education options

education options2018-02-24T21:30:39-06:00

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 may start kindergarten if they turn five on or before September 30th.  see more >

Required Documentation

D.C. 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 D.C. 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.

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 Alabama, 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.

D.C. Charter Schools

To view a list of all charter schools in D.C. click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the DC Public Charter School Board. 


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

Friendship Public Charter School Online

Phone: (202) 729-8287
Grade: K-8

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 51 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.


The school voucher program is Washington D.C.’s only school choice program. It was enacted and launched in 2004, and it continues to serve students from low-income households. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history, and more.

For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in D.C. 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

Your options

In D.C., parents have one option when it comes to educating their children at home. Below is a description and necessary requirements for each option.  

learn more >

  • Make sure you have the required qualifications to homeschool under D.C. regulations.
  • Notify the District of Columbia that you are homeschooling.
    • The form should be filed 15 days before you officially begin homeschooling, and every year thereafter by August 15.
  • Teach your children thoroughly and regularly
  • Teach the required subjects.
    • language arts
    • mathematics
    • science
    • social studies
    • art
    • music
    • health
    • physical education.
  • Maintain a portfolio.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate that your child is receiving a “thorough, regular education.”
  • Notify the District of Columbia if you discontinue homeschooling.

Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

D.C. 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

An LEA that implements a dual enrollment program must notify parents that postsecondary institution employees are not subject to the criminal background checks that are applicable to elementary and secondary school employees.

Course Fees

Local decision. LEAs and postsecondary institutions agree in the Partnership Agreement on who will be responsible for tuition in the Partnership Agreement.  Currently for most programs, tuition is primarily paid by the postsecondary institutions.  In cases where it is not, tuition is paid from the District of Columbia dual enrollment fund, which is administered by the State Superintendent for Education’s office.  A Dual Enrollment Partnership Agreement must provide that students will not be charged tuition for dual enrollment courses.

For more information about dual enrollment and dual enrollment fees visit Education Commission of the States!

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