Notified on Tuesday of the hearing for Thursday, WFIS attended the SBE-hosted hearing on proposed rules addressing SB 5515, “Protecting children from child abuse and neglect at residential facilities and residential private schools,” and SB 5315, “Concerning nonpublic agencies operating special education programs for students with disabilities.”

SBE’s Linda Drake presented the proposed rules clarifying the qualification teachers should have to supervise non-certificated teachers: that is, they should hold a residency, professional, initial continuing standard certificate, First People’s language, or oral tribal tradition certificate. Further changes included adding a definition of a residential private school aligned with the new state statute.

WFIS’ Suzie Hanson added to the public comment that there may be a better phrase than “residential private school.” Most boarding schools offer both day and boarding options. We are interested in the schools sounding like schools. She asked for a better term not reminiscent of residential facilities, a term used for involuntary institutions.

Written comments about these rules will be included in materials for the State Board of Education and can be emailed to rulescoordinatorSBE@k12.wa.us by February 1, 2024.