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April meeting recap

Release Date: 

April 18, 2023

On April 12 and 13, the Board met to discuss charter schools, community engagement and communications, strategic planning, waivers, and more. During the first day, 2023 Washington State Teacher of the Year, Dana Miles (photo) spoke on her experience in the classroom and as Teacher of the Year. Dana is an educator at the Washington State School for the Deaf in Vancouver. The Board was also joined by partners from the Washington Student Achievement Council, the Council of Presidents, Eastern Washington University and Washington State University  who shared information about admission requirements. 

Find the agenda, supporting materials, and links to TVW’s video footage of the meeting on SBE’s meeting site.

Charter Schools Report – The Board discussed successes and challenges of the charter school authorizers, talked about the academic performance of charter school students, and approved a report with recommendations to state law and policy that would strengthen the state's charter schools.

College Admissions – The Washington Student Achievement Council  is currently reviewing feedback on the Admission Standard Policy. As part of this review, the Council of Presidents developed proposed updates to the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs). The proposed updates, as well as a summary of the proposed revisions are included in the Board meeting materials. The Board discussed their concerns and raised questions.

Communications & Community Engagement – The Board was updated on the SBE Student Communicators internship program that currently has two students (Indiana Hilmes and Star Mendoza). Indy and Star were hired to engage with their peers on policy issues and promote the work of the Board to students. The Board also discussed broader communications strategies, successes, and plans moving forward. 

SBE is contracting with four community organizations through June of 2023 after receiving state funding to increase engagement efforts through a dedicated Student, Family, and Community Engagement Coordinator who partners with communities to center the voices of those who have historically been excluded from the state policy making process. The Board received an update on plans and the engagement work done so far by these contracted organizations

Strategic Planning – The Board has started its next strategic planning process that will outline goals and the strategies to achieve those goals in the future. Staff presented a proposed timeline for this work that includes getting public input and developing targets aligned with the Board’s authority. Dr. Erica Hernandez-Scott (Professional Educator Standards Board) led a conversation with the Board to focus on establishing their vision and foundational beliefs that will drive the development of the strategic plan and support community engagement and outreach as we move this work forward.

Waivers – The Board was given an overview of SBE waiver authorities and other related flexibilities in graduation requirements and instructional time. The session was designed to create a better understanding of the waivers that the Board has responsibility to establish policy for through rules. Additionally, the Board approved renewals of three school districts’ waivers from credit-based graduation requirements and the authority for districts to administer the graduation requirement emergency waiver (GREW).

Private Schools – Under RCW 28A.195.010, the Legislature requires the Board to annually approve private schools to operate in Washington. See the listing of schools approved at this meeting.

Legislative Update & Recap - Staff provided an update on the status of the Board’s request legislation to expand graduation pathways, House Bill 1308, which was passed out of the Senate in early April. You can follow the progress of the bill here. In addition, staff briefed the Board about other bills that align with the Board’s legislative priorities, strategic plan, and areas of work. 

Upcoming Board Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for June 27-29 in the Renton area. The Board has shifted its meetings calendar to come together on even months of the year. The agenda and materials will be posted one week in advance of the meeting on SBE’s meetings page.

Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer
Director of Communications