Section 3n: Written student learning plan

This is an archived version of the rules and guidance from the 2013-14 school year. Current rules and guidance can be found here.

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Rule Text

(n) "Written student learning plan" means a written plan for learning that includes at least the following elements:

(i) A beginning and ending date for the student's alternative learning experience courses;

(ii) An estimate by a certificated teacher of the average number of hours per school week the student will engage in learning activities to meet the requirements of the written student learning plan. This estimate must consider only the time the student will engage in learning activities necessary to accomplish the learning goals and performance objectives specified in the written student learning plan;

(iii) For online courses and remote courses, a description of how weekly contact requirements will be fulfilled;

(iv) A description of each alternative learning experience course or course work included as part of the learning plan, including specific learning goals, performance objectives, and learning activities for each course, written in a manner that facilitates monthly evaluation of student progress. This requirement may be met through the use of individual course syllabi or other similarly detailed descriptions of learning requirements. The description must clearly identify the requirements a student must meet to successfully complete the course or course work. Courses or course work must be identified using course names, codes, and designators specified in the most recent Comprehensive Education Data and Research System data manual published by the office of superintendent of public instruction;

(v) Identification of the certificated teacher responsible for each course or course work included as part of the plan;

(vi) Identification of all instructional materials that will be used to complete the learning plan; and

(vii) A description of the timelines and methods for evaluating student progress toward the learning goals and performance objectives specified in the learning plan;

(viii) Identification of whether each alternative learning experience course or course work meets one or more of the state essential academic learning requirements or grade-level expectations and any other academic goals, objectives, and learning requirements defined by the school district.

Comments

The written student learning plan (WSLP) is the key document in an ALE program, and as such is the first of the three core requirements of ALE identified in subsection 4. The WSLP identifies the course or coursework that make up the ALE. It should include all information necessary to guide student learning and should be designed to meet the student's individual education needs. See subsection 4 for details about the role of the certificated teacher and/or school-based support staff in the development, approval, supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of the WSLP.

Note: This section had some technical revisions made prior to the 2013-14 school year. See the revisions.

Common Questions

Q. The rule says the plan must be "developed" by the teacher. What if someone else creates the plan and the teacher approves it?

A. While parents or others may play an active role in determining the content of the plan, the certificated teacher is ultimately responsible for its development and is accountable for its content. For students whose WSLP includes only online courses, a certificated teacher or school-based support staff may develop and approve the plan.

Last updated: 8/19/2013

Q. What constitutes teacher approval and what is the expectation for documenting this requirement?

A. Teacher approval is a method of documenting that a certificated teacher approved a specific student's individualized WSLP on a specified date. This can be accomplished using different mechanisms, such as a dated teacher signature on the WSLP or an electronic system that would log final approval. The importance of this requirement is to ensure the individualized WSLP was approved by a certificated teacher prior to the monthly count date for enrollment reporting.

Last updated: 8/15/2012

Q. How can a syllabus be used as a component of the WSLP?

A. A good course syllabus can be an ideal component of a WSLP. However, all eight components of the WSLP must be included. If the WSLP references a syllabus that is documented in the plan, then the syllabus should be available to the student. The specific version of the syllabus should then be retained as per the district retention schedule.

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. Can the district course codes be used on the WSLP instead of the CEDARS code?

A. A district code could be included on the WSLP as long as the alignment between the CEDARS and district codes is easily available to all impacted parties, such as the student, their parent, OSPI, or an auditor. ALE programs are still required to report using the CEDARS codes, not district codes.

Last updated: 8/19/2013

Q. The learning plan must identify "all" instructional materials that will be used to complete the WSLP? What is meant by "all?" What is included in "instructional materials?"

A. The purpose of identifying all instructional materials is to ensure both the teacher and the student clearly understand what instructional materials are required to complete the course. In this context, "all" means any materials the student will use to complete the plan. The materials should be identified specifically enough so that a third party, such as a substitute teacher or the student’s parent, will know what is required. Instructional materials include textbooks, curricula, workbooks, manipulatives (except in unique situations, it is not necessary to specify each individual item), and essential equipment (like a calculator for a math course). Instructional materials do not include supplies and other types of consumable, non-instructional items.

For example, if a goal for a math course was: Sam will develop an understanding of the following math concepts by the end of the month.

  1. Understand place value in whole numbers.
  2. Understand sequential relationships among whole numbers.
  3. Understand the meaning of addition and subtraction and how they relate to one another.
  4. Understand how to recognize and create equivalent mathematical models and representations in familiar situations.

A listing of the instructional materials might be: Bridging Mathematics, Houghton Mifflin; Saxon Math Workbook, Level 3; manipulative. Sam may end up using additional instructional materials during the month to supplement and enrich his learning—watching a related math show on television, using an instructional video given to him by a friend, practicing with flash cards that he created himself. The list for the WSLP consists of the essential materials needed to accomplish the goals.

The statement "a variety of textbooks and workbooks" would not meet the requirement of identification of instructional materials.

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. What constitutes a learning activity? What are examples of learning activities?

A. A learning activity is a specific, assignment level activity the student must complete. These rules are asking you to outline the full course for the duration of the WSLP. It can be updated as needed to meet the needs of the student, but the course needs to be up front and clear as to what specific activities the student will need to complete. This information may be present on a course syllabus. For an outcome based model, consider any scaffolding activities that a student would complete on their way to progressing towards their learning goals. Type of learning activities could include problem sets, required readings, exams, or any other type of assignment that helps a student meet the outlined performance objectives.

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. How do I estimate the average number of hours per week?

A. The estimate will depend on the number of courses identified in the WSLP, and the duration of the plan. A good starting point for a learning plan that includes typical semester courses is one hour per day per course. Programs with other schedules should adjust as appropriate. ALE programs should strongly consider establishing program procedures teachers can follow to ensure consistent, accurate estimates for all students.

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. Do we have to use the WSLP templates provided by OSPI?

A. No. The sample forms are intended to be examples that districts can use as is, modify as needed, or create something completely different. The ALE rules don’t prescribe a specific format. What is most important is that the plan address all eight required elements.

Last updated: 9/16/2011

Q. Does the WSLP need to be signed by the student and/or parent?

A. There is no signature requirement in the rules, but programs may use signatures as a part of their documentation procedures.

Last updated: 9/16/2011

Q. Do the performance objectives need to be specified by month (April, May, etc) or can they just be written as course performance objectives?

A. They can be written as course performance objectives rather than monthly objectives but you need to figure a way to facilitate a monthly evaluation from them and make sure the student knows what they need to accomplish in order to progress satisfactorily.

Last updated: 5/29/2013

Q. Can the entire WSLP inclusive of attached syllabi be a portfolio?

A. It doesn't matter what form the WSLP takes as long as it meets the rules, and it is in a form the auditors can easily work with when they review.

Last updated: 5/29/2013

Q. What is the difference between section (iv) and (vii) in terms of "methods of evaluating progress." If section (iv) asks us to write the WSLP to identify how progress will be evaluated, how is that different than section (vii)?

A. Section (iv) is the "what"--goals, objectives and activities. Section (vii) explains "how"--the timelines and methods. Specify the methods you are going to use to determine satisfactory progress such as grades, percent completed, expectations around student contact, making progress in 4 out of 5 courses, etc.

Last updated: 5/29/2013

Q. In regard to section (iv) and (vii), can we say in the WSLP, "See Monthly Report", since that is how I am documenting actual student progress toward goals?

A. No. The learning plan explains ahead of time what the student is going to be working on and how they are going to be evaluated. That is different than documenting how the student actually performed.

Last updated: 5/29/2013

Q. Do I have to adjust the WSLP and syllabus monthly in a contract class to accommodate different students' learning pace?

A. Yes. The WSLP should include the learning activities, goals and objectives, and the timeline of when they will be evaluated for each student.

Last updated: 5/29/2013

Q. When is the soonest teachers can approve WSLPs for the fall?

A. It would be problematic to approve WSLPs too early--before a student has completed or mostly completed the current learning plan. We would expect plans for the fall to be approved in the last few weeks of school.

Last updated: 5/29/2013

Relevant Forms or Samples

Note: These sample forms were developed by a working group that included representation from WALA, the State Auditor's Office, OSPI, and several ALE programs. They are intended to be used as samples, and use of the sample forms provided is not required.

  • WSLP Alignment Self Assessment Tool (Word .doc) - The checklist can be used to see how a WSLP aligns with all 8 components required by section 3(n).
  • K-5 Outcome-based Written Student Learning Plan
    • Completed Sample WSLP (PDF): This file contains a sample WSLP with all eight components of the WSLP included.
    • Compliance checklist (PDF): This file shows how the completed sample WSLP and related sections of the rule are met by the sample using the WSLP Alignment Self Assessment Tool. You will be able to see specifically how the content of the WSLP addresses each of the 8 required components outlined in WAC 392-121-182(3)(n). The tool will demonstrate how those components are broken down into sub-components, how related sections of the rules are linked to the WSLP requirements, and will provide any comments or notes about items related to, but not required to be directly contained on the WSLP, are handled by the sample district.
    • Blank Template (Word .doc): This can be used as a starting point for a local WSLP.
  • High School American Studies Outcome-based Written Student Learning Plan
    • Completed Sample WSLP (PDF): This file contains a sample WSLP with all eight components of the WSLP included.
    • Compliance checklist (PDF): This file shows how the completed sample WSLP and related sections of the rule are met by the sample using the WSLP Alignment Self Assessment Tool. You will be able to see specifically how the content of the WSLP addresses each of the 8 required components outlined in WAC 392-121-182(3)(n). The tool will demonstrate how those components are broken down into sub-components, how related sections of the rules are linked to the WSLP requirements, and will provide any comments or notes about items related to, but not required to be directly contained on the WSLP, are handled by the sample district.
    • Blank Template (Word .doc): This can be used as a starting point for a local WSLP.
  • High School Algebra Outcome-based Written Student Learning Plan
    • Completed Sample WSLP (PDF): This file contains a sample WSLP with all eight components of the WSLP included.
    • Compliance checklist (PDF): This file shows how the completed sample WSLP and related sections of the rule are met by the sample using the WSLP Alignment Self Assessment Tool. You will be able to see specifically how the content of the WSLP addresses each of the 8 required components outlined in WAC 392-121-182(3)(n). The tool will demonstrate how those components are broken down into sub-components, how related sections of the rules are linked to the WSLP requirements, and will provide any comments or notes about items related to, but not required to be directly contained on the WSLP, are handled by the sample district.
    • Blank Template (Word .doc): This can be used as a starting point for a local WSLP.