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:
Dual Credit Initiative
As part of the 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 develop guidance designed to help districts (a) build understanding of the literature on how dual credit programs support students with career and college success; (b) facilitate data and root cause analyses; (c) conduct a school- and district-based assessment of current dual credit options and practices; and (d) identify and plan for implementation of best practices that ensure equitable access and dual credit course completion.
In spring 2017, OSPI released data on current programs and participation in each district. NWCC assisted with this companion tool designed to help districts understand and interpret their data:
Dual Credit Analytic Report: A Guide for District and School Leaders.
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 due to 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 the new legislation. This includes technical assistance in revising existing school discipline regulations to align with new law; supporting the design of model LEA discipline policies and procedures; and developing materials for schools and families centered on understanding the new legislation, best practices in 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 are assisting 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 10 districts in Washington (Columbia, Cusick, Glenwood, Loon Lake, Pateros, Skykomish, Summit Valley, Trout Lake, Wishram, and White Pass), along with districts in Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon.