Wyoming State Regulations
Updated June 25, 2013 State Regulation of Private Schools (Revised July 2009) is the last full report.
Accreditation, Registration, Licensing, and Approval
- Accreditation has no requirements.
- Registration has no requirements.
- Licensing is mandatory.
- The Wyoming Department of Education is charged with the responsibility of licensing all private schools with the exception of religious K–12 schools. W.S. §21-2-401(c), §21-2-406 and Chapter 18, Section 3, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
- A license issued to a private school permits the school to solicit (with agent license), offer, and maintain courses of instruction. Chapter 18, Section 5(c), Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
- The licensing provisions, W.S. §21-2-401 through W.S. §21-2-407, authorize minimum standards, degree, performance bond, and requirements.
- The provisions do not apply to private K–12 parochial, church or religious schools, W.S. §21-2-406(a)(i)(A); home-based educational programs defined by W.S. §21-4-101(a)(v), See W.S. §21-2-406(a)(ii); aircraft flight training schools approved and authorized by the federal aviation agency of the United States of America W.S. §21-2-406(a)(iii); or a non–degree-granting school teaching techniques of outdoor recreation, leadership, ecology or conservation domiciled in the state of Wyoming. W.S. §21-2-406(a)(iv).
- The private school must submit evidence of compliance with the licensing requirements stated in W.S. §21-2-401 through W.S. §21-2-407 and an application on such forms required by the Wyoming Department of Education. Each year, the private school must submit an application to renew the license and the school’s annual report by July 1, using the forms prescribed by the Wyoming Department of Education along with a $200 application or renewal fee. Chapter 18, Section 17, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
- Approval has no requirements.
- Professional educational staff in non-religious private elementary and secondary schools must have a certificate with the necessary endorsements for the specific assignments assigned in accordance with the rules established by the Wyoming Department of Education. If any professional educational staff member does not qualify for certification or endorsement by the Professional Teaching Standards Board, a school must notify all parents and the public that the teacher is not certified by the state. Chapter 18, Section 12, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations. These rules do not apply to any parochial, church or religious school as defined by W.S. §21-4-101(a)(iv).
Length of School Year and Days
- K–12 private schools must be open during the entire time that the public schools are in session in the district in which the pupil resides in order to satisfy compulsory attendance law. (Public schools are required by statute to operate 175 days each school year unless an alternative schedule is approved by the state board.) W.S. §§21-4-102(a); 21-4-301.
- Applicable only to K–12 private schools, all students in licensed non-religious private schools must meet the student performance standards at the level set by the school in: (a) reading/language arts; (b) social studies; (c) mathematics; (d) science; (e) fine arts and performing arts; (f) physical education; (g) health and safety; (h) humanities; (i) career/vocational education; (j) foreign cultures and language; (k) applied technology; and (l) government and civics, including state and federal constitutions in accordance with W.S. §21-9-102. Chapter 18, Section 7, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
- Applicable only to K–12 private schools, all students in licensed non-religious private schools must meet the student performance standards at the level set by the school in the following skills: (a) problem solving; (b) interpersonal communications; (c) keyboarding and computer applications; (d) critical thinking; (e) creativity; and (f) life skills, including personal financial management skills. Chapter 18, Section 8, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
- Applicable only to K–12 private schools, Wyoming curriculum requirements “do not require any private school or home-based educational program to include in its curriculum any concept, topic or practice in conflict with its religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic or practice consistent with its religious doctrines.” W.S. §21-4-101 (a)(vi).
- Licensed non-religious, K–12 private schools must provide ” … instruction in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, including the study of and devotion to American institution and ideals.” Chapter 18, Section 9, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
Recordkeeping and Reports
- Applicable only to K–12 private schools, private schools must provide an annual report to the State Board of Education that includes: (a) Number of students enrolled in the school on October 1st of the school year by grade (K-12); number of students dropping out of grades 9-12 during the school year; number of students completing high school and receiving a diploma issued by your school during the end of the school year; (b) Performance metrics on assessments; (c) Number of days students are in school; number of instructional hours each day; (d) The school’s recommended course of study for college-bound students and percent of students who have successfully completed the course of study; (e) The number of students involved in extra-curricular activities and events; (f) School improvement goals; and (g) Number of English learner Students enrolled in the school; name of English language proficiency assessment used to determine English language status; score for each student reported. Chapter 18, Section 15, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
Health and Safety Requirements
- Students attending K–12 private schools must provide documentary proof of immunization within 30 days after the date of school entry. School administrators must not permit a student to attend school beyond that time without proper immunization. W.S. §21-4-309.
- K–12 private schools are required to conduct a fire drill at least once every month. If a paid fire department is maintained in the area, the school must request a representative to attend and offer instruction and constructive criticism. W.S. §35-9-505.
- It is illegal to operate a commercial oil field waste disposal facility within one mile of a private school without the consent of the school’s board of directors or trustees. W.S. §35-11-306 (a) (ii).
- Applicable only to K–12 private schools, “Transportation used for students as part of the private school’s educational program shall comply with the most recent edition of Wyoming Pupil Transportation Manual.” Chapter 18, Section 13, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.
- There is no state policy at this time pertaining to textbooks for private schools.
- Testing is not required under the private school licensing statutes.
- State law authorizes the public placement of children in a private agency, if the local school district cannot provide the necessary and appropriate programs and services. W.S. §21-2-502(a).
Nursing and Health
- There is no state policy at this time pertaining to nursing and health for private schools.
- There is no state policy at this time pertaining to technology in private schools.
- There is no state policy at this time pertaining to professional development for private schools.
Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions
- There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions in private schools.
- There is no state policy at this time pertaining to tax exemptions for private schools.
Public Aid for Private Education
- Constitutional Provisions: The Wyoming Constitution prohibits appropriations from the public school fund to be used for any private school, or school controlled by a church or sectarian organization or religious denomination. Wyoming Constitution Art. 7, § 8.
- Programs for Financial Assistance for Attendance at Private Schools: There is no such program at this time pertaining to financial assistance for attendance at private schools.
- A home-based education program is instruction provided to a child by the child’s parent or legal guardian or by a person designated by the parent or legal guardian. Instruction provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based educational program. W.S. §21-4-101(a)(v).
- A home school is not considered a private school.
Initial and Renewal Applications
- It is the responsibility of every person administering a home-based education program to submit a curriculum to the local board of trustees each year showing that the program complies with the requirements of the law. Failure to submit a curriculum showing compliance evidences that the home-based program does not comply with the requirements of the law. W.S. §21-4-102(b).
Curriculum and Instruction
- Home-based educational programs shall provide for “a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, civics, history, literature, and science.” There is not a requirement for the inclusion of any concept, topic, or practice in conflict with the program’s religious doctrines nor any prohibition against excluding from its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice consistent with its religious doctrines. W.S. §21-4-101(a)(vi).
Assessment and Diplomas
- Wyoming does not require testing of homeschooled students, but does allow homeschooled students to participate in the state assessment, PAWS, at no expense to the parent or guardian. The assessment currently measures math and reading in grades three through eight and 11, and science at grades four, eight and 11. If a homeschooled student would like to participate in the assessment the local district must be notified by November 1 of the year the assessment is given.
Public School Access
- Students may participate in any activities offered within the school district of which they are residents and permitted by the Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA). The school district may require students to pay participation fees if required by WHSAA. W.S. §§21-4-506(a); 21-4-506(a)(ii). Homeschooled students may play on participating schools’ sports teams under the combination school agreement. WHSAA Rules 3.1.3, 6.2.92.
Information and Legislation
- Wyoming Department of Education: Private School Licensing
- Wyoming Department of Education: Home Schools
- Wyoming State Statutes
Contact Information – State and Federal Departments of Education
Wyoming Department of Education
2300 Capitol Avenue
Hathaway Building, Second Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0050
U.S. Department of Education, Wyoming
Updated June 25, 2013