STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
[Filed April 10, 2020, 4:32 p.m., effective April 10, 2020, 4:32 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: The purpose of this emergency rule making on chapter 180-90 and 180-111 WAC is to establish an emergency waiver program to grant local education agencies and private schools flexibility in credit graduation requirements for the graduating class of 2020 in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The rule making would also allow flexibility from instructional hour or school day requirements for private schools for the 2019-2020 school year.
This rule shall expire July 31, 2020. The rule making also includes a change to WAC 180-90-114 to allow private schools to operate online programs without use of physical buildings if the emergency situation continues into the 2020-2021 school year.
The purpose may include changes as necessary to align rule to current policy or practice, correct references to law, implement recently passed legislation, improve readability of the rule, or make other changes identified during the review.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: New WAC 180-111-010, 180-111-020, 180-111-030, 180-111-040 and 180-111-050; and amending WAC 180-90-141 and 180-90-160.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Sections 10 through 12, chapter 7, Laws of 2020 (EHB 2965), RCW 28A.195.010
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: Sections 10 through 12, chapter 7, Laws of 2020 (EHB 2965) authorizes the state board of education to engage in rule making to provide flexibility in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Immediate adoption and amendment of rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 5, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 5, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: April 8, 2020.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 18-24-090, filed 12/3/18, effective 1/3/19)
WAC 180-90-141Loss of private school approval.
The state board of education may rescind approval of a private school for one or more of the following reasons:
(1)(a) Failure to have students enrolled for any six consecutive calendar months in the school's physical facilities or failure to provide evidence of student enrollment upon request of the state board of education for the said period of time.
(b) For the 2020-21 school year, schools that implement an online education program consistent with the provisions of RCW 28A.195.090 for one hundred percent of their students will not be subject to rescission based on a failure to have students enrolled in the school's physical facilities provided that:
(i) The school was operating with nonprovisional state board approval as of February 29, 2020; and
(ii) The school maintains a physical address in Washington and plans to resume classroom instruction when it is safe to do so based on lifting state and local emergency declarations restricting the delivery of educational services.
(2) Failure to provide verification that the approved private school teaching staff have a valid Washington state teaching certificate or meet the provisions of WAC 180-90-112(5).
(3) Failure to provide verification that the physical facilities of the school meet the health and fire safety standards.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 18-24-090, filed 12/3/18, effective 1/3/19)
WAC 180-90-160Minimum standards and certificate form.
(1) The annual certificate required by WAC 180-90-130 shall be in substantial compliance with the form and substance of the following:
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
WITH STATE STANDARDS
I, . . . . . . , do hereby certify that I am the principal or chief administrator of the above named school; that said school is located at the address listed above, and conducts grades . . . . . . through . . . . . . with a projected enrollment of . . . . . . ; and that said school is scheduled to meet throughout the . . . . . . school year, the following standards with the exception only of such deviations, if any, as are set forth in an attachment to this certificate of compliance
I, . . . . . . , do hereby certify that I am the superintendent of the above named private school district; and that the private schools under my jurisdiction are scheduled to meet throughout the school year, the following standards with the exception only of such deviations as are set forth in an attachment to this certificate of compliance; and that a list of such schools, including the grades conducted and the projected enrollment for each school, accompanies this certificate:
(a) Except as provided in chapter 180-111 WAC for the 2019-20 school year, t
he minimum school year for instructional purposes consists of no less than one hundred eighty school days or the equivalent in annual minimum instructional hour offerings as prescribed in RCW 28A.195.010
(b) On each school day, pupils enrolled and in attendance at the school are engaged in educational activity planned by and under the direction of the school; and that pupils are provided an annual total instructional hour offering, as prescribed in RCW 28A.195.010
, of at least:
(i) 450 Hours for students in kindergarten.
(ii) 1000 Hours for students in grades one through twelve.
(c) All classroom teachers hold appropriate Washington State certification except for:
(i) Teachers for religious courses or courses for which no counterpart exists in the public schools: Provided, That a religious course is a course of study separate from the courses of study defined in RCW 28A.195.010
including occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of the appreciation of art and music all in sufficient units for meeting state board of education graduation requirements, except as provided in chapter 180-111 WAC
(ii) A person of unusual competence who is not certified but who will teach students in an exceptional case under the general supervision of a Washington state certificated teacher, administrator, or superintendent pursuant to WAC 180-90-112. The non-Washington state certificated teacher, the Washington state certificated person who will supervise, and the exceptional circumstances are listed on the addendum to this certificate.
(d) If the school operates an extension program for parents, guardians, or persons having legal custody of a child to teach children in their custody, the extension program meets the following requirements:
(i) The parent, guardian, or custodian is supervised by a person certified under chapter 28A.410
RCW and who is employed by the school;
(ii) The planning by the certified person and the parent, guardian, or person having legal custody includes objectives consistent with (a), (b), (e) through (g) of this subsection;
(iii) The certified person spends a minimum average each month of one contact hour per week with each student under his or her supervision who is enrolled in the extension program;
(iv) Each student's progress is evaluated by the certified person; and
(v) The certified person does not supervise more than thirty students enrolled in the approved private school's extension program.
(e) Measures have been taken to safeguard all permanent records against loss or damage through either the storage of such records in fire-resistant containers or facilities, or the retention of duplicates in a separate and distinct area;
(f) The physical facilities of the school are adequate to meet the program offered, and all school facilities and practices are in substantial compliance with reasonable health and fire safety standards, as substantiated by current inspection reports of appropriate health and fire safety officials which are on file in the chief administrator's office;
(g) The school's curriculum includes instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of appreciation of art and music in sufficient units for meeting state board of education graduation requirements, as set forth in chapter 180-51 WAC. A school may substitute courses specific to the mission or focus of the school to satisfy the career and technical education requirement of chapter 180-51 WAC and may waive requirements as provided in chapter 180-111 WAC;
(h) The school or its organized district maintains up-to-date policy statements related to the administration and operation of the school or district;
(i) The school does not engage in a policy of racial segregation or discrimination;
(j) The governing authority of this private school or private school district has been apprised of the requirements of chapter 180-90 WAC relating to the minimum requirements for approval of private schools and such governing authority has further been apprised of all deviations from the rules and regulations of the state board of education and the standards contained in chapter 180-90 WAC. I have reported all such deviations herewith.
Dated this . . . . day of . . . . . . , 20 . . .
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. . . .
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(2) Approval by the state board of education is contingent upon on-going compliance with the standards certified herein. The school shall notify the state board of education of any deviation from these standards which occurs after the action taken by the state board of education. Such notification shall be filed within thirty days of occurrence of the deviation.
(3) Failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter may result in the revocation of the approval of the private school and shall be considered in subsequent application for approval as a private school.
(4) Following initial approval as a private school by the state board of education, evidence of current accreditation by a state board of education approved accrediting body may be submitted annually in lieu of approval documents described in subsection (1)(a) through (j) of this section.
Chapter 180-111 WAC
EMERGENCY WAIVER OF CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS IN RESPONSE TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
WAC 180-111-010Authority and purpose.
(1) The authority for this chapter is sections 10 through 12, chapter 7, Laws of 2020 (EHB 2965) which authorizes the state board of education to administer an emergency waiver program.
(2) The purpose of this chapter is:
(a) To establish an emergency waiver program to grant local education agencies and private schools flexibility so that students in the graduating class of 2020 or earlier who were on track to graduate before the gubernatorial declaration of emergency of February 29, 2020, the proclamation of statewide school closures on March 13, 2020, and any subsequent amendments to these proclamations, are not negatively impacted by measures taken by the local education agency or private school in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); and
(b) To allow flexibility from instructional hour or school day requirements for the 2019-20 school year for private schools that close due to the novel coronavirus.
(3) This chapter expires July 31, 2020.
The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Good faith effort" means the local education agency or private school considered and implemented options, determined appropriate by the local education agency or private school, to support individual students in meeting credit requirements. Options for helping students meet credit requirements or waive credit requirements include, but are not limited to:
(a) Recommendations provided by the office of the superintendent of public instruction in its published guidance on supporting seniors during long-term school closures, as outlined in Bulletin Number 022-20 issued on March 20, 2020, and Bulletin Number 024-20 issued on March 23, 2020, and any related subsequent bulletins.
(b) Awarding or waiving of credits through existing authority of local education agencies and private schools:
(i) Local graduation requirements under WAC 180-51-020 may be waived at local discretion without approval of the state board of education.
(ii) Local education agencies and private schools that have implemented state credit requirements under WAC 180-51-068 (the twenty-four-credit graduation requirement framework) have the authority to award a two-credit waiver of flexible credits for individual student circumstances.
(iii) Students may be excused from physical education, provided they demonstrate competency/mastery in the knowledge portion of the required one and one-half credits, as articulated in WAC 180-51-056 (1)(e), 180-51-067(6), and 180-51-068(6).
(iv) Per WAC 180-51-056 (1)(c)(ii), 180-51-067 (4)(b), and 180-51-068 (4)(b)(i) and (ii), the noncredit requirement of Washington state history can be waived for students who either have completed a state history course in another state, or for eleventh or twelfth grade students who have not completed the course because of previous residence in another state.
(v) Credits may be awarded based on the student's demonstrated proficiency/competency of the state's learning standards under WAC 180-51-050.
(2) "Local education agency" means a school district, charter school established under chapter 28A.710
RCW, or tribal compact school operated according to the terms of state-tribal education compacts authorized under chapter 28A.715
RCW. References within this chapter to local education agency shall also apply to community and technical college colleges per WAC 180-51-015.
(3) "On track to graduate" means the individual student's earned credits and current or planned enrollment as of the gubernatorial declaration of emergency of February 29, 2020, would have been sufficient, as determined by the student's local education agency or private school, for the student to meet the applicable state minimum graduation requirements (as defined in WAC 180-51-056, 180-51-067, and 180-51-068) by the end of the 2019-20 school year as defined by RCW 28A.150.203
WAC 180-111-030Application and approval process.
(1) Beginning no later than April 15, 2020, the state board of education shall make an application available to local education agencies seeking this waiver. A local education agency may apply to the state board of education for the authority to waive credit-based graduation requirements for individual students. The state board of education will accept applications through a deadline to be determined by the state board of education.
(2) In order to be granted the waiver authority, the local education agency must certify the following:
(a) The local education agency has considered equity in applying for the waiver and will consider equity in administering the waiver. This may include, but is not limited to, an equity analysis, community outreach, or other means to assess and mitigate potential disparate impacts of this waiver.
(b) The local education agency will grant waivers on an individual student basis to eligible students in accordance with WAC 180-111-040.
(c) Prior to granting a waiver, the local education agency will make a good faith effort, as defined in WAC 180-111-020, to help individual students address credit deficiencies and meet core course requirements.
(d) The local education agency will administer the waiver in accordance with program rules as outlined in this chapter.
(3) The application must be certified by the district superintendent or equivalent personnel with authority to sign on behalf of the local education agency.
(4) The state board of education may approve applications that meet the criteria outlined in subsections (2) and (3) of this section. The board may delegate this authority to its executive director for efficiency per RCW 28A.305.130
(5) The state board of education shall promptly post on its public website the information collected on the application, a list of all applications received, and the decision to approve or deny each application.
WAC 180-111-040Emergency waiver of credit-based graduation requirements.
(1) Beginning from the date of approval of its waiver, in accordance with WAC 180-111-030, through July 31, 2020, in accordance with the establishing legislation, a local education agency may waive subject area credit graduation requirements outlined in subsection (2) of this section for individual students after completing all of the following requirements:
(a) The local education agency shall review the individual student's completed and planned coursework and determine that the student was on track to graduate, as defined in WAC 180-111-020.
(b) The local education agency shall demonstrate a good faith effort, as defined in WAC 180-111-020, to help the individual student meet credit-based graduation requirements through other options.
(c) The local education agency shall consult with the individual student, and make a reasonable effort to consult with a parent or guardian of the student, and shall make a reasonable effort to provide information about this waiver in the preferred languages of the student, and of the parent or guardian of the student if applicable. The information shall include, but is not limited to:
(i) What is being waived for the individual student;
(ii) Potential benefits and limitations that could result from receiving the waiver including impacts on high school graduation and postsecondary plans;
(iii) The option for the individual student to decline the waiver and for the student to be provided with the opportunity to earn the credits needed to complete graduation requirements through continued enrollment beyond the planned graduation date.
(2) Waived credit graduation requirements:
(a) Waived credit graduation requirements are limited to credits a student would have had the opportunity to earn by the end of the 2019-20 school year including:
(i) Courses and other credit-earning opportunities the student was enrolled in as of February 29, 2020; and
(ii) Credits that the student planned to complete by the end of the 2019-20 school year as defined in RCW 28A.150.203
for terms not yet started as of February 29, 2020, that were scheduled to occur during the period of school closure due to the novel coronavirus. These planned credits must be indicated on the student's high school and beyond plan, in course registration records, or in the student's credit attainment or recovery plan.
(b) Waived graduation requirement credits may include both core credit graduation requirements and flexible credit graduation requirements, as defined in WAC 180-51-210.
(3) This waiver may apply to individual students participating in the international baccalaureate diploma programme as defined in RCW 28A.230.122
to enable these students to earn a Washington high school diploma.
(4) Schools operating under the waiver defined in WAC 180-18-055 may waive graduation requirements in a manner consistent with this section.
(5) Each local education agency shall maintain a record of courses and requirements waived as part of the individual student record and shall report to the state board of education in a manner determined by the state board of education.
(6) The local education agency shall consider equity in administering the emergency waiver under this section. This consideration should be designed to identify and mitigate potential disparate impacts of the emergency waiver and to determine if any changes to the local education agency's approach in administering the emergency waiver are needed before the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year.
WAC 180-111-050Emergency waiver for private schools.
(1) This section applies to private schools approved to operate in Washington for the 2019-20 school year under chapter 180-90 WAC.
(2) Private schools may waive credit-based graduation requirements for individual students who were on track to graduate, as defined in WAC 180-111-020, in a manner consistent with the provisions of WAC 180-111-040.
(3) Private schools that have implemented an online education program consistent with the provisions of RCW 28A.195.090
that provide the remaining curriculum will be considered to have the instructional hour requirements met. Private schools have discretion to determine whether the curriculum has been adequately satisfied.
(4) The state board of education waives the instructional hours and days requirement under RCW 28A.195.010
for the 2019-20 school year. The number of hours or days offered after February 29, 2020, will not be considered for continued approval of private schools.
(5) Each private school shall notify the state board of education in a format provided by the board whether the private school is waiving requirements under this section.