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AWSP Blog

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  • Retirement & Health Benefits for January 29, 2021

    Fred Yancey | The Nexus Group
    Jan 29, 2021
    Hearings are being held every day and the challenge is to communicate one’s position within the one minute typically given to testify. Because of the limited time given for public testimony, constant phone and email correspondence with legislators remains critical this session.
  • School Celebration Newsletter | February Edition

    Cindy Cromwell, Alternative Learning Education Administrator for the Kelso School District
    Jan 29, 2021
    I love February!! There are so many great things about this month that makes it special. February is the month of love, a new term, my daughter's birthday and It is finally starting to stay light a bit longer on my drive home. (YAHOO to all of them). February is a time for magical learning in the classroom when our students begin to hit their stride and "get it". All of our hard work is paying off and we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Each and every day educators are making a difference in the lives of students and staff. Your never ending belief in those you serve is a true game changer. You are an inspiration and your community is better off because you are taking care of the future. I hope you find this newsletter full of easy to use ideas to bring joy, laughter and support to your team. February celebrations seem to all revolve around food so you may want to purchase some Pepto-Bismol and monitor your daily steps. As always feel free to reach out to me if I can support your work. We are in this together no matter the distance between our zip codes.
  • Break the Stigma: Student Mental Heath

    Sarnika Ali, Junior, Auburn Riverside High School
    Jan 28, 2021
    I think something every adult needs to hear right now is that students are struggling. Just as teachers are most definitely overwhelmed with the new virtual learning process, Covid-19 has taken a toll on students as well. As a band kid, I can personally say that not getting to play in different music ensembles and concerts this year has been a huge bummer and gotten me down several times. I got so bored and lonely without music that I went as far as creating my blog, MusicandMentality, to educate others, even if it is from my desk at home. The same goes for just about most students with any activity. This all goes back to the importance of mental health. Covid-19 affects youth mental health and how schools and administrations should start thinking about putting in systems and plans to help all students within a community stigmatize mental health.
  • Beware of Learning Loss!

    Kurt Hatch | Associate Director, AWSP
    Jan 27, 2021
    As the pandemic continues pressure-testing the system, many people are expressing concern about the possibility of a “lost generation”. The notion of learning loss has gained traction as a problem to be solved via new policies, procedures, and practices. Research firms are publishing reports citing precise calculations of learning loss. It’s become a central educational feature of the pandemic.
  • Washington Digital TeachKit Helps Educators Using Digital Tools for Remote and Hybrid Learning

    Washington Library Association
    Jan 26, 2021
    The new Washington Digital TeachKit offers educators over 20 guides to using educational technology tools ranging from Audacity to Zoom, curated by Washington State teacher librarians. With links to training resources, user communities, and lesson plans, this new professional learning guide is designed to meet Washington educators where they are -- providing both basic and advanced resources to help educators use the right tools to help learners whether they are learning from home or the classroom.
  • Legislature Introduces the Fair Start Act for Young Children

    Roz Thompson, Advocacy and Governmental Relations Director, AWSP
    Jan 25, 2021
    High-quality childcare and early learning experiences are essential for children and their families. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, finding care has been very difficult for many and the Legislature intends to address this issue through the Fair Start Act (HB 1213/SB 5237 which are companion bills).  The Fair Start Act, sponsored by both Rep. Tana Senn and Sen. Claire Wilson, establishes a new fund that would expand access to affordable childcare by increasing eligibility and decreasing copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
  • Legislative Update for January 22, 2021

    Roz Thompson | AWSP Governmental Relations & Advocacy Director
    Jan 22, 2021
    Here in Olympia, there seems to be a constant stream of bills that will eventually have hearings dropping each day. There are also budget discussions taking place for how and when districts will receive the second round of federal dollars for K–12 education along with how the state funding will continue to support schools. And, we are hearing from President Biden there might be a third round of funding from the federal government. The short version, I believe, is that funding will be stable for next school year. How that all gets sorted out, however, remains to be seen. An important concern we’ve shared with legislators is making sure the dollars driven to specific programs that are dependent upon enrollment numbers like levy equalization (LEA), learning assistance (LAP), skills centers, institutional education, special education, hi-cap, and more, stay steady as well.
  • Special Education and 504 Tips & Resources | Jan. 22 Edition

    Abby Bowers | Director of Special Programs | Capital Region ESD 113
    Jan 22, 2021
    Weekly special education and Section 504 resources from Abby Bowers, Capital Region ESD 113's Director of Special Programs.
  • Retirement & Health Benefits for January 22, 2021

    Fred Yancey | The Nexus Group
    Jan 22, 2021
    Even though the Democrat leadership has asked members to limit the number of bills they introduce, clearly, they and their Republican counterparts didn’t listen. Even so, the reality, however, given that the session is an entirely virtual one, is that just a fraction of these bills will make it through the process compared to previous sessions.
  • Brilliance from Within

    James Layman, Director of Student Programs, AWSL
    Jan 21, 2021
    On Wednesday, January 20th, we witnessed the inauguration of a new president. Speeches, pageantry, fireworks, oaths, and traditions were on display as the symbolic exercise of welcoming a new president was on full display.   Of the noteworthy dignitaries and celebrities that were a part of the inauguration, maybe the most discussed was 22-year old Amanda Gorman. Amanda was the inauguration poet and read her poem, 'The Hill We Climb.' She was the youngest inauguration poet in our nation's poet. With poise, grace, power, and emotion, she captivated the country and the world as she invited us in to think, reflect, and look forward to what is possible.

Like to Write?

We're always looking for guest contributions. If you have a passion to write and things to share, email David about a guest post or a role as a recurring guest blogger. 


For More Information 

David Morrill | Communications & Technology Director | (800) 562-6100