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School board considers diversity and equity policy

  • Written by Bill Lewis

The Northshore School District Board of Directors is considering a policy on diversity and equity in its schools, designed to guarantee equal educational opportunity, regardless of students’ “race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, mental health status, disability, age, sexual orientation, religious status or gender expression.”

The policy, submitted to the board at its May 9 meeting, is the work of the district’s 16-member Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee, made up of school administrators, parents, students and community members, was appointed last fall to write the policy and led by Chris Bigelow, Northshore’s director of Students Services.

The document sets seven goals for the district to meet in order to achieve education equity for students:
Equitable Access and Outcomes: “Barrier-free” access  by students to all school district programs, and “dynamic resources to support high academic, social, emotional and behavioral growth.”

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:  Provide school district staff with access to professional development instruction in “culturally responsive” curriculum and teaching methods.

Hiring and Staffing Practices: A district-wide commitment to recruiting and hiring “highly qualified, diverse and culturally competent administrators, teachers, certified support personnel and classified staff.”

Professional Learning and Growth: Provide staff with opportunities to learn about barriers to learning and implicit bias, and the effect those factors have on students.

Community and Family Engagement: Cultivate strong partnerships between schools and families, and “ensure diverse community representation in task forces, committees and events, at the school and district level.”
Distribution of Resources: A “data-informed, needs-base” policy of allocating resources to school programs that support equal educational opportunity
Institutional structures: Remedy practices that have resulted in some groups of students being over-represented in special education and disciplinary programs, and under-represented in programs for high-achieving students.
Bigelow praised the work of the diversity committee, which he said had few outlines to follow as it wrote the diversity policy.
“There are not a lot of policies out there,” he said.
Board Vice President Kimberly D’Angelo called the document, which the school board will vote on later this spring, “one of the most well put-together policies we have ever had.”
D’Angelo said she was pleased with a provision in the policy requiring the district’s diversity director to set targets measuring efforts to achieve educational equity, and to report to the school board at least twice a year on whether those targets are being met.
That provision guarantees that the policy “is not just collecting dust on the shelves. It is something we will be using,” she said.

Project alert: Modifications to safety improvements on 84th Avenue NE & Simonds Road

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

On April 24, Kenmore City Council reviewed the Neighborhood Transportation Plan Program progress update, which included a discussion on pedestrian safety improvements on 84th Avenue NE & Simonds Road.

At the meeting, City Council directed staff to replace the existing planters at 84th Avenue NE and Simonds Road with an extruded curb. The city will also paint the bicycle lanes on Simonds Road green adjacent to the curb. Modifications may happen as early as last week, depending on the contractor's schedule.

Council asked that staff continue to monitor the intersection to ensure it achieves the city’s safety goals.

For an update on the Neighborhood Transportation Plan Program and projects, visit http://bit.ly/2qJeENK.

AG Ferguson pledges legal defense of Washington’s national monuments

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Attorney General Bob Ferguson last week sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke opposing the unprecedented review and potential rollback of national monument protections ordered by President Donald Trump. Ferguson asserts that neither Zinke nor Trump have the legal authority to revoke national monuments.
Despite its permanent designation as a national monument in 2000, Hanford Reach National Monument is on the Interior Department’s list of monuments to review under President Trump’s Executive Order 13792, signed April 26. Based on the broad language of the order, other national monuments, such as San Juan Islands National Monument, could be under threat as well. 

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Palumbo ushers small business bill to the finish line

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Legislation to establish a small business bill of rights was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
House Bill 1352 directs the attorney general to work with state agencies and identify the rights of small businesses that face inspections or audits. The attorney general will then report his findings to the Legislature so lawmakers can find ways to streamline the process by which the state educates small business owners about their rights.

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Ferry fares, toll rates and automotive technology on Transportation Commission’s agenda this week

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Revisions to ferry fares, toll rate changes for the State Route 520 floating bridge, and technological challenges facing transportation, including cybersecurity for automobiles, are among the numerous topics the State Transportation Commission will take up during its meeting in Olympia.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 16, and 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 17, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. This meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday and noon Wednesday.

Tuesday’s agenda includes briefings on statewide planning for moving freight by truck and rail, the growing emphasis on active transportation such as walking and bicycling, and the Washington State Department of Transportation’s implementation plan for WTP 2035, the state’s long-range transportation plan.

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