploma work. Contact: Susan Champine 860-515-3712

Private Schools

What makes a school “private”?

Private schools charge tuition, and many have a religious mission. Some private schools offer families assistance to make tuition payments. Click below for the complete list of over 330 private schools across the state:

Private School Review offers free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.

*Information on non-public school admission requirements should be obtained from the school directly.


In 2011, a tax-credit scholarship proposal was introduced in the state legislature. This would have allowed individuals and businesses to receive tax credits when donating to scholarship-giving nonprofits. The private school scholarships, provided by this proposal, would have only been available to only low-income families and students with special needs, in Connecticut. Ultimately the proposals never made it to the legislators or even the governor’s desk.

Educational Choice Programs

Currently no one is proposing an educational savings account. The Yankee Institute is promoting private school choice as a policy state lawmakers should consider. However, an organized effort to create a school choice program has yet to form in Connecticut.

For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in Connecticut visit EdChoice.

Private Virtual Schools

George Washington University Online High School is an online college preparatory academy for motivated students who are willing to be challenged to become the best students and persons they can be. Combining award-winning curriculum with small class sizes and intensive college counseling, students receive a flexible, individualized education attuned to their own needs and goals.

International Academy is a K12, Inc accredited, online private school for grades K–12. Students earn a U.S. high school diploma while using award-winning K¹² curriculum. They offer extensive, individualized academic and counseling support keep students on track. The flexibility allows students to explore their passions. Full-time and part-time options are available.

International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, online, college preparatory private school serving K–12 students worldwide. The program combines a top-rated curriculum with talented teachers, cutting-edge technology, the flexibility to learn at home, and direct family involvement to ensure each student realizes his or her full potential.

The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for high school and middle school students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP. Students can enroll at any time.

Home Education

In Connecticut, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Connecticut may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12. Parents desiring to homeschool their own children may do so by showing that they are giving their student an equivalent education to students in public schools. Homeschool instruction must include the following subjects:

  • Reading, writing, spelling, and English Grammar
  • United States history and citizenship; including a study of the town, state and federal governments
  • Geography
  • Arithmetic

Standardized testing is not required by statute or regulation.

You are not required to initiate any contact with government officials to homeschool legally. However, the Home School Legal Defense Alliance strongly recommends that you follow these optional guidelines:

  1. File a Notice of Intent with your local superintendent within 10 days of starting your homeschool program. These forms can be found here, and instructions on how to complete the form can be found at the TEACH CT.
  2. Be prepared to attend an annual portfolio review meeting. This meeting would be to determine if your student is receiving the required instruction.

Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

 Support Groups

Connecticut has many homeschool associations that offer classes, curriculum, advising, sports, clubs, socials and recreation. Check out your local support groups here.

Dual Enrollment

College Credit

Dual enrollment courses are college credit courses. High school students enroll in college courses and earn postsecondary credit upon successful completion of the course. High school credit can also be awarded based on local school policy. Dual enrollment courses can be taught on the college campus, at the student’s high school, or online. The location of the course does not affect its status as a dual enrollment course. Home school students are also eligible for dual enrollment.


Students may apply a course completed at an accredited public or private institution (or online course offered by such institutions, if the local or regional board of education has adopted a policy on awarding of credit for online coursework) toward completion of high school graduation requirements.


Course Fees

Students or parents are responsible for all course fees.

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