education options

education options2018-02-24T21:15:24-06:00

In Idaho, 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 is required to be enrolled if they turn five on or before September 1.   see more >

Required Documentation

Idaho 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 Idaho 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 Idaho, 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.

Idaho Charter Schools

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the Idaho 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 Idaho, children attend school online in virtual classrooms with state certified teachers. Some virtual programs are open to in-district students only, while others have enrollment open to students across the state.

With eight fully-online schools, seven virtual charter schools, a state distance education academy, several district-level options and the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, students in grades K-12 face little difficulty in obtaining online opportunities. Most students in grades 9-12 can take advantage of supplemental courses,

Another Choice Virtual Charter School

Phone: (208) 475-4255

Grades: K-12

Bonneville Online School

Phone: (208) 557-6884

Grades: K-8

Bonneville Online High School

Phone: (208) 557-6836

Grades: 9-12

Inspire Connections Academy

Phone: (208) 322-4002

Grades: K-12

iSucceed Virtual High School

Phone: (855) 375-3116

Grades: 9-12

Idaho Connects Online School

Phone: (208) 287-3668

Grades: 6-12

Idaho Distance Education Academy (I-DEA)

Phone: (800) 871-5057

Grades: K-12

Idaho Digital Learning Academy Phone: (208) 342-0207

Grades: 9-12

Idaho Virtual Academy

Phone: (208) 322-3559

Grades: K-12

Kootenai Bridge Academy

Phone: (208) 930-4515

Grades: 11-12

Minidoka Virtual Academy

Phone: (208) 436-4727

Grades: K-8

Richard McKenna Charter High School

Phone: (208) 580-2347

Grades: 9-12

Vallivue Virtual Academy

Phone: (208) 454-0445

Grades: 7-12

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 110 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.


A supermajority of the Idaho House of Representatives passed the Idaho Elementary and Secondary Scholarship Act, a tax-credit scholarship program, in 2014. It would have allowed individuals and businesses to receive tax credits when donating to scholarship-giving nonprofits that provide scholarships to students from low-income households. The program died in the Joint Finance and Tax Committee where the chairman did not grant the bill a hearing.

Educational Choice Programs

There is a coalition led by the Idaho Federation of Independent Schools continuing to promote a statewide tax-credit scholarship program.

For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in Indiana 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 Idaho, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Idaho may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12. learn more >

Idaho does not require homeschool parents to possess any particular qualifications, obtain school district approval, or test their children. If your public school district asks for information about your homeschool program, you are not legally required to furnish it. These are the steps to homeschool legally in Idaho:

  1. Select an instructor.
  2. Teach the required subjects. You must teach your children subjects that are commonly and usually taught in the public schools of Idaho.


 Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

Idaho 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.

Course Fees

Either student/parent, or the school district may make payments or partial payments for courses taken for secondary credit. The district cannot make payments to a postsecondary institution for a course taken for postsecondary credit only, or for a course from which a student officially withdraws during the first 14 days of the semester, or for courses for audit.

Public school students who have completed all state high school graduation requirements (except senior project) before the beginning of their final 12th grade semester or trimester are eligible for assistance in paying for up to 18 credits per semester or 12 credits per trimester of dual credit courses. The state department of education must distribute funds from moneys appropriated for the educational support program to defray the per credit cost charged by a postsecondary institution for a dual credit course, up to $75 per credit hour. An 11th grader qualifies for an amount equal to the amount necessary to cover the dual credit fee set by the state board for up to 3 postsecondary semester or equivalent credits. A 12th grader who does not qualify for final semester/trimester financial aid qualifies for an amount equal to cover the dual credit fee set by the state board for up to 6 postsecondary semester or equivalent credits.

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