WSSDA has recommended and we have reviewed changes to policy as attached. The February WSSDA Policy News details the recommended changes as follow:
WSSDA reviewed policy and procedure 2104 - Federal/State Funded Special Instructional programs making minor revisions. These revisions were necessary for clarity and housekeeping changes to reflect ESSA.
WSSDA reviewed, revised, and renamed the former 2108 - Remediation Programs, now titled 2108 - Learning Assistance Program. This policy had not been updated since 2005, and needed substantive revision to reflect not only ESSA, but also changes to Chapter 392-162 WAC. After revising this essential policy to include the necessary information, there was no need to maintain an associated procedure, as that information would be either redundant or superfluous. Consequently, we have deleted the associated procedure.
WSSDA has also reviewed and revised policy and procedure 3232 - Parent & Student Rights in Administration of Surveys, Analysis, or Evaluations. These revisions address both clarity and function. The policy sets out the steps districts must take to protect student privacy during the administration of surveys and affirms that parents and adult students have the opportunity to opt out of participating in surveys and similar activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of student personal information. Although the revisions do not constitute a substantive change of content, the volume of revision is such that the board should review this policy and procedure.
WSSDA has revised the policy prohibiting corporal punishment (3244) to remove a reference to aversive therapy and physical restraint as part of a behavior management program in a student’s individualized education program (IEP). Washington law has prohibited aversive intervention and the use of physical restraint in an IEP since 2015. Additionally, the policy includes minimal revisions for punctuation and clarity.
WSSDA has revised policy 4130 - Title I Parental Involvement. This policy also includes a separate embedded policy for dissemination to schools. This means that in addition to a board’s review and adoption of this revised policy, districts need to provide the embedded school policy to each school within their district that receives Title I, Part A funding. Additionally, because OSPI’s consolidated review must ensure that districts have updated this policy and the associated school policy to reflect the ESSA language, we recommend that your board prioritize its review of these revisions and complete the adoption process as soon as possible.
ESSA does not dictate the standard of qualifications for teachers and paraeducators. Instead, it requires states to establish standards for paraprofessionals working in Title I schools or programs. You will see these and other significant revisions reflected in policy 5050 – Contracts. Additionally, the Washington Legislature recently passed ESHB 1115 (Chapter 28A.413 RCW), which establishes qualifications for all paraeducators, not just those working in Title I schools or programs. Paraeducators must meet those qualifications beginning September 1, 2018. WSSDA revised this policy to incorporate all of these changes of law as follows: (1) we deleted the Highly Qualified Teacher language; (2) we revised the provisions regarding paraeducators so that they apply to all paraeducators, not just those who work as Title I employees; and (3) we revised the qualifications for paraeducators to reflect the requirements of ESHB 1115. Even though paraeducators do not have to meet ESHB 1115’s qualifications until September 1, 2018, we included those revisions now for two reasons. First, OSPI will continue to require that paraeducators meet the same standard of the former NCLB until our state’s standards go into effect. As revised, this policy satisfies both the old law and the new one. Second, it is pragmatic for districts to anticipate this change now and not need to make further revision to this policy in preparation for the 2018-2019 school year.
Policy 6535 – Student Insurance There are several revisions to the policy for student insurance. One important revision is that instead of stating districts “will” offer student insurance, the policy now states that districts “may” offer student insurance. Another revision opens the number of insurance sources a school board can consider from a single source to as many sources as is appropriate. Additionally, the revisions allow districts to choose an insurance provider who does not have an agent located in Washington, provided that the provider is knowledgeable and licensed to do business in Washington.