Educational Equity Trainings

Washington state’s 1,477 school directors oversee the education of more than 1.1 million K-12 students. That comes with a tremendous responsibility to ensure that our public education system serves all students and their families.

To help directors shoulder that responsibility, WSSDA offers courses that give school directors an even deeper appreciation of:

  • their positions within the American electoral and legal systems
  • the strengths and challenges faced by students and families of different backgrounds
  • their responsibilities as leaders of their community and in the public education system
  • how our own beliefs and actions can impact the students we serve
  • and other impactful learnings

With new or deepened perspectives, school directors will gain the background knowledge necessary to support the delivery of programs and services that benefit every corner of their school districts. The courses also satisfy requirements outlined in Washington Senate Bill 5044, which became law in July 2021.

How it Works

To meet legislated requirements, directors need to take two courses early in their service, then one course per subsequent term of office. We refer to that as “initial” professional development and “continuing” professional development.

Initial Professional Development—5 Hours

Beginning with the 2022 calendar year, each school director must take two courses, the introduction plus an elective, during their current term of office. Newly elected or appointed directors must meet the requirement within two years of taking office. The two courses are:

  1. Introduction to the commitment to Educational Equity
  2. An elective

Initial Requirement
Two 2.5-hour trainings (5 hours total)

Continuing Professional Development—2.5 Hours

In subsequent terms of office after completing the initial requirement, directors will need to take one elective course per term.

Continuing Requirement
One 2.5-hour training

About the Courses

The variety of courses and topics will grow as WSSDA is continually developing curriculum. At present, WSSDA has developed:

Intro:

  • Introduction to Educational Equity (the first, foundational course)

Electives:

  • Advancing Inclusion Through Belonging
  • Identity Discrimination — A Look at Federal Involvement

To see what’s available at any given time, visit the calendar at wssda.org/trainings

Frequently Asked Questions

WSSDA offers professional development opportunities in many areas of educational leadership for Washington state’s school directors. Some of these opportunities are designed to be taken by individual school directors and some are designed for participation by board-superintendent teams. The OnBoard Professional Learning System provides interactive learning at the board level focusing on visionary leadership, effective governance, and strategic advocacy. The Commitment to Educational Equity series is just one part of the entire OnBoard system. This graphic shows the breadth of topics covered by OnBoard.  
In July 2021, the Washington state Legislature passed Senate Bill 5044 into law, requiring cultural competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion training for Washington state’s K-12 public school educators, district leaders, and school directors. WSSDA is named within the law as responsible for identifying relevant standards and developing and delivering professional development in those topics for school directors. The Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is responsible for development of the training for educators. The requirements of ESSB 5044 are contained in various RCWs, including several related to school directors. They include:  
WSSDA is named within the law as responsible for identifying standards and developing and delivering the training for school directors. The Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is responsible for development of the training for educators, also specified in the law.
Senate Bill 5044 specifies several topic areas for required training for school directors, including cultural competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Initial Professional Development
Beginning with the 2022 calendar year, school directors must complete the program once per term of elected office, except that newly elected directors must complete it within two years of election. The initial requirements include a minimum of two 2.5-hour trainings (5 hours total) that must include the introductory course plus one additional elective course.

Continuing Professional Development After completing the initial training requirement of 5 hours, in subsequent terms of office, the ongoing legislative requirement is to take a minimum of one 2.5 hour course of their choice per term.

See available trainings at wssda.org/training
School directors can access this training to expand their skills and understanding while meeting the state requirements through in-person, interactive professional development opportunities offered around the state in 2021 and beyond. The training is offered at WSSDA’s annual conference in November each year and in various regions across the state throughout the year.
Multiple opportunities are offered by WSSDA in partnership with local school districts and regional Educational Service Districts to bring the trainings within reach of all 295 school districts. WSSDA is working to expand access as the program ramps up. If your region is interested in hosting a training, contact WSSDA for scheduling options. A minimum of 20 attendees is required to provide a high-quality experience.
Not yet. Development of the training is focused on providing in-person, interactive options across the state in 2022-23.

Later, WSSDA may be able to develop asynchronous and interactive virtual options. Research indicates that individual, asynchronous learning is the least impactful modality for adult learners, so it will be the last delivery method developed.
Participants will delve into a wide variety of materials to gain background knowledge, engage in conversations around the curriculum, and complete some guided activities together. Because the trainings are interactive, we require a minimum of 20 people to ensure a rich experience. As a result, participants should be able to leave with an expanded understanding of educational equity.
WSSDA has a group of trainers with experience serving as school directors and school leaders in Washington state. They work in teams to provide this and other OnBoard training.
The work school directors and superintendents engage in to understand and elevate educational equity in their own districts is important and has tremendous value for identifying how to close opportunity gaps and provide what each student needs to be successful. However, previous WSSDA trainings or those offered by Educational Service Districts or other sources do not meet the requirements outlined in the RCWs. The unique and research-based design of the OnBoard Professional Learning system will likely compliment and amplify the benefits of any training you’ve already taken by expanding your personal thinking about issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.