education options

education options2018-02-24T21:21:46-06:00

In Kansas, 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 August 31. A child does not have to enroll in school at age five, but must enroll in first grade if he or she is seven on or before September 1.  see more >

Required Documentation

Kansas 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 Kansas 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 Kansas, 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.

Kansas Charter Schools

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the Kansas 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 Kansas, 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.

Kansas is working hard to allow K-12 students the opportunity for online learning, with a growing number of virtual schools, virtual charter schools, charter schools with blended programs, eight service center programs and district programs. All of these programs are approved for full-time enrollment.

If you are interested in enrolling in a virtual school or program, you are encouraged to first contact your resident school district to see if one is offered. If there are no options within your district, or you wish to explore options outside of your district, you should search the Virtual School and Program Directory or check this list to find a school or program that best fits your needs. 

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (800) 323-4238

Grades: 14+ years of age

Haven Virtual Academy

Phone: (620) 960-3745

Grades: K-12

Humboldt Virtual Education Program

Phone: (620) 228-4186

Grades: 9-12

Insight School of Kansas and Insight School of Kansas Adult

Phone: (800) 260-0438

Grades: 7-12

Kansas Connections Academy

Phone: (620) 697-1166

Grades: K-12

Kansas Online Learning Program

Phone: (888) 870-0801

Grades: K-12

Kansas Virtual Academy

Phone: (855) 243-1908

Grades: K-6

Lawrence Virtual School

Phone: (866) 644-8320

Grades: K-12

Learning² eSchool of Wichita

Phone: (316) 973-9310

Grades: K-12

Manhattan Virtual Academy

Phone: (785) 587-2100 Ext. 8073

Grades: 7-12

Maize Virtual Preparatory School

Phone: (316) 462-8800

Grades: K-12

Smoky Valley Virtual Charter School

Phone: (785) 227-2981

Grades: K-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 170 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 Kansas Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program—a tax-credit scholarship program—was enacted in 2014 and launched in 2015, making it Kansas’s first school choice program.

Educational Choice Programs

For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in Kansas 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 Kansas, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Kansas may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12. Kansas homeschools will be treated as private schools, and there are two ways of acting as one: Homeschooling as a non-accredited private school or as a satellite of a private school. Steps on how to operate under these options are listed below.  

With a non-accredited private school:

  1. Register your private school. Choose a name for your school. Register the name and address with the State Board of Education, and keep a copy of that registration for your personal files.
  2. Select competent instructors.
  3. Teach for the required period. You are required to teach your student for about the same period of time as the public schools, usually 186 days.
  4. There are no required subjects. For a list of recommended subjects visit here.
  5. Plan and schedule your instruction.
  6. Test your student periodically.

With a satellite of a Private School:

In the case of In Re Wilms, a Shawnee County court ruled that a family operating their homeschool program as a satellite of—and accountable to—a local private school board was in compliance with the compulsory attendance laws.

 Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

 Support Groups

Many homeschool associations offer classes, curriculum advising, sports, clubs, socials and recreation. Check out the local homeschool support groups in your area.

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.

Through the Kansas Challenge to Secondary School Pupils Act (a.k.a. Concurrent Enrollment), secondary students may enroll in eligible postsecondary institutions. Students may also access coursework at the high school if the district and an eligible postsecondary institution have approved a Concurrent Enrollment Partnership agreement, whereby a high school instructor teaches a college-level course at the high school.

Under Dual Credit, a student may enroll in coursework at a postsecondary institution. However, since dual credit is not a systemwide policy, dual credit arrangements are made between students, local school districts and postsecondary institutions.

Course Fees

General coursework: Student/parent. For academic courses, tuition is an amount negotiated by the school district and the college/university under this program. Tuition, books, equipment and any other costs of enrollment are the responsibility of the student or the student’s parent. No school district may be responsible for the payment of concurrent enrollment tuition.

For tiered, funded CTE courses: Combination of state and student/parent. Students may be charged fees (including expenses for books and supplies) but not tuition. Each school year, to the extent sufficient monies are appropriated to the secondary CTE program, the state board of regents must distribute state funds to community colleges, technical colleges and the Washburn institute of technology for the cost associated with secondary students enrolled in postsecondary CTE programs. 

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