March Alternative Learning Update

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Online Learning Seeking Workgroup Volunteers

The Alternative Learning Department (ALD) is exploring changes and clarifications to online learning guidance. To initiate this work we would like to convene three separate workgroups and are seeking volunteers for each one. Topics will include: 

  • 10% cap on Single District Online School Programs
  • Definition of "electronic content" 
  • Creation of a Regional Online School Program category 

If you are interested in learning more about these workgroups, please contact Nicole González by July 1, 2019.

2019 WALA Conference

Thank you to everyone who participated and engaged in professional learning at the 2019 WALA Conference! Contact the ALD with any questions about sessions facilitated by OSPI staff. 

March ALE Advisory Committee

The ALE Advisory Committee met on March 7, 2019. Representatives from programs across the state, Washington Association for Learning Alternatives (WALA), and the Alternative Learning Department (ALD) discussed the following topics: 

  • 2019 legislative update
  • Review of draft updates to the substantially similar checklist 
  • WALA substantially similar session outline and recommendations
  • CEDARS Stakeholder meeting goals and update

For questions about the ALE Advisory Committee, please contact WALA or the ALD.  

OSPI Website Changes

OSPI is getting a new website! The new website is currently scheduled to go live on June 30, 2019 and we are entering into a transition phase. During this transition, you may notice limited updates to our current ALD website. If you have any questions about content or events on our ALD website please contact us as

Professional Educator Standards Board Newsletter

Interested in learning more about teacher shortages and statewide efforts to diversify the workforce?

Check out the March Professional Educator Standards Board Newsletter for the following updates: 

  • Diversifying educator workforce
  • Study examining WA teacher shortages
  • Paraeducator program resources
  • HR online training modules
  • Final chance to access ProTeach reports 

Legislative Update

The current legislative session has passed the halfway point. The ALD continues to monitor a variety of bills that have passed cutoff deadlines. You can find more information on these bills via the links below.

Changing Alternative Learning Experience to Personalized Learning Experience
House Bill 1674

House Bill 1304 

Certificates of Academic and Individual Achievement as Graduation Requirements
House Bill 1089

Promoting career and college readiness through modified high school graduation requirements
House Bill 1599

Promoting immunity against vaccine preventable diseases
House Bill 1638

For additional information on other bills that have passed the cutoff deadlines, or to sign-up for bill tracking updates, visit the WA Legislature website

Compliance Corner - State Assessments

It’s springtime and that means state testing!

Do students with ALE courses need to take state assessments? 

Per section 8 of WAC 392-121-182, all students in grades 3 and above, enrolled in ALE courses at more than 0.80 FTE in any one month between September and January, are expected to participate in state assessments, and local district-required assessments for that school year. These students will be included in the assessment data for the school report card as well as state and federal accountability.

Beyond the requirement in WAC 392-121-182(8), state assessments give programs/schools the opportunity for students to show their learning in a different mode, to check their progress from one year to the next, and to practice the style of testing they may encounter in the future as their educational experiences continue. Participation in state testing also supports ALE with data for school board reports, state ALE program analysis, and helping to meet the district’s federal assessment participation requirements.

Students whose parents have filed an Intent to Provide Home-based Instruction and do not meet the enrollment threshold indicated above are still required to participate in an annual assessment per RCW 28A.200.010 and are welcome to use the district-provided state assessments to meet this requirement. Participation would be requested as part of their part-time/ancillary services. Some programs/schools require assessment participation as part of their opt-in expectations.  

Students who are enrolled in a nonresident district, might be unable to participate in required annual state assessments at the nonresident district. The nonresident school district must provide these students the opportunity to participate int his required assessment. This may be by providing regional proctored assessments, or arranged through the district of residence through a contract or inter-district agreement. 

Best Practice
Arrange testing schedules around students regular days. Utilize fun practice sessions first, so it’s not a scary mystery. Send parents the practice links. Talk with your parent group or community about the purpose of testing and how the data is utilized by the program, in addition to how snacks might be provided. And - be sure to give wiggle breaks as needed!

Most of all, make it a pleasant experience!

Upcoming Events

GATE Equity Webinars
April 10, 2019 - Math
May 8, 2019 - Mental Health
June 12, 2019 - Graduation 
Additional information here

MTSS Fest East 2019
May 6-7, 2019
Spokane, WA
Additional information here

Online Learning Advisory Committee
May 8, 2019
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
WEA Headquarters in Federal Way, WA

ALE Year End Report Webinar
May 9, 2019
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Register here

OSPI Student Support Conference
May 23-24, 2019
Wenatchee, WA
Additional information here

AWSP/WASA Summer Conference
June 30 - July 2, 2019
Spokane, WA
Additional information here