Private Education and Home-Based Instruction
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Office of Private Education:

 Private Schools

 Home-Based Instruction


Private Education and Home-Based Instruction

Private Schools

Washington statutes and regulations state that a "private school" is a non-public school conducting a program consisting of kindergarten and at least grade one or any of all grades one through 12. Minimum standards of health, safety, and education are also defined.

Approved Private Schools in Washington State

How to Apply to Become an Approved Private School
Visit Application for Private School Initial Approval for full details, including links to all statutes and regulations that pertain to private school administration.

How to Renew as an Approved Private School
Approved private schools must renew online annually. Each spring, the chief administrators of private schools seeking State Board of Education approval for the following school year must file a State Standards Certificate of Compliance (PDF) with OSPI. The request for annual approval must be received electronically in the Educational Data System (EDS), which requires login.

OSPI reviews the application. Once OSPI has reviewed and approved the application, it is sent to the State Board of Education for final recommendation and approval.

Once a school has been approved as an inservice agency, it must comply with all provisions of professional certification when offering approved clock hours (see Chapter 181-85 WAC). This includes keeping inservice records for seven calendar years from the date of each inservice education program offered and be subject to selective OSPI site visits.

Compliance Requirements
There are four reports throughout the school year that require a response from private schools to remain in compliance with Washington state law. Information regarding these reports is e-mailed to private schools before the required reporting time.

  • May - Annual Private Education Approval. You will be asked to electronically submit the State Standards Certificate of Compliance, the Computation of Total Instructional Hour Offerings, and if applicable, the Inservice Approval and Record Keeping. (Last chance for approval for the following school year is the July State Board meeting.)
  • Mid-May/July - Weapons Report. You will be asked to electronically submit whether or not you have had any weapons violations during the current school year.
  • October/mid-November - Annual Private School Personnel and Enrollment Reports (P105B). You will be asked to electronically submit updated school information and provide enrollment and personnel information.
  • Mid-January/March - Private School Participation in Federal Programs. You will be asked to electronically submit information on whether or not you would like to participate in federal programs.

There has been a change in the residency certificate requirements affecting approved private schools.

  • Residency certificates will still be issued without an expiration date.
  • Should a certificated teacher move to a public school district, once the district reports the teacher as part of its staff, a dated certificated will be issued, good for five years.
    • This should be stated as: Should a certificated teacher holding an undated Residency Certificate move to a public school district and reported for having 1.5 or more Full Time Equivalent (FTE) experience they will generate an expiration date for the following June 30th. At this time the educator will apply to reissue their Residency Certificate which will be issued for five years.
  • To renew the certificate, the holder must earn must meet the following requirements:
    • The first five-year renewal requires completion of 100 clock hours, credits, PGPs or a mixture of AND completion of a course related to issues of abuse.
    • Subsequent five-year renewals require 100 clock hours, credits, PGPs or a mixture of. (subsequent renewals applications may not be submitted more than 12 months prior to the current expiration date.)

The professional certificate is no longer required, but optional.

  • Pass the new, fully electronic, online portfolio assessment named the ProTeach Portfolio (available through 2019)
  • Completion of National Board certification.

Independent School Organizations

Washington Federation of Independent Schools
Suzie Hanson, Executive Director
PO Box 31019
Seattle WA 98103

   Updated 12/12/2018

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