• Cultural Calendar
September is Suicide Awareness Month

For far too long, suicidal thoughts have often been unfairly stigmatized, with those suffering them actively discouraged from revealing their struggles. Yet such struggles occur across all ages, genders, and backgrounds, making it vitally important that the issue of suicide awareness be brought into the light.

To help accomplish this task, September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, offering an ideal opportunity to speak out and raise awareness on this vital topic—an awareness that is urgently required, with suicide the tenth leading cause of death among adults in the U.S.—and the second leading cause of death among children and young people aged 10-24. Unfortunately, these rates are increasing, and those who are young, LGBTQ, or BIPOC are especially vulnerable. LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, while transgender adults, meanwhile, are almost 12 times more likely than the general population to attempt suicide.

As we promote awareness of suicide prevention and mental health treatments, services, options, and other resources, let us use this opportunity to remove the stigma and remind all that such thoughts are highly treatable and preventable. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers a useful list of helpful resources for parents and caregivers, children and teens, mental health providers, educators and school staff, policy makers, and more.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately. If you are in crisis or experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255), or if you would prefer text help, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

For more information, visit: https://www.nctsn.org/resources/public-awareness/national-suicide-prevention-awareness-month.


The D-Day

On D-Day—June 6, 1944—more than 156,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, in Nazi-occupied France, to take part in the largest and most daring invasion by air, land, and sea in world history.

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Honoring National Higher Education Day

The Higher Education Act was originally signed in 1965 and was federally created to improve U.S. educational institutions’ higher education programs, and to offer financial help to students unable to afford their college fees.

This goal has continued to be a vital one for many, including Izamar Olaguez and Marcie Hronis, who founded National Higher Education Day in 2015. The day has been celebrated ever since on June 6 by students, parents, teachers, and more, as a movement to inspire students to pursue higher education while also working to make college fees accessible for everyone.

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Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride in June

June means it’s time for Pride! Time to proudly support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBTQ+ Pride Month), which takes place in June to commemorate the events of June 1969, when supporters of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City, rose up to protest police persecution and harassment against LGBTQ people. The uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw laws and practices that discriminated against LGBTQ Americans.

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PSESD Announces Kim Broomer as PSESD Regional Teacher of the Year and Julie Herdt as Classified School Employee of the Year!

Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is thrilled to announce Kim Broomer from the Northshore School District as its Regional Teacher of the Year, and is also delighted to announce Julie Herdt of Tukwila School District as Classified School Employee of the Year!

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It's Never Too Late for Financial Aid: Support the Push for FAFSA Completion!

The Washington Student Achievement Council is asking for our support in messaging to high school seniors and their families the importance of completing the FAFSA/WAFSA. 

The only way to qualify for financial aid for college or career training is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)—or in limited cases, the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid).

We know how vital and important this message is, so we're sharing the original message from Chris Reykdal, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, below in its entirety. There's still time to apply for financial aid—so check out the information below for further links, opportunities, plus instructions on how to do it.

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Latino Books Month

Promoting books by Latino/a/x authors and illustrators, Latino Books Month was founded by Rhode Island Latino Arts as a valuable opportunity to explore and celebrate Latino literature and to explore bilingual titles. The day encourages booksellers, librarians, and teachers to promote books by and for Latino people while also inspiring readers to explore the beauty of Latinx literature.

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Horizons Regional Grant

According to a recent study from Washington STEM, nearly 90 percent of high school students say they want to pursue a post-high school education, yet only 50 percent went on to enroll in a post-secondary program after graduation in 2022. A partnership in South King County is working to close that gap, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has charged itself with helping to make post-secondary education attainable for all students in Washington. The foundation’s newly announced Horizons Regional Grant is another step toward making sure that all students who want to attend college can do so and achieve the futures they want.

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Encouraging Children's Love of Reading for Children's Book Week!

Encouraging a child to enjoy reading a good book is one of the most useful and vital things anyone can do, providing the chance for a lifetime of joy, curiosity, imagination, and literary appreciation. As the U.S.’s longest-running national literacy initiative, Children’s Book Week takes place this year from May 6–12 and is an annual celebration of books for the young and young at heart.

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Safeguarding Student Data & Privacy, and Strengthening Cybersecurity Awareness

Join us on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at PSESD for “Safeguarding Student Data & Privacy and Strengthening Cybersecurity Awareness,” which will offer engaging and informative sessions focused on critical topics for school district personnel, building leaders, and educators. Participants will delve into essential areas related to student privacy, data sharing, and compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You’ll explore effective strategies for vetting educational technology tools and have the opportunity to participate in a hacking simulation and learn ways to make cybersecurity incident response more effective. Our expert presenters from the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will guide us through these crucial topics.

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Saying Thank-You to Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

It’s no secret that teachers are some of the world’s most important figures in our daily lives, despite the fact that they all too often battle long hours, low salaries, and other challenges – and ultimately, are simply all too often underappreciated.

But happily, this week, May 6-10, is Teacher Appreciation Week, providing all of us with the chance to celebrate teachers as they deserve!

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May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

It’s May, which brings that annual opportunity to celebrate the richness and history of Asian American/Pacific Islander/Native Hawai’ian Heritage Month, when we recognize the strength, contributions, and legacies of the Asian Americans, Native Hawai’ians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) who have helped to build, unite, and enrich this country in each successive generation.

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Our "Advocating for Peace and Humanity" Series

In March 2024, the PSESD Board wrote a statement outlining Our Stance and Promises Regarding the Israel Gaza Conflict: Advocating for Peace and Humanity to elevate the issue and actively support dialogue and reconciliation. Now PSESD has developed a three-part series of trainings in response to take place in May and June 2024, to support the dialogue and collective learning. The three-part series will have clock hours and all three elements were designed for educators across the system. Those interested can sign up for all three events or just one.

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