Chapter 28A.195 RCW


Private schoolsExemption from high school assessment requirementsExtension programs for parents to teach children in their custody.
Private schoolsRights recognized.
Private schoolsActions appealable under Administrative Procedure Act.
Private schoolsBoard rules for enforcementRacial segregation or discrimination prohibited.
Private school advisory committee.
Private schools must report attendance.
Official transcript withholdingTransmittal of information.
Record checksFindingsAuthority to require.
Online school programs.

Private schools—Exemption from high school assessment requirements—Extension programs for parents to teach children in their custody.

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The legislature hereby recognizes that private schools should be subject only to those minimum state controls necessary to insure the health and safety of all the students in the state and to insure a sufficient basic education to meet usual graduation requirements. The state, any agency or official thereof, shall not restrict or dictate any specific educational or other programs for private schools except as hereinafter in this section provided.
Principals of private schools or superintendents of private school districts shall file each year with the state superintendent of public instruction a statement certifying that the minimum requirements hereinafter set forth are being met, noting any deviations. After review of the statement, the state superintendent will notify schools or school districts of those deviations which must be corrected. In case of major deviations, the school or school district may request and the state board of education may grant provisional status for one year in order that the school or school district may take action to meet the requirements. The state board of education shall not require private school students to meet the student learning goals, obtain a certificate of academic achievement, or a certificate of individual achievement to graduate from high school, to master the essential academic learning requirements, or to be assessed pursuant to RCW 28A.655.061. However, private schools may choose, on a voluntary basis, to have their students master these essential academic learning requirements, take the assessments, and obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement. Minimum requirements shall be as follows:
(1) The minimum school year for instructional purposes shall consist of no less than one hundred eighty school days or the equivalent in annual minimum instructional hour offerings, with a school-wide annual average total instructional hour offering of one thousand hours for students enrolled in grades one through twelve, and at least four hundred fifty hours for students enrolled in kindergarten.
(2) The school day shall be the same as defined in RCW 28A.150.203.
(3) All classroom teachers shall hold appropriate Washington state certification except as follows:
(a) Teachers for religious courses or courses for which no counterpart exists in public schools shall not be required to obtain a state certificate to teach those courses.
(b) In exceptional cases, people of unusual competence but without certification may teach students so long as a certified person exercises general supervision. Annual written statements shall be submitted to the office of the superintendent of public instruction reporting and explaining such circumstances.
(4) An approved private school may operate an extension program for parents, guardians, or persons having legal custody of a child to teach children in their custody. The extension program shall require at a minimum that:
(a) The parent, guardian, or custodian be under the supervision of an employee of the approved private school who is certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW;
(b) The planning by the certified person and the parent, guardian, or person having legal custody include objectives consistent with this subsection and subsections (1), (2), (5), (6), and (7) of this section;
(c) The certified person spend a minimum average each month of one contact hour per week with each student under his or her supervision who is enrolled in the approved private school extension program;
(d) Each student's progress be evaluated by the certified person; and
(e) The certified employee shall not supervise more than thirty students enrolled in the approved private school's extension program.
(5) Appropriate measures shall be taken to safeguard all permanent records against loss or damage.
(6) The physical facilities of the school or district shall be adequate to meet the program offered by the school or district: PROVIDED, That each school building shall meet reasonable health and fire safety requirements. A residential dwelling of the parent, guardian, or custodian shall be deemed to be an adequate physical facility when a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody is instructing his or her child under subsection (4) of this section.
(7) Private school curriculum shall include instruction of the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of appreciation of art and music, all in sufficient units for meeting state board of education graduation requirements.
(8) Each school or school district shall be required to maintain up-to-date policy statements related to the administration and operation of the school or school district.
All decisions of policy, philosophy, selection of books, teaching material, curriculum, except as in subsection (7) of this section provided, school rules and administration, or other matters not specifically referred to in this section, shall be the responsibility of the administration and administrators of the particular private school involved.
Intent2009 c 548: See RCW 28A.150.1981.
Finding2009 c 548: See note following RCW 28A.410.270.
IntentFinding2009 c 548: See note following RCW 28A.305.130.
Part headings and captions not lawSeverabilityEffective date2004 c 19: See notes following RCW 28A.655.061.
FindingsIntentPart headings not law1993 c 336: See notes following RCW 28A.150.210.
Findings1993 c 336: See note following RCW 28A.150.210.
FindingsPart headingsSeverability1992 c 141: See notes following RCW 28A.410.040.
Severability1985 c 441: See note following RCW 28A.225.010.
Severability1983 c 56: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1983 c 56 § 18.]
Effective dateSeverability1977 ex.s. c 359: See notes following RCW 28A.150.200.
Authorization for private school students to ride busesConditions: RCW 28A.160.020.
Commencement exercisesLip reading instructionJoint purchasing, including issuing interest bearing warrantsBudgets: RCW 28A.320.080.
Home-based instruction: RCW 28A.200.010.
Immunization program, private schools as affecting: RCW 28A.210.060 through 28A.210.170.
Part-time studentsDefinedEnrollment in public schools authorized: RCW 28A.150.350.
Program of basic education, RCW 28A.195.010 as part of: RCW 28A.150.200.
Real propertySaleNotice and hearingAppraisalBroker or real estate appraiser servicesReal estate sales contractsLimitation: RCW 28A.335.120.
Surplus school property, rental, lease or use ofAuthorizedLimitations: RCW 28A.335.040.
Surplus texts and other educational aids, notice of availabilityStudent priority as to texts: RCW 28A.335.180.

Private schools—Rights recognized.

The state recognizes the following rights of every private school:
(1) To teach their religious beliefs and doctrines, if any; to pray in class and in assemblies; to teach patriotism including requiring students to salute the flag of the United States if that be the custom of the particular private school.
(2) To require that there shall be on file the written consent of parents or guardians of students prior to the administration of any psychological test or the conduct of any type of group therapy.
Severability1971 ex.s. c 215: "If any provision of this 1971 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1971 ex.s. c 215 § 8.]

Private schools—Actions appealable under Administrative Procedure Act.

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Any private school may appeal the actions of the state superintendent of public instruction or state board of education as provided in chapter 34.05 RCW.

Private schools—Board rules for enforcement—Racial segregation or discrimination prohibited.

The state board of education shall promulgate rules and regulations for the enforcement of RCW 28A.195.010 through 28A.195.040, 28A.225.010, and 28A.305.130, including a provision which denies approval to any school engaging in a policy of racial segregation or discrimination.

Private school advisory committee.

The superintendent of public instruction is hereby directed to appoint a private school advisory committee that is broadly representative of educators, legislators, and various private school groups in the state of Washington.
Severability1984 c 40: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1984 c 40 § 17.]

Private schools must report attendance.

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It shall be the duty of the administrative or executive authority of every private school in this state to report to the educational service district superintendent on or before the thirtieth day of June in each year, on a form to be furnished, such information as may be required by the superintendent of public instruction, to make complete the records of education work pertaining to all children residing within the state.
Rights preservedSeverability1969 ex.s. c 176: See notes following RCW 28A.310.010.

Official transcript withholding—Transmittal of information.

If a student who previously attended an approved private school enrolls in a public school but has not paid tuition, fees, or fines at the approved private school, the approved private school may withhold the student's official transcript, but shall transmit information to the public school about the student's academic performance, special placement, immunization records, and records of disciplinary action.
FindingsIntentSeverability1997 c 266: See notes following RCW 28A.600.455.

Record checks—Findings—Authority to require.

(1) The legislature finds additional safeguards are necessary to ensure safety of school children attending private schools in the state of Washington. Private schools approved under this chapter are authorized to require that employees who have regularly scheduled unsupervised access to children, whether current employees on May 5, 1999, or applicants for employment on or after May 5, 1999, undergo a record check through the Washington state patrol criminal identification system under RCW 43.43.830 through 43.43.838, 10.97.030, and 10.97.050 and through the federal bureau of investigation. The record check shall include a fingerprint check using a complete Washington state criminal identification fingerprint card. Employees or applicants for employment who have completed a record check in accordance with RCW 28A.410.010 shall not be required to undergo a record check under this section. The superintendent of public instruction shall provide a copy of the record report to the employee or applicant. If an employee or applicant has undergone a record check as authorized under this section, additional record checks shall not be required unless required by other provisions of law.
(2) The approved private school, the employee, or the applicant shall pay the costs associated with the record check authorized in this section.
(3) Applicants may be employed on a conditional basis pending completion of the investigation. If the employee or applicant has had a record check within the previous two years, the approved private school or contractor may waive any record check required by the approved private school under subsection (1) of this section.
Effective date1999 c 187: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 5, 1999]." [ 1999 c 187 § 2.]

Online school programs.

(1) If a private school that has been approved under this chapter by the state board of education seeks approval also to offer and administer an online school program as defined under RCW 28A.250.010, including under contract with a third party, the requirements for minimum instructional hour offerings under RCW 28A.195.010(1) shall be deemed met for the online school program. A residential dwelling of a parent, guardian, or custodian shall be deemed an adequate physical facility for students enrolled in the online school program. The online school program is not required to be offered for the same grade levels as the approved private school.
(2) The state board of education may approve an online school program under this section that meets other applicable requirements under this chapter.
(3) No private school offering and administering an online program under this section, third party that contracts with a private school to offer and administer an online program, or parent or guardian providing an online program may receive state funding to provide the program.
Findings2013 c 161: "The legislature supports student access to a variety of educational options, both public and private. However, state policies regarding the approval of private schools were created before online learning was possible. Consequently, these policies do not provide for approval criteria that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate online learning. While some policy adjustments have been made to permit public online choices, current law does not provide a clear process for private schools to obtain state approval to offer similar learning options." [ 2013 c 161 § 1.]
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