Washington's Education Options
Washington schools offer many formats in which students can access instruction and prepare to pursue many pathways after high school graduation. Below is a breakdown of all the options available for students and their families to consider.
ALE Programs are offered by hundreds of schools across the state. These programs create the flexibility that allows students to participate in instruction independently from the classroom or the traditional class schedule, for part or all of their instruction. They can take the form of online programming, where students attend class mostly online; site-based options, in which students attend class in person at a designated location; and remote options, which allow students to engage in projects away from the traditional school setting.
Online Learning can take the form of an online course or an online school program. Online courses are those in which more than 50% of the content is delivered electronically and more than 50% of the teaching is conducted remotely from the student. Online school programs are when more than 50% of a student’s schedule is made up of online courses.
Students can participate in Online Learning either part-time or full-time.
Continuous Learning offers online synchronous instruction to students in a way that mimics the in-person experience. Students are connected to their class on a regular schedule with limited asynchronous learning time. Synchronous instruction is when the student and their teacher are online at the same time; asynchronous instruction allows the student to work independently.
- Montessori Methods, in which students engage in self-directed activity instead of direct instruction
- Magnet Schools, which focus on specific content areas
- Mastery-Based Learning, where instruction takes place by engaging students in projects that aim to solve real-world problems
For students interested in learning technical skills that can give them a jumpstart on their career, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs may be a good fit.
Regional service centers that provide instruction in specialized programs ranging from early childhood education to welding technology.
Work-Based Learning provides opportunities for students to work onsite with an employer and get paid experience working for them. Other work-based learning activities include guest speakers, field trips, and job shadows, made available through multiple CTE programs of study.
Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs provide opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized credentials while in high school. (Find a full list of CTE pathways, and learn more details about each CTE pathway.)
These programs allow students to earn high school and college credit at the same time. Students can earn these credits through exam-based options — like Advanced Placement, Cambridge International, and International Baccalaureate programs — or course-based options — like College in the High School, Running Start, and CTE Dual Credit programs.
This program makes accelerated learning experiences available for young learners identified as highly capable.
Classroom content is taught partly in English and partly in a partner language. Research shows that dual language education is the most effective way to close opportunity gaps for multilingual/English learners.
Open Doors is a program that aims to reengage older youth who have dropped out of high school or are not expected to graduate high school by age 21.
GRADS is a program for pregnant teens and/or young parents that focuses on work and family foundation skills.