Starting a private school in California can be as simple as getting six or more students together with a common educational goal and filing the private school affidavit with the State of California, which is the only legal requirement. However, to start a successful private school in California there are a few more considerations. If you seek to attract students to your school and you plan to go beyond home schooling, certain steps could be to your advantage in the stages of planning and execution.

Create a business plan just as you would for any business.

Ensure your curriculum meets or exceeds the curriculum standards prescribed by the State of California, and check the national standards as well.

Create a brochure that details the curriculum your school will provide, the teachers you will employ and the type of students you seek.

Create your student application.

Advertise. Get the local newspaper to do an article on your prospective school. Hold interest meetings in your community where you will hand out brochures, detail your plans with enthusiasm and introduce staff and faculty. Also hand out applications to interested parties.

Build an address list of interested parties--potential students, contributors, volunteers--and keep these people informed via monthly letters or a newsletter.

Interview students and their parents. Have a specific discipline plan and student guidelines that must be signed by both a parent and the student.

File your private school affidavit with the California Department of Education when you have enrolled six students.


It is possible to start a private school on a shoestring if you are extremely resourceful.

The one thing that can be the success or the downfall of any private school is in detailing the school's expectations to students and parents and the manner in which they are or are not applied consistently.


In case your school closes, the affidavit will prove your existence for each year it is filed and can assist students in providing proof of matriculation whenever that might be necessary.

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