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. (Note that prior to the 2013-14 school year, only multidistrict online providers are required to maintain approved status.)
Please contact us with any questions about approval eligibility.
This chart summarizes the approval options available to different types of providers. The step-by-step process below will guide you in determining approval eligibility.
|Provider Type||Multidistrict||Single District|
|School Program||Full Review or
Affiliate (Which one?)
|Course Provider||Full Review||Single District|
|School Program Provider||Full Review||N/A|
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, an online course provider, and/or an online school program provider. It is possible for a provider to fall into one, two, or three 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 is one where:
- 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.
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.
If you are offering online courses, move to step 2.
Step 2: What kind of provider are you?
There are three 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.
Online School Program Provider
An online school program provider is a private or non-profit organization, or a school district, that contracts with a school district to provide a sequential online school program. Learn more about online school program providers.
If you are an online school program provider, click here to continue to Step 3 and learn about your approval options.
Who does not need to be approved?
A school 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.”
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.
Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, alternative learning experience online programs must be offered by an online provider approved by the superintendent of public instruction under RCW 28A.250.020 to meet the definition in this section.
As used in this section and section 2 of this act, an "alternative learning experience online program" is a set of online courses or an online school program as defined in RCW 28A.250.010 that is delivered to students in whole or in part independently from a regular classroom schedule.