Recorded 7/2/20 (Tim Garchow)
- No meeting next week and we’ll resume on July 16, 2020.
July 8-9 (Wed. Thurs) the State Board of Education will meet to talk about potential recommendations to the legislature and new rulemaking
. Topics will include:
Potential legislative requests
- Instructional hours and days for the 2020-21 school year
- Mastery-based crediting
- Clarification on meeting subject-area graduation requirements
- Flexibility for WA State History requirement
- Graduation pathways flexibility
- Credit graduation requirements flexibility
Questions/feedback can be sent to: email@example.com
The WSSDA board voted on Tuesday to send a letter to the Department of Health (DOH) asking if, in light of the recent reopening guidance sent out by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they might consider the possibility of:
- Reducing the social distancing requirement from 6ft to 3ft
- Exempting preschool – 3rd grade from wearing masks
- Exempting communities that don’t have active transmission of the virus.
The WSSDA board is seeking a meeting with DOH officials to discuss this letter.
Recorded 6/25/20 (Tim Garchow)
Recorded 6/18/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Governor Inslee announced that all Washingtonians are required to wear masks.
- WSSDA Board of Directors is working to schedule a meeting with Department of Health (DOH) to understand the data that DOH used as the basis for the regulations associated with reopening schools.
- WIAA issued guidance on June 22, 2020 for opening up high school sports and activities.
- WSSDA Networking Call will not occur on July 9th.
- Superintendent Chris Reykdal released a 12-minute video for parents, students and community members addressing key questions and concerns about reopening schools.
- OSPI released an FAQ document that provides additional information for districts to consider as they decide how to reopen their schools.
- WSSDA Branch Directors presented a PowerPoint on the Role of Board Members in Reopening Schools.
Recorded 5/28/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld DACA, which WSSDA has publicly supported.
- The Cares Act is set to deliver $220 million to Washington state with 90% going to districts based on their Title 1 formula, and 10% going to OSPI. The Office of Financial Management (OFM) has released 80% of each district’s allocation and OSPI will deliver those funds to districts in their July apportionment. OFM has yet to release 98% of the money intended for OSPI. If OSPI gets their Cares Act funding, they’ve committed to using it for the benefit of all districts, particularly to support internet connectivity.
- As you have conversations with your local legislators, you (school directors) may want to ask about why OSPI funding was held back by OFM.
- Want to call your attention to the fact that WSSDA’s model resolution 1320R had an end date embedded in it. The resolution allowed superintendents to temporarily operate outside of existing policy and procedure for the sake of urgent business related to COVID-19. Please note that end date, which means the force of the resolution ends June 19.
Recorded 5/21/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- The Governor’s Graduation video, including special guests and celebrities, is available for district’s use in graduation ceremonies.
- The health-related COVID data from the Department of Health is currently provided in age groups, one of which is 0-19. WSSDA has asked for DOH to provide data broken down by age and county.
- The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is considering how recommendations from the National Federation of High Schools impacts decisions to reopen school facilities for recreational use. Athletic Directors (ADs) and coaches are reminded that campuses are closed for athletic use and activities due to the Stay at Home, Stay Healthyorder through at least June 19th. Additional direction from the Governor will be necessary for any reopening. (Mick Hoffman, WIAA)
- The National Federation of High Schools has provided guidance for how athletics and activities should proceed. In Washington, fall and winter coaches can start training virtually. Recommendations will include activities, such as arts and music, in future guidance. (Mick Hoffman, WIAA)
- The next edition of Policy and Legal News will be released this week with provisions related to paying employees with public funds and signing documents remotely, as well as future OPMA considerations.
Recorded 5/18/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- There are many unknowns and we recognize that there are many concerns, frustrations, and questions among school directors. We wish we had more answers. In the meantime, email Garchow@wssda.org if you’d like to share your frustrations, concerns, and questions. Tim will weave your questions and the responses in future networking calls and other communications.
- Consider what has been going well and what you have learned that can be shared and applied to future decision-making.
- The CDC released guidance for consideration in re-opening schools nationwide. These guidelines are in advance of Washington State guidance and requirements. Districts should consider these recommendations in their discussions for next school year while also waiting to make definitive re-opening plans until Washington state guidance is provided.
- WSSDA networking calls will include more guest speakers and panelists to share perspectives related to continuous learning, leading during difficult times, and supports for you and your role as school directors.
Recorded 5/11/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- The WSSDA Board of Directors voted on Friday, May 15th to host a virtual General Assembly in September 2020 and a hybrid (virtual and in-person) Annual Conference in November 2020.
- The weekly WSSDA Networking Calls will be hosted on Thursdays from 12 – 1 pm starting the week of May 25th. WSSDA will host one more Thursday evening call from 5-6 pm on May 21st.
- The Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) met to discuss how to safely reopen school facilities to allow for community activity in line with the Governor’s Phase 2. Guidance will be forthcoming.
- The Governor will be releasing a video that can be incorporated with district graduation ceremonies.
- Handouts provided during the networking call:
Recorded 5/7/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Several lawsuits have been filed against the state and/or Governor to re-open schools.
- The CARES Act estimates have been released showing the amount of money that each district in Washington will receive. The dollars are one-time only so should not be committed to reoccurring expenses. There is no supplant language in the CARES Act which means that states could offset these funds with budget reductions in other areas.
Recorded 5/4/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- WSSDA will continue to advocate for local governance on the upcoming OSPI-led workgroup to address options and conditions for reopening schools in the fall. The workgroup will be comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders including six WSSDA representatives (staff and board). The workgroup will convene for its first meeting in May 2020. We will update you on progress throughout its development. WSSDA worked with other stakeholders to ensure diverse district representation from across the state.
- The Governor’s four-phased approach to safe reopening does not include school districts (addressed on page 5 of the Safe Start WA Plan). According to the Governor’s office, additional plans for a phased approach to restarting educational activities are under development.
Recorded 4/30/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Increases in E-rate funds are being considered at the Federal level. WSSDA will keep directors informed on progress and continue to advocate for these investments in technology and access.
- Governor Inslee has released a phased approach (page 6) to reopening businesses, industry, and communities. Phase 1 begins on May 5thbut the dates and plans are fluid.
Recorded 4/23/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- CTE questions will be fielded on a case-by-case basis by OSPI. Your questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Secretary DeVos has opened grants to state agencies (OSPI) for technology innovations responding to COVID. If Washington is awarded these funds they would most likely be used for future planning and implementation.
- The Council of Presidents posted a FAQ for students and families regarding admissions to Washington’s public colleges and universities.
- The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers have new guidance on how to treat incoming students impacted by school closures due to COVID-19. Their guidance is that college credit and placement may be offered based strictly on HS course grades, since some testing has been cancelled. The concern is that if they all get As, they may be placed in a course they are unprepared for. (Sandy Hayes, Northshore)
- E-clippings will continue to be WSSDA’s conduit for communicating news and updates and will return to its standard daily schedule from Monday through Friday.
- The position proposal window is now open through May 20th and available for school board members to submit a proposed amendment to an existing position or a proposed new position. Please contact Marissa Rathbone, Director of Government Relations, at email@example.com or Abigail Westbrook, Director of Policy and Legal, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or are considering a submission.
- Superintendent Reykdal’s weekly video from 4/18/20 shares information about grading practices and supports for students with disabilities. (OSPI YouTube Channel)
- The window is currently open to submit new or amended positions to support WSSDA’s advocacy platform. If you are interested in a submission, you can access the form on our website. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
Recorded 4/6/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- WSSDA will be issuing Covid-19 graduation policy tools for school boards on Tuesday, April 14. (Abigail Westbrook, WSSDA)
Recorded 4/2/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Governor Inslee issued a proclamation extending the school closure to the end of the school year.
- ACT/SAT dates have been extended into late spring.
- Students planning on taking AP tests may still be able to do so from home.
- WSSDA’s e-Clippings is running seven days a week and is a way for members to stay informed.
- Superintendent Reykdal is developing a weekly video series where he answers questions from the field and provides relevant updates.
- OSPI is requiring districts to submit data related to school meals and childcare. School districts are not currently required to submit continuous learning plans to OSPI.
- If the school closure extends through the rest of the year, OSPI may provide further guidance on continuous learning expectations.
- While the current expectation is that schools will return to regular operations on April 27th, school districts should prepare for closures through the end of the school year in the case that the Governor decides to extend school closures. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Boards should be focusing now on how best to communicate messages to the community, including how to respond questions from the media and/or public. Effective communication is key to leading the system toward solutions and keeping calm in the midst of uncertain times. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- Some districts are utilizing their 3-D printers and open-source coding to manufacture PPE for their local medical communities (certain specifications for printers are required to do this work). Here is a link to a web site with NIH-approved designs. https://3dprint.nih.gov/(Tim Garchow, WSSDA and Maggie Tai Tucker, Mercer Island)
Recorded 3/26/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- If school districts have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to donate that is not needed for those providing childcare and other essential services, the Educational Service Districts (ESDs) will accept any sizes. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- In addition to being a board member, I also do recreation mapping and have created a map www.washingtonhometown.com/crisismap with resources. If there is any information that districts would like to add, I am happy to include it. (Right now, when you click on a county you get information about the county emergency page and conditions, we could add that for the county. Or we can add food distribution areas with information - as we have done with the Ellensburg school district point at Morgan Middle School.) (Jennifer Hackett, Ellensburg)
Recorded 3/25/20 (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- We are reinventing learning – and effectively in a matter of days, when we would otherwise be making changes like these after months and years.
- April elections will continue as scheduled unless counties decide to postpone; the County Commissioners of Stevens, Snohomish and King Counties have requested a delay. We are waiting to hear if the election officials in those counties are going to take action on those requests.
- State Board of Education will share draft rules addressing graduation requirements and waivers on April 1st and public comment must be received no later than Tuesday, April 7th. Learn more at https://www.sbe.wa.gov/news/updated-covid-19-information. State Board will defer to the Local Education Agencies (LEA) to determine if they will submit a district waiver to SBE to provide for student graduation waivers. Local school boards will need to consider waivers for any local graduation requirements. (Patty Wood, SBE)
- Calm, consistent leadership is paramount. Self-care and care of others is essential if we are to be effective.
- Your entire board can join these calls as they are informational and not conducting official business on behalf of your districts.
- State Board of Education (SBE) is working on credit waivers for 12th grade/senior students for the purpose of graduation requirements. See Thursday's SBE board meeting.
- Review OSPI guidance and Governor’s proclamations regarding all topics below for clarity and direction.
- It is imperative that superintendents and school board teams have talking points and stay on topic when communicating with members of the community and media.
- School districts should prepare to return to school on April 27th and also prepare for the possibility that school closures will continue through the end of the school year. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- The State Board of Education is currently considering changes to the credit waivers for graduation requirements, and WSSDA is working closely with SBE to complete this task. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)
- The Secretary of State has recommended to the Governor that the April elections be canceled. The Governor has not made a decision; WSSDA has expressed and will continue to express concern regarding the impact to school districts, namely levy impact and possible reductions in force. (Tim Garchow, WSSDA)