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Roughly 55 million people are enrolled in elementary school and secondary school across the United States. Of that total, just 5 million students attend private schools.

While private schools are not as popular as public schools given that private institutions cost learners money, they still serve an important role in giving parents a choice to break away from the increasingly polarizing public school curriculum. Your wanting to facilitate that end is likely brought you to this post on how to start a private school!

Keep reading as we explore the basics of starting a private learning institution.

1. Pick a Tax Structure

There are a lot of financial implications that work their way into the how to start a private school equation. At the foundation of those financial factors is the question of whether your school will be for-profit or not.

If you’re planning on running a non-profitable school, you’ll want to register as an official charity to avoid taxation. If you’re planning on being profitable when opening a private school, you’ll be subject to the same business taxes formalized companies in your area manage at federal and local levels.

2. Select a Grade Range

Which grades you plan on educating at your private school will affect how big your school will be, the disciplinary diversity of your staff, and more. So, who is it that you want to educate?

Most private schools start with young demographics (K-5). After successfully managing that demand, they’ll gradually add on grades (6-8, 9-12).

Our advice is to follow that pattern so as not to get overwhelmed at your school’s inception.

3. Find a Building

While online schools have grown in popularity since 2020, most successful private schools will look to offer an in-class learning environment. That environment requires a building purchase or lease.

Look around the community you’d like to serve and see if any buildings fit your vision. Don’t let your exterior paint ideas or decor thoughts be affected by buildings that look like they could use work. With the right team and funds, you can turn almost any structure into the school of your dreams.

You can explore commercial properties here.

4. Staff Up

No matter how acquainted you are with education, you won’t be able to run a private school alone. So, your next and most important step will be to staff up.

Private schools tend to offer more flexibility when it comes to teacher qualifications. Understand what you’re looking for in your team, put out a reflective job posting, and start conducting interviews.

You’ll need teachers, administrative staff, and a back-end business team (accountant, legal counsel, IT personnel, etc.) to get started.

5. Get Accreditation

To maximize enrollment and improve the outcomes of your students, you’ll want to get accredited.

Accreditation will hinge on your school meeting various state thresholds. Look into what those thresholds are and have staff members or consultancy groups work with you to finesse your vision in a way that will create success.

You Now Know How to Start a Private School

Establishing your financial structure, laying out the grades you’ll serve, picking a building, surrounding yourself with a good team, and getting accredited. These are the surface steps you’ll need to accomplish to achieve your ‘how to start a private school’ ambitions.

Our team wishes you the best of luck taking the deep dive into each of those actions!

If you find yourself in need of more direction on running a private school successfully, feel free to browse more of the education content on our blog!

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