Section 3c: Certificated teacher

Rule Text

(c) "Certificated teacher" means an employee of a school district, or of a school district contractor pursuant to WAC 392-121-188, who is assigned and endorsed according to the provisions of chapter 181-82 WAC;

Comments

This subsection defines the term "certificated teacher" as it is used throughout the remainder of the rule. Teachers in ALE are subject to the same teacher assignment requirements as teachers in regular education programs. ALE programs are subject to federal "highly qualified" staffing requirements.

Common Questions

Teacher certification

Q. Must the teacher responsible for the development of the written student learning plan, the weekly contacts, and the monthly progress reviews, hold a valid Washington state teaching certificate?

A. Yes. The ALE rules define the teacher role in ALE as a Washington state certificated teacher. The rules require that the written student learning plan be developed and supervised by a certificated teacher and that weekly contact and monthly progress reviews be conducted by a certificated teacher. However, if the student’s WSLP includes only online courses, school-based support staff, working with the online certificated teacher, are able to assist in fulfilling some of the ALE requirements in the areas of: developing the WSLP (view section 4(a) or 3(n)), evaluating monthly progress (view section 4(c)), and implementing intervention plans (view section 3(f)).

Last updated: 8/22/2013

Q. What role does the certificated teacher play in an ALE program?

A. Just like in the regular instructional setting, the certificated teacher must hold responsibility for the instructional role in an ALE.

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. What characterizes the "instructional role" of the certificated teacher in an ALE?

A. In addition to any direct instruction called for in the WSLP, the instructional role includes, at minimum, responsibility for each course identified on the WSLP, weekly contact, monthly progress reviews, including the determination of satisfactory progress, development and monitoring of the intervention plan; and all periodic course grading, assessment, and evaluation of each ALE course and of the WSLP as a whole, including any intervention plans.

Last updated: 8/19/2013

Q. Is direct instruction from a certificated teacher a required part of an ALE course?

A. No, direct instruction from a certificated teacher is not required in an ALE course. However, if direct instruction is provided by a teacher in a core academic course, the teacher must be highly qualified. Regardless of the type of instruction provided, a certificated teacher must carry out the requirements in the ALE rules.

Last updated: 6/4/2013

Q. Do all certificated teachers have to be endorsed in the subject areas in which they teach?

A. Existing teacher certification requirements and teacher assignment requirements apply just as in a regular public school classroom setting, including the highly qualified staff requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001 (also known as No Child Left Behind Act).

Last updated: 8/12/2011

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HQT Requirements

Q. What does it mean to be "highly qualified?" What are the specific guidelines for an ALE teacher to be highly qualified?

A. Highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements are federal requirements that are part of Title II, Part A of the ESEA. As noted above, teachers in ALE are subject to the same HQT requirements as teachers in regular instructional programs. Guidance is available in this March 13, 2013 memo.

Last updated: 2/4/2014

Q. Must teachers of core academic subjects in ALE meet federal highly qualified teacher requirements?

A. Yes. The federal HQT requirements apply to all teachers of core academic subjects, regardless of the type of program or educational setting.

Last updated: 2/4/2014

Q. What are the core academic subject areas?

A. The core academic subject areas are:

  • English/Language Arts
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • History
  • Civics/Government
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Foreign Language (designated world languages)
  • Elementary Curriculum

Last updated: 6/4/2013

Q. In cases where multiple teachers interact with the student to provide instruction, direct personal contact, creation and oversight of the written student learning plan, and more, which teacher needs to be Highly Qualified?

A. There is some flexibility in assigning work roles and responsibilities across multiple certificated teachers, and across the various aspects of the “instructional role” of the ALE teacher. A student may be in 5 or 6 courses, and each of those HQ teachers would be listed on the plan. A non-HQ certificated teacher may oversee (manage) the plan and perform weekly contact and the progress evaluation. The HQ teacher should hold ultimate responsibility for the course and ultimate responsibility for student learning.

Last updated: 6/4/2013

Q. If an HQT develops and supervises the WSLP, can another certificated teacher meet the direct personal contact requirements?

A. Yes. There is some flexibility in assigning work roles and responsibilities across multiple certificated teachers, and across the various aspects of the “instructional role” of the ALE teacher. But in the end, the HQT must have real involvement and responsibility for the course.

Last updated: 9/16/2011

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Online teacher certification

Q. When a district contracts with an online provider (either directly or through the DLD catalog), who is responsible for creating a written student learning plan and conducting the rest of the ALE requirements?

A. The contracting district is ultimately responsible for ensuring that ALE requirements are met. Information about the level of support DLD online course providers may provide to meet the requirements can be found on the DLD Courses - ALE support page. Districts should ensure that ALE functions conducted by contractors are properly documented. Check with the online provider in question for more information.

Last updated: 6/4/2013

Q. Does the online teacher name need to be listed on the WSLP as well as the local certificated teacher?

A. Yes. The highly-qualified, WA certificated online teacher needs to be listed for the online course the student is taking. They should also be reported and linked to the student in CEDARS. If a local certificated teacher is managing the plan and fulfilling other requirements such as contact, progress determination, interventions, etc., then it is advised that the managing teacher be listed on the WSLP as well.

Last updated: 2/4/2014

Q. Must teachers of online learning courses meet the HQT requirements?

A. Yes. Teachers who provide instruction in core academic subject areas must meet HQT requirements. This includes teachers of online courses or teachers using online courseware. There may be exceptions when online courseware is used for credit retrieval in certain school settings. Contact the OSPI Title II, Part A office for more information.

Last updated: 2/20/2014

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Instructional Support Services

Q. What role can non-certificated staff or contractors play in an ALE program?

A. ALE programs sometimes make use of “community-based instructors” or other non-certificated staff or contractors who provide instructional support services. These non-certificated individuals must work under the direct supervision of a certificated teacher. The certificated teacher must be highly qualified if the course is in a core academic subject area.

ALE programs should ensure that their use of certificated and non-certificated staff is compliant with the ALE rules (WAC 392-121-182). In particular, the role of the certificated teacher is defined in several places in the ALE rules, including:

  • “Each student participating in an alternative learning experience must have a written student learning plan developed by a certificated teacher that is designed to meet the student's individual educational needs. A certificated teacher must have responsibility and accountability for each course specified in the plan, including supervision and monitoring, and evaluation and documentation of the student's progress.” View Section (4) of the rule.
  • The written student learning plan must include “Identification of the certificated teacher responsible for each course included as part of the plan;" View Section (3)(n) of the rule.
  • Weekly contact must be carried out by a certificated teacher. View Section (4)(b) of the rule.
  • “The educational progress of each student enrolled in an alternative learning experience must be evaluated at least once each calendar month of enrollment by a certificated teacher and the results of each evaluation must be communicated to the student or, if the student is in grades K-8, both the student and the student's parent.” View Section (4)(c) of the rule.
  • “An intervention plan must be developed, documented, and implemented by a certificated teacher in conjunction with the student and, for students in grades K-8, the student's parent(s).” View Section (3)(f) of the rule.

If the student’s WSLP includes only online courses, non-certificated school-based support staff, working with the online certificated teacher, are able to assist in fulfilling some of the ALE requirements in the areas of: developing the WSLP (view section 4(a) or 3(n)), evaluating monthly progress (view section 4(c)), and implementing intervention plans (view section 3(f)). Otherwise, non-certificated staff or contractors cannot fulfill any of those requirements.

Last updated: 8/22/2013

Q.What are “instructional support services”?

A. “Instructional support services” encompasses roles that are often filled by paraprofessionals or teacher aides. (A community-based instructor is also considered an instructional support service provider.) These individuals provide instructional support services as a part of the ALE course, but they are not responsible and accountable for the course. The role of the instructional support service provider is to carry out the lessons and activities that the certificated teacher has planned and prepared. The teacher evaluates the achievements of the students. An instructional support service provider must be working under the direct supervision of a certificated teacher.

Last updated: 6/1/2015

Q. How is “working under the direct supervision of a certificated teacher” defined?

A. “Working under the direct supervision of a certificated teacher” means that communication between the instructional support service provider and the certificated teacher is intentional and frequent while the instructional support activities are carried out.

Last updated: 6/4/2013

Q. What does “intentional and frequent” communication mean in the context of an instructional support service provider “working under the direct supervision of a certificated teacher”?

A. To determine an appropriate frequency, consider the role of the certificated teacher. The certificated teacher has “responsibility and accountability for each course specified in the plan, including supervision and monitoring, and evaluation and documentation of the student's progress.” In cases where non-certificated staff or contractors provide instructional support services, there must be an adequate level of contact to ensure the certificated teacher is able to fulfill his or her role. The contact must be for the purpose of discussing student activities and progress. The appropriate frequency will depend on the nature of the activities carried out by the instructional support service provider and the learning environment. For example, contact might be appropriate on a more daily basis in a face-to-face environment and on a more weekly basis for individuals that are at a distance to each other. Contact that only occurs once a month would likely not be appropriate unless there were other mitigating circumstances. Contact for individuals who are at a distance must be appropriately documented, such as by using a log similar to that used when tracking student-teacher weekly contact.

Last updated: 6/1/2015

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Educational Staff Associate

Q. What role can Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificated staff play in an ALE program?

A. ESA staff can function in the role authorized by their ESA certificate. For example, an ESA counselor can function in a school counselor role, which may include all aspects of guidance and counseling, and may also include ALE student "case-management" responsibilities, particularly with students on intervention plans. If the student’s WSLP includes only online courses, ESA counselors can work with the online certificated teacher in the role of school-based support staff and are able to assist in fulfilling some of the ALE requirements in the areas of: developing the WSLP (view section 4(a) or 3(n)), evaluating monthly progress (view section 4(c)), and implementing intervention plans (view section 3(f)). Otherwise, the ALE rules make clear certain educational activities are the responsibility of a certificated teacher (including development and implementation of the learning plan, weekly contact, monthly progress review) and these responsibilities cannot be delegated to others, including ESA certificated staff.

Last updated: 8/22/2013

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Relevant Forms or Samples

None.