Washington-CEEDAR and OSPI Work Closely to Bring National Awards to Washington State

The Washington CEEDAR (WA-CEEDAR) collaborative worked closely with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Assistant Superintendent, Glenna Gallo in the preparation of the application for a recruitment and retention grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The preparation of the grant application included involvement from PK-12, School Districts, University Preparation programs, and parent groups. OSPI was notified that the grant was awarded to Washington in the Fall of 2021.  The grant has come to be known as the “Keeping Excellent Special Educators” or KESE grant. The KESE grant is a five-year award that asks the recipient state to utilize available data to inform resource development, and innovations for the recruitment, and retention of high-quality special education teachers. Inherent in the grant is looking at how recruitment and retention efforts might inform disproportionality numbers across the state. Nick Gillon, has been named the director of the grant and is gaining momentum by hiring the small staff authorized by the grant, laying out the scope of work, and make plans for Year #1 on the grant, which is designated as a planning year. “Nick was instrumental in submitting the grant application, and his deep knowledge of policy, his experience with the CEEDAR State Leadership team, and his passion for creating systems that attract the best and brightest teachers made his appointment as Director for the grant a natural fit”, noted Dr. Rod Lucero, WA-CEEDAR Lead.

The WA-CEEDAR collaborative was also notified in the Fall of 2021 that Washington State was asked to join the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Advancing Inclusive Principal Leadership initiative. Once again, WA-CEEDAR worked closely with Glenna Gallo at OSPI in preparing the Washington application for inclusion into the CCSSO process. The program offers participating states the opportunity to work with current school leaders, those aspiring to be school leaders, and those who educate school leaders around issues of inclusion and administrative support for Special Education students and teachers. The WA-CEEDAR collaborative is forming a committee that will serve as the interface with the CCSSO program so that the opportunities offered by the program are shared across the state of Washington. If you, or someone you know, would like to join this committee, please reach out to Rod or Kate (contact information at the bottom of this blog). Washington joins three other states and the District of Columbia, in cohort # 2 of this ongoing program, including Connecticut, Florida, and North Carolina in a second cohort of CCSSO’s Advancing Inclusive Principal Leadership State Initiative in partnership with CEEDAR. These states will all develop and implement a plan to prioritize effective policy and practice strategies laid out in the online guide, Supporting Inclusive Schools for the Success of Each Child: A Guide for States on School Leadership, that advances inclusive principal leadership, building from the great work they have underway through CEEDAR.

The WA-CEEDAR leadership team is excited about partnering with both the United State Department of Education and the Council of Chief State School Officers in working on these important issues for the state of Washington. We will post blogs periodically if you’d like to follow this work. And again, if you’d like to join the WA-CEEDAR collaborative please reach out to Rod or Kate!

Dr. Rodrick Lucero, WA-CEEDAR Lead: rlucero32@gmail.com

Mrs. Kate Adams, WA-CEEDAR Technical Assistance Specialist: kadams@coe.ufl.edu