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Puget Sound Region Superintendents Call on Legislature to Support Schools

December 18, 2020

Renton, WA

 

Superintendents of 38 school systems across the Puget Sound region have announced a joint 2021 state legislative agenda, calling on the Washington State Legislature to put systems and structures in place to get students back in school for in-person learning, while mitigating risks. 

Together, the school systems serve nearly 40% of students across Washington state, 55% of whom are students of color. The legislative priorities are aimed to create opportunities and mitigate barriers for each and every student to succeed in school and in life. They ask the Legislature to support efforts to eliminate opportunity gaps based on race, income and other factors that have become even more urgent and acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that have historically disadvantaged young people. 

“Our unwavering focus is on student learning,” said Laurie Dent, Sumner-Bonney Lake School District Superintendent, “We look forward to working with the Legislature to maintain stable support for schools, including current funding formulas, to ensure students can return to high-quality schools.”

Specifics of the 2021 legislative agenda include:  

  • Access to Learning:  equitable access to technology, professional development, and learning acceleration

  • Student & Staff Safety, Wellness & Health:  increased mental health and counseling, staffing and materials to ensure a clean environment

  • Stable Support:  maintain K-12 funding, including enrollment and transportation

  • Well-Equipped Staff:  provide additional professional development for staff about racial literacy, cultural responsiveness and stereotype threat

  • School Facilities:  advance a constitutional amendment authorizing school district bond issues to be approved with a simple majority vote. 

The full set of 2021 regional legislative priorities can be found at https://www.psesd.org/programs-services/administrative-management-services/government-relations.  

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Archive

Youth smiling

Puget Sound Educational Service District has released its annual Report to the Community, showcasing work for the first time in an interactive, web-based format. The report highlights opportunity gap-closing strategies the agency is implementing in service of its End, Success for Each Child and Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading With Racial Equity

Read More about PSESD Releases Web-Based Report to the Community, Highlighting Efforts to Close Opportunity Gaps
Puget Sound Region Superintendents Call on Legislature to Support Schools

The Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Board of Directors is excited to announce its appointment of two new Board Directors. The two appointees fill vacant positions on the nine-member board.

Eric Harris (District 2, serving North/Central/West Seattle, Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island) and Mehret Tekle-Awarun (District 5, serving Renton, Kent and South Seattle) have been appointed to the PSESD Board of Directors. 

Read More about Puget Sound Region Superintendents Call on Legislature to Support Schools
Puget Sound Educational Service District Appoints Two New Board Directors

The Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Board of Directors is excited to announce its appointment of two new Board Directors. The two appointees fill vacant positions on the nine-member board.

Eric Harris (District 2, serving North/Central/West Seattle, Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island) and Mehret Tekle-Awarun (District 5, serving Renton, Kent and South Seattle) have been appointed to the PSESD Board of Directors. 

Read More about Puget Sound Educational Service District Appoints Two New Board Directors
Closing Gaps with the Washington State Fellows’ Network

The Washington State Fellows’ Network is a leadership program focused on equitable mindsets and practices. Puget Sound Fellows are teacher leaders, instructional coaches, administrators and curriculum specialists across our 35 districts. Fellows focus on standards-based, racially just and humanizing instruction in their content area. Consulting research and national and statewide guidance on equitable practices and change management, Fellows learn together to evolve their individual practices and leadership. Fellows apply their learning in an action plan to target an opportunity gap in the school or district in partnership with their principals

Read More about Closing Gaps with the Washington State Fellows’ Network
Leaders in LTFS: Christina deVidal

How to Become an Antiracist Educator

Christina deVidal from Lake Washington School District, is an educator and a member of the PSESD ELA Fellows network. Christina will be presenting to the WA Senate Committee on Early Learning & K–12 Education on November 30 about her journey as a culturally-responsive and antiracist educator. In this interview, Christina talks about her journey as a teacher, her “why” for teaching, and what it means to be antiracist educator.  

Read More about Leaders in LTFS: Christina deVidal
Creating Connections through the PSESD Student Support Center

Creating Connections Through the PSESD Student Support Center

As we return to school, we are discovering students are enrolling and showing up. What we are learning is that many of our students are lonely and have felt disconnected and possibly abandoned by the adults they depend on. Our youth crave and value the feeling of being cared for by adults. Social-emotional learning, per se, is not a curricula, a task, or a universal screening with a triage procedure. Each of these have a place, as they are designed to support youth and enable access to needed resources. However, these are strategies only. Strategies are not what create connections and are not the things that are sought out first. They are activities that become effective once a youth feels cared for, connected to, and valued for who they are. We cannot create that kind of connection by focusing on being busy, creating structures, and leading with a need for efficiency. 

Read More about Creating Connections through the PSESD Student Support Center
Implementation Plan Approved in Support of King County Promise

On September 1, 2020, the Martin Luther King County Council approved the implementation plan for historic legislation investing $318 million to improve educational outcomes for children and youth over the next 15 years. The investment, funded through voter-approved Sound Transit 3 proceeds, supports King County children and youth across the entire age spectrum, from early learning through college, career and technical education completion.

Read More about Implementation Plan Approved in Support of King County Promise
Young students playing with puzzle pieces

Back in March, all Educare Learning Network schools closed their physical locations in response to COVID-19. Just a month later, Educare Seattle was the first Network school to reopen their building, providing on-site childcare for enrolled children and families of essential workers. We touched base with Educare Site Manager Aeryn King to hear about her journey to her current position and the lessons learned along the way.

Read More about Stories Across the Agency - July 2020 - Adapting to Change with Aeryn King
Two babies and mother play with rattles

Four mothers share their experiences being parents in the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). With help from PSESD's Early Head Start at WCCW, the mothers are able to build healthy relationships with their children, receive parenting and childcare support, participate in child development education, and prepare for their futures upon release.

Read More about PSESD Early Head Start at WCCW Supports Mothers and Children From the Beginning
Educare Seattle logo

At the onset of the pandemic, Educare Seattle took a bold step in assessing the risks and rewards of reopening, to provide services to parents who are first responders. After adopting and implementing strict policies, procedures and practices for health and safety of staff and students, the White Center-based service, carefully welcomed students back in early April. Read about the process here. Learn more about how Educare was founded and their guiding principles.

Read More about Educare Seattle Leads the Way in Early Childhood Education