2255 Alternative Learning Experience Programs

  • The board authorizes the creation of alternative learning experience (ALE) courses, as defined in the procedure which accompanies this policy. The district will make available to students enrolled in ALE courses educational opportunities designed to meet their individual needs. The district will comply with all requirements necessary to count an ALE as a course of study and ensure state funding for ALE students.

    ALE programs may include, the following types of courses as defined in RCW 28A.232.010:

    • On-line courses (See Policy 2024, Online Learning);
    • Remote courses; and
    • Site-based courses.

    The board will adopt and annually review written policies authorizing ALE courses, including each ALE course and course provider. The policy must designate, by title, one or more school district official(s) responsible for overseeing the district's ALE courses.

    The district establishes the following alternative course(s) provided on site or over the internet or by other electronic means, as defined in WAC 392-121-182: Yelm Extension School, HomeLink, and Yelm Online Academy. The school district official responsible for these programs is the Yelm High School Principal.

    Reporting Requirements

          A.  Annual Report to the Board of Directors
          The school district official responsible for overseeing each ALE course will report at least annually to the board. This annual report will include at least the following:

    • Documentation of ALE student headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment claimed for basic education funding;
    • Identification of the overall ratio of certificated instructional staff to full-time equivalent students enrolled in each ALE course; the number of certificated instructional staff in each ALE course;
    • A description of how the course supports the district's overall goals and objectives for student academic achievement; and
    • Results of any self-evaluations.

          B.  Monthly Report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction
    The district must report monthly to the Superintendent of Public Instruction:

    1. Accurate monthly headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment for students enrolled in alternative learning experiences; and
    2. Information about the resident and serving districts of such students.

          C.  Annual Report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction
          The district must submit an annual report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction detailing the costs and purposes of any expenditures made to purchase or contract for instructional or co- curricular experiences and services that are included in an ALE written
          student learning plan, along with the substantially similar experiences or services made available to students enrolled in      the district’s regular instructional program.

          D.  Annual Report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction
          The district must report annually to the Superintendent of Public Instruction:

    1. The number of certificated instructional staff full-time equivalent assigned to each alternative learning experience program; and
    2. Enrollment of students (separately identified) where ALE instruction is provided entirely under contract pursuant to RCW 28A.150.305 and WAC 392-121-188.

    Assessment Requirements

    All students enrolled in alternative learning experience courses or course work must be assessed at least annually, using, for full-time students, the state assessment for the student's grade level and using any other annual assessments required by the district.

    Part-time students must also be assessed at least annually. However, part-time students who are either receiving home-based instruction under Chapter 28A.200, RCW or who are enrolled in an approved private school under Chapter 28A.195, RCW are not required to participate in the assessments required under Chapter 28A.655, RCW.

    Any student whose alternative learning experience enrollment is claimed as greater than 0.8 full-time equivalent in any one month through the January count date must be included by the district in any required state or federal accountability reporting for that school year, subject to existing state and federal accountability rules and procedures.

    Students enrolled in nonresident district alternative learning experience courses or course work who are unable to participate in required annual state assessments at the nonresident district must have the opportunity to participate in such required annual state assessments at the district of physical residence, subject to that district's planned testing schedule. It is the responsibility of the nonresident enrolling district to establish a written agreement with the district of physical residence that facilitates all necessary coordination between the districts and with the student and, where appropriate, the student's parent(s) to fulfill this requirement. Such coordination may include:

    • arranging for appropriate assessment materials;
    • notifying the student of assessment administration schedules;
    • arranging for the forwarding of completed assessment materials to the enrolling district for submission for scoring and reporting; and
    • arranging for any allowable testing accommodations, and other steps as may be necessary.

    The agreement may include rates and terms for payment of reasonable fees by the enrolling district to the district of physical residence to cover costs associated with planning for and administering the assessments to students not enrolled in the district of physical residence. Assessment results for students assessed according to these provisions must be included in the enrolling district's accountability measurements, and not in the district of physical residence's accountability measurements.

    Students who drop out of ALE courses

    A school district offering or contracting to offer an alternative learning experience course to a nonresident student must inform the resident school district if the student drops out of the course or is otherwise no longer enrolled.


    The superintendent is directed to develop procedures consistent with WAC 392-121-182 to govern the administration of the district’s ALE courses.

    Cross Reference:
    Board Policy 2020             Curriculum Development and Adoption of Instructional Materials
    Board Policy 2024             Online Learning 

    Legal References:
    RCW 28A.150.305               Alternative educational service providers – Student eligibility
    RCW 28A. 232.010              Alternative learning experience courses – Generally – Rules – Reports
    RCW 28A.250.050               Student access to online courses and online learning programs – Policies and procedures – Course credit – Dissemination of information – Development of local or regional online learning programs.
    Laws of 2018, ch.56           Alternative Learning Experience Course - Definitions
    WAC 392-121-107               Definition – Course of study
    WAC 392-121-182               Alternative Learning Experience requirements
    WAC 392-121-188               Instruction provided under contract

    Management Resources:
    Policy News                          Oct. 2011; Oct. 2012
    Policy & Legal News          Feb. 2014; April 2017; May 2018

    ADOPTED: 09/25/1997
    REVISED: 05/27/99; 12/16/04; 10/27/05; 08/26/10; 02/23/12; 09/27/12; 01/24/13; 8/28/2014; 5/10/2017; 5/23/19

    Procedure No. 2255P Alternative Learning Experience Programs


    A.  Alternative learning experience (ALE) means a course or, for grades kindergarten through eight, grade-level course work, that is a delivery method of basic education and is:

    1. Provided in whole or in part independently from a regular classroom setting or schedule, but may include components of direct instruction;
    2. Supervised, monitored, assessed, evaluated and documented by a certificated teacher employed or contracted by the school district.
    3. Provided in accordance with a written student-learning plan that is implemented pursuant to the district’s policy and Chapter 392-121, WAC.

    B.  Online courses are courses or grade-level coursework where;

    1. More than half of the course content is delivered electronically using the internet or other computer-based methods;
    2. More than half of the teaching is conducted from a remote location through an online course learning management system or other online or electronic tools;
    3. A certificated teacher has the primary responsibility for the student’s instructional interaction. Instructional interaction between the teacher and the student includes, but is not limited to, direct instruction, review of assignments, assessment, testing, progress monitoring, and educational facilitation; and
    4. Students have access to the teacher synchronously, asynchronously, or both.

    C.  Remote course means an alternative learning experience course or course work that is not an online course where written student-learning plan for the course does not include a requirement for in-person instructional contact time.

    D.  Site-based course means an alternative learning experience course or course work that is not an online course where the written student-learning plan for the course includes a requirement or in-person instructional contact time.

    Student Eligibility

    • ALE courses will be available to all students, including students with disabilities.
    • All students in grades K-12 are eligible to participate in ALE programs.

    Student Performance
    • Students participating in ALE will be evaluated monthly by a certificated instructional staff, or, for students whose written student learning plans include only online classes, school based support staff, to track student progress toward completion and to establish whether an intervention plan should be developed, in accordance with WAC 392-121-182.

    • The methods for determining satisfactory progress will be outlined in the written student learning plan and may include:
      • Progress grades;
      • Assignment completion rates;
      • Non-academic factors such as attendance, attitude, and behavior; and
      • Local school expectations.
    Student Responsibilities
    • Students enrolled in an ALE program must meet the contact requirements defined in WAC 392-121-182.
    Parent Responsibilities
    • Upon receipt of the district’s description of the difference between home-based instruction and ALE, the parent must sign documentation attesting that they understand the difference.

    District Verification of Student Work

    • The district will use reliable methods to verify a student is doing their own work.  These include, but are not limited to:
      • Proctored examinations;
      • Proctored projects;
      • In-person presentations; or
      • Real-time presentations using videoconference technology.

    ADOPTED: 10/27/2005
    REVISED: 01/24/13; 08/28/14; 5/10/18; 5/23/19; 1/23/20

2000 Policies