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
- Approval certificates for private schools approved on July 11, 2019. Please scroll through the document to find your school. Approval certificates for private schools approved on May 9, 2019. Please scroll through the document to find your school
- Sortable list of schools approved for the 2019-2020 school year, as of the end of the September 2019 SBE meeting. See also the full data from schools approved for the 2019-2020 school year, as of the end of the September 2019 SBE meeting.
- Sortable list of schools approved for the 2018-2019 school year, as recommended to the State Board of Education by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
- Approved private schools from previous years are listed in private school enrollment reports available on the OSPI Data and Reports webpage.
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.
- Information on initial applications
- Information on re-approval
- Certificate of Compliance
- Guidance on Health and Safety Inspections for Private School Approval Application
- Fire Inspection Certification Form
- Health and Safety Certification Form
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.
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:
- Educational Data System
- Private School Frequently Asked Questions
- Fingerprinting--OSPI Office of Professional Practices
- Teacher Certification—OSPI Certification Office
- Special Education—OSPI Special Education Office
- Clock Hour Provider Information—OSPI Certification Office
- Free or Reduced Lunch Program—OSPI Office of Child Nutrition
- Federal Programs—OSPI Title and Federal Accountability Offices
- Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS)
Private School Laws
- RCW 28A.195 Private Schools
- WAC 180-90 Private Schools
- WAC 392-335 Pupils—Uniform Entry Qualifications
- WAC 392-300-070 Private School Fingerprint Process
- RCW 28A.150.220 Basic Education Act—Program Requirements—Program Accessibility—Rules
- WAC 392-410 Courses of Study and Equivalencies
- WAC 180-51 High School Graduation Requirements
- RCW 28A.225 Compulsory School Attendance and Admission
- WAC 392-134 Finance—Apportionment for Part-Time Public School Attendance
- WAC 180-38 Pupils—Immunization Requirement
- RCW 28A.210 Health—Screening and Requirements
- WAC 392-182 Student—Health Records
- WAC 246-366 Primary and Secondary Schools (Minimum Environmental Standards for Educational Facilities)
- RCW 9.41.280 Possessing Dangerous Weapons on School Facilities
- WAC 181-85 Professional Certification—Continuing Education Requirement