Electives / Extracurriculars at the Public School

Email of the Day:
Can my kid join the chess club/ yearbook committee/ sports team at our local school?


School officials get a little confused about these things from time to time. (Earlier this week, it was a school who thought that a homeschooled student had to attend a few classes to access ancillary services — really, it’s a common error).

According to state law, in your district school (not shuffled off to the ALE), homeschoolers and private schoolers are entitled to ancillary services.

RCW 28A.150.350 (2) The board of directors of any school district is authorized and, in the same manner as for other public school students, shall permit the enrollment of and provide ancillary services for part time students: PROVIDED, That this section shall only apply to part time students who would be otherwise eligible for full time enrollment in the school district.

WAC 392-134-005 (1) clarifies this:
As used in this chapter the term:
(1) “Ancillary service” shall mean any cocurricular service or activity, any health care service or activity, and any other services or activities, except “courses,” for or in which preschool through twelfth grade students are enrolled by a public school. The term shall include, but not be limited to, counseling, psychological services, testing, remedial instruction, speech and hearing therapy, health care services, tutorial services such as home or hospital instruction for the physically disabled, and sports activities;

And WAC 392-134-030 reminds schools that their funding is conditioned on compliance with this law, and that, “state and federal funds shall be withheld in whole or part or recovered in whole or part through reduction in future entitlements of a district as necessary to enforce the provisions and intent of this chapter.”

We encounter this scenario every so often. School officials don’t tend to be familiar with the HBI end of the education law, and sometimes overstep. It’s nearly always cleared up with a quick reminder of the content of the law.

~ Jen GS, Advocacy Chair