Washington educates more than a million K–12 students—more than a third of whom identify as a member of 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 build its capacity in the following areas:
Multi-Tiered System of Supports: Virtual Learning for System Improvement
In Washington’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, OSPI is charged with providing increased assistance to schools and districts identified as needing comprehensive, targeted, and self-directed supports—while maintaining the level of support it provides to all 295 school districts across the state. With assistance from NWCC, OSPI is developing and implementing a multi-tiered system of supports. Specifically, NWCC is helping OSPI use virtual platforms to maximize efficiency in meeting the varying needs of each district.
American Indian and Alaska Native Education
Working with OSPI and the Northwest’s four other state education agencies (SEAs), we build stakeholders’ capacity to meet the educational needs and support the strengths of Native students. We do this by facilitating a professional learning network among the SEAs’ Indian education coordinators so that they can share resources, promising practices, and lessons learned. In addition, we provide technical assistance to individual SEAs through state-level projects with regional impacts. For example, we supported OSPI in the development of the first Washington state Native Education Advisory Board. We also assisted OSPI in developing cross-agency guidance for supporting state-tribal education compact schools and evaluating statewide implementation of Since Time Immemorial—a curriculum that integrates tribal perspectives into lesson plans.
Rural Innovation and Student Engagement
In 2013, NWCC and our partners at Boston College created an educator network. The goal: Reduce isolation by connecting educators from some of the region’s most rural and remote districts. Today, the Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network convenes teachers and leaders from more than 30 districts in five Northwest states (including 10 districts in Washington), along with SEA staff members, to collectively improve student outcomes and engagement across the region.