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November Meeting Recap

Release Date: 

November 7, 2020

SBE held its Board meeting November 4 and 5, and discussed ethnic studies and culturally responsive education, legislative priorities, private schools, and more. You can find documents from the meeting on SBE’s Simbli page, as well as links to approved/adopted items. TVW streamed this meeting. Find recordings from November 4 and November 5 on TVW’s website.


Ethnic Studies and Culturally Responsive Education - The Board formally expressed support to address the need for ethnic studies and culturally responsive education by recommending changes to the learning standards to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. This recommendation highlights the Board's position regarding the need for learning standards that recognize issues of race and culture throughout all subject content areas across K-12. SBE is also exploring ways to incorporate ethnic studies as a graduation requirement within the existing framework. SBE would envision this as a requirement with some flexibility for local context, that could be met by embedding the content into an existing core course or by creating a stand-alone ethnic studies course. 

Assessment and Accountability - The Board discussed how we might rethink our accountability system in light of the disruptions in our system and the need to move to a more holistic approach to accountability that supports improvements needed to reduce opportunity and achievement gaps.

Private School Actions - The Board considered additional private school approvals and changes in status (from provisional to full approval). 

Charter School Proposed Rules (Chapter 180-19 WAC) - The Board discussed proposed changes to align rule to current policy or practice, correct references to law, improve readability of the rule, and to align rule to SBE's recommendations in the annual charter school report.

Adoption of Legislative Platform for 2021 - Legislative Committee co-chairs and staff provided a brief overview of the proposed 2021 Legislative Platform followed by Board discussion. Also, representatives from a number of partner agencies and advocacy groups shared their priorities for the 2021 legislative session.

Adoption of Emergency Rules and Proposed Permanent Rules for State Support of Public Schools (Chapter 180-16 WAC) - Staff discussed rules regarding instructional hours, a timeline for permanent rules, and recommended action regarding emergency rules and proposed permanent rules. 

Basic Education Compliance Reporting and Approval - Staff gave an overview of the Board's responsibilities with regard to delivery of the program of basic education followed by a brief review of information received during the 2020 reporting process and recommendations.

SBE request legislation (subject to approval)
The Board has submitted four agency request bills to the Governor’s office for the upcoming legislative session:

  • Emergency waiver of graduation requirements – this legislation would give the State Board of Education authority to establish an emergency waiver program to allow school districts to waive certain graduation requirements on an individual student basis after the district makes a good faith effort to help the student meet the requirements. This waiver program would address the credit and subject area requirements as well as the graduation pathway requirement.
  • Emergency waiver of instructional hours and days at private schools – this legislation would give the State Board of Education authority to waive instructional hours and days for private schools that are unable to fulfill the minimum requirements due to significant disruption caused by an emergency.
  • New graduation credit and pathway options –  this legislation would enhance the Career- and College-Ready Graduation Framework by providing greater flexibility in credit requirements for students who have completed the High School and Beyond Plan, state and local subject area requirements, and a graduation pathway. In addition, this proposal would add a portfolio graduation pathway option allowing authentic demonstration of the student’s mastery of learning standards.
  • Supporting mastery-based learning – this legislation outlines a work plan for advancing mastery-based learning. It would continue the Mastery-based Learning Work Group, expand research on graduation pathways to incorporate student voice, and lead to the development of a cohesive system of graduation requirements that align with mastery-based learning.

2020 Teacher of the Year, Amy CampbellAmy Campbell
Amy Campbell, 2020 Washington State Teacher of the Year, spoke to the Board about inclusion. Amy believes all children can learn, and to achieve her vision of academic success for all she implements innovative strategies geared to students' strengths. During her session, she talked about the experiences of some of her students and their families during remote and hybrid learning (due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Find out more and view the video on SBE’s blog.

Learn more about the Board and members on the SBE web page with member bios. Questions? Contact us at

Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer
Communications Manager