Several laws passed at the closing of the 2016 Legislative Session require DEL and OSPI to establish interim workgroups for successful implementation of new regulations. WFIS is participating in many of these workgroups on behalf of private schools.
The reauthorization of the ESSA spurred the creation of at least 8 workgroups that met this summer to analyze it’s multifaceted implications. Participants are looking at each section of the law, and engaging the stakeholders impacted by the rulings, to create a comprehensive plan for implementation.
The Early Learning workgroups have focused on the expansion of ECEAP, the State preschool program for low-income students, workforce issues, access to quality for low-income students, and childhood mental health issues.
WFIS is working to forge a pathway for private school preschool programs to be allowed to utilize accreditation for quality assurance instead of Early Achievers, the State Quality Program. Various early-ed leaders met for full day meetings to carefully “cross-walk” the Early Achievers quality tool with Montessori and NAEYC accreditation tools to outline a pathway for DEL to handle future requests from other accreditors.
The Safety Workgroup is being formed with WFIS members to discuss State sponsored, annual safety summits focused on establishing and monitoring the progress of a statewide plan for funding cost-effective methods for school safety that meet local needs.