Best of the AWSP Blog
Are you subscribed yet to the AWSP blog? If not, you may have missed some of the great content we published this quarter. Here are a handful of the highlights. (And, go subscribe right now!)
Mental Health Resources for Fall 2021 Roz Thompson, Government Relations & Advocacy, AWSP
This week, we hosted a Zoom on the topic of mental health. Our guests included Representative Lisa Callan who co-chairs the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group (CYBHWG), Representative Carolyn Eslick who is the co-chair for a sub-group of CYBHWG (Youth and Young Adult Continuum of Care), and Representative Monica Stonier who led the efforts last legislative session to pass HB 1225 which established a School Based Health Center Program within the Department of Health.
Resources for Supporting Students' Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Dr. Kurt Hatch, Professor of Practice Director, Educational Administration Program, School of Education, University of Washington
The U.S. Department of Education recently released this new resource on supporting child and student social, emotional, behavioral and mental health during the ongoing COVID-19 era. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. It also includes many real-world examples of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country.
A Letter to Principals from WSSDA Executive Director Tim Garchow Tim Garchow, Executive Director, WSSDA
Tim Garchow, Executive Director of the Washington State School Directors’ Association, thanks principals for the enormous amount of work and dedication displayed while navigating the challenges of this year. “Our children are lucky to have you, and so are the rest of us.”
EPNN: Every Principal Networked Now Dr. Scott Seaman, Executive Director, AWSP
From how many classrooms have unfilled substitute positions, to how many students you’ll need to contact trace and quarantine, to dealing with out-of-character student behavior, to keeping up the morale of your teaching staff, to standing in the gap of conflicting beliefs with parents, etc., your daily routine is relentless and like drinking from a fire hose. We’ve heard from our members that working 70-80 hours per week, including Saturday and Sunday, is more of a norm than an exception. That pace is unrealistic, unhealthy, and has to stop before you collapse and give up. So, what do we do? While we fight for system changes, we encourage you to fight for yourself. Get networked now. Do it for yourself and do it for your colleagues. We can’t afford to not have Every Principal Networked Now.
TPEP Timelines…You’ve Got This! Jack Arend, Associate Director, AWSP
In a recent conversation with Sue Anderson, Director of OSPI’s Educator Effectiveness, she reminded me of the required Fall and early Winter TPEP dates. Sue has been a school leader and certainly understands the demands placed on principals and assistant principals. With the frenetic pace school leaders are keeping, they may think they are behind, or missing important TPEP timelines. Here is some quick info for you as you continue to plan out your observation and evaluation schedules. Take a deep breath, you have plenty of time to complete any TPEP requirements.
Thoughts on the Almira School Fire: Loss, Language, and Leadership David Morrill, Communications & Technology Director, AWSP
In the middle of National Principals Month and an ongoing pandemic, Almira Principal Kelsey Hoppe's just got a lot tougher. Earlier this week, we heard the somber news from the town of Almira, where their school recently burned to the ground. Home to about 300 residents, this farming community’s school served 118 K–8 students. We don’t need to tell you the importance of school within a community, especially a small community like Almira where many of the students are the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th generation family members to have attended the school. It’s just hard to fathom that kind of loss.
A Culture, Not a Costume James Layman, Director, AWSL
October is full of many events, happenings, and holidays that are woven into our schools’ fabric. Homecomings, spirit days, and Halloween festivities take shape and create a sense of camaraderie, connection, and even fun for students and the community. One tricky aspect of navigating dress-up days and even Halloween festivities: being aware, sensitive, and mindful of cultural appropriation. As you consider your school's community and cultural context, what shifts can be made to ensure dress-up days become opportunities for fun and unity rather than opportunities for pain and harm?
We HEAR You and We are HERE for You! Dr. Scott Seaman, Executive Director, AWSP
It is no secret that although we are all excited to have students back in our schools, the consistent message coming from principals and assistant principals across the state is that this year is quickly proving to be even more challenging than last year. We want you to know that we hear you and that we are here for you. The layers of school leadership right now are massively complex and challenging.
TikTok Got You Ticked? Dr. Scott Seaman, Executive Director, AWSP
Believe me, we understand. The last thing you need right now is to deal with a destructive and disappointing trend among students across the country. If you haven’t heard, one of the things trending on social media giant TikTok is essentially a string of school thefts and vandalisms. It is the last thing you need on top of your already heaping plates. I’m ticked just hearing about it, so I can only imagine your frustrations.
WEA Courses on UDL, Accommodations & Modifications, Parent Connections, and More
Chris Espeland, Inclusion Director, AWSP
WEA’s Inclusionary Practices Project (IPP) and Special Education Support Center (SESC) are offering courses online for teachers in real-time via Zoom. These are lead by Katie Novak and Mirko Chardin and cover a variety of topics including UDL, Accommodations and Modifications, parent connections, and so much more.
Establishing Foster Care Points of Contact Peggy Carlson, Foster Care Program Supervisor, OSPI
Students in foster care often face academic and social/emotional/behavioral challenges beyond those experienced by their non-foster care peers. When students are connected with a caring adult, are attending school regularly, and have the supports they need, they are more likely to be successful in school and in life. Establishing a building point of contact will support coordination of resources and facilitate compliance with state and federal laws related to students in foster care.
The Mental Health Literacy Library Todd & Laura Crooks, Founders, Chad's Legacy Project
Teachers and students alike recognize the importance of reducing the stigma of mental illness and the benefits of good mental health. Proven benefits include increased student productivity and, more importantly, reduced suicidal ideation. The stigma associated with mental illness has contributed to a well-documented eight to 10-year delay from onset of mental health issues and illnesses to delivered services, with many never even receiving care. While some students may now be receiving mental health education, systemic inequities also exist in terms of availability, delivery, and depth of content. Two obstacles largely contribute to this inequity.
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Washington Principal | Volume 1– 2021-22