Twelve drummers drumming
It’s that time of year, when state agencies must submit their reports to the Legislature. Some of the reports were required in bills or by budget provisos during the 2011 session; some are annual or biennial reports. Here is a quick summary of 12 reports that have been sent to lawmakers – just a little “light reading” if you’re trying to stay awake on new year’s eve … Many thanks to WSSDA Government Relations assistant Justin Rossetti for compiling this list from the OSPI web site.
Building Bridges Workgroup Update
This annual update provides a summary of the drop-out prevention work that has been completed in the past year and includes information on the status of the Building Bridges grants to school districts, a summary of a project to develop regional and school data teams, and the current status of the implementation of a Dropout Early Warning System. For additional information, contact Dixie Grunenfelder at Dixie.email@example.com or (360) 725-6045.
Alternative Learning Experiences Enrollments: Impact on School Construction Assistance
The 2011 Legislature directed OSPI to review the impact of students enrolled in alternative learning experiences on the calculation of student enrollment projections for determining school district eligibility for school construction assistance program funds. This report presents an analysis of the calculations along with recommendations for adjustment factors. For additional information, contact Christine Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360)725-6267.
Implementation of the New Student Transportation Funding System Update
This quarterly update provides information on the implementation of the state’s new transportation funding system. The update indicates that the new school district reports that were due on October 31 were successfully completed on time for the overwhelming number of districts. This was a critical step in the implementation of the new system. For additional information, contact Allan Jones at email@example.com or (360) 725-6122.
Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program: 2011 Assessment System Report
Washington’s assessment program experienced numerous changes during the 2010–11 school year and will have similar changes, plus new enhancements, occurring during 2011–12. This report provides a brief review of the 2011 changes and results, designs for the 2012 test administration, and an introduction to other program initiatives, including the work of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). For additional information, contact Michael Middleton at Michael.Middleton@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6434.
Dual Credit Programs: 2011
This report provides information regarding state and school district efforts to make dual credit programs available to their students. These programs allow students to earn both high school and college credit at the same time. The report includes data about student participation rates in Advanced Placement, Running Start, International Baccalaureate, Tech Prep, and College in the High School. The data is disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, and receipt of free or reduced-price lunch. For additional information, contact Mike Hubert at Mike.Hubert@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-0415.
Safety Net Survey: 2010-11
Since 2007, the Legislature has required the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to annually survey school districts about improving the Special Education Safety Net process. In November 2011, an electronic survey was distributed to districts that participated in the Safety Net program during 2010–11. This report provides the responses that we received from school district personnel for the 2010-11 school years, as well as responses for the 2008–09 and 2009–10 school years. For additional information, contact Amber O’Donnell at Amber.Odonnell@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6075.
Financial Education Public-Private Partnership: 2011 Annual Report to the Legislature
The Financial Literacy Public-Private Partnership (FLPPP) was created in 2004 to adopt a definition of financial literacy and identify strategies to increase financial literacy of public school students. The FLPPP focused on adopting a definition of financial literacy, examining financial education curriculum for alignment with Washington's learning standards, examining financial literacy learning standards that have been developed in other states and by national organizations, and providing and encouraging professional development and workshops in financial literacy for educators. In 2009, the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP) was established to replace the FLPPP and continue the work of advancing financial literacy education in Washington by leveraging state funds with private donations, partnering with other organizations, and providing outreach to educators and administrators in districts throughout the state. The report highlights the work of FEPPP since the last legislative report was produced in November 2010. For additional information, contact Kathleen Lopp at Kathleen.Lopp@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6245.
Assessments for Educational Technology
This brief update provides information regarding the OSPI-developed Educational Technology Assessments. The assessments are designed to determine student progress toward Washington’s standards for educational technology. The assessments are available for the elementary, middle and high school grades and integrate science, math, health, English language arts, social studies and the arts. Classroom activities are intended to be easy to use and come equipped with a comprehensive inventory of free and low-cost digital resources. For additional information, contact Dennis Small at Dennis.Small@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6384.
Gangs in Schools Task Force Report: 2011
In 2007, the Legislature passed SSB 5097, which required OSPI to convene a task force to examine how gangs are affecting school safety. This task force was directed to “outline methods for preventing new gangs, eliminating existing gangs, gathering intelligence, and sharing information about gang activities.” The task force was also directed to annually report its findings and recommendations to the education committees of the Legislature. This report summarizes the work of the task force for the past year, which has included providing guidelines and processes that communities can use to reduce gang activity, data and information sharing, and training and professional development. For additional information, contact Mike Donlin at Mike.Donlin@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6041.
Anti-Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Work Group Report: 2011
Recognizing harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) to be problems in schools, the 2010 Legislature passed SHB 2801, which was intended to expand the tools, information, and strategies available to districts to combat HIB. This legislation mandated that school districts update policies and procedures. The 2011 Legislature found that while updated school district HIB policies and procedures was a step in the right direction for preventing negative behaviors in schools, more needed to be done. 2SHB 1163 directed OSPI to create a work group focused on preventing HIB and increasing student knowledge on issues relating to student mental health and youth suicide. This report provides information of the status of the work group and the topics they are addressing. For additional information, contact Mike Donlin at Mike.Donlin@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6041.
Statewide Strategic Plan for Secondary Career and Technical Education: 2011
In 2011, the Legislature directed OSPI to create a statewide strategic plan for Career and Technical Education (CTE). In response to the legislation, OSPI formed a strategic planning committee. This report provides the current progress of the committee and four subcommittees that have been established, and discusses the areas that are being considered as the committee develops the strategic plan. A final report is due December 1, 2012. For additional information, contact Timothy McNeely at Timothy.Mcneely@k12.wa.us or at (360) 725-6254.
Washington Preschool Program: Increasing Access and Outcomes for Children: 2011
The 2009 Legislature (SB 6759) created an Early Learning Workgroup to develop recommendations for improving the quality and access of preschool programs in our state. Considerable research and extensive deliberation lead the workgroup to recommend a voluntary high-quality preschool program for 3- and 4-year-old children in Washington that would be implemented in phases. The program would have a higher intensity than the state-funded Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), with higher teacher standards and more rigorous accountability. The goal is to significantly increase the number of children that are prepared for kindergarten and school success.
And a partridge in a pear tree
During the 2011 special session, the Legislature directed the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) to develop a report with options for a consolidated K-12 public school employee health benefits system, along with a proposed implementation plan.
The Legislature’s goal is to improve the administration, transparency and equity of health benefits delivered to approximately 100,000 K-12 public school employees and their dependents.
HCA delivered the report to the Legislature last week. The report finds that the current system consists of numerous and widely varying health plans across the state’s 295 school districts and nine education service districts. A revised system could potentially streamline the current system and could be implemented as early as the 2013-14 school year.
Legislators are expected to take up the report recommendations in the 2012 regular session that starts Jan. 9. School directors are encouraged to read the report and evaluate the recommendations in anticipation of bills that may be offered in both chambers.
WSSDA was represented on the K-12 benefits study advisory group by President-elect Debbie Long (Central Valley). Two of Long’s suggestions at the group’s final meeting are included in the recommendations – to hold districts harmless during the first year or two of enrollment until districts have a better sense of participation, and to allow an opt-out option for districts that offer a comparable health benefits package similar to what the state would offer. Other comments from school districts that were represented on the advisory group also helped shape the final recommendations.
Happy holidays from all of us at WSSDA!