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ALE Terms & Guidelines


Alternative Learning Experience (ALE): For legal requirements contained in WAC 392-121-182.

Annual Assessment: A test that measures a student’s academic progress each year per WAC 392-121-182. At Five Mile Prairie students take the Measurement of Educational Progress in grades 3-8. At the High School level, students will take the High School Proficiency Exam, and end of course assessments in math and biology to also meet graduation requirements.

Community Based Instructors (CBIs): These Mead School District employees are individuals or businesses in a community that provide instructional services to students according to the students’ WSLP goals in fine and performing arts, physical education, tutoring, career and technical education.

Essential Academic Learning Requirement (EALR): Learning standards developed from the Basic Education Act of 1993 that define what all students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

Full Time Equivalent (FTE): An enrollment term that provides the basis for basic education funding.

Highly Qualified Teacher: A certificated teacher who is a specialist in a specific content area or areas. This teacher is responsible for the development of learning plans for the individual courses for the student and is available for assistance in that course of study.
Instructional Materials: Curricular materials used to facilitate instruction of a student.
Monthly Review: Summary of student learning progress in each subject area within the Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP), recorded in WINGS each month. Our teachers will consider information provided by the parent or guardian and through weekly student contact and make a professional determination as to whether or not the student is making satisfactory progress toward accomplishment of the learning goals and performance objectives set forth in the WSLP.
Non-Returnable Instructional Materials: Items not reusable by more than one student, such as workbooks, lab materials, etc. These items are considered “used up” during the course and need not be returned.
Returnable Instructional Materials: Those materials that retain their value and can be used again by subsequent students such as textbooks and literature books. These items must ultimately be returned.
State Assessments: The state assessments include three annual exams: Measures of Student Progress (MSP) Grades 3-8, High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and End of Course Math and or Science exams (EOC).
Weekly Contact: Required, direct personal interaction between a student and his or her teacher on a weekly basis for the purpose of instruction, review of assignments, testing, evaluation of student progress or other learning activities. Please note that contact between a parent/guardian and a teacher cannot be counted in place of direct student/teacher interaction and communication.
Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP): A written plan developed to guide student learning goals and performance objectives for the school year. The WSLP is written for the student by a certified teacher with input from the student, parent or guardian. The WSLP is a requirement for all enrolled students.
WINGS: An internet-based student data management program used by parents or guardians and Five Mile staff for the majority of student learning progress documentation.
MEPP: Mead Educational Partnership Program is located at the historic Five Mile Prairie School.
Five Mile Prairie School: A school offering an alternative approach to educating students through a partnership of parents and highly qualified teachers. With the guidance of a Washington State Certified teacher, a parent will be highly involved in customizing an educational program specifically for his or her student’s unique learning style and needs. Five Mile’s personalized approach provides the flexibility to adapt learning experiences to accommodate diverse family circumstances while ensuring quality and the alignment with state educational standards.

Five Mile Prairie operates under the Washington State Law governing Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) programs. By following the guidelines and program requirements explained in this handbook, Five Mile parents and guardians will become familiar with ALE requirements (WAC 392-121-182), which shape many facets of the their child’s program. For a more comprehensive understanding, please read and refer to the ALE law. The full text of WAC 392-121-182 can be found by searching the Washington State Legislature’s webpage at

Five Mile Prairie is not home-based instruction, but a public school program in which learning activities can occur away from a traditional classroom setting. It is this public school enrollment that opens the door to resources and instructional guidance that will provide a quality education for your child through support of his or her individual Written Student Learning Plan goals. In accordance with WAC 392-121-182, subsection 6(j)(i), prior to a student’s enrollment, a parent or guardian must attest that you have read and understand the Declaration of Understanding that defines the differences between the a public school program and home-based instruction.
At Five Mile Prairie, we offer several program options as part of our mission to provide families with personalization, flexibility, choice and control in the education of their students. A parent or guardian may choose the option that best suits each student’s learning style, diverse family values, circumstances and/or preferred level of parent or guardian involvement.
You and your teacher will develop a grade-level appropriate Written Student Learning Plan utilizing an extensive array of school board-approved instructional materials and textbooks, online instructional programs, classes, independent study and experiential learning activities. A teacher will serve as your family’s primary contact and educational guide and will monitor and evaluate your student’s learning progress. Your teacher’s supervising principal may also be of assistance if you find that questions, concerns or issues are not being successfully resolved through your teacher.
All new families to Five Mile Prairie School will be required to meet with the Teacher Liaison for a number of consultations. Assistance will be provided to ensure a smooth transition to Five Mile Prairie School.

Parents must notify Five Mile Prairie School if their child enrolls in courses at another public or private school, even if it is within the Mead School District. The principal must ensure proper financial arrangements are made with the other school. It is of vital importance that a record of this arrangement be completed within state guidelines. The maximum classes a student takes cannot exceed one full time equivalent (FTE).

In order to comply with state law, specific documentation of student learning is required of our families and staff. For efficiency and uniformity, the majority of Five Mile Prairie documentation is completed on an Internet-based program called WINGS, a program currently used by many other ALE programs around the state.
Because documentation must be centralized, internet usage is required of all families in Five Mile Prairie. Each family must be able to log in to WINGS at least once a month to complete documentation. The Written Student Learning Plan, Weekly Contact, Monthly Reviews and supplemental learning activities are all recorded in WINGS.
Each family will be assigned a user name and password for access into the WINGS web site at Families will receive their username and password from a staff member and the Five Mile Prairie staff will be available to assist with log-in information.
A Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP) is established for each student in WINGS at the beginning of the school year. The Five Mile Prairie teacher will work with the parent or guardian to develop the WSLP and accurately reflect student learning goals. Modifications to the WSLP, such as adding a course, will be entered into WINGS by the Five Mile Prairie staff. Your Five Mile Prairie teacher will provide you with additional information about accessing and modifying the data in WINGS as needed.

Each year the Mead School District will establish an academic calendar that details important dates. The calendar will also indicate the days or weeks Five Mile Prairie offices are closed in observance of national holidays or school district breaks, as well as early release and late arrival days and other important dates.

Five Mile Prairie operates under the mandates of Washington State law governing Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) programs. ALE rules allow public school students to deviate from classroom-based learning environments and schedules while still being supervised by a certified teacher. Because learning can occur away from traditional school settings, student progress and achievement is tracked and documented through alternate methods. As a participant in publicly-funded education, you and your student will experience the flexibility, choice and control offered through our ALE program by working with our school to plan and document student learning.
The following four basic ALE requirements form the essential part of your educational program. Through these requirements, parents and guardians will help compile a record of each student’s progress and achievement of learning goals as he or she works toward a high school diploma. Each requirement and related information about our program is discussed in more detail in the following pages of this handbook:
  1. Written Student Learning Plan
  2. Weekly student/teacher contact
  3. Monthly Review of progress
  4. Annual Assessment
Elementary (grades K-6)
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • ½ year Science
  • ½ year Social Studies
  • Health and Fitness (minimum of 100 minutes per week)
  • Art is optional
Secondary (Grades 7-12)
  • Language Arts
  • Math 
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Health and Fitness (minimum of 5 hours per week)
  • Electives
In order to receive a .5 credit, you must complete 90 hours of course work.  All secondary students are required to keep a homeschool credit sheet (TYPED) for all offsite classes to present to advisor during transcript reviews and conferences.  

The Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP) is an annual requirement, which guides student learning and details the learning goals and performance objectives within each subject area of study. As part of the enrollment process, a WSLP is established for each student in WINGS. Shortly after enrollment, the parent or guardian will meet with a teacher to develop the WSLP to personalize and more accurately reflect the student learning goals. The student learning plan must include the following:
*A beginning and ending date for the learning plan. These dates are automatically generated by WINGS.
*Estimated number of hours per week that the student will engage in learning activities to meet the requirements of the learning plan. This figure will be determined by WINGS when the percentage of full-time enrollment is indicated.
*A description of how weekly contact requirements will be met.
*A list of the essential instructional materials.
*A description of specific learning goals, performance objectives, essential materials, timeline and methods of evaluation for each subject and whether or not the learning goals include one or more EALRs.
*A description of anticipated educational activities related to each subject of study.
Five Mile provides a full array of educational resources to parents and guardians as you guide student learning and help him or her accomplish WSLP goals. Achievement of learning goals is enabled through two key supports: instructional materials, and supplemental learning activities.

Attendance will be taken in all classes. All student absences must be reported to the office by calling 465-7700.
The following breakdown will help remind you of the number of hours you need to spend at Five Mile Prairie School and other learning activities away from school (off-site classes) during each week:

Kindergartners: to be claimed as a full-time equivalent (FTE), a student must complete a total of 10 hours each week.

1st-3rd Grade: to be claimed as a full-time equivalent (FTE), a student must complete a total of 20 hours each week.

4th - 12th Grade: to be claimed as a full-time equivalent (FTE), a student must complete a total of 25 hours each week.

Satisfactory Monthly Progress
Five Mile Prairie Teachers are required to review your student’s progress monthly on WSLP goals. Your teacher will recommend educational resources, plus help review assessments and assist you in discovering the most effective methods to reach each student’s educational goals. Please speak with your teacher about how you might be most helpful in facilitating your student’s learning.
The teacher is responsible for determining each student’s satisfactory progress toward learning goals in all academic areas every month. To make that determination, the teacher will consider details about student achievements during weekly student/teacher interactions, assessment information, parental input, and student work samples. The teacher will convey his or her professional judgment about satisfactory progress to the student and parent or guardian within a reasonable time frame after making that determination. Communication about satisfactory monthly progress may occur face-to-face, by email or telephone. The parent, guardian, or teacher may initiate a more in-depth conversation about student progress at any time.
Additionally, the Parent, grades K-6 or the Student grades 7-12 are required to enter a report in WINGS about the off-site monthly progress in each subject area of the WSLP. A student will benefit most when the Five Mile Prairie teacher and parent or guardian, work in tandem to enhance a student’s learning progress. Thus, the parent, guardian or student’s commentary about their learning achievements is an important and necessary element to helping the teacher understand and accurately assess satisfactory monthly progress.
Parent, guardian and student written input for the teacher’s Monthly Review must be submitted 5 days before the end of each month. The parent, guardian, or student is encouraged to comment on each subject area within the WSLP. For optimum effectiveness, a parent, guardian, or student’s written input would include information about learning progress in core academic areas, a brief description of goals met, and any areas of difficulty for each subject.
When the teacher determines unsatisfactory monthly progress, the student and/or parent or guardian will be asked to meet additional requirements to ensure a student’s progress.
Unsatisfactory Monthly Progress
Five Mile Prairie School works within the boundaries of state educational law to establish requirements designed to help the student be successful. Unsatisfactory progress of student learning will be determined by the teacher who reviews your child’s WSLP when one or both of the following occurs:
  • Insufficient weekly contact with a teacher during the month
  • Inadequate evidence of academic progress
If a student fails to make satisfactory progress or follow the WSLP, an intervention plan will be developed and implemented to improve student learning progress. The intervention plan may include (but is not be limited to) submission of work samples, more frequent contact with the teacher, more frequent and specific reporting of time spent and details of school work and temporary limitation on supplemental learning activities. After two consecutive calendar months of documented intervention efforts, if the student is not making satisfactory progress, a course of study will be designed to more appropriately meet the student’s educational needs.