Graduation Pathway Forum Recap in Bremerton
SBE hosted a public forum in Bremerton on November 5 regarding the equity and adequacy of the new graduation pathway options. This was the second forum on pathways at that time.
The goal was to gather feedback from community members, parents, students and partners on new laws and their impact for students.
“SBE needs to think about the equity and the adequacy of these options, and to make sure that the Board is training itself to look at all this through student eyes,” said Board Member and CTE teacher, Holly Koon. “The Board tries to ground its work on being student centered.”
Attendees broke into table groups for discussion and feedback. Groups were asked to think about the wide range of students that are served in Washington State, and then to describe a student’s story and how they might be affected by the pathway options.
“My student is a junior in FFA and doesn’t feel like school is for him. He’s got learning disabilities. He loves working with his hands. He does not have family support,” one participant shared.
“I am imaging a student who is in 10th grade and is part of the AVID program. They are flunking out and need to make up one class to graduate. They live with their grandparents,” another shared.
Close to 50 people attended and gave their view.
One participant noted:
“…some of these new pathways are great, but hard to take advantage of when students have so many additional requirements to meet with coursework and everything else.”
SBE received similar feedback at a forum held during the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) Annual Conference on November 22.
The Legislature instructed SBE to evaluate pathways, and to find out if they are equitable and adequate for student learning. SBE will host a series of focus groups and surveys in partnership with a third-party contractor over a two-and-a-half-year period. Based on the data, SBE will work with districts to illuminate barriers and address areas where the students still need support.
Final recommendations will be made by the end of the year in 2022.
SBE plans to gather extensive feedback through more community forums while the Board travels for regular meetings. Register for the next forum that will be held on January 14 from 6-8 p.m. at Capital Region Education Service District (ESD) in Tumwater.