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Private Schools

Highlights

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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.

Washington private schools are approved annually by the State Board of Education. Approval indicates the school has met the minimum requirements to insure the health and safety of students, and that the school offers a sufficient program of basic education to meet usual graduation requirements. Approval by the Board does not carry with it an endorsement of the school or its programs. See the list of approved private schools. For a web badge indicating you are an approved school, please contact us.

Annual Reporting Requirements

Private schools are required to submit reports each year to comply with Washington state law. Two reports are required by the Washington State Board of Education, listed below. Several others are required by separate state agencies, including the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Health. 

  • List of resources, including reporting that may need to be submitted to other agencies. 

For the Washington State Board of Education:

How to Change Private School Information

Emergency Waivers

In response to COVID-19 disruptions, the Spring 2022 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. 

Private School Enrollment

Private Schools

School Year

PreK

KG

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Total

487 Schools

2019-20

8338

6031

5457

5165

5157

5086

5050

5596

5432

5146

4493

4413

4053

4191

73608

449 Schools

2020-21

7209

6466

5625

5599

5426

5245

5427

5564

5396

5473

4555

4548

4254

4069

74856

495 Schools

2021-22

10340

7976

7209

6635

6369

6230

6135

6531

6078

6012

5233

4668

4416

4253

88058

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.

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:

Resources

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Washington State Department of Health

Private School Laws