In Tennessee, you have more options than you may think…

Education Savings Account Program

a.k.a ESA’s

The Education Savings Account (ESA) Program is a school choice program for eligible students in Shelby and Davidson counties. The program was created and adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly in April of 2019 for the 2020/2021 school year. The ESA Program gives parents and students access to public education funds to use on certain types of approved educational expenses that best meet their students’ unique needs. 

How do I apply?

The application for the new ESA program is set to open March 2020! Clicking the button below to find out if your student is eligible!

Is My Student Eligible?

Participating TN Schools

School Name City Phone
Ezell-Harding Christian School Antioch (615) 390-0023
Lighthouse Christian School Antioch (615) 331-6286
Brentwood Academy Brentwood (615) 373-0611
St. Matthew School Franklin (615) 571-9667
Saint John Vianney  School Gallatin (615) 230-7048
Dayspring Academy Greenbrier (615) 672-9650
Hendersonville Christian Academy Hendersonville (615) 824-1550
Pope John Paul II High School Hendersonvlle (615) 822-2375
St. Joseph School Madison (615) 860-5033
Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School Murfreesboro (615) 898-0555
Akiva School Nashville (615) 356-1880
Benton Hall Academy Nashville (615) 791-6467
Born Again Christian Academy Nashville (615) 228-1430
Christ the King School Nashville (615) 292-9465
Father Ryan High School Nashville (615) 383-4200
Gateway Academy Nashville Nashville  (629) 333-8928
Holy Rosary Academy Nashville (615) 883-1108
Linden Waldorf School Nashville  (615) 354-0270
Montessori East Nashville (615) 226-4588
Montgomery Bell Academy Nashville  (615) 491-1425
NIA House Montessori school Nashville (615) 968-1997
Saint Ann School Nashville (615) 269-0568
Saint Henry School Nashville (615) 352-1328
St Clement Coptic Orthodox Christian Academy Nashville (615) 500-2581
St. Cecilia Academy Nashville  (615) 495-9770
St. Edward School Nashville (248) 941-1364
St. Pius X Classical Academy Nashville (615) 255-2049
Templeton Academy Nashville (615) 601-0893
Nashville International Academy Nashville (724) 584-2292
Pleasant View Christian School Pleasant View (615) 746-8555
South Haven Christian School Springfield (615) 384-5073
School Name City Phone
St. Ann Catholic School Bartlett (901) 386-3328
Incarnation Catholic School Collierville (901) 853-7804
St. George’s Independent School Collierville (901) 457-2000
Evangelical Christian School Cordova (901) 754-7217
Lambs & Ivy Cordova (901) 507-6971
St. Benedict at Auburndale Cordova (901) 260-2840
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School Cordova  (901) 388-7321
Bodine School Germantown (901) 203-3880
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School Germantown (901) 753-1181
Bornblum Jewish Community School Memphis (901) 747-2665
Brinkley Heights Urban Academy Memphis (901) 324-3022
Central Baptist School Memphis (901) 530-4488
Christ the King Lutheran School Memphis (901) 682-8405
Christian Brothers High School Memphis (901) 261-4900
Collegiate School of Memphis Memphis (901) 591-8288
Creative Life, Inc. Memphis (901) 775-0304
Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School Memphis (901) 278-0200
Greater Praise Christian Academy Memphis (901) 297-6026
Harding Academy of Memphis Memphis (901) 767-4998
Holy Rosary Catholic School Memphis (901) 259-8127
Hutchison School Memphis (901) 762-6665
Immaculate Conception Cathedral School Memphis (901) 725-2710
Immanuel Lutheran School Memphis (901) 849-2751
Margolin Hebrew Academy Memphis (901) 682-2400
Memphis Heritage Christian School Memphis (901) 377-7536
New Hope Christian Academy Memphis (901) 358-3183
Pleasant View School Memphis (901) 380-0122
Presbyterian Day School Memphis (901) 842-4695
Sensational Enlightenment Memphis (901) 729-6021
St Paul Catholic School Memphis (901) 346-0862
St. Agnes Academy – St. Dominic School Memphis (901) 435-5815
St. Louis Catholic School Memphis (901) 255-1900
Woodland Presbyterian School Memphis (901) 685-0976
Word of Faith Christian Academy Memphis (901) 744-4083
School Name City Phone
First Lutheran School  Knoxville (865) 524-0308

Click below to find the closest participating school to you!

School Finder

Q: Can my student apply for an ESA and use it at another public school?

A: Great question! You must take the funds and use it at a participating private school.

Q: Can I use the funds for education costs outside of the cost of tuition?

A: YES! You can use your ESA funds on private school tuition, necessary computer hardware, books, uniforms, and some transportation!

Q: If my student is currently homeschooled, can they apply for the ESA program.

A: Unfortunately, no they can’t. For now, the only students who can apply are those who are entering Kindergarten or currently enrolled in a public school, ASD school, or LEA school.

Q: Okay, so a homeschool student can’t apply, but can I decide to homeschool my student with the funds we receive. 

A: If your student is eligible to receive the funds provided by the ESA program, the funds must be used on tuition, tutoring, books, some transportation, etc. at a private school of your choice.

Individualized Education Account Program

a.k.a IEA’s

The Individualized Education Account (IEA) Program is a school choice program for eligible students with disabilities. The program was created by the Individualized Education Act, adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2015. The IEA Program gives parents and students access to public education funds to use on certain types of approved educational expenses that best meet their students’ unique needs.  see more >

How do I apply?

Application Deadline 2019/2020: April 15, 2019 by 3pm CST
*Please Note: The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) WILL NOT accept applications after the 3pm deadline! So make sure to get yours in before.

Apply Today!

Already participate in the IEA Program?

Renewal Deadline 2019/2020: June 3, 2019 at 3pm CST.
*Please Note: The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) WILL NOT accept applications after the 3pm deadline! So make sure to get yours in before.

Renew Today!

Is my student eligible?

Click the button below to find out

student eligibility

A student must meet ALL five of the following qualifications:

  1. be a Tennessee resident; and
  2. at the time of enrollment in the IEA Program, the student must be in grades K-12; and
  3. has an active individualized education program (IEP) through a public school district; and
  4. have one of the following disabilities: autisim, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, hearing impairments, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, visual impairments; and
  5. ONE the following:
    • was previously enrolled in and attended a Tennessee public school for the one full school year immediately preceding the school year in which the student receives an IEA;
    • is entering kindergarten for the first time;
    • has not previously attended a school in Tennessee during the one full school year immediately preceding the school year in which the student receives an IEA, and moved to Tennessee less than one year prior to the date of enrollment in the IEA Program; or
    • received an IEA in the previous year.

If your student meets all of the above requirements and is accepted by the Tennessee Department of Education, you will have to enroll them in a private school or independent homeschool. At the time of disbursement, TDOE will disburse IEA payments onto a pre-paid debit card.

The IEA Program has 15 approved uses as set by the state law. View these 15 approved uses here in chapters 8,9 and 10 in the IEA Parent Handbook.

Questions?

For frequently asked questions, visit the Tennessee Department of Education’s FAQ page.

Curious to learn more about the IEA Program? Watch this informational video courteous of the Tennessee Department of Education.

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 15. A child does not have to enroll in school at age five, but must enroll no later than his or her sixth birthday.  see more>

find your school

Required Documentation

Tennessee 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 here.

Some legal documents are required for Tennessee 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 Tennessee, 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.

Tennessee Charter Schools

A list of the 100 active charter schools can be found at the Tennessee School Directory and selecting Public Charter as the “School Type”!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the Tennessee Charter School Center or the Tennessee Department of Education. 

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 Tennessee, thousands of 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.  

Bradley County Virtual School

phone: (423) 473-8473
grades: 3–12

D-B EXCEL

phone: (423) 378-2185
grades: 9–12

Hamilton County Virtual School

phone: (423) 209-8804
grades: K–12

Memphis Virtual School

phone: (901) 416-4207
grades: 6–12

Metro Nashville Virtual School

phone: (615) 463-0188, ext. 3900
grades: PK – 12

Robertson Co. Virtual School

phone: (615) 384-3516, ext.2039
grades: 7–12

Tennessee Online Public School

phone: (423) 652-9209
grades: 9–12

Tennessee Virtual Academy

phone: (865) 992-9026
grades: K–8

Tennessee Connections Academy

phone: (615) 443-2681, ext. 2
grades: KG – 12

VITAL: Upper Cumberland e-Learning Network

phone: (931) 372-2368
grades: PK–12

Washington County Virtual School

phone: (423) 434-4900
grades: 9–12

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 500 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.

Scholarships

For families who currently want to consider private school options in Shelby County, visit the scholarship application page. Students must be entering PreK-3, PreK-4, Kindergarten, or 1st grade.

For those outside of the Memphis area, stay tuned to the ongoing discussion about a statewide opportunity scholarship program by signing up at School Choice Now.

Educational Savings Account

Tennessee enacted an education savings account (ESA) program in 2015. The Tennessee Individualized Education Account (IEA) Program, which will launch in 2017, provides parents funds to pay for a variety of educational services for their children, including private school tuition, tutoring, online education, curriculum, therapy, post-secondary educational institutions in Tennessee, and other defined educational services.  learn more >

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 Tennessee, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Tennessee may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K–12. The Tennessee Homeschool law (Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-6-3050) states: “A home school is a school conducted or directed by a parent or parents or a legal guardian or guardians for their own children.” Parents desiring to homeschool their own children may do so by choosing one of the following three options — Independent Home School, Church-related Home School or Accredited Online School. All three options are discussed below.

Independent Home School:

To be an independent home school student you must:

  1. Provide a Letter of Intent to the local director of schools prior to each school year. The letter of intent must include the parent’s intent to conduct a home school, the names, number, ages and grade levels of the children to be home schooled, the location of the school, the proposed curriculum to be offered, the proposed hours of instruction and the qualifications of the parent-teacher.
  2. Maintain attendance records and submit these records to the Director of Schools at the end of each school year.
  3. Submit proof of vaccination and receipt of any health services or examinations as required by law.
  4. Student attendance (at least 4 hours per day, 180 days per year) must be reported to the local school district at the end of the school year.
  5. Testing of independent home school students is required in grades 5, 7, and 9 and coordinated through the local school district. (1 year or more below grade level for 2 years in a row, superintendent MAY require parents to enroll child in public or private school unless child is learning disabled)
  6. Must be tested in each subject for credit toward graduation.

Church-Related Umbrella School:

Parents may instead choose to homeschool their own children by registering with a church-related “umbrella” school defined by Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-50-801. An Intent to Homeschool form is not required for students who enrolled in a church-related school. The church-related school will determine record keeping requirements for students enrolled in their program.

Aaron Academy

645 East Main Street
Hendersonville, TN 37075
(615) 826-2595

CHOICE Satellite School

P.O. Box 486
161 Baker Road
Hohenwald, TN 38462-1100
(800) 466-1196

The Comenius School

1215 Hillsboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37069
Mailing: P.O. Box 1601, Franklin, TN 37065
(615) 595-5337

Daniel 1 Academy

1654 Burgess Falls Rd
Cookeville, TN 38506
(931) 432-1496
Toll-Free: (877) 797-4860
Fax: (931) 525-3934
Contact: Cindy Holman

Family Christian Academy

925 Industrial Drive
Old Hickory TN 37138
(615) 847-3999
Contact: Belinda Scarlotta

FC Boyd Christian School Umbrella Homeschool Program

806 Morrison St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
(931) 473-9631
Contact: Allison Stiles  

The Farm School

151 School House Road
Summertown, TN 38483
(615) 612-8886
Fax: (901) 229-1113
Contact: Jacki Willard, Satellite Campus Program Coordinator

Franklin Christian Academy Umbrella Program

PO Box 157
Franklin, TN 37065
(615) 599-9229

Gabriel Christian Academy

3997 Couchville Pike
Hermitage, TN 37076
(615) 534-2660

Gateway Christian Schools

P.O. Box 280117
Memphis, TN 38168-0117
(901) 454-1606

Heritage Christian Academy Umbrella Program

P.O. Box 1135
Mt. Juliet, TN 37121
(615) 754-7946
Contact: Katrina Hagerty

Heritage Covenant Schools

P.O. Box 612
Lobelville, TN 37097
(877) 239-2505
Contact: David Jones

Home Life Academy

P.O. Box 11688
Jackson, TN 3308
Toll Free: (888) 560-0774
Local: (901) 380-9220
Fax: (901) 384-0731
Contact: David Parkerson, Administrator

Jesus Only Academy

324 Glenrose Ave.
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 242-6216
joa1@bellsouth.net
Contact: Larry Baggett

Macon Christian Academy

518 Church Street
P.O. Box 254
Lafayette, TN 37083
(615) 666-8131

Rhea County Academy Homeschool Umbrella Program

P.O. Box 925
Dayton, TN. 37321
(423) 775-2826

Riverside Homeschool Umbrella

116 Riverside Lane
Fayetteville, TN 37334

 Accredited Online School:

Parents may also enroll their child in an accredited online school. Parents choosing this educational option must be sure to determine that the school has legitimate accreditation status.

To be an acceptable online school for students who reside in Tennessee, the school must be accredited by one of regional accrediting agencies listed below:

  • AdvancED
  • SACS CASI — Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement
  • NCA CASI — North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.
  • NWAC — Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
  • MSCES — Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools
  • MSCSS — Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and affiliates (e.g., SAIS)
  • National Council of Private School Accreditation (NCPSA)
Scholarships

Homeschool graduates are eligible to apply for many scholarships including the Hope College Scholarship.

Attendance Calendar

Attendance Tracking Sheet

 Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit the HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

Tennessee 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

The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships provides grant funding for dual enrollment tuition and fees. Information on grant eligibility and participation requirements is available here on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation website.