More than 500 private school operate in Washington, serving over 80,000 students. Private schools must be annually approved by the State Board of Education. A private school is a nonpublic school that conducts a program of kindergarten and at least grade one, or a program of any or all grades one through twelve. Private schools must be approved by the State Board of Education as offering a program that ensures a sufficient basic education to meet usual graduation requirements and that meets reasonable standards for the health and safety of private school students.
List of Approved Private Schools
- Sortable list of schools approved for the 2018-2019 school year.
- Approved private schools from previous years are listed in private school enrollment reports available on the OSPI Data and Reports webpage.
How to Apply to be a Private School
Initial and re-approval applications are received annually from mid-February to mid-March. Initial approval is required for the year a private school begins enrolling students; do not apply for approval for a planning year.
- Information on initial applications
- Information on re-approval
- Certificate of Compliance
- Guidance on Health and Safety Inspections for Private School Approval Application
- Fire Inspection Certification Form
- Health and Safety Certification Form
How to Change Private School Information
By submitting the following form, a private school may change the Head of School, the Head of School contact information, the school address, and/or the school contact information.
Annual Reporting Requirements
Private schools are required to submit reports each year to comply with Washington state law.
- Annual approval, through the State Board of Education, by mid-March.
- Weapons report, through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) School Safety Center, by May to July.
- Enrollment and staffing report, through EDS, by the end of October.
- Private school participation in Federal Programs, through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), by January to March.
- Immunization reporting, through the Department of Health, by the end of October.
In order to fulfill the reporting requirements, private schools will need to use the Educational Data System (EDS). For instructions on how to gain access or receive a particular user role, please visit our EDS access page.
Information Links and Resources
Depending on the topic, different offices in different state agencies may be the most appropriate to provide information and supports to private schools. The following is a list of topics with links to resources within state agencies, as well as with other organizations that work with private schools:
- Educational Data System
- Private School Frequently Asked Questions
- Fingerprinting--OSPI Office of Professional Practices
- Teacher Certification—OSPI Certification Office
- Special Education—OSPI Special Education Office
- Clock Hour Provider Information—OSPI Certification Office
- Free or Reduced Lunch Program—OSPI Office of Child Nutrition
- Federal Programs—OSPI Title and Federal Accountability Offices
- Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS)
Private School Laws
- RCW 28A.195 Private Schools
- WAC 180-90 Private Schools
- WAC 392-335 Pupils—Uniform Entry Qualifications
- WAC 392-300-070 Private School Fingerprint Process
- RCW 28A.150.220 Basic Education Act—Program Requirements—Program Accessibility—Rules
- WAC 392-410 Courses of Study and Equivalencies
- WAC 180-51 High School Graduation Requirements
- RCW 28A.225 Compulsory School Attendance and Admission
- WAC 392-134 Finance—Apportionment for Part-Time Public School Attendance
- WAC 180-38 Pupils—Immunization Requirement
- RCW 28A.210 Health—Screening and Requirements
- WAC 392-182 Student—Health Records
- WAC 246-366 Primary and Secondary Schools (Minimum Environmental Standards for Educational Facilities)
- RCW 9.41.280 Possessing Dangerous Weapons on School Facilities
- WAC 181-85 Professional Certification—Continuing Education Requirement