WFIS brings together school Superintendents, Principals, Teachers, education advocacy organizations, State agency leadership from OSPI and DEL, Executive Directors of Accreditation Organizations, and Legislators to discuss and protect the required independence for private schools.
Through discussion, consensus building and action, WFIS has had amazing success at stopping damaging and crafting supportive legislation. WFIS also provides excellent professional, development bringing together staff from all of the different kinds of schools around topics of interest for all.
The Washington Federation of Independent Schools exists to strengthen education for the students of Washington State as the advocate for and voice of independent schools.
Educational Freedom and Independence – WFIS values the freedom of families to choose how their children will be educated and upholds the independence of educational institutions to deliver the curricula that most effectively supports the mission of its school.
Diversity – WFIS honors the diversity of families, students and educational institutions in Washington State. We celebrate the many unique educational missions of our member schools and recognize that diversity in our membership makes us a stronger voice for independent schools.
Cooperation and Collaboration – WFIS values working with its partners in a cooperative and collaborative spirit to support all students in its member schools.
Private schools support the needs of their communities. Not all students do well in one type of school environment; not all parents share the same moral values. WFIS is the framework for bringing the voices of private school leadership together. One voice, one purpose: Keep private schools viable and protected in Washington.
- Average private school acceptance rate 83%
- Private schools that are religiously affiliated 53%
- Washington schools that are private/independent 22%
“As a former board president and current member of WFIS, I understand how vitally important it is for every private or independent school in the State of Washington to have a strong voice in shaping the future of education for our children. Having an advocate in Olympia like Suzie Hanson, who passionately and articulately represents the best interests of all private and independent schools in Washington is essential to insuring that all families have the freedom to choose the best schools for their children.” – Trish King, Head of School, The Island School
Benefits of Membership
Legislative and Policy AdvocacyWe work with legislators and policy makers to stop damaging bills, and craft supportive legislation that protects and supports the unique needs of our member schools throughout the state.
Agencies and Accrediting OrganizationsWFIS brings together school teams, education advocacy organizations, agency leadership from OSPI and DEL, Executive Directors of Accreditation Organizations, and Legislators to discuss and protect the required independence for our member schools.
Professional Learning ResourcesWFIS provides professional development programs for members that bring together staff from diverse schools around topics of interest that are relevant to private schools.
Frequently Asked Questions
We regularly get questions about requirements, government policies and legislative actions, funding opportunities and a variety of other issues of interest to private schools. Our FAQs provide answers to many of the questions we hear frequently.
Wherever possible, we also provide links to appropriate resources.
If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us directly, and we’ll do our best to get you an accurate answer.
How do I find out about Federal Title Funds for support of students and teachers?
Title Fund Questions should go to the Private School Ombuds at 360-725-6100
Mary Jo Johnson: Maryjo.Johnson@k12.wa.us
Julie Chace: Julie.Chase@k12.wa.us
Please go directly to the OSPI webpage for Private Schools & Non-profits to review updated Equitable Services information, current programs for which your school is eligible, and procedures.
Private Schools let OSPI know in February whether they plan to utilize their equitable share of Title Funds. They then should be in contact with their Public School District to begin to build a relationship with the Title Funds Team to be included in consultation on best use for Title Funds.
What forms do private schools need to submit to OSPI by particular deadlines?
There are five reports throughout the school year that require a response from private schools to remain in compliance with Washington state law. Information regarding these reports is e-mailed to private schools before the required reporting time.
- October – Annual Private School Personnel and Enrollment Reports (P105B). You will be asked to electronically submit updated school information and provide enrollment and personnel information. This is a mandatory requirement. This year’s reporting period is October 3 thru November 16.
New schools need to fill out the staff report by entering all teaching staff and head of school, beginning with certificated staff first. Following years, the staff report will show the previous year data to be updated with new staff or deletions of staff no longer at the school.
- November – Immunization reports are due to DOH by November 1, 2016. All private schools are required by law (RCW 28A.210.110) to report school immunization data to the Department of Health. Use this form with step-by-step instructions.
- February – Private School Participation in Federal Programs. Application needs to be completed only by those schools with non-profit status. This allows approved private schools to receive services from your resident public school district provided through Federal Title and Perkins funds. The enrollment numbers used for Private Participation come from the October enrollment reporting. You will be asked to electronically submit information on whether or not you might like to participate in federal programs.
- April – Annual Private Education Approval. You will be asked to electronically submit the State Standards Certificate of Compliance, the Computation of Total Instructional Hour Offerings, and if applicable, the Inservice Approval and Record Keeping.
Two closing dates: April 11 for May State Board approval; June 13 for July State Board approval. July is the last opportunity for renewal for the upcoming school year.
- June – Weapons Report. You will be asked to electronically submit whether or not you have had any weapons violations during the current school year.
How many Washington certificated teachers do schools need on staff?
Use the map below to find a school near you, or click here to view our searchable directory of Washington State private schools.