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Alternative Learning Education and Home-Based Instruction

Ferndale Virtual Academy and
Golden Eagle Academy

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General Information for Alternative Learning Education Programs

Both Ferndale Virtual and Golden Eagle Academy operate as a program within Ferndale High School for grades 9-12, with its classroom on campus, which offers support services along with access to Ferndale High School programs. The flexibility of the program allows us to accommodate students who have outside commitments such as employment, medical needs, family responsibilities, etc. 

Other benefits of the program include:
•    one-on-one instruction with customized academic plans
•    a flexible schedule to meet student needs
•    access to high school academics and support systems
•    participation in work-study programs or project-based learning
•    online education
•    study lab and tutorial support
•    High School and Beyond planning

This site is intended to provide parents with information and resources regarding home based instruction and alternative learning environments. You may be new to the home schooling community, or simply investigating alternatives, or you may be a parent who has been home schooling for years – hopefully you will find something helpful in these pages.

Home-Based Instruction,
Ferndale Family Partnership 

Student Driven. Family Directed. District and Community Supported.

Ferndale Family Partnership (FFP) located at 5275 Northwest Ave is a program for students in Kindergarten - 8th grade. Additional opportunities are available for students in 9-12th grade.  In person instruction will still require the wearing of masks by all students and staff. 

In Washington State, children between the ages of 8 and 18 are required by law to enroll in a public school, enroll in a private school, or to receive home-based instruction (under RCW 28A.225).

Washington State defines homeschooling and the requirements parents must meet to be eligible to homeschool their child with RCW 28A.200:

“…instruction shall be home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities, including a curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music, provided for a number of hours equivalent to the total annual program hours per grade level established for approved private schools under RCW 28A.195.010 and 28A.195.040 and if such activities are:

  • Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and are supervised by a certificated person. A certificated person for purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW shall be a person certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW. For purposes of this section, “supervised by a certificated person” means: The planning by the certificated person and the parent of objectives consistent with this subsection; a minimum each month of an average of one contact hour per week with the child being supervised by the certificated person; and evaluation of such child’s progress by the certificated person. The number of children supervised by the certificated person shall not exceed thirty for purposes of this subsection; or
  • Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and who has either earned forty-five college level quarter credit hours or its equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at a postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute; or
  • Provided by a parent who is deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district in which the child resides.

Your responsibilities as a parent choosing home-based instruction include (RCW 28A.200.010):

  • To file annually a signed “Declaration of Intent” to provide home-based instruction for any children between 8 and 18 by September 15th of the school year.
  • To have your child either academically tested or assessed annually. (Visit the State Board of Education Home Instruction FAQ page for more information.)
  • To ensure that test or assessment records and immunization records are kept in the child’s permanent record “If it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good-faith effort to remedy any deficiency.”

The “Pink Book”, offered by OSPI, is a booklet in question and answer form put out by the state to address different parts of the home-based education laws. Click here to download the Pink Book from the OSPI website (PDF).

If you live within our district and would like to file an intent to home school, please click here to download the Intent to Home School form. This form is due annually by September 15 of each school year, or within two weeks of any semester start date. Forms may be emailed to Lea Morris at

What is the Ferndale Family Partnership Program (FFP)?

It is the core belief of the Ferndale Family Partnership program that parents and other adults at home are the primary educators for the children in their care. With that in mind, the role of the program is to support home learning by providing resources, access to a highly certified teacher, and engagement in a learning community to support their journey. Rather than replace home learning, it is our intention to help complete or enhance home learning. This partnership between home and school creates an excellent opportunity for children to grow and learn and still have access to special services through the district and ongoing teaching support.

Ferndale Family Partnership meets all Washington State requirements as an Alternative Learning Experience. These requirements include each student having a unique Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP) designed collaboratively with families, students, and certificated staff. The WSLP is updated monthly to reflect the student’s learning, interest, strengths, and challenges.  

The role of the parent/guardian in the FFP program: 

  • Provide support and instruction for your child. 
  • Communicate at a minimum once a week with program teachers around your child’s progress toward their student learning plan (SLP) goals.
  • Turn in a Monthly Progress Report regarding progress towards your child’s academic goals on the 20th of each month.
  • Plan on your student fully participating in the state testing each spring.
  • Read all emails and communications from school to stay informed about all the Ferndale Family Partnership happenings.

What FFP is not:

  • FFP is not a five-day a week program.
  • FFP does not follow the same instructional model as our brick and mortar school. If you are enrolled in our FFP, that will become your assigned school. However, if you should decide to transition back to your neighborhood school we will support families in that process. 
  • FFP is not just a social program for homeschool families as there are academic expectations outlined by the teacher and the co-created student learning plan.

FFP would be a good option for you if:

  • You are homeschooling and want a supplemental program offering instruction  from a certified teacher. 
  • If you want to have flexibility in your schedule. 
  • If you have the flexibility to support your child in their learning.

Important Links and Contacts

Home-Based Instruction and Alternative Learning Contacts: 

Shannon Iwasaki
Teacher, Ferndale Virtual Academy

Amy Neverdahl
Teacher/Coordinator, Ferndale Family Partnership

Lea Morris, Admin Assistant/Registrar - FFP



Ferndale School District Complies with all state and federal rules and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, religion, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any physical, sensory and or/ mental disability, or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability, honorably-discharged veteran or military status or any other basis prohibited by law.  The district will provide equal access to school facilities to the Boy Scouts of America and all other designated youth groups listed in the Title 36 of the United Code as a patriotic society.  Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the school district’s Title IX Coordinator and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator John Fairbairn, Executive Director of Human Resources; 360-383-9206;; Ferndale School District 6041 Vista Drive, Ferndale, WA 98248 and/or Section 504/ADA Coordinator Rebecca Champagne, Director of Special Education; 360-383-9231;; Ferndale School District 6041 Vista Drive, Ferndale, WA 98248.