Washington educates more than a million K–12 students, with more than a third coming from a racial or ethnic minority group. To implement and sustain initiatives that can improve educational outcomes for all students, the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has requested support from NWCC to extend its capacity in the following areas:
Improving Access to Dual-Credit Opportunities
As part of its effort to improve college and career readiness, OSPI seeks to build statewide capacity to offer dual-credit options and ensure equitable access and course completion for all students. NWCC is supporting OSPI to help districts:
- Increase their knowledge of career and technical education dual-credit programs that include work-based learning (i.e., apprenticeships and internships)
- Analyze data related to student participation in and completion of dual-credit courses*
- Identify and plan the implementation of best practices that ensure equitable access and dual-credit course completion
*This work includes the development of a tool, the Dual-Credit Analytic Report: A Guide for District and School Leaders, that is designed to help districts understand and interpret their data on current programs and participation.
Increasing Equity in Student Discipline
Legislation passed in 2016 called on the state to address disparities in the length of time students are excluded from school because of suspension and expulsion. NWCC is helping OSPI organize the efforts of an internal cross-agency work group and external community partnerships to plan and guide implementation of this legislation. This includes technical assistance in revising existing school discipline regulations; supporting the design of model discipline policies and procedures; and developing materials for schools and families centered on understanding the legislation, best practices for reducing suspensions and expulsions, and supporting students' re-engagement in school.
American Indian/Alaska Native Students
Working with OSPI and the Northwest’s four other state education agencies (SEAs), we provide capacity-¬building support to meet the educational needs of American Indian/Alaska Native students. We do this by helping the SEAs’ Indian education coordinators share resources and lessons learned with each other, as well as by providing technical assistance to individual SEAs through state¬-level projects with regional implications. For example, we have assisted OSPI develop cross-agency guidance for supporting State-Tribal Education Compact schools, and evaluate statewide implementation of Since Time Immemorial—a curriculum that integrates tribal perspectives into lesson plans.
Rural Innovation and Student Engagement
In 2013, NWCC and its partners at Boston College created a network designed to connect isolated rural educators as they work to implement rigorous new standards and improve outcomes and opportunities for students. The Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network currently includes schools from 12 districts across Washington (Columbia, Creston, Cusick, Glenwood, Loon Lake, Northport, Pateros, Skykomish, Summit Valley, Trout Lake, White Pass, and Wishram), along with districts in Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon.