The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association classification proposal to be voted on in January was developed to help promote equity for public schools that work with families from diverse socio-economic communities. The financial imbalance that exists between schools throughout the state has a meaningful impact on athletic departments and teams. To help create parity, under the classification proposal, public schools with a low free- and reduced-lunch student population would experience an increase in their enrollment factor.  Private schools would also experience an automatic increase in their enrollment factor.
Public schools in high socio-economic communities enroll students with long-term, quality training, and less life stress. They also have better facilities, are able to hire the best coaches, and can offer support, both academic and social-emotional, to their student athletes.  These schools experience a higher percentage of their student body participating in athletics.  These factors differ between private schools as well.
WFIS supports WIAA in its efforts to develop solutions to issues of inequity in athletics and other student activities. However, we have pushed back on the misconception that all private schools serve wealthy communities and therefore one blanket figure for all private schools is an appropriate strategy. The WIAA classification committee has considered this concern and is willing to listen to input on how a socio-economic factors can be equitably applied to private schools.
The WIAA as a whole, and specifically the classification committee, has worked diligently to create a path forward to ensure fair play between all schools. This is a national issue and Washington State is leading the way for all students.
The WIAA has been open to discussion on how to handle classification for private schools and WFIS will continue to engage in this dialogue as we figure out how individual private schools will be impacted by the proposal.