- A Letter to the Community
- About PSESD
- Outcomes-Focused Partners in Eliminating Opportunity Gaps
- Becoming an Anti Racist Multicultural Organization
Welcome to our 2021 Report to the Community. This report is Puget Sound Educational Service District’s (PSESD) opportunity to share our progress in becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization (ARMCO) and working with our partners to achieve racially just and humanizing school systems. The ongoing COVID pandemic multiplied the complex challenges of achieving race equity in education systems across our communities. These challenges require transformative solutions that:
- focus on systemic problems and seek to remove barriers that embed the problems within institutions;
- disrupt the status quo and work toward cultural acceptance; and
- are sustainable and long-lasting.
The 2021 report features examples of transformative solutions to achieve race equity through programs implemented in partnership with local districts, counties, community organizations, and philanthropic foundations. The Diverse Educator Milestones and Pathways program, including our Regional Retention Program for Educators of Color, is one of many PSESD collaborations working for systems change to advance racial equity. The featured programs are also reflections of what we have learned during this pandemic year and how the ESD has worked to support our local districts and communities. You will read, for example, how our Early Learning programs are meeting the challenges of the COVID pandemic, and how the ESDs across Washington State combined the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs of districts and private schools into one large bid to achieve a much lower price per item for the pandemic response and recovery resulting in significant cost savings.
The 2021 Report to the Community also demonstrates how we are anchoring our work in accountability and transparency. Our Measures of Progress were developed as a means of holding ourselves accountable for achieving racially equitable outcomes and living our goal of being an Antiracist Multicultural Organization. The key questions that our Outcomes and Measures of Progress try to answer are: How does our collective work move our agency closer to achieving our END – eliminating the opportunity gap by leading with racial equity? How do we know?
The Student, System and Agency Measures of Progress help PSESD and its partners set the right priorities to advance strategically and help us gauge progress as we gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative data gathered from partners and ESD staff. Our Outcomes are about how we work with each other and our partners to support racially just and equitable school systems, and thereby, impact student outcomes. This report presents both quantitative data and stories aligned to our Measures of Progress.
Our Measures of Progress and data gathering is an evolving process. We are continually strengthening and refining our strategies and Measures of Progress as we work within a comprehensive, data-informed decision-making and accountability framework.
In this 2021 report you will read about new Measures of Progress and their pilot data. These measures document:
- How families we serve are empowered to partner with their child(ren)’s school (Systems Measure).
- Ways PSESD staff partner with districts and community organizations to lead with racial equity (Impact Measure).
- Our internal work implementing PSESD’s Antiracist Leadership Competencies (Impact Measures).
Our hope is that as we refine our Measures of Progress and data gathering, the work of PSESD comes alive both in the data we present and the stories we present in our Reports to the Community.
The programs featured in this report showcase the diversity of programs and an inclusive approach toward measurement. The stories offer clear examples of how the work of PSESD is contributing to our Measures of Progress and to achieving our END - becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization and eliminating the opportunity gap by leading with racial equity. One highlight is PSESD’s partnership with King Makers of Oakland, an organization that supports schools and districts transforming systems for African American Male Achievement. An example of a program strengthening our capacity to be an Antiracist Multicultural Organization is PSESD’s own Antiracist Leadership Training that guides supervisors in their personal development of Antiracist Leadership Competencies.
John Welch, Superintendent
PSESD is one of Washington’s nine educational service districts that share a common goal: to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of educational programs through partnerships with K–12 education, early learning, higher education and public and private organizations.
The PSESD region is comprised of students, families, educators, schools and communities in King County, Pierce County and Bainbridge Island. Our thirty-five school districts, seven charter schools and two tribal compact schools, serve more than 433,000 children, which represents almost 40 percent of Washington’s K–12 school population. The majority (55 percent) of the K–12 students we serve are students of color. Additionally, we serve 5,000 early learners and nearly three hundred private schools.
PSESD BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Puget Sound ESD is governed by a nine-member board, elected by local school district directors from school districts in King and Pierce Counties. Each board member represents several school districts within the ESD two-county region. The PSESD Board of Directors governs with the Carver model of Policy Governance which charges the board of directors to establish and focus on organizational outcomes or “ends” and to create and monitor target directions for the organization.
The PSESD Board ensures the success of the agency by working together effectively and providing strategic leadership to achieve board stated ENDS and avoid unacceptable actions and situations as outlined in board Executive Limitation policies.
In 2019, the Board established their Governance Commitment to “govern in a way that reflects our commitment to eliminate racism and structural oppression.” They also led our agency’s commitment to Transformational Relationships, and in 2019 adopted a board policy ELP-3 that reinforces their commitment to work in concert with the agency for a collective focus. This policy directs the Superintendent to “not cause or allow conditions, procedures, actions or decisions which are unlawful, unethical, disrespectful, undignified, racist, oppressive, imprudent or in violation of Board policy.
The policy further commits the agency to its mission of becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization directing the Superintendent to not:
- Fail to engage in reflective leadership that leads to a deeper awareness of how personal power and privilege impacts people of color.
- Fail to establish policies and procedures to assure an organizational culture that aligns to the values and principles of an Antiracist Multicultural Organization.
The Board’s Policy and Procedure regarding Transformational Relationships (ELP-3) directs the Superintendent to not fail to:
- engage in reflective leadership that leads to a deeper awareness of how personal power and privilege impacts people of color; and
- establish policies and procedures to assure an organizational culture that aligns to the values and principles of an Antiracist Multicultural Organization.
WHO WE ARE
We partner with school systems and communities to eliminate opportunity gaps in education to help create racially just and humanizing school systems. We coordinate more than 100 programs in King and Pierce counties and Bainbridge Island, through the following groups:
Learning, Teaching and Family Support (LTFS)
Staff deliver a variety of high-quality, antiracist professional development and direct services for prenatal to postsecondary educators, children and families. Services are designed to interrogate, disrupt and dismantle racist systems. Customized professional development services include: consulting and coaching, peer-group networking and learning and cooperatives. Specific direct services are provided across the infant, child, youth and young adult continuum. LTFS staff are committed to whole-child–whole-family approaches that are aimed to building racially just and humanizing school systems — all in service of the success for each child, and the elimination of opportunity gaps and racial inequities. Services include:
- Equitable Systems
- Inclusionary Practices Project
- Puget Sound College and Career Network
- Leadership Mentoring
- Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) /Early Warning Systems
- Multilingual Services
- Native American Education Program
- Paraeducator Program
- PreK–Third-Grade Systems
- Special Services
- System and School Improvement
- Teacher Principal Evaluation Program (TPEP)
- Transformational Collaborative
- Social Emotional Practices
- Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement
- Expanded Learning
- Safety and Threat Assessment Services
- Student Support
- Instruction in the Content Areas
- English Language Arts (ELA)
- Computer Science
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
- Online Resources
- Washington Learning Source
- Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Regional Competitions
- Regional High School Art Show
- Knowledge Bowl
- Registration and Clock Hours
- Clock Hours
- Schools and Early Learning Services
- ReLife School
- Early Learning: Head Start, Early Head Start, ECEAP Services
- Educare of Greater Seattle
- Heritage Head Start
- Washington Correction Center for Women (WCCW)
- Early Head Start Home-Based Services: Prenatal to Three Years
- Parent Professional and Personal Development
Equity in Education
This team works collaboratively to enhance and support racially equitable and culturally responsive approaches among staff, students, parents and communities — building capacity to lead with racial equity. PSESD created the Equity in Education department to work collaboratively with our regional partners and those with whom we maintain transformational relationships. Together we seek to provide every student with equitable access to educational opportunities by enhancing and supporting racially equitable and culturally responsive approaches to education. We believe that the development of these approaches and systems will contribute to creating strong educational systems and academics for every student. Services include:
- Building Capacity for Leading with Racial Equity
- Achieving Racial Equity Through Policy and Beyond
- Creating LGBTQ+ and Gender-Inclusive Schools
- Data Coaching for Equity
- Educators of Color Leadership Community
- Equity Advisory Committee Development
- Equity Consortium
- Leadership Coaching for Equity
- Professional Development for Equity
- Racial Equity Tool Implementation
- School, Family, and Community Partnerships
- Supporting Our Immigrant and Refugee Students and Families
Administrative and Management Services
In partnership with public, private, tribal and charter school systems, PSESD provides strategic leadership and inter-agency cooperatives to support all aspects of school, administrative, business, finance, communications, evaluation, policy, transportation and human resources functions. Services include:
- Conference Centers
- Communications and Public Relations
- Fiscal and State Reporting Services
- Government Relations
- Human Resources and Organizational Development
- Puget Sound Workers’ Compensation Trust and Unemployment Pool
- Regional Committee on School District Organization
- Strategy, Evaluation and Learning
- Superintendent and Board Member Support
OUTCOMES-FOCUSED PARTNERS IN ELIMINATING OPPORTUNITY GAPS
We partner with school systems and communities to eliminate opportunity gaps and affect meaningful change. We recognize the opportunity gaps in education that impact students are the result of inequitable practices, policies and systems in schools, and in our society. As a result, we designed our Measures of Progress around these outcomes as a way to focus and track our efforts to influence systems and student experiences.
In 2019, the PSESD Board of Directors adopted a new policy and procedure regarding Transformational Relationships (ELP-3). It reinforces their commitment to work in concert with the agency for a collective focus.
A transformational relationship is one that focuses on the integration of our relationships in our work to build an antiracist community. The emphasis of our interdependent relationship is to simply love, inspire and care for the other. Identifying the full spectrum of our transformational relationships requires developing, implementing and caretaking early on as critical steps in effective public involvement.
The groups we foster transformational relationships with include: families; community members; Sovereign Nations; Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities; business operators and owners; and nonprofit, public and private agencies and organizations.
BECOMING AN ANTIRACIST MULTICULTURAL ORGANIZATION
We are now in our sixth year of enacting our Racial Equity Policy — which aims to create a racially just and humanizing educational system, with equitable outcomes through our transformational relationships with: early learning, K–12 education, higher education, families, public and private organizations for success for children, and families and communities of color. These relationships move us closer toward our goal of becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization.
An Antiracist Multicultural Organization has within its mission, goals, values and operating systems, explicit policies and practices that prohibit anyone from being excluded or unjustly treated because of race or any other social identity or status. As we work toward becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization, we commit to:
- Implementing explicit antiracist practices and procedures, and being accountable to communities of color to define success
- Appreciating all forms of social diversity — understanding the strengths and advantages that social diversity brings to the community
- Working systematically and deliberately to ensure all members of its diverse workforce feel fully included and have opportunities to contribute to achieving the PSESD's End
- Supporting racial equity and social justice through advocating these values in our transformational relationships with internal and community partners and peer organizations
Racial Equity Policy Implementation Plan
The Racial Equity Policy implementation plan includes four strategic directions for closing opportunity gaps, achieving racial equity, and becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization.
Strategic Direction Action Team 1
PSESD will assure the cultural responsiveness and antiracist leadership knowledge and skills of all staff. We will strive to deepen every staff members’ understanding of opportunity gaps and knowledge of gap-closing and gap-perpetuating practices. We will provide staff development to strengthen employees’ knowledge and skills for eliminating racial disparities in educational outcomes and becoming antiracist leaders. We also strive to become an antiracist multicultural workplace so that all employees can thrive and support our shared End.
Strategic Direction Action Team 2
PSESD will identify and create opportunities to cultivate a racially diverse and antiracist workplace that allows PSESD to serve as the model of a diverse and Antiracist Multicultural Organization that its partners may strive to emulate.
Strategic Direction Action Team 3
PSESD will provide catalytic leadership with educational partners that respectfully, but firmly and persistently, accelerates the implementation of antiracist, gap-closing policies and practices.
Strategic Direction Action Team 4
PSESD acknowledges power imbalances that perpetuate inequities. We are committed to addressing this by centering power within students, families and communities. All PSESD relationships and partnerships are rooted in antiracism practices.
Established in 2016, the Transformation Team is a collective of PSESD staff, community members and parents charged with guiding the agency towards becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization. They do so by overseeing and evaluating the implementation of the Racial Equity Policy No. 1010. This team is integral in assisting the agency in eliminating opportunity gaps and providing a bridge between the PSESD Board and the agency.
The work of becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization requires mutual accountability. To instill mutual accountability, the Transformation Team is a collection of voices from the agency, community, family and students. To ensure there is communication across the Strategic Direction Action Teams, the co-leads are members of the Transformation Team. To that end, the PSESD Board, Superintendent, Executive Leadership Team and Transformation Team are mutually responsible by ensuring adequate resources and executing strategies that support the recommendations of the Transformation Team.
PSESD commits to sustain and support the continued development of the Transformation Team for the purpose of achieving full implementation of the racial equity policy and transforming the agency into an Antiracist Multicultural Organization.