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District and ECSE Private School Placement

Oregon public school districts and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs may place children in, or refer children to, private schools or private preschools as a means of providing special education and related services. Private schools providing these services must meet specific state public education standards.

Changes due to COVID-19

The Application for Private School Approval has been modified for the 2020-2021 school year to address the many challenges of safely educating Oregon’s children and youth with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ODE’s guidance documents, Ready Schools, Safe Learners [pdf iconpdf, 4.92MB] and Ensuring Equity and Access [pdf iconpdf, 4.42MB], outline these changes. Of primary importance is there is only one application to submit for both new and renewing applicants.


Private schools intending to become a provider of Special Education services must apply to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Office of Enhancing Student Opportunities (OESO) using the online form below. The OESO accepts applications beginning August 15 of each year. Approved applicants may contract with school districts and ECSE programs to provide special education in the school year it was approved until August 14.

Although there are similarities in the process, the registration of Private Alternative Education programs and approval to contract for special education serve two separate and fundamentally different requirements. For information related to private alternative education programs, please see the Alternative Education page.