Section 8: Assessment requirements

Rule Text

(8) Assessment requirements:

(a) All students enrolled in alternative learning experience course or course work must be assessed at least annually, using, for full-time students, the state assessment for the student's grade level and using any other annual assessments required by the school district. Part-time students must also be assessed at least annually. However, part-time students who are either receiving home-based instruction under chapter 28A.200 RCW or who are enrolled in an approved private school under chapter 28A.195 RCW are not required to participate in the assessments required under chapter 28A.655 RCW.

(b) Any student whose alternative learning experience enrollment is claimed as greater than 0.8 full-time equivalent in any one month through the January count date must be included by the school district in any required state or federal accountability reporting for that school year, subject to existing state and federal accountability rules and procedures.

(c) Students enrolled in nonresident alternative learning experience courses or course work who are unable to participate in required annual state assessments at the nonresident district must have the opportunity to participate in such required annual state assessments at the district of physical residence, subject to that district's planned testing schedule. It is the responsibility of the nonresident enrolling district to establish a written agreement with the district of physical residence that facilitates all necessary coordination between the districts and with the student and, where appropriate, the student's parent(s) to fulfill this requirement. Such coordination may include arranging for appropriate assessment materials, notifying the student of assessment administration schedules, arranging for the forwarding of completed assessment materials to the enrolling district for submission for scoring and reporting, arranging for any allowable testing accommodations, and other steps as may be necessary. The agreement may include rates and terms for payment of reasonable fees by the enrolling district to the district of physical residence to cover costs associated with planning for and administering the assessments to students not enrolled in the district of physical residence. Assessment results for students assessed according to these provisions must be included in the enrolling district's accountability measurements, and not in the district of physical residence's accountability measurements.


This subsection maps out assessment requirements for ALE students. The basic requirement is that each ALE student must be assessed at least annually. Full-time students should participate in relevant state and local assessment programs. Districts must include part-time students in their accountability calculations who are claimed as greater than 0.8 FTE in any one month through the January count date.

This subsection also establishes general requirements and procedures for administering state assessments to non-resident students.

Common Questions

Q. The rules require part-time students to be assessed annually. Does the assessment have to be for all subjects?

A. Although the rules require part-time students to be assessed annually, the rules do not specify how this assessment must occur. Ideally, the assessment will focus on the subject areas addressed in the student's learning plan. For part-time students who are also receiving home-based instruction, the ALE program and the student's parent should consider collaborating to jointly meet both the ALE annual assessment requirement and the home-based instruction annual assessment requirement.

Last updated: 7/28/2011

Q. What happens if a full-time ALE student opts to not take the state-required assessment (MSP or HSPE)?

A. If a full-time ALE student chooses to opt out of the state assessment, programs should follow established state and district procedures to accommodate public school parents and students who choose this option. (Typically, parents sign a letter that is kept on file.) In nearly all cases, the student will be included in the district’s accountability measures, with a "0" score on the relevant assessments.

Last updated: 7/28/2011

Q. At the age levels where there is no state or district required assessments, what is required for ALE students who must be assessed annually?

A. Annual assessments need not be formal state or district standards-based assessments, or norm-referenced tests. Observational assessment from a teacher, portfolio assessment, running records, and other means may all be forms of acceptable annual assessments.

Last updated: 7/28/2011

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