education options

education options2018-02-24T20:59:51-06:00

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

Required Documentation

Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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)

Virtual Public Schools

In Kentucky, you can search a course list for a class for a middle or high school student, find out which of the public Kentucky providers offers the course and request more information.

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

phone: (800) 323-4238
ages: 14+

Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning (BAVEL)

phone: (270) 670-3301
grades: 7–12

Jefferson County eSchool

phone: (502) 485-7800
grades: 7–12

Kentucky Education Television (KET)

phone: (800) 333-9764
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 300 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.


Various tax-credit scholarship proposals have been introduced in the state legislature over the years, and legislators introduced one education savings account (ESA) bill for students with special needs in 2016. However, none of these bills has passed the legislature to reach the governor’s desk. Those private school choice programs would have been available only to low-income households or students with special needs.

Educational Choice Programs

There is currently a group of state lawmakers pursuing tax-credit scholarships for low-income families and education savings accounts (ESAs) for students with special needs. A coalition is also calling for the state to create a private school choice program for disadvantaged students.

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 Kentucky, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Kentucky may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K–12. There is no homeschool statute. Homeschools operate under the private school statute by complying with the following steps:

  1. Notify the Board of Education. You must annually send a private school notice of attendance to your local board of education within the first two weeks of the start of the school year. It does not matter in what form you record these dates.
  2. Keep attendance and scholarship reports. You must keep attendance reports and scholarship reports (i.e. report cards) in a similar manner as your local public schools do. Generally, this means the reports must be updated every six to nine weeks, depending on the schedule your district has chosen.
  3. Teach for the required number of days. You must operate your school for 185 days. This includes the 170 instructional days and 1062 hours of total instruction.
  4. Teach the required subjects in English. You are required to teach your student the following subjects (in the English language): reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, and civics in your homeschool curriculum.
Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit the HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

Kentucky 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.

In a Dual Credit course, a student receives credit from both the high school and postsecondary institution in which the student is enrolled upon completion of a single class or designated program of study, including participating in the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky or the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. If a dual credit course is taught by a college-approved high school or area technology center teacher at the secondary school during the regular school day, it is called a concurrent enrollment course.

In a Dual Enrollment course, a student is enrolled in a high school and postsecondary institution simultaneously, including participating in the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky or the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics.

Course Fees

The Guiding Principles for the CPE/KDE Dual Credit Policy provide, “The costs of delivering dual credit courses should be shared by a combination of state, postsecondary institutions, secondary schools, state-funded scholarships, and students and families so that no one entity is solely responsible for such costs.”​

Under the Dual Credit Policy:

  • Tuition and other fees for dual credit courses must be outlined in writing and provided to each student, parent, and secondary school by the postsecondary institution prior to enrollment in such courses. Participating postsecondary institutions must also inform students and parents of scholarships and any fee waivers.
  • The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) must provide student support for dual credit scholarships through funding provided by the General Assembly for the existing Mary Jo Young Scholarship or other newly created dual credit scholarship programs administered by KHEAA.
  • The CPE must create and monitor an accountability system with metrics related to student access, quality, affordability and transferability of credit.
  • Secondary schools and postsecondary institutions must jointly develop a process to determine student eligibility for financial assistance.

A Mary Jo Young Scholarship provides up to $420 for one dual credit course or $840 for two courses, as well as a textbook reimbursement of up to $125 for one course or $250 for two courses. An eligible dual credit student must be a legal Kentucky resident, U.S. citizen or permanent resident, a high school junior or senior, and have either a minimum ACT composite score of 18 or minimum 2.5 GPA for the 2014-2015 school year. Priority is given to students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch.

The CPE/KDE Dual Credit Policy requires the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to establish a statewide Dual Credit Advisory Council. One of the Advisory Council’s responsibilities is to create a plan identifying funding mechanism options for sharing the costs of delivering dual credit courses. These options should include all of the following cost-sharing partners: the state, postsecondary institutions, secondary schools, state funded scholarships, and students and families.

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