• Be Heard! (WA Schools Ombudsman)

    Do you want to learn more about your Washington State schools?
    Visit The Office of Education Ombudsman They have great materials, most of which applies to our community and District.  Some of the material does not apply to small, rural, school Districts, but most do. If in doubt, please check with the administrators. 
    1.  Do not discuss people’s names without giving persons an opportunity to be present.
    2.  Ask if they have gone through the administrative procedure first, i.e. Follow the Chain of Command.  We request that you try to resolve your question at the lowest level.
    (If you cannot come to an agreement with the immediate bus driver, or teacher, then the Supervisor should be involved.  If that does not work, then an appointment should be made with the Superintendent.  If you still feel that no resolution has occurred, then you may request to be heard at the next regular Board Meeting. 
    A Closed Session may be called in certain circumstances, such as:  To receive and evaluate complaints or charges brought against a director or staff member; however, upon the request of such director or staff member, a public hearing or a meeting open to the public shall be conducted on such complaint or charge.  The Board, Superintendent, Supervisor, or staff member may be present and any member/s of your choosing.  At this meeting, the Board will hear your side, but no action will be taken by them).
    3.  Review what they will bring to the “Table” to insure that it is germane to the meeting and to ensure it is not better dealt as an agenda item.
    4.  Remind them that the school board meeting is not an open forum.  It is a business meeting. We are there to discuss school administration policies and school business.
    5.  Review with the requester, that to give their issue, they should abide by the 3-5 minute ruling.
    6.  Anyone who would like to be on the agenda as “People to be Heard” should contact the District Office at least twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled School Board Meeting by phoning 258-4535 x 4002.

    The Fairness Checklist
    OEO has developed a helpful tool for educators and other professionals who routinely make decisions that affect students.  Procedural Fairness is the legal term that encompasses fundamental and common sense approaches that decision-makers must consider every time they make a decision. 
    We encourage decision-makers to try this tool and give OEO a call if they have any questions or comments. 

    We Want Every Student to Reach His or Her Highest Academic Potential
    Let Us Help!
    OEO is looking forward to the new school year and the opportunity to work with families, educators and administrators on what matters most: helping students reach their highest academic potential.
    Our Education Ombudsmen help in situations where there are disputes and problems that affect student learning. We help resolve the issues and get students back to school, prevent students from dropping out from school, ensure that students get their educational needs met, and contribute to the closing of the achievement gap by advocating fair processes for students. We focus on the best interest and academic needs of the student involved. Our services are just a free phone call away and free of charge.
    Need an Education Ombudsman?
    10 Tips for Working with an Ombudsman:
    1.     Who should call the Office of the Education Ombudsman (OEO)?
    2.     When should I contact OEO?
    3.     What will the Ombudsman do?
    4.     Is there a cost for this service?
    5.     What kinds of problems are appropriate?
    6.     Do I have to follow the Ombudsman's advice?
    7.     Will the Ombudsman participate in formal meetings?
    8.     How is confidentiality assured?
    9.     What authority do Education Ombudsmen have?
    10.   What does the Office of the Education Ombudsman make public?
    A Whole New World of Conversations with You 
    OEO now on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us!
    We have joined Facebook ( WA Ed Ombudsman) and Twitter ( Ed Ombudsman). Follow our day-to-day work, upcoming workshops and new resources and publications. We will post information on these networks that is different from our web site!
    We hope to open up a whole new world of conversations with you and learn from your comments and ideas. Give us your feedback and tell us what you think.
    Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook and share us with your networks! 

    The Equity and Civil Rights Office in OSPI
    The Equity and Civil Rights office is the designated department in OSPI to receive and respond to allegations of discrimination in K-12 schools.  We monitor school district compliance with state and federal civil rights laws and provide technical assistance to schools, parents, and other interested persons with issues related to discrimination.  To support families’ understanding of how to make a formal complaint of discrimination with their school district, we have created an informational flyer.  This flyer is also available in nine different languages and can be found on the ombudsman website.   
    Foundation for Early Learning Recruiting for 10 Fellows  
    Foundation for Early Learning is looking for 10 people to serve for one year as an Early Learning Fellow. An Early Learning Fellow can be almost anyone who is interested in supporting early Learning.
    Projects must directly serve children and families in Washington state. The project needs to be completed by the end of the program year--think about scale and manageability. 

    Treehouse Education Advocacy Workshops
    Treehouse for Kids offers a three-hour training that addresses the basics of being an educational advocate for youth in the K-12 system.  We also provide two-hour trainings on special topics such as special education, early learning, post-secondary, school involvement, and education policy.
    Trainings are held all over Washington State. Call Christin Kundert, Training Coordinator at 206.498.3910 for more information.

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