PSAC Representatives:

Debbie Schindler, CHAIR, Association of Christian Schools International
Tim Lorenz, Association of Christian Schools International
Donna Christensen, Catholic Schools, statewide
Kristin Dixon, Catholic Schools, westside
Teresa Fewel, Catholic Schools, westside
Katie Hicks Catholic Schools, eastside
Craig Mattson, Seventh-day Adventists, westside
Michelle Wachter, Seventh-day Adventists, eastside
Barbara Hutton, Northwest Association of Independent Schools
Chris Rast, Christian Schools International
Gulsevin Kayihan, Pacific Northwest Montessori Association
Jim Scriven, Lutheran Schools
Suzie Hanson, WFIS, statewide

The Private School Advisory Committee (PSAC) is made up of representatives from each private school affiliate group. The number of representatives from any one affiliate group reflects the number of schools in that affiliate group in Washington State.  PSAC is an advisory committee established in statute to advise OSPI and their department leads on how specific policy would impact private schools.

This committee is also responsible for making comment on graduation requirements, teacher certification changes, clock hour provider changes, accreditation, and many other topics. PSAC helps build and sustain an important connection between private schools and the many department leads within OSPI.

The group reviewed the following topics relevant to private schools in the coming weeks / months:

Clock Hours
Clock hours are a unit of currency for continuing education in Washington state. Clock hours serve in two main ways:
  • Clock hours may be used for certification.
  • Clock hours may be eligible for salary advancement.
OSPI’s Britiney Williams ( answers questions and accepts applications from potential clock hour providers on an annual basis. This year’s deadline is August 20, 2021.

The legislature now requires teachers with STEM-related endorsements to complete 15 STEM clock hours out of the 100 total every 5 years or one goal from a professional growth plan (PGP) demonstrating the integration of two STEM components (science, technology, engineering, math). Teachers with one or more of the following endorsements must meet this requirement:

  • Agriculture Education
  • Business and Marketing Education
  • Computer Science
  • CTE (All Areas)
  • Designated Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science; Physics
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Mathematics; Middle Level Mathematics
  • Science; Middle Level Science
  • Technology Education
Department of Children Youth & Families (DCYF)

Allison Krutsinger, Deputy Director of Government Affairs at WA Department of Children, Youth, and Families provided an update.  She relayed the agency’s goal to work with private schools to expand access and affordability of childcare, and stabilize the childcare market.  The recently passed Fair Start for Kids Act encourages employer-supported childcare, infant/early childhood mental health committee, play and learn groups and professional development funding.  The legislation will provide:

  • Flexible needs funds- all childcare programs and specifically ECEAP
  • Infant Care Rate increase
  • Trauma-informed care supports
  • Dual Language rate enhancement
  • Nonstandard hours rate model
  • Early childhood equity grants
The State Board of Education
SBE’s Private Schools Office team of Linda Drake and Nicole Mulhausen began with a report that 450 schools applied to be re-approved and 20 new schools completed applications for first time approval:  These schools will be approved by vote of the SBE board in May.
The team highlighted other State Board work relevant to private schools:
  • Mastery-based education: discussions continue – there is a workgroup in place to make recommendations to the full SBE.
  • Ethnic Studies resolution: Setting requirements for graduation.
Additional Items:
The OSPI Summer Conference for Private Schools is coordinated by Pat Smithson. Registration will open June 1, 2021 using the PD Enroller again, which is tedious but allows for more differentiated registration options.
Kyle Lofgren spoke about Teacher Certification.  According to the Professional Education Standards Board, certification extensions are creating a backup in their office.
Teachers with Interim clearance for fingerprinting need to get permanent fingerprinting.  Emergency Teacher Certificates are still possible with a recommendation from a college teacher, and valid for 1 year which then can be extended for a 2nd year.
OSPI Title Funds Ombudsmen Julie Chase and Mary Jo Johnson relayed that there have been communication issues between OSPI and SBE with the requests from schools to participate in Title Funds that are being worked through.  These relate to:
  • EANS: 235 private schools indicated interest in Phase I
  • 97 schools have opened application for Phase II
  • 4 schools submitted but were asking for reimbursement for staff and therefore were denied and asked to resubmit
Questions still on table for OSPI:
  • How to meet federal requirements for tracking funding?
  • What to do about direct services?