The positive impact on system wide leadership in school districts continues to be the focus of WSLA. The 2016–17 cohorts, grew the overall impact of WSLA to include 122 school districts or Educational Service Districts graduated from or currently participating in WSLA resulting in an impressive total of 1,005 professional educators having developed leadership skills through a uniquely designed curriculum rooted in the premise that quality school and district leadership impacts student achievement.
Seventeen (17) districts and ESD teams from ESDs 101 (Spokane) and 112 (Vancouver) became the eighth cohort of the Leadership Academy, and along with Four (4) district teams completing their second year from ESDs 121 (Renton) and 189 (Anacortes), plus four (4) district from ESD 101 (Spokane), who chose to come back for a Year 3, made up the 2016–17 roster of participants.
All participating teams worked on developing Theories of Action to assist them in implementing state and federal initiatives. By working on a predefined problem of practice to help the districts “create and lead a1 system that ensures effective instruction for all students, integrates multiple initiatives— i.e., Common Core, TPEP, Smarter Balanced—and results in high levels of learning”, WSLA participants found time to examine their district student achievement data, dig deeply into system issues that needed to be addressed, and write improvement plans based on researched best practices.
WSLA TEAMS 2016–17
- Completing Two Years, FROM ESDS 121 and189:Clover Park, Orting, Granite Falls and South Whidbey
- Completing First Year from ESDs 101 and 112: Colville, Dayton (traveling from 123), Harrington, Inchelium, Lind-Ritzville, Newport, Oakesdale, St. John/Endicaott, Camas, Castle Rock, ESD 112 Team, Eergreen, Kalam, Kelso, Ocean Beach, Stevenson-Caron, and White Salmon
- Completed three years from ESD 101: Davenport, Freeman, Nine Mile and Tekoa.
During the 2016-17 year, WSLA developed a partnership with OSPI’s Secondary Education and K-12 Supports office, to focus on the graduation disproportionality data and equity within district-wide system change. Five, Year 1 districts, built their Problem of Practice and Theory of Action around equity; Evergreen, Kelso, Oakesdale, Ocean Beach, and White Salmon. These districts will continue this equity focus into their Year 2 WSLA work. In addition, all WSLA coaches, instructors and support staff were trained throughout the year on the disproportionality data as well as best practices around equity throughout a district-wide system.
The OSPI partnership around equity also guided the update to WSLA curriculum, using research based practices. The updated version of WSLA will be available for the 2017-18 cohort. In addition, the website will be updated to reflect the curriculum update as well.
Multiple agencies and partners continue to collaborate to make the Leadership Academy successful. The WSLA Coaches, coupled with the skilled Instructors and thoughtful curriculum of regionally delivered workshops, are valuable resources to districts and essential components of WSLA. The Leadership Academy continues to be successful because of the ongoing partnership between WASA and AWSP, as well as the strong support from all nine Educational Service Districts, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Governor’s Office, state legislators, and valued advisement from the WSLA Board.