Posted: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:33am Updated: Tue, 06/05/2018 - 9:48am

Nonpublic Schools

IC 20-18-2-12 defines a “nonpublic school” as a school that is not maintained by a school corporation, and includes a private school or parochial school. State accredited nonpublic schools and nonpublic schools participating in the Choice scholarship program are registered with the Indiana Department of Education. It is optional for all other nonpublic schools to register with the Indiana Department of Education. Information on the accountability and accreditation statuses of nonpublic schools registered with the Indiana Department of Education may be found on Compass.

Nonpublic School Number Requirements

IC 20-18-2-12 defines a “nonpublic school” as a school that is not maintained by a school corporation, and includes a private school or parochial school. It is optional for all non-accredited nonpublic schools to register with the Indiana Department of Education.

Indiana law defines the terms “elementary school” and “high school.”  Elementary school is defined as “any combination of kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8” and high school is “any combination of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12” see Indiana Code 20-18-2-4 and 20-18-2-7.  This means a school, public or private, must have at least one additional grade between grades 1 and 12 to be under the Department of Education and receive a school number.

A private stand-alone preschool or kindergarten program would not meet the definition of “school” for the Department’s purposes.

When schools request a school number they need to comply with the following requirements:

  1. At least 10 students through age 18.  
  2. Grade levels must have a combination of grades 1-12.
  3. The school structure cannot also be used as a home.
  4. Students attend the school as their primary education experience- they cannot be enrolled in another school also.
  5. All local zoning, laws, and regulations are met and maintained.

Depending upon the county or municipality that a school sets within, zoning requirements may need to be met for a school to be in compliance locally.  It is the schools responsibility to be compliant with all local requirements for maintaining all aspects of the school.

Special Note: By applying for a school number, the facility will be referred to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s State Fire Marshall’s Office and will be subject to inspection as a “Class 1” facility and will be required to meet state fire codes for this type of structure, now and in the future.

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