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Private Schools

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

How to Apply to be a Private School

Schools must submit their initial or re-approval applications are received annually by April 1. The portal opens March 16. Initial approval is required for the year a private school begins enrolling students; do not apply for approval for a planning year.

How to Close a Private School

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/entity for storage and that students and parents/guardians understand how to request their records.

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.  Some of the paperwork is required for the Washington State Board of Education; some for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.; some for the Department of Health.   

For the State Board of Education:

  • The annual approval process will open begin on March 16.. Schools need to submit  student enrollment numbers for approval through the application NOT through EDS.  The enrollment numbers to use for the application are the numbers from October 1.  Please submit application for initial and reapproval by April 1.  
  • Once your school has submitted its application for its initial approval or reapproval, your application will be consider at the June State Board of Education meeting.    

EDS Access

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:

Private School Laws