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Private Schools

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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:

For parents:

Annual Reporting Requirements

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). Find more information about enrollment reporting on SBE's page dedicated to this topic.

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 online application.  

  • 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,

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.

Emergency Waivers

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. 

Lists of Approved Private Schools

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

EDS Access

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.

Information Links and Resources

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:

Private School Laws