September Alternative Learning Update

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Update to Alternative Learning

This September update includes information on:

  1. Welcomes the New School Year
  2. Full-Day Kindergarten
  3. ALE Reporting Reminder
  4. New Alternative Learning Department Website
  5. Upcoming Events


1. Welcome to the 2017-18 school year

The Alternative Learning Department supports students in alternative learning options by providing their programs and districts with data, guidance, and resources. Our success will be the result of local successes in student achievement, reduction in audit findings, and improvements in relationships between programs and OSPI. We encourage you to reach out to us proactively when you have questions, concerns, or challenges.


2. Full-Day Kindergarten in ALE

Emergency rules have been put in place for Full-day Kindergarten in ALE settings. WAC 392-121-182 is now updated to address how the requirements of RCW 28A.150.315. Please note the new definition, and the additional documentation and reporting requirements

As mentioned in the addendum to OSPI Bulletin B047-17, one of the required reporting elements will be a survey due December 15. The survey will gather information school and program practices for making full-day kindergarten work effectively in ALE settings. 

Next steps:

Please see our draft survey questions as well as the documentation and reporting requirements for full-day Kindergarten in the ALE setting.


3. ALE Reporting Reminder

One component to ALE that might be overlooked is reporting. ALE is reported to the state through enrollment reporting (funding), and through CEDARS (student/course level data). Both these reporting elements are important. Comparing these data sources show that there is some major discrepancies between the number of students reported for ALE funding and the number of students participating in ALE instruction.

Next steps:

Please work with your school/district student information and CEDARS specialist to ensure that students ALE instruction is reported correctly. If there are any questions please contact:

Lisa Ireland, Student Information 

Becky McLean, Enrollment Reporting Specialist


4. New Department Website

The Alternative Learning Department moved from Seattle to Olympia last summer, and the website is finally joining it. Please visit the new website and see the more streamlined guidance for Online Learning and simplified guidance for parents and students. 

ALE guidance is under development. This is a great opportunity for the department to revisit and update our guidance.

Next steps:

Please participate in our website feedback survey. Let us know what elements you valued from the last website and can't find, or other needs that you would like to see addressed. 


5. Upcoming Events

October 11, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Online Learning Advisory Committee Meeting
The Online Learning Advisory Committee (OLAC) fall meeting will be held at the WEA headquarters, 32032 Weyerhaeuser Way S. Federal Way.
Contact Rhett Nelson,, 360-725-4971 for more info.

October/November 2017
WALA Fall Workshops
The Washington Association for Learning Alternatives (WALA) hosts regional fall workshops. Dates and registration information is available at their website.

October 11, 2017, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
GATE Webinar
Rethinking Discipline: A Systems Approach to Supporting Positive Behavior

October 23-25, 2017
iNACOL Symposium
Orlando, Florida
iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event for K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers and researchers gather and work to transform education. This year’s theme is “Personalizing Learning: Equity, Access, Quality.”

December 6-8, 2017
Western Regional Reengagement Plus! Convening

Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA
Strengthen your reengagement services & programs through our engaging workshops, focused discussions, networking opportunities and site visits to reengagement programs in Pierce and South King County.