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West virginia Private schools

West Virginia State Regs  June 29, 2022 – 06:43 am
West Virginia Private Schools |

Accreditation, Registration, Licensing, and Approval

In West Virginia, nonpublic schools are classified as either exemption (b) or exemption (k) based on WV Code §18-8-1 (b) and §18-8-1 (k). Exemption (b) schools operate based on agreement with the county in which they are located. Exemption (k) schools operate based on compliance with WV Code §18-28.

  • Accreditation is optional.
  • The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) may recognize national or regional educational accrediting agencies. The WVBE will maintain a list of approved accrediting organizations. WV Code §§18-3-11, 18-2E-5, 18-2-6(d). Board of Education Policy 2330, §126-13C-2.
  • West Virginia nonpublic schools that are directly accredited by an organization that has been recognized by WVBE “shall be accepted to meet the criteria for West Virginia non-public school accreditation.” WV Code §§18-3-11, 18-2E-5, 18-2-6(d). Board of Education Policy 2330, §126-13C-2.
  • Registration is optional only for exemption (b) nonpublic schools. Registration is required for exemption (k) schools.
  • Registration is one option for a nonpublic school to operate in West Virginia as noted in WV Code §18-8-1 (k), the first section of state law involved.
  • Schools shall (WV Code §18-28-5) "register" with the state superintendent of schools. If a school registers to operate, it follows Chapter 18, Article 28 and administers a comprehensive test of basic skills on an annual basis. If a school complies with Article 28, no other education provisions apply except requirements respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization. WV Code §18-28-6. See Curriculum and Testing.
  • No requirements for Licensing.
  • Approval is optional and only relates to exemption (b) schools.
  • Approval is a second option for a nonpublic school to operate in West Virginia as noted in WV Code §18-8-1 (b), the first section of state law involved.
  • Schools may seek "approval" to operate from the local board of education. See Curriculum, Recordkeeping/Reports, and Testing.
  • Attendance at an approved or registered private or parochial school exempts students from compulsory public school attendance. WV Code §18-8-1.
  • Teacher Certification

  • Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools.
  • Length of School Year and Days

  • "Approved" private and parochial schools serving students in lieu of public school must be open for a time equal to the county school term. WV Code §18-8-1.
  • Private, parochial or church schools that are "registered" must observe a minimum instructional term of 180 days with an average of five hours of instruction per day. WV Code §18-28-2.
  • Curriculum

  • All nonpublic schools (private, parochial, denominational) whether approved or registered are required to provide at least one year of instruction in West Virginia history prior to completion of the eighth grade. In addition, such schools must require regular courses in the history of the United States, in civics, the constitution and the government of both West Virginia and the United States by the completion of the twelfth grade. The boards of private, parochial and denominational schools have a duty to prescribe courses covering these subjects similar to those required in the public schools. WV Code §18-2-9.
  • Private, parochial and church schools, exemption (k) schools, must establish curriculum objectives and provide an instructional program to develop the students' potential for becoming literate citizens. WV Code §18-28-3. See Testing below.
  • All nonpublic schools, private and parochial schools are required to use a state prescribed course of study in fire prevention. WV Code §18-2-8.
  • Driver education courses offered by all nonpublic schools, private, parochial, or denominational schools, must comply with minimum standards established by the State Board of Education. WV Code §18-6-3.
  • The basic language of instruction for all approved and registered private and parochial schools is the English language. WV Code §18-2-7.
  • County boards of education control the supervision and regulation of interscholastic athletic events and other extracurricular activities and may delegate authority to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission. WV Code §18-2-25.
  • Recordkeeping and Reports

  • "Approved" exemption (b) private and parochial schools serving students in lieu of public school are required to furnish county boards of education any information and records requested regarding attendance, instruction, and progress of pupils under 17 years of age. WV Code §18-8-1 exemption (b).
  • Registered private, parochial and church schools are required to maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled. Attendance records must be made available to parents or guardians. Upon request of the county superintendent of schools, the school must furnish a list of names and addresses of all students between six and 17 years of age. WV Code §18-28-2.
  • New schools operating under Chapter 18, Article 28, must send the state superintendent of schools a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school's chief administrator. Schools must also notify the superintendent upon termination. WV Code §18-28-5.
  • Health and Safety Requirements


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