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Colorado Non-Public Schools

The term "non-public school" applies to private, parochial, and independent schools which provide education to children of compulsory school age. Neither the State Board of Education nor any local board of education has jurisdiction over the internal affairs of any non-state independent or parochial school in Colorado.

A non-public school is considered a private business. If you would like to file a complaint against a non-public organization, please contact the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Unit, 720-508-6006.

A child in Colorado who has attained the age of six years on or before August 1 of each year and is under the age of seventeen years shall attend public school; shall attend an independent or parochial school which provides a basic academic education, or shall be instructed at home.

  • Information on Starting a Business - Private, independent and non-public schools are considered to be small businesses in the state of Colorado. Click on the link for information on contacting the Secretary of State's Office and the Colorado Small Business Development Network.
  • Legal Requirements - Click on the link for requirements that must be met such as health standards and compulsory school attendance.
  • CAPE - The Council for American Private Education site provides information on legislative issues and policy regarding private schools, as well as publications, studies and other resources.
  • Colorado Private Schools Resources - Provides access to agencies that provide accreditation, private school directories, and organizations that will search for private schools.
  • Equitable Services in Non-Public Schools-The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015 and includes updates to the equitable services provisions under Title I and Title VIII.

Information about Private School Transcripts:
Recently, our office has received inquiries related to “Colorado State High School.” Colorado State High School was a private school in Denver that closed. Following the closure, some alumni have reported being unable to get access to their transcripts. Because CDE and the local school district (Denver Public Schools) do not have jurisdiction over private school operations, we also are not the custodian of school records – including transcripts – for this school.

In general, when considering private schools, because they operate as a private business outside of the oversight of CDE or their geographic school district, we recommend that parents ask schools about what the school plans are for record retention in the event that the organization closes or reconstitutes.”

Colorado Non-Public Educational Statistics

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) accredits its school districts and gives them the authority to accredit public schools located within their boundaries. Since Colorado is an educational choice state, the following directory is provided strictly as an informational service to those interested in private, parochial or independent schools, and does not indicate a school is "registered" with the CDE. The CDE does not endorse or accredit any private school.

Related Information

Non-Public Schools

Private School Review-offering free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.

Information on a specific non-public school should be obtained from the school directly.

Private Vocational Schools

For information about private vocational schools such as art schools, business colleges and trade schools, contact the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools (DPOS), 1560 Broadway, Suite 1600, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-862-3001, or visit the Division of Private Occupational Schools website.

The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE) only accredits community colleges and public area vocational schools. Contact the SBCCOE at 9101 E. Lowry Boulevard, Denver, CO 80230, Phone: 303-595-1552, or visit the website at CCCS State Board.

Nursery, Pre-School and Day Care Centers

To obtain licensing and other information on nursery, pre-school or school-age child day care or child care programs, contact the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care, at 1575 Sherman Street, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: 303-866-5700 or 1-800-799-5876 statewide. Or click the link to visit the Division of Child Care home page.