Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, online courses or programs must be offered by an approved online provider in order for school districts to claim state funding to the extent otherwise allowed by state law. An online provider is any provider of an online course or program, including multidistrict online providers, all school district online learning programs, and all regional online learning programs. Use the questions below to determine if your organization is subject to approval.
Please contact us with any questions about approval eligibility.
This chart summarizes the initial approval options available to different types of providers. The step-by-step process below will guide you in determining approval eligibility.
After the initial approval, subsequent renewals are subject to the process and conditions described on the renewal page.
|Provider Type||Multidistrict||Single District|
|School Program||Full Review or
Affiliate (Which one?)
|Course Provider||Full Review||Single District|
Follow these steps to determine eligibility for approval:
- Determine whether or not you are offering online courses. Only providers of courses which meet the state definition of an online course are eligible for approval in Washington.
- Determine whether you qualify as an online school program or an online course provider. It is possible for a provider to fall into both categories. If you are eligible for approval via any one category, your program must submit for approval.
- Determine which approval options are available to you.
Step 1: Do you offer online courses?
An "online course" means a course, or grade-level course work, in which:
- More than half of the course content is delivered electronically using the internet or other computer-based methods.
- More than half of the teaching is conducted from a remote location through an online course learning management system or other online or electronic tools.
- A certificated teacher has the primary responsibility for the student's instructional interaction pertaining to the online course. Primary responsibility means the teacher is the principal individual who provides instructional interactions that may include, but are not limited to, direct instruction, review of assignments, assessment, testing, progress monitoring, and educational facilitation; and
- Students have access to the teacher synchronously, asynchronously, or both.
See more about online courses here.
If you are not offering courses that meet the definition, your program is not subject to approval. For example, products that feature only online content, and no online instruction from a remote teacher, are not considered online courses. OSPI does maintain a list of these curriculum publishers, but they are not subject to approval. Learn how to add your organization's name to this list.
If you are offering online courses, move to step 2.
Step 2: What kind of provider are you?
There are two types of providers. To determine which approval option is the best fit, first identify which type of provider you are.
Online School Program
An "online school program" is a school or a program that offers:
- Online courses (or grade-level coursework) that meet the definition of an "online course."
- A sequential program, a set of courses or coursework that is part-time or full-time, that may be taken in a single school term or throughout the school year in a manner that could provide a full-time basic education program if so desired by the student.
Learn more about online school programs.
If you offer an online school program, click here to continue to Step 3 and learn about your approval options.
Online Course Provider
An online course provider offers individual “online courses” and must supply all of the following: course content, access to a learning management system, and online teachers. Learn more about online course providers.
If you are an online course provider, click here to continue to Step 3 and learn about your approval options.
Who does not need to be approved?
A school, 1418 Open Doors, or ALE program that purchases individual online courses from an approved course provider is not subject to approval, unless the school meets the "online school program" definition. This includes a school purchasing courses through the DLD catalog that is not operating as an “online school program.”
An organization that provides online curriculum that does not meet the definition of an "online course" is not subject to approval. Generally, these products do not feature online instruction provided by the curriculum publisher. OSPI does maintain a list of these curriculum publishers, but they are not subject to approval. Learn how to add your organization's name to this list.
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, school districts may claim state funding under RCW 8A.150.260, to the extent otherwise allowed by state law, for students enrolled in online courses or programs only if the online courses or programs are offered by an online provider approved under RCW 28A.250.020 by the superintendent of public instruction.
"Online provider" means any provider of an online course or program, including multidistrict online providers, all school district online learning programs, and all regional online learning programs.