Section 3d: Direct personal contact

Rule Text

(d) "Direct personal contact" means a one-to-one meeting between a certificated teacher and the student, or, where appropriate, between the certificated teacher, the student, and the student's parent. Direct personal contact can be accomplished in person or through the use of telephone, e-mail, instant messaging, interactive video communication, or other means of digital communication. Direct personal contact:

(i) Must be for the purposes of instruction, review of assignments, testing, evaluation of student progress, or other learning activities or requirements identified in the written student learning plan;

(ii) Must be related to an alternative learning experience course or course work identified in the written student learning plan; and

(iii) Must at minimum include a two-way exchange of information between a certificated teacher and the student. All required direct personal contact must be documented.


This definition applies to one of the options for contact identified in the requirement for weekly contact, subsection 4. Direct personal contact does not necessarily have to be face-to-face, and can be accomplished using technological tools such as interactive video, phone, and email, but there must be concrete evidence that the teacher and the student had a two-way exchange of information that meets one or more of the specified purposes.

Common Questions

Q. For younger students, can the contact be between the teacher and the student’s parent?

A. While in many cases it may be appropriate for the parent to be involved in the contact, ultimately there must be one-to-one contact specifically between the teacher and the student.

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. Does it count as contact if a student is in attendance for a group class taught by a teacher?

A. Contact in a group setting is not "direct personal contact". But, it is likely "in-person instructional contact", which would count as weekly contact as long as it meets one or more of the specified purposes and relates to the course identified in the WSLP.

Last updated: 8/19/2013

Q. If a teacher sends out an email message to an email distribution group that includes the student, and the student responds back to the email message, does this meet the definition?

A. An email message sent concurrently to a group of students does not meet the requirement that the contact be a "one-to-one meeting between a certificated teacher and the student" and include a "two-way exchange of information between a certificated teacher and the student."

Last updated: 8/12/2011

Q. Is there a minimum length of time requirement for the weekly direct personal contact?

A. No. There are no time requirements for direct personal contact.

Last updated: 8/19/2013

Q. Is texting an acceptable means of direct personal contact and how can it be documented?

A. Yes. This would be similar to instant messaging. The challenge is to have a meaningful interaction that meets the requirements. To document the contact, keep a log of the contact as described in section 10 (documentation).

Last updated: 5/20/2013

Q. Can two-way contact be accomplished by a student submitting work to a learning management system or participating in an online discussion forum?

A. It can be. Work submitted to an electronic tool and the teacher giving feedback through an electronic tool could be considered two-way contact as long as there isn’t too much time between feedback, and it happens within the week. It would be expected that there was a substantial exchange of information—not just a grade. We wouldn’t expect it to be the only means of communication a teacher had with a student throughout the course. Good practice is to communicate in a way that builds a relationship with students.

Last updated: 5/20/2013

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.