Will you please help us identify important supports for K-12 schools in Washington?

Investing in Student Potential believes Washington state needs to assess and adjust how we accommodate and support the diverse and complex needs of students with disabilities in public schools. Human potential is our state’s most important asset. When we design schools and learning to be accessible and inclusive, we reach the greatest number of learners – and ultimately benefit from what they later contribute to our communities. For more information on our coalition and work please visit www.studentpotential.org

Our coalition is developing legislative priorities for the 2021 Washington state legislative session. Steering committee members have been talking with families, students, and education leaders to identify priorities during this unprecedented time for K-12 education. This survey will help us understand which issues are most important to the people who experience special education daily.

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* 1. What is your relationship with the educational system?

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* 2. What language(s) is primarily spoken in your home?

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* 3. What racial or ethnic category(ies) best describe you? Check all that apply.

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* 4. What school district do you live in/work for?

Please indicate your position on the issue areas below by selecting one of the 3 support options

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* 5. Increasing support for teacher training 

Build out structures and supports to provide all educators with the foundational skills and institutional support to implement culturally responsive and other inclusive practices.

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* 6. Eliminating K-3 suspension and expulsions

Preventing the suspension or expulsion of students in kindergarten through third grade, except in limited circumstances. If a student is removed the removal must include a support plan for the student.

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* 7. Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

UDL principles ensure that the educational experience is designed for access and inclusion and considers academic, cultural, language, and technological needs of all students. Thoughtfully implemented UDL better supports students of color, students with disabilities, students gaining English proficiency, and other historically and currently marginalized students.

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* 8. Communication and language access for families

Interpretation and translation services need to be provided to families for important educational materials like IEPs and meetings to ensure there is clear and equitable communication for families.

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* 9. Invest in implementation of Integrated Student Supports and Multi-tiered Systems of Supports 

Tiered supports help identify student strengths and needs and tap community partnerships and school resources to provide supports so students can thrive.

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* 10. Resourcing and partnering with community groups

Additional resources need to be made available to community groups so they can support students and families experiencing health and economic crises.

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* 11. Access to assistive technology

Assistive technology is essential to remove barriers to access for students with disabilities. Students and families need support in learning how to use assistive technology so they can access learning. Schools need to be resourced so they can provide timely access to devices and training.

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* 12. Lack of special education services

Most students with disabilities have had their individualized education program (IEP) disrupted and have not been able to access meaningful learning since last spring due to challenges with remote learning. Students must receive compensatory services to make up for their lost specially designed instruction and related services as identified in their IEPs.

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* 13. Digital divide

Lack of access to computers, the internet, and digital literacy supports are substantial barriers to education for many students. We need to identify inadequacies in digital access and identify approaches to build digital literacy to better support students and families in remote learning.

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* 14. Require equity review of legislation 

Reviewing legislative proposals for equity ensures that there is a deliberative conversation around impact on marginalized communities as legislation is being developed.

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* 15. Increasing support for the Office of Education Ombuds (OEO) 

Provide additional resources to OEO so they are able to support more families and communities as they try to ensure that their students are able to participate and thrive in school.

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* 16. Extending access to transitional education beyond 21 years old 

Enabling students who have had limited access to transitional education services because of school closures and remote learning to maintain eligibility to access services beyond the current age limitation of 21.

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* 17. Please mark your top 5 priorities.

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* 18. Is there anything you would like to add?

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* 19. Is there anything you would like your legislator to know?

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* 20. Please share your email address if you would like a copy of Investing in Student Potential's legislative priorities and a summary of the survey results

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