A private school is a non-public school that conducts a program of kindergarten and at least grade one, or a program of any or all grades one through twelve. Approximately five hundred private schools operate in Washington, serving over 80,000 students. All 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.
School Safety and Immunizations
For information and resources regarding school immunization:
- Inslee announces educator vaccination requirement and statewide indoor mask mandate | Governor Jay Inslee
- School and Child Care Immunization | Washington State Department of Health
- COVID-19 | Washington State Department of Health
- Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance & Resources | Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
- For help finding a provider or an immunization clinic, call the Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or visit www.parenthelp123.org.
- You can find WIC outreach materials here: WIC Outreach | Washington State Department of Health
Private schools are required to submit reports each year to comply with Washington state law. Some paperwork is required by the Washington State Board of Education, listed below. Please see this list for a complete list of requirements, including information that may need to be submitted to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Private School Participation in Federal Programs) and to the Department of Health (School and Child Care Immunization).
For the State Board of Education:
FALL—Annual Enrollment Reporting. The number of pupils enrolled at your school on October 1, 2021, will be submitted through an application here (coming soon).
- SPRING—Annual Approval Applications are submitted in the spring. After initial approval or reapproval, your application will be reviewed at the June State Board of Education meeting.
Private School Approval
All private schools are approved annually by the State Board of Education. Applications for approval for the 2021-2022 school year will be accepted from March 15 through April 16, 2021. Late applications will be reviewed at the July board meeting.
How to Change Private School Information
To notify the State Board of Education of changes at your school regarding:
- The school’s physical address
- The Head of School
- Contact information for the school
Please use the Private School Change of Information Form.
- Username: To log in, you will use the email address of your Head of School submitted on your 2021-2022 approval application.
- Password: Your School's Building Code.
If you have trouble logging in, please contact Nicole Mulhausen, PrivateSchools@k12.wa.us.
Note: During the approval application window each spring, all changes for the upcoming school year can be made directly in the application, including the changes to the name of your school. If the name of your school has changed since you submitted your 2021-2022 Approval Application, the new name should be used on next year's approval application in the spring of 2022.
In response to COVID-19 disruptions, the Spring 2021 emergency waiver program allows school districts to waive certain credit and subject area graduation requirements on an individual student basis for students who were on track to graduate. Schools whose educational program was disrupted so that the school will be unable to meet hour or day requirements may also waive this requirement. Schools who use this waiver program must notify the State Board of Education by filling out this Private School Emergency Waiver Notification.
To follow developments, please consult the Emergency Waiver Program page.
Please comply with your local health department, Department of Health, and Governor Inslee’s school closures guidelines.
- Approved Private Schools
- Approved Private Schools
- Sortable list of schools approved for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Sortable list of schools approved for the 2019-2020 school year, as of the end of the September 2019 SBE meeting. See also the full data from schools approved for the 2019-2020 school year, as of the end of the September 2019 SBE meeting.
- Sortable list of schools approved for the 2018-2019 school year.
- Approval Certificate
- Enrollment Data
Private schools that are closing must complete the closure form. Please ensure that records from the closing private school are transferred to a reliable person or entity for storage and that students and parents/guardians understand how to request their records.
To access certain state programs, such as fingerprinting and the free or reduced lunch programs, private schools will need to use the Educational Data System (EDS), which is supported and maintained by OSPI. For instructions on how to gain access or receive a particular user role, please visit our EDS access page.
Depending on the topic, various 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