Tips for planning a lesson on the earthquake in Japan
A New York Times blogger offers resources and lesson plans for teaching students about Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The author has compiled past New York Times resources on tsunamis and earthquakes, along with links to Internet resources on the topics and information about Japanese history and culture. A separate post has a list of questions that can be used in discussions about the tragedy. Read More >>

Help NRCP and CEC Understand What is Important to You
The National Resource Center for Paraeducators in partnership with Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) requests your participation in an important national survey, the validation of the essential knowledge and skills of special education paraeducators for safe and effective practice. The results of this survey will inform the validation of the CEC Special Education Paraeducator Common Core. The resulting knowledge and skills set will guide programs providing professional development.

To receive in invitation to take the survey please enter your email address at

The 2011 National Conference
The 2011 "29th National Conference on the Training and Employment of Paraprofessionals" will be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania May 12th-May 14th, 2011. Read More >>

OSPI Helps Inject $236 Million Into State Economy
School districts receive state funding assistance grants to support construction projects
OLYMPIA ¡ª July 15, 2010 ¡ª Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn today announced that more than $236 million in capital construction money is being released to school districts throughout the state. Added to nearly $453 million in capital bonds approved by voters in communities, the release of funds will bring more than $689 million into the state¡¯s economy. Read More >>

The NEA Foundation
Learning and Leadership Grants
Our learning and leadership grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and /or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: Read More >>

Washington State Legislature Summer Programs
The Legislative Scholars Program, July 12-16, offers elementary/middle/high school social studies, government, history, and civics teachers an interactive experience where they will gain an inside view of the legislative process, and an understanding of the ways in which the Legislature and the Supreme Court interact. Read More >>

Final Version of Common Core Standards Release
Superintendent Dorn will review the English language arts and math standard

OLYMPIA ¡ª June 2, 2010 ¡ª State Superintendent Randy Dorn received the final version of the Common Core State Standards on Wednesday and will review them during the next month before provisionally adopting the standards. Read More >>

Washington high school test results will be in the mail
High school students who took the statewide achievement tests this spring will be receiving their scores sometime in the next week or so. Read More >>

State Scores on National Reading Tests Remain Steady
OLYMPIA ¨C March 24, 2010 ¨C The average reading scores of Washington fourth- and eighth-grade students remained consistent on the 2009 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). Results from the tests were released today. Read More >>

Gregoire signs K-12 education bills into law
Gov. Chris Gregoire returned to her hometown high school Monday to sign into law a package of education bills, including a plan that could help the state compete for a slice of the Obama administration¡¯s 4.35 billion Race to the Top program. Read More >>

Statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the Supplemental Budget:
OLYMPIA - April 13, 2010 - Today, the state Legislature passed a supplemental budget for 2010-11. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the impact of the budget on K-12 education: Read More >>

State¡¯s failure to fully fund public schools declared unconstitutional
Court rules the State is failing to meet its ¡°paramount duty¡±; orders Legislature to fully fund the actual cost of educating all children with ample, stable and dependable State funding.  Read More >>

181 School Districts Register for First Year of Online State Testing
OLYMPIA ¨C February 3, 2010 - More than 360 schools in 181 school districts registered and were accepted to participate in the first year of online state testing. This spring, students in grades 6-8 in the participating schools will take the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) on a computer in reading and/or math.  Read More >>

New Renton school fund to help district maintain ¡°homerun¡± programs
A new Renton School District foundation would give Renton¡¯s big businesses a way to help local schools.  Read More >>

Superintendent's Statement
Statement by State Superintendent Randy Dorn on Gov. Gregoire's proposed 2010 supplemental budget:

OLYMPIA -- December 9, 2009 - Gov. Gregoire struggled mightily to develop her budget, and I commend her on that. I know that she's required to deliver a balanced budget in December, and she has indicated that she will produce a revised budget in January.  Read More >>

WATCH D.O.G.S.® is the father involvement initiative of the NATIONAL CENTER FOR FATHERING that was founded by Jim Moore, a concerned father who chose to take action in response to a 1998 middle-school shooting in Jonesboro, AR. Moore wanted to help prevent violence from occurring at his children's school or at any school. The first program was launched at George Elementary in Springdale, AR, the school of Moore' s oldest child. Today, more than 1,500 programs in 36 states and New Zealand participate in WATCH D.O.G.S.®. Read More >>

Where the Wild Things Are
The National Wildlife Federation has teamed with the upcoming feature film Where the Wild Things Are, to launch Be Out There, a national campaign to get families and kids to spend daily time outdoors for their health, happiness and well-being. Maurice Sendak's classic book, Where the Wild Things Are is an adventure for every generation, the story of a young boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to the island of the Wild Things. As an education partner for the film, National Wildlife Federation shows kids how they can escape into nature and learn about the wild things wherever they live. Read More >>

Fed education chief to dads: Turn off TV, read
Getting fathers involved in their children's education will take turning off the TV at home and opening the school doors to them, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday. Read More >>

2010 Washington Classified School Employee
Every year the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recognizes the work of school and district classified staff members who have made a positive difference in their profession through the Washington Classified School Employee of the Year program. Recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony and invited to attend other special events for Washington's Exceptional Educators. Nominations are due to the ESD no later than January 8, 2010. Administrators, teachers, colleagues, students and parents can submit completed applications to OSPI no later than Friday, February 19, 2010.  Learn More >>

Wikipedia for schools.
Educators have questioned the reliability of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.  Now there is a site offering thousands of articles that have been individually checked for accuracy and appropriateness. Read More >>

Under current H1N1 flu plan, Superintendent Randy Dorn advises schools to stay open.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn, along with top officials from the state Department of Health (DOH), co-hosted a statewide video conference called “Preparing for H1N1 Swine Influenza.” School personnel were updated on the current status of H1N1 and offered guidance on steps schools can take to prepare for flu outbreaks during the coming season. Read More >>

Gregoire signs state education overhaul plan
A plan to overhaul Washington's K-12 education system was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The measure spells out how the state should change the way it pays for education and updates the definition of what is basic education in Washington State. The plan would create smaller classes, full-day kindergarten and a longer high school day to give students a chance to meet higher credit requirements. Read More >>

Math Instruction for English Language Learners
Although it is easy to assume that many English language learners will excel in math because math is a "universal language" and students may have had prior educational experience that included mathematical instruction, that assumption can lead educators astray. Read More >>

How did the First Earth Day Came About?
What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth day, addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about Earth Day. Read More >>

Earth Day Comprehension Activity
Earth Day is on April 22nd every year. Earth Day is a day to remember to take care of our planet.. We can take care of our planet by keeping it clean. Primary students can read an article about Earth Day and take a short follow up comprehension quiz. Read More (pdf) >>

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: IDEA Recovery Funds for Services to Children and Youths with Disabilities
Principles: The overall goals of the ARRA are to stimulate the economy in the short term and invest in education and other essential public services to ensure the long-term economic health of our nation. Read More >>

Supt. Dorn announces plan to replace the WASL
State Superintendent Randy Dorn unveiled his plans for a new state assessment system beginning in 2010, including the replacement of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning. Read More >>

The Washington State Classified Employee Excellence Award
Nominations must be submitted by February 20, 2009

  • Implemented in 2007.
  • Recognizes and honors the work of school and district classified staff.
  • Available to any classified school or district employee working at least ½ time.

Nominations can be submitted by administrators, teachers, colleagues, students and parents. Learn More >>.

Like to read? Head to Minneapolis and Seattle

Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, St. Paul and San Francisco are the most well-read cities in the United States, a new survey shows. The study by John Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, assessed cities with more than 250,000 people and focused on newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources. Read More >>

Washington study explores school readiness test

Most Washington elementary-school principals, preschool teachers and parents think it would be a good idea to screen children to make sure they are ready for kindergarten, but they wonder who would pay for this proposed new state requirement. Read More >>

Present, Engaged, and Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades
Chronic early absence matters because it adversely affects academic successes and affects large numbers of children, especially in some communities and schools. Dr. Mariajosé Romero, a senior research associate at the National Center for Children in Poverty is co-author of "Present, Engaged, and Accounted For." Read More >>

School kids get real lesson in humanity
Shorline,Wash. – On a recent field trip, second and third graders at Meridian Park Elementary in Shoreline didn't go to the zoo or museum. Instead, they went to Food Lifeline to volunteer and get a real lesson in humanity. Read More >>

Cleaning Schools for Health, Not for Appearance: Custodians learn to adapt in a world of budget cuts, green cleaning, and those ubiquitous germs
After 24 years as a school custodian, Pat Nicholson of Brownsville Elementary in Bremerton, Washington, believes he's finally identified the perfect mantra for his job: "clean for health, not appearance." Read More >>

2009 National Conference in Salt Lake City
The 2009 National Conference for Paraprofessionals will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from April 30th to May 2nd. More details are available on the conference page including:


Paraeducator on Survivor
Iowa resident, Susie Smith, who works as a paraeducator in the resource room at Lincoln Elementary School said she tried out for the show because she wanted to achieve something for herself while showing her students and others that all it takes to transform life is to try.

Auditory Processing
Study Shows Variety of Approaches Help Children Overcome Auditory Processing and Language Problems. Read More >>

Public school classified staff receive awards
Thirty-six people from across the state honored
The Classified Employee Excellence Awards, held for the first time this year, recognizes classified staff members who have made a positive difference in their profession and in their schools. The awards were proposed by the Public School Employees of Washington, a union representing classified employees, and were approved by the 2007 Legislature. Read More>>

Three organizations join forces; commit to improve early learning for children statewide
Leaders of the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL), Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Thrive by Five Washington today affirmed their partnership in improving early learning opportunities for all Washington children, and helping them find success in school and in life. Read More>>

Special education reforms would likely include classes taught in pairs
As a task force begins this spring to revamp Seattle Public Schools' approach to special education, it is likely that more classes will be taught by a pair of teachers. Marni Campbell, who was principal at Eckstein when its inclusion program began, said special-education students could fall behind without extra help. Offering classes co-taught by a special-education teacher and another teacher ensures kids get that help, she said. Often there is also an instructional assistant in the room. Read More>>

Washington Awarded $3 Million for School Health Programs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are awarding a grant of more than $3 million to Washington to support school programs about healthy living and learning. The grant will provide $649,000 a year for five years to continue the statewide Coordinated School Health Program. Read More>>

State to Pay For Free College of Low Income Middle-School Students
A new scholarship for low-income middle school students comes with a promise that if grades are kept up through high school - at least 2.0 - the state will pay for college. Read More>>

April is National Poetry Month
Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events. Read More>>

2007-2009 Alternative Route Programs for Teacher Certification
The Professional Educators Standards Board has selected the 2007-2008 Alternative Route Programs for Teacher Certification. Read More>>

UW study Aims to Reverse Childhood Autism
SEATTLE - Is it possible to prevent autism or reverse it in children?  That question is behind a groundbreaking study at the University of Washington, where a little boy named Ashton Faller is raising hopes. Read More >>

Exercise Seen as Priming Pump for Students’ Academic Strides
Case grows stronger for physical activity's link to improved brain function. Read More >>

Washington State Parks is offering “NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE” Grants
"No Child Left Inside" is a grant program administered by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. The program has $1.5 million available to Washington state outdoor education and recreation youth programs to help get our children back outside to learn about and enjoy nature. Grant information and applications are available on the Washington State Parks Website.