OSPI Homepage   background

Frequently Asked Enrollment Questions

Count date

Q: What is the first count date of the school year?

A: Per WAC 392-121-119, report kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) enrollments as of the fourth school day of September and the first school day of October through May.

Q: If school starts on August 24th, what is the first count date?

A: The same rule applies as in the question above. Per WAC 392-121-119, report kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) enrollments as of the fourth school day of September and the first school day of October through May.

Q: If one building starts on a different date from the other buildings in the district, how does this affect count dates?

A: It is possible that an entire building or grade level may start on different dates, but each building or grade level should report enrollment as of its fourth school day of September and its first school day of October through May. This count day may be a different day for an entire building or grade level, per WAC 392-121-119(1).

Full Time Equivalent (FTE)

Q: How is an FTE calculated?

A: FTE is defined in WAC 392-121-122. For each first through twelfth grade student enrolled in courses for at least the minimum hours shown below, report 1.00 FTE. (See the specific rules for kindergarten students.) If the student is enrolled for fewer than the minimum hours shown below, report a portion of an FTE determined by dividing the hours enrolled by the minimum hours for the student’s grade level, as shown in the following:
• Half-Year Kindergarten (90 consecutive school days): 20 or more hours per week. Report 1.0 FTE for four count dates and .5 FTE for the fifth month for full-time enrollment. A kindergarten student may not be counted for more than 0.5 Average Annual FTE (AAFTE).
• Full-Year Kindergarten: 10 hours or more per week. A kindergarten student may not be counted for more than 0.5 Average Annual FTE (AAFTE).
• Primary (Grades 1-3): 20 hours each week or 4 hours (240 minutes) each scheduled school day.
• Elementary and Secondary (Grades 4-12): 25 hours each week or 5 hours (300 minutes) each scheduled school day.
The time reported for each course may include one class change passing time of the lesser of the actual passing time or ten minutes. A non-kindergarten student may not be counted in excess of 1.0 FTE. WAC 392-121-136 defines the sole exception of running start.

Enrolled student

Q: Can a student who is 21 years of age be counted for and generate state funding?

A: Per WAC 392-121-106(3), a student who is under twenty-one years of age as of August 31 may be counted as an enrolled student if he/she meets the other requirements and no exclusions apply.

Q: Should a student be counted as an enrolled student for the first four days of the school year if the student was out of the state? The student’s parent had prearranged homework assignments supplied by the teacher.

A: No. WAC 392-121-106(4) requires that the student have “actually participated on a school day during the first four school days of the current school term (semester or quarter) … in a course of study….”

Q: If a parent takes his/her child out of school for a four to six week trip, and the parent asks for schoolwork for the child to take with him/her, can the student be counted in his/her absence?

A: If there is a written agreement between the appropriate school official and a student’s parent or guardian pursuant to RCW 28A.225.010 stating that the student’s temporary absence is not deemed to cause a serious adverse effect upon the student’s educational progress, the absent student may be counted as an enrolled student for up to two monthly enrollment count dates as specified in WAC 392-121-108(1). However, should the student not return to the district, it may be construed that the absence did cause a serious adverse effect upon the educational progress and the district should revise the enrollment count. When the absence extends over a term (semester or quarter) break, the student cannot be counted in the new term until he/she has “participated.” See the above question. The absence exceptions do not override the other enrollment definitions; see WAC 392-121-106(4).

Q: If an enrolled student is traveling but is contacting his/her teacher via the internet, can this student be counted?

A: Most likely not, but some questions to consider in deciding how to handle this situation: How long will the student be out of school? What is the district’s agreement with the parent? Has it been documented? This could be a situation similar to the question above, or it could be an attempt to create an alternative learning experience (ALE). The requirements for ALE are defined in WAC 392-121-182 and are very specific. For example, there is a seat time requirement for ALE. In addition, subsection (d) requires one-on-one meetings between the student and qualified school staff for an average of sixty minutes every five school days for instruction, review of the student’s assignments, testing, and/or other learning activities.

Q: If a student gets called up for the National Guard, can the student continue to be counted on enrollment?

A: Per WAC 392-121-107(d), students may be counted as enrolled students for the purpose of full-time equivalent student enrollment counts if participating in a national guard high school career training program for which credit is being given toward either required or elective high school credits pursuant to RCW 28A.305.170 and WAC 180-50-320. Such participation may be counted as a course of study only by the school district the student last attended.

Q: Can a district count as enrolled students those earning adult diplomas at high school?

A: Per WAC 392-121-106, students must be under 21 years of age on August 31. In addition, per RCW 28B.50.030(12), “adult education” shall not include academic education or instruction for persons under twenty-one years of age who do not hold a high school degree or diploma. Students who are under 21 years of age on August 31, who are not engaged in adult education, who meet the other enrollment requirements, and do not meet other enrollment exclusions, can be counted.

Home hospital

Q: Does a home hospital student have to pass all of his/her classes in order to be reported on the E-525?

A: Per WAC 392-172-218, Form E-525 certifies that those students unable to attend school for an estimated period of four weeks or more because of physical disability or illness were provided instruction. Passing a class is not a condition of claiming students for funding.

Resident students

Q: Do out of state residents pay tuition?

A: Yes. For example, if a student lives in Portland, Oregon, and is transported to school in Vancouver, Washington, every day, the student is an out of district resident and would pay tuition. Out of state students may not be claimed for Washington State funding.

Q: How is “student residence” defined?

A: Per WAC 392-137-115, student residence means the physical location of a student’s principal abode—the home, house, apartment, facility, structure or location, etc.—where the student lives the majority of the time. The following are considered:
(1) the mailing address of the student; (2) the student’s principal abode may be different from the principal abode of the student’s parent(s); and (3) the lack of a mailing address for a student does not preclude residency under this section.

Q: What does the term “majority of the time” mean?

A: It means the majority of the time.

Q: Should high school exchange students be counted on the enrollment report?

A: Students living in Washington State that are enrolled in your district are eligible to be claimed for state funding unless they are paying tuition. The only visa students that are required to pay tuition are F-1 Visa students. Prior to obtaining such visa, the U.S. State Department will notify the district, and the student will pay tuition to the district. A child that shows up without prior notification by the U.S. State Department would not be on an F-1 Visa and would be eligible for the count.

Juvenile Detention Center

Q: If the local Juvenile Detention Center does not call the district to report students in their facility on count date, should the district call the detention center in order to be sure students are not counted by both the district and the detention center?

A: Institutions and school districts need to work together to ensure that enrollment reported on Form E-672 (for institutions) is not reported on Form P-223 (for basic ed) and vice versa. The institution generally notifies the school district of institution enrollment. However, if the institution does not notify the district or if there is any question, the district can take the initiative and contact the institution. School districts may not claim students for basic education if they have been notified that an institutional program will be claiming that student.

Vocational count

Q: How is vocational FTE generated?

A: The FTE for a vocational student is based upon the average minutes per day in a state-approved vocational course (300 minutes/day equals one FTE). See WAC 392-121-138 and 392-121-122.

Q: Can a vocational student be more than 1.00 FTE?

A: No. The only exception to the 1.0 FTE limitation is for running start students.

Skills Centers

Q: How do Skills Centers count enrollment?

A: Skills Center programs are counted as skills center enrollment. WAC 392-121-122 provides flexibility to school districts that utilize block periods of instruction. Total hours are inclusive of class periods and normal class change passing time, but exclusive of noon intermissions. Each hour counted shall contain at least 50 minutes of instruction or supervised study provided by appropriate instructional staff so long as students are ultimately under the jurisdiction of school staff for the equivalent of 60 minute hours.

Enrollment Corrections

Q: If I discover an error in October (of the current year) on the September special education or bilingual enrollment counts (for the current year), should I correct my error?

A: Yes. All errors for the current year should be corrected as quickly as possible. The September count, although not used when calculating the district’s average annual enrollment for special education and bilingual, is particularly important to forecasting student enrollment statewide. It is important to contact your ESD each time you have revisions that need to be extracted. See WAC 392-117-045 for additional error correction guidance.

Ancillary services

Q: What are ancillary services?

A: Ancillary services are any co-curricular service or activity, any health care service or activity, and/or any other services or activities except “courses,” for or in which preschool through twelfth grade students are enrolled by a public school. WAC 392-134-005 contains a full definition of ancillary services. Although defined as ancillary services, ASB and sports activities are not includible for state funding, per WAC 392-121-107(2)(i).

Nonstandard School Year – Form P-223S

Q: Who is reported on Form P-223S?

A: Nonstandard school year attendance is in lieu of education enrollment in public school, home-based instruction or private school during the regular school year. Students reported on Form P-223S Nonstandard School Year AAFTE Enrollment must meet all these requirements:
• Student was reported as part-time or for less than nine months of the school year.
• Student is enrolled tuition free.
• Student was not enrolled full-time in a private school or home-based instruction for the entire school year.
• Student’s non-standard attendance when combined with enrollment during the first nine months (September through May) of the school year (excluding Running Start) does not exceed 1.00 AAFTE. Kindergarten students may not exceed .50 FTE.

For further information, please contact your ESD Enrollment Coordinator or Becky McLean at becky.mclean@k12.wa.us or 360-725-6306.


For Financial information, please contact the following:
SD/ESD Accounting Manuals, GAAP, ASB Rules and Regulations : Paul Stone (360)725-6303
F-195/F-200/F-198/F-197, Budget Forms : Mike Dooley (360)725-6305
F-196, SD/ESD Annual Financial Statements : Ralph Fortunato (360)725-6304
Apportionment Advances/Redirections : Mike Dooley (360)725-6305
Web content in PDF format requires the Free Adobe PDF Reader
Apportionment & Financial Services Home Page
Go to Top

Old Capitol Building, P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200
(360) 725-6000       TTY (360) 664-3631      webmaster@k12.wa.us