How to Start a Church School

We are here to help churches form church school ministries for home educators.

At CHEF we believe a big part of our mission is to help churches form church school ministries for home educators. We have helped dozens of churches form the legal basis for a church school.

The strategy is to establish what we call "virtual schools" with a legal basis (a ministry of a local church) and the administrative functions of any other school.

The only difference between our schools and classroom schools is that the classroom is in the home.

A Brief Checklist

Here we offer a brief checklist of things you can do to begin your program.

  • Have the sponsoring church pass a resolution establishing the school. Give the school a name and identify it on all your correspondence as a ministry of the church. It goes without saying that the school should remain under the authority of the church governing body.
  • Appoint a school administrator to keep the school files. The administrator manages the program, keeps records, and serves as the official contact person of the school. It is the administrator's responsibility to perform the only two legal requirements of church schools: maintain records of attendance and report withdrawn students to the government school district office.
  • Establish written policies and procedures. Determine the rules under which you will operate your program -- what you will expect from families enrolled in your program, the procedures for enrollment and withdrawal, records and grading, and other issues. It is very important to have these matters clarified in writing.
  • Maintain attendance and grades for the students enrolled in your school. Establish procedures governing the submission of grades and attendance -- types of records you need, frequency in which they are turned in, and similar matters. Your main legal requirement is to maintain a record of attendance so you will have to devise a system of keeping attendance.

It's really not that hard

As you can see, it is fairly easy to begin a new church school in Alabama. Once established, church schools have minimal regulatory requirements. In fact, the only requirement of a church school is to maintain a record of attendance and to notify the local superintendent of education when a student withdraws.