The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the law that ensures schools provide services to children with disabilities. In Washington State, IDEA and state special education law governs how local districts and other public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to students from birth through to age 21. Special Education is defined as: “specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.”
Communication between school staff and parents/guardians creates a team approach to help our children succeed.
During this holiday season, I would like to take a moment to share how grateful I am for our staff who are incredibly hard working, compassionate and dedicated to the success and well-being of all of our children; for a Board of Directors who cares deeply and gives so much of themselves to serve; and for a community who stands tall and wraps its arms around our most precious resource — the children.
Veterans Day has passed so it’s now okay for me to come out of hiding. It’s been 60 years since I became a war veteran and for most of the last 50 years I’ve dodged Veterans Day, not because veterans don’t deserve recognition but because for many, the day has become a celebration of militarism. It should be a time of quiet reflection. War is hell and deserving of solemn remembrance.
The new state teacher evaluation system began with Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6696 from the 2010 legislative session. There had not been a change to the teacher evaluation system for over 25 years. The bill resulted in a change from a two-tiered rating system of satisfactory and unsatisfactory to a four-tiered evaluation system with ratings of unsatisfactory, basic, proficient and distinguished. The four-tiered rubric will allow the evaluator to provide feedback along a continuum, rather than just a simple satisfactory and unsatisfactory.
As a school board director for Arlington Public Schools, not many days go by without having a school related conversation with someone in the community. The topics and questions run the entire gamut from district policy to classroom concerns. However, inevitably, the discussion often turns to a question on everyone’s mind, “How did you get on the school board and what do you do?”
It's no secret that our state has serious deficiencies within its transportation grid.