The Year of Virtual Events

2020 was a year of unexpected change and adaptation. For WSSDA, a part of that adaptation was shifting our normally in-person events to virtual formats. But was the outcome better than expected?

The First-Ever General Assembly

The 2020 WSSDA General Assembly was the first of its kind, combining what used to be the WSSDA legislative and delegate assemblies into one event. Also a first, holding the event virtually.

Though virtual, the assembly saw a record-shattering 203 of Washington’s 295 school districts register a voting delegate to participate in the democratic process of setting WSSDA’s permanent and legislative positions. After delegates cast their votes and ranked the positions, the top three 2021 Legislative Position Priorities were formed:

  1. Advance vital programs and services
  2. Expand equitable access to instruction
  3. Secure staff and district resources

Building upon the success of this year’s General Assembly, WSSDA hopes to see participation increase again in 2021. The more districts that participate, the more local voices will be amplified in Olympia.

Virtual Annual Conference

This year, close to 700 school board directors, education leaders, and student board representatives gathered from their various remote spaces for the first-ever virtual WSSDA Annual Conference. The attendees took this year’s theme to heart, entering conference prepared to reflect upon, reimagine, and relaunch their ideas of public education in Washington.

Education leaders, legislators, business professionals, and even students shared their expertise through breakout sessions in order to foster attendees’ personal and professional growth. Sectors of learning included equity, education policy, funding, board growth, the well-being of students and staff, successful leadership strategies, cybersecurity, internet needs, and the upcoming legislative session.

As happens every year at conference, WSSDA also welcomed new leadership and recognized the hard work of our school boards. Rick Jansons, from Richland School District, was sworn in as the WSSDA President and the 2020 Boards of the Year were announced.

WSSDA would like to thank the sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, keynoters, performers, and of course, attendees for making our first virtual annual conference a success. WSSDA looks forward to bringing you another successful conference next year!

See you in 2021!

Though these events didn’t look as originally planned, WSSDA is thrilled to have had the opportunity to serve our members virtually. We are unsure of what next year holds, but we look forward to another year of connecting leaders, cultivating growth, and creating change with our members, for our students.

Want the full stories?

The full versions of these event recaps can be found in the Winter 2020 issue of Direct.