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2018 SOD Banner
2018 SOD Banner
Schools Make Continued Gains in ELA and Math (Photo) - 10/11/18

PASCO, WA – The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) announced today the list of Washington State’s highest improving schools.  For Educational Service District 123, six school districts in Southeast Washington are celebrating their notification as 2018 Schools of Distinction – and EVERY school is a repeat winner!

Now in its 12th year, the School of Distinction award recognizes schools who are improving performance for all students over a sustained period of time in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.  Among the 91 schools statewide, the following schools represent our region:  Dayton Elementary, Dayton Middle School, Hawthorne Elementary (Kennewick), Wahitis Elementary (Othello), Pasco High School, Paterson Elementary, and Waitsburg Elementary.

ESD 123 Superintendent, Mr. Darcy Weisner, is proud to congratulate these schools for their well-deserved recognition.

“We congratulate the staff, students, administrators, and communities of these schools for their continued focus on helping each student succeed,” states Superintendent Weisner.

Each winning school expects to coordinate a local celebratory ceremony in late November or December in honor of the school’s award.  For more information, contact ESD 123 Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Attached Media Files: 2018 SOD Banner
Schools Encouraged to Sign Up for Youth & Justice Forum - 10/02/18

PASCO, WA – The deadline for applications to attend the 15th annual Tri-Cities Youth and Justice Forum is just two weeks away.  Schools serving students in grades 8-12 across Southeast Washington are invited to sign up by October 15 to attend the forum, which takes place on November 2 at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

The full-day Youth & Justice Forum teaches middle and high school students about the many professions and resources that make up our justice system.  One of the principal goals is to create opportunities for racial and ethnic diversity in the justice system to match the people it serves.  This year’s forum theme is “Using Your Voice for Change.” Students will learn about the justice system and career opportunities within it, as well as their rights and responsibilities as citizens. They will also have the chance to debate fictitious cases with attorneys, judges and other justice system professionals.

Retired Superior Court Judge, Dennis Yule, has been instrumental in partnering with ESD 123’s Student Support Department to bring this valuable opportunity to connect youth with the justice system.

"The forum allows students to gain a deeper understanding of our justice system in such a unique way,” states Yule.  “It's a great opportunity to bring together numerous justice system professionals and southeast Washington students to both educate and inspire the students, and to inform and invigorate the professionals.”

Applications to attend the Youth & Justice Forum may be obtained through the ESD 123 Student Support department (see attached), and must be submitted by October 15.  The forum will be held on Friday, November 2 from 8:30 AM to 2 PM at Columbia Basin College, and is free for all 8th-12th grade students. For more information, contact ESD Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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The Tri-Cities Youth and Justice Forum is sponsored by the Washington State Minority & Justice Commission, Educational Service District 123, Columbia Basin Community College, Office of Diversity, Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW), Seattle University School of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law, and University of Washington School of Law.

Columbia Basin Transition Fair: Preparing for Life after High School - 09/28/18

PASCO, WA – The Columbia Basin Transition Fair takes place from 4 – 6 PM on Thursday, October 4 at Educational Service District 123 in Pasco.  This fair is led by the Columbia Basin Interagency Transition Network (ITN), a group of stakeholders working together to optimize transition services and outcomes for students and adults with disabilities in our region.

Families of students with disabilities (ages 14-21) are encouraged to discover the resources available for students as they plan for their futures and transitioning into adult living. Teachers, parents, guardians, caregivers, family members, and students will learn about available resources, including employment, education, housing and residential support, recreation, advocacy, transportation, finance, and medical/health. Translators will be available, as well as childcare for younger children. Thanks to Domino’s Pizza and Costco, pizza and beverages will also be provided for attendees.

For more information, contact Krisheena Mason at 509.544.5743 or kmason@esd123.org.

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The Columbia Basin ITN is a network of stakeholders working together to optimize transition services and outcomes for students and adults with disabilities in our region. This is achieved through a group of multi-discipline and family representatives working together to support students with disabilities, and those who support them. Together they identify, access, and utilize the resources and services that are available to successfully plan for life after high school. If you would like to join our monthly meetings, please visit https://columbiabasinitn.wordpress.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/itn.columbiabasin/

Connecting Families of Students with Disabilities to Area Resources - 09/18/18

PASCO, WA – Families of students with disabilities are invited to attend an informational evening on Thursday, September 27 from 4-6 PM at Educational Service District 123 in Pasco.  In partnership with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), ESD 123 is honored to connect area families to the information they are seeking.

Attendees of the event will learn what services and resources are available for their students with disabilities, as well as eligibility requirements and how to apply to receive services.  ESD 123 works in partnership with school districts across the region to support students with disabilities, from birth to age 21. 

Transition Director at ESD 123, Lori Scott, says that this event is an important opportunity to connect staff, students, and parents in our region with valuable support.

“Families don’t always know which way to turn, or even all of the potential services that are available to their students,” states Ms. Scott. “In our work through the ESD, our goal is to serve as a hub that connects families and their students with what they need to be successful in school and in life.”

The “DVR & DDA Services for Students with Disabilities” event will include a panel of experts available to answer questions and provide information on medical, housing, employment, and transitioning from school to adult living. The event is free and no registration is required.  For more information, contact Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Threat Assessment Coordinator, Katie Haynes
Threat Assessment Coordinator, Katie Haynes
Regional Threat Assessment Coordinator Serves Local Schools (Photo) - 09/17/18

PASCO, WA – School safety and a proactive approach to identifying potential threats remains a top priority for schools across the United States.  Beginning this school year, Educational Service District (ESD) 123 is launching a new Threat Assessment program to provide an immediate and systematic response to youth who pose a serious threat to commit acts of violence to others. Newly-hired Threat Assessment Coordinator, Katie Haynes, is leading the charge.

The ESD 123 Student Threat Assessment program is a two-level system that includes a school site-based screening team, called a Level I Assessment, and a multi-agency community team, called a Level II Assessment.  The program was adopted from the Salem-Keizer Mid-Valley Student Threat Assessment System (STAS), a set of protocols and safety planning procedures to promote safe school environments.

According to ESD Threat Assessment Coordinator Katie Haynes, over-reactive school responses to Zero-Tolerance Policies often result in an inflated number of students identified as potentially dangerous, and an over reliance upon expulsion to resolve school safety concerns. The Threat Assessment program takes a team-based approach instead.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work alongside our schools, provide support, and help foster learning environments that are free from the distraction of fear,” states Ms. Haynes.

Initial funding is allowing ESD 123 to launch our Threat Assessment program in three of our twenty-three school districts:  Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick. The goal is that more school districts will join in the Threat Assessment cooperative so that services can expand to all districts across Southeast Washington.

To learn more, visit the ESD 123 website at  www.esd123.org/programs__services/prevention_services/threat_assessment, or contact ESD Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.