Connecticut State Regulations

Updated August 18, 2016

State Regulation of Private Schools (Revised July 2009) is the last full report.


Private Schools

Accreditation, Registration, Licensing, and Approval

  • Accreditation: optional
  • Registration: no requirements
  • Licensing: no requirements
    • A private school that is not state approved (i.e., that is not accredited by a state-approved accrediting agency) and has students under the age of five must obtain a daycare license from the Department of Public Health. Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Approval: optional
    • A private school applying for state approval must obtain accreditation from an accrediting agency approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education, have the agency submit a copy of the site visit performed and formal notification of the accrediting status to the Connecticut State Department of Education, and itself submit copies of fire and health clearances. Connecticut State Department of Education

Teacher Certification

  • Although teaching certificates are not required for nonpublic school teachers, teachers at nonpublic schools approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education may obtain provisional and professional educator certificates. General Statutes of Connecticut (Conn. Gen. Stat.) §10-145b(c)(1)(C)(e).

Length of School Year and Days

  • No state policy currently exists.


  • Connecticut parents have the duty to instruct their children or cause them to be instructed in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and United States history and citizenship. Instruction may occur outside the public school if the parent or person having control of the child is able to show that “the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-184.
  • Private elementary and high schools, whose property is tax exempt, must provide instruction in United States history, government at all levels, and the duties, responsibilities, and rights of citizenship. Graduation from such schools is contingent on familiarity with these subjects. The state board of education will make available samples of appropriate educational materials for use in private schools. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-18(a)(2)(b).
  • The English language is to be the medium of instruction in private elementary schools except in bilingual or bicultural programs for pupils who, by reason of foreign birth, ancestry or otherwise, experience difficulty in reading and understanding English. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-17.
  • Private schools may, with the approval of the Connecticut State Board of Education, establish bilingual and bicultural programs of study in which languages other than English are predominately spoken to enable children to become proficient in English. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-17a.
  • Private secondary schools may contract with licensed driving schools approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles for behind-the-wheel instruction in driver education programs. Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-36f.

Recordkeeping and Reports

  • Private schools must file student attendance reports and reports similar to those required of public schools by the board of education except concerning finance. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-188.
  • Nonpublic schools must implement a policy for reporting complaints related to school transportation safety and maintain a written record of complaints received. Within 30 days after the end of the school year, nonpublic schools must provide a copy of the written record of complaints to the commissioner of motor vehicles. Nonpublic schools must also make written reports to the commissioner of any accident involving a motor vehicle and a student pedestrian near a designated school bus stop within 10 days of the incident. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-221c.
  • Noncustodial parents have a right to student academic records unless otherwise ordered by the court. Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-56(e).

Health and Safety Requirements

  • Children enrolled in nonpublic schools must be protected by adequate immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, and hemophilus influenza type B and any other vaccine required by the schedule for active immunization adopted pursuant to Conn. Gen Stat. §19a–7f before being permitted to enroll in any program operated by the nonpublic school. Certain exemptions apply, e.g., a child whose parents object to immunizations on religious grounds is exempt. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-204a(2a).
  • A school nurse, other licensed nurse, principal, or teacher of a school may administer medicine to any student in accordance with the written order of a licensed physician or dentist and the written authorization of the child’s parent or guardian. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-212a(2).
  • Every private and parochial school must maintain toilet accommodations, water supply drinking cups, washing facilities, heating, lighting, and ventilation in sanitary conditions. Public Health Code Regulation §19-13-B30.
  • Information that a student communicates to a professional employee at a nonpublic primary or secondary school concerning alcohol or drug abuse is privileged communication if the employee chooses to make it so. An employee who acts in good faith is immune from any criminal or civil liability. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-154a.
  • Professional employees of a nonpublic school are required to turn over physical evidence indicating a crime has been or is being committed to school officials or law enforcement officials. The employee is not required to disclose the name of the student from whom the evidence was obtained. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-154a.
  • Buildings and facilities of public service are required to be inspected by the local fire marshal at least once a year and as necessary. Conn. Gen. Stat. §29-305.
  • No person other than a certified pesticide applicator may apply a lawn-care pesticide on the grounds of any public or private preschool or public or private elementary school, except to eliminate a threat to human health as determined by the local health director, the commissioner of public health, or the commissioner of environmental protection. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-231b.
  • Nonpublic school teachers (including substitutes), principals, nurses, social workers, physicians, school paraprofessionals, coaches, and guidance counselors are required to report suspected child abuse. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§17a-101(b), and 53a-65.
  • All private elementary and secondary schools must comply with state regulations concerning eye protection devices in laboratories and workshops. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-214a.
  • Connecticut law outlines when physical force, otherwise criminal, is justifiable when exercised by a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes. For example, a teacher’s physical force is justifiable to protect him- or herself or others from immediate physical injury or to obtain possession of a dangerous instrument but not merely to maintain discipline. Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-18.


  • When a majority of students attending a nonpublic school are residents of Connecticut, the municipality or school district must provide the nonpublic school students the same transportation services provided to k–12 students attending public schools. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-281.
  • Transportation services for pupils attending private schools outside the school district may be provided at the discretion of any town or regional school district. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§10-280a and 10-277.


  • Connecticut law permits local or regional boards of education to loan textbooks to students attending nonpublic schools within the district. Administrators, parents, guardians, or the nonpublic school students may request to borrow textbooks currently in use in the public school free of charge. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-228a.


  • No state policy currently exists.

Special Education

  • Local boards of education publicly place children with special education needs in approved private schools when the education needs of the child cannot be met by public school arrangements. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-76d(d) and (g).
  • The local or regional boards of education also provide transportation to and from the residence of the child with special needs to and from the school providing special education. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-76d(19).

Nursing and Health

  • Nonpublic schools may participate in the school breakfast, lunch, and other feeding programs as regulated by the state board of education and governed by federal laws. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-215a and b.
  • Nonpublic school students are eligible for health services that are currently offered to public school students by the local district. “Health services” include the services of a school physician, school nurse, and dental hygienist. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-217a.


  • No state policy currently exists.

Professional Development

  • All Connecticut educators are eligible to participate in programs of professional development offered by the Connecticut Department of Education in cooperation with the regional education service centers. Participation fees are charged. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-220a(c).
  • Certified teachers at private special education facilities approved by the commissioner of education may receive training to supervise, train, and evaluate student teachers and serve as mentors for beginning teachers. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-220a(d).
  • Nonpublic schools may participate in the programs and services offered by the regional education centers. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-66d.
  • Nonpublic schools pay a prorated share of the costs of any program or service to which they subscribe. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-66e.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions

  • No state policy currently exists.

Tax Exemption

  • Property used for educational purposes is tax-exempt. Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-81(7).

Public Aid for Private Education

  • Constitutional Provisions: The “School Fund,” established to provide a perpetual fund for the support of public schools, cannot be diverted to any other use. Connecticut Constitution, Art. 8, Sec. 4. Municipalities may lend money to nonpublic schools located within the municipality for the construction or renovation of physical facilities used exclusively for educational purposes. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§7-121a and 10-289f(a). Private high schools receiving state funds must provide the same directory information and on-campus recruiting opportunities to representatives of the national armed forces and state armed services as offered to nonmilitary recruiters or commercial concerns. Governing boards of these private schools must establish a written uniform policy for the treatment of all recruiters. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-221b.
  • Programs for Financial Assistance for Attendance at Private Schools: Connecticut passed a demonstration scholarship program to provide parents and guardians an opportunity to enroll their children in public or private schools in 1972. Participating schools needed to meet all educational, fiscal, health, and safety standards required by law and other specified criteria, including nondiscrimination based on race, color, or economic status. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-239a-b. However, the initiative has never been funded to date.

Home Schools

  • “The State Board of Education acknowledges the right of parents to instruct their children at home as an alternative to public school attendance, and advises local and regional boards of education where such child would otherwise be attending public school to acknowledge home instruction when the parent or person having control of a child between the ages of seven and 16 is able to show that the child is receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” Connecticut State Department of Education: Information Concerning Educating Children at Home Memo, July 1994.

Home Education Programs

  • Connecticut places the duty to instruct a child or cause him to be instructed on the parents. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-184.

Initial and Renewal Applications

Curriculum and Instruction

  • Parents are to instruct their children in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, geography, arithmetic, United States history, including the study of the town, state, and federal governments, and citizenship. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-184.
  • In making the decision as to whether or not the child is receiving equivalent instruction, it is recommended that the local board of education adopt board policies that require the following procedures: The parent should file notice of intent to home school form and an annual portfolio review will be held with parents and school officials to determine if instruction in the required courses has been given. Connecticut State Department of Education: Information Concerning Educating Children at Home Memo, July 1994.

Assessment and Diplomas

Special Education

  • No board of education is required to provide special education programs or services to a child educated at home. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-184a.

Public School Access

  • No state policy currently exists.

Web Resources

Information and Legislative

Connecticut State Department of Education: Private Schools Connecticut State Department of Education: Procedures for Application as an Approved Nonpublic School Connecticut General Statues

Contact Information – State and Federal Departments of Education

Connecticut State Department of Education 165 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106 Phone: 860-713-6543 Toll-Free: (800) 465-4014 Fax: (860) 713-7001 Website: U.S. Department of Education, Connecticut

Updated August 18, 2016