education options

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education options2018-02-24T21:14:26+00:00

In Delaware, 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. Students are required start kindergarten if they turn five on or before August 31. A parent may request that school authorities evaluate the child’s readiness for attendance and may request a delay of 1 year in that attendance. However, admission to first grade will be authorized only after school authorities evaluate the child’s readiness for attendance. see more>

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Required Documentation

Delaware 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 Delaware 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 
  • 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.

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 Delaware, 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.

Delaware Charter Schools

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

Enrollment

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 Delaware, k-12 students have no fully-online programs although there are some dual credit courses offered through University of Delaware’s Online High School.

An online World Language Program, offering Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, is made available online through the department of education. In 2013, four school districts formed the BRINC Consortium with the goal of offering personalized learning for Delaware students.

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 97 private schools across the state.

private school review

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.

Educational Savings Account

Some lawmakers introduced the Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account act in 2014-15. This program would allow low-income parents to use state funding for their student’s private school tuition, textbooks, tutors or a combination of any of the approved educational expenses.

There is a growing coalition that is continuing to promote ESAs in the Delaware, and a school choice program proposal was proposed in 2016. 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.

Aquinas Academy offers a Catholic liberal arts education based on methodology modeled by its patron saints, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John Bosco.  Aquinas Academy is dedicated to promoting academic excellence within the tradition of a Catholic education.

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 Delaware, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Delaware may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12. Delaware does not have teacher qualifications or standardized testing requirements. There are three methods of homeschooling that a parent may choose for their student: Homeschooling as a single-family homeschool, Homeschooling as a multi-family homeschool and Homeschooling as a single-family homeschool coordinated with the local school district.

Homeschooling as a single-family homeschool:

A single-family homeschool means the child is educated primarily by his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), mostly in their own home.

  1. Report enrollment at the beginning of each school year. On or before October 5th you must submit a submission of pupil enrollment to the Delaware Department of Education.
  2. Report attendance at the end of each school year. On or before July 31st you must submit a pupil attendance log to the Delaware Department of Education.

Homeschooling as a multi-family homeschool:

A multi-family homeschool means that children from more than one family are educated primarily by the children’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s), mostly in their own home(s) or in other facilities. In order to establish a multi-family homeschool, you must coordinate with more than one family. The law requires multi-family homeschools to appoint a person to act as a liaison to the Department of Education. This liaison will be responsible for submitting the following:

  1. Report enrollment at the beginning of each school year. On or before October 5th you must submit a submission of pupil enrollment to the Delaware Department of Education.

Report attendance at the end of each school year. On or before July 31st you must submit a pupil attendance log to the Delaware Department of Education.

Homeschooling as a single-family homeschool coordinated with the local school district:

A single-family homeschool coordinated with the local school district means the child is educated primarily by his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), mostly in their own home. To homeschool under this option one must:

  1. Contact the superintendent.  you must ask the superintendent to determine in writing that your child is or will be provided with regular and thorough instruction by his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the subjects prescribed for the public schools
  2. Report enrollment at the beginning of each school year. On or before October 5th you must submit a submission of pupil enrollment to the Delaware Department of Education.
  3. Teach the same subjects as those taught in the public schools.

Report attendance at the end of each school year. On or before July 31st you must submit a pupil attendance log to the Delaware Department of Education.

Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

Many home school associations offer classes, curriculum advising, sports, clubs, socials and recreation. Check out the support group in your area 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.

Course Fees

Payment of tuition varies depending upon the type of dual enrollment and district policy — may be paid by the district, grant-funded, paid by the student or student’s parent, or covered by waivers for eligible students.

Funding sources such as grants must be identified, as well as the procedures for applying and the procedures for awarding such funds or waivers. No student may be denied access to dual credit or dual enrollment courses because of the student’s or family’s inability to pay.
The Delaware legislature has appropriated $1.5 million annually since 2014 for college access funding. The appropriation includes a line item to cover dual enrollment tuition, books, and other expenses, (including student transportation as needed), for low-income students. Funds are automatically awarded to districts retroactively based on the percentage of low-income dually enrolled students reported to the department of education.

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