Approval Eligibility


Step 3: Online School Program options for OSPI approval

There are three initial approval options available for online school programs: full review process, affiliate approval, or single district approval. Determine the approval option available by answering these questions:

Is the program “multidistrict”?

A "multidistrict" online program is a program where ten percent or more of the students enrolled in the program are from other districts (usually enrolled through the "choice" interdistrict student transfer process).

  • Calculating non-resident students: The calculation is based on the annual average headcount (for that school year) of students who reside outside the geographic boundaries of the school district and who are enrolled in the district's online program.
  • Regional online learning programs are jointly developed and implemented through an interdistrict cooperative program between two or more districts or between one or more districts and an ESD. Regional online learning programs are only considered "multidistrict" if the annual average headcount of students who reside outside the geographic boundaries of those school districts, and who are enrolled in the regional on-line program, is ten percent or more of the total program enrollment headcount.

If the program is not “multidistrict” it is eligible for the single district approval option.

Full review or affiliate option: Who “offers” the online courses?

Does the program offer the online courses or are they offered by another entity?

The organization that "offers" the course is the one that provides all of the following:

  • Course teacher for the purpose of instruction
  • Course content
  • Online learning management system

When programs purchase online content from a provider and pair it with their own online teacher in a manner that meets the definition of an online course, the program is offering the online courses. If the program contracts with an approved online school program provider(s) and/or online course provider(s) who “offer” the courses in the program, then the program is an affiliate program. Affiliates must purchase content, instruction, and the learning management system from an approved provider in order to qualify as an affiliate.

If the program is “multidistrict” and is "offering" the online courses, then the program is subject to approval by way of the full review process.

If the program is “multidistrict” but purchases content, instruction, and the learning management system from an approved provider, then the program is subject to approval and may use the shortened affiliate approval option.