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2018 School of Distinction

Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is celebrating the 2018 School of Distinction (SOD) awards in our region. A total of 26 schools in 10 districts have earned this distinctive honor this year. Last week these districts and schools were notified of the recognition by the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) and their partner organizations that have recognized schools all over the state for continuous and substantive improvement in English language arts and math over a five-year period.

John Welch, Puget Sound ESD Superintendent states, “We are thrilled to honor the 2018 Schools of Distinction and celebrate with the students, school staff, district leaders and communities for their contribution in this honor.  We pause to recognize these great strides in academic achievement as a collective work of many.  Congratulations on this awesome accomplishment and thank you for reminding all of us to never stop and always continue to aim higher to reach excellence in education.”

PSESD will be hosting a celebration for the School of Distinction award recipients in December.

Specifics of the methodology used to determine 2018 winners are summarized below:

Now in its 12th year, the School of Distinction (SOD) awards were created in the summer of 2007 to recognize the highest improving schools in Washington State. The awards are not intended as a replacement for state and federal accountability measures of school performance, but rather as a supplemental measure to recognize and celebrate school staff, students, and leaders who improve performance for all students over a sustained period of time in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The methodology has remained unchanged over the 12 years other than allowing for the transition from Measures of Student Progress (MSP) to Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) starting in 2015. This paper presents our approach to the 2018 SOD awards.

2018 School of Distinction Award Winners (WA State)

Puget Sound ESD 121 2018 School of Distinction Award Winners List

* = Repeat

** = Back-to-back winner in 2017 & 2018

(Nx) = N represents the number of times receiving the award



John Welch Speaking at School Safety Press Conference

Leaders from the state’s Educational Service Districts (ESDs) joined legislators, school staff and student representatives on September 22, for a news conference urging broader support and additional funding for school safety and student mental health services.

Read More about ESDs, superintendents, state legislators and students push for additional support to address student safety and mental health.

On August 28, 2019, the Martin Luther King County Council passed historic legislation investing $318 million to improve educational outcomes for children and youth over the next 16 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 postsecondary completion.  

Of the $318 million investment in the King County Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA):

  • $153.8 million will support the development of early learning facilities
  • $29.6 million will support community-based organizations working with students in the K–12 grades
  • $112.4 million will go to the King County Promise, which provides advising support for underserved high school and college students to get them to and through college
  • $22.6 million will be reserved for administration and evaluation
Read More about King County Promise Legislation Passed
AESD School Accreditation Services

Learn how AESD Accreditation aligns with School Improvement Planning and can help your school to provide the most value for your students.

LIT Interns

High school students are invited to learn with us and influence the work of the organization into the future. Interns will be part of LIT (Leaders in Training), and participate in learning and leadership sessions with other interns

Interns are compensated $15/hour and need to have transportation to meeting locations and worksite. Internships are held at PSESD (800 Oakesdale Avenue SW, Renton, 98057). 
A transportation stipend of $100 is provided.

Welcoming Balloons

The Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) is a professional organization serving educational service agencies (ESAs) in 45 states; there are 553 agencies nationwide. AESA is in the position to reach well over 80% of the public school districts, over 83% of the private schools, over 80% certified teachers, and more than 80% non-certified school employees, and well over 80% public and private school students. Annual budgets for ESAs total approximately $15  billion.

Read More about AESA Welcomes PSESD, John Welch, to the Executive Council
Children Reading

We are on track for school budget cuts that disproportionately hurt students of color and those who are living in poverty — the very students who are negatively impacted by the opportunity gap we are all striving to close.

2019 Classified School Employee of the Year. Nominate Onlin

Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is now accepting nominations for the 2019 PSESD Classified School Employee of the Year. This annual award recognizes and honors the work of school and district classified staff. PSESD’s Regional Classified School Employee of the Year will serve as one of nine finalists for OSPI’s annual statewide award, which will be announced in the spring.

Read More about 2019 Classified School Employee of the Year Nominations