Frequently Asked Questions
What online options are available for my student?
Students can either enroll in an online school program — a full-time or part-time sequential program — or take individual online courses in coordination with their local school district. Compare the two options here.
Every district in the state has a board policy (#2024) and a set of procedures regarding online learning. These policies and procedures lay out the options each district is making available to their students. So, check with your local district to see what online options they've made available for your student.
Online School Programs
How does my student enroll in an online school program?
Your local district may offer an online school program. If not, you may need to transfer your student to another district that does offer a program. You can start your search by examining the online school programs that are approved by OSPI.
How does my student transfer to another district to attend an online school.
Students in Washington can transfer from their local school district to another district in the state. You can learn about the process of transferring on the OSPI Learning by Choice webpage or on the online school programs webpage.
Your local district, and the district into which your student transfers, can help you through the process. Contact them for more information.
Will a full-time online school program cost me extra?
No. All students in Washington are entitled to a free basic education. All OSPI-approved online school programs are Washington state public schools, and will serve students at no charge. Note, however, that students are subject to the serving school district's regular student fee schedule (for fines, materials fees, etc). Also, many online school programs require the student to provide their own computer and access to the internet.
You can learn more about your rights at OSPI's Parent and Student Rights page.
Individual Online Courses
How can my student take an individual online course?
Your local school may offer access to individual online courses. Schools generally either develop the courses themselves, purchase them from a third-party vendor, or offer courses through OSPI's Digital Learning Department (DLD). Learn more about online course options.
How can my student take a DLD online course?
DLD online courses are available to students enrolled at schools participating in the DLD online course catalog. Start by viewing the getting started guide and talking with your student's school guidance counselor.
Does the DLD allow students and families to register directly through the DLD?
No. Students must enroll through their DLD-participating school.
What if my student's school isn't participating in DLD online courses?
You can find the list of participating schools here. If your student's school is not participating in DLD online courses, you may notify them of your student's need/interest in taking a DLD online course and urge the school to sign up. Or, you may be able to coordinate enrollment via another school in the district that is participating.
What if we decide to work directly with the online provider?
Many of the DLD's online course providers will accept enrollments directly from students and families, however the DLD strongly encourages you to ask your student's school about their online learning policy and any stipulations they may have regarding awarding credit for online courses taken without school coordination. Learn more about enrolling independently of a school district on the online course options page.
Who decides how my student's online credit will be reflected on his/her transcripts?
The school/district in which your student is enrolled has final say on which credits are awarded on your student's transcripts. Districts must have an online learning policy which specifies how credits are awarded and should be able to share this information with you.
Who pays for DLD online courses? When should I expect to pay for my student's online course?
Participating schools are billed directly for the enrollments they submit for DLD online courses; any payment to be made by a family is determined and invoiced by the school. The school district's online learning policy must specify how and when families are to pay for online courses, but you should not expect to pay if the online course is part of the student's basic education.
Can I serve as my student's Mentor? What if I'm a district employee?
Parents of students enrolling in a DLD online course may not be assigned as the student's Mentor. Mentors potentially have access to many students' information which is protected by FERPA requirements. Parents may coordinate with the student's assigned Mentor to obtain online course progress report and teacher contact information. If you are a parent who is also a district employee, you should confirm with your district your authorization to have access to student information.