When schools closed in March, the traditional end-of-year band concerts that showcase a year’s worth of practice and progress were effectively canceled. Rose Hill Middle School (RHMS) Band Instructor, Angela Laulainen got creative during the remote learning period and had her students record their parts at home.
Alternative Learning Experience Courses, Programs and Schools
The Lake Washington School District recognizes the benefits students may attain from participation in alternative learning experience programs, consisting of student contract-based learning programs, on-line programs, and/or parent partnership programs.
The superintendent shall develop procedures for alternative learning experience programs. The procedures shall contain, as a minimum, the following components:
- Each student participating in an alternative learning experience must have a written student learning plan developed by a certificated teacher that is designed to meet the student's individual educational needs. A certificated teacher must have responsibility and accountability for each course specified in the plan, including supervision, monitoring, evaluation and documentation of the student's progress. The written student learning plan may be developed with assistance from the student, the student's parents, or other interested parties.
- The curriculum and course requirements shall be consistent with basic education goals and high school graduation requirements. Curricula, course content, instructional materials, learning activities, and other learning resources for alternative learning experiences must be consistent in quality with those available to the district's overall student population. Instructional materials used in alternative learning experiences must be approved pursuant to school board policies.
- Each student enrolled in an alternative learning experience must have direct personal contact with a certificated teacher at least once a week, until the student completes all course objectives or otherwise meets the requirements of the learning plan. The educational progress of each student enrolled in an alternative learning experience must be evaluated at least once each calendar month of enrollment by a certificated teacher and the results of each evaluation must be communicated to the student or, if the student is in grades K-8, both the student and the student's parent. Each student's educational progress evaluation must be based on the learning goals and performance objectives defined in the written student learning plan.
- The progress evaluation conducted by a certificated teacher must include direct personal contact with the student.
- Based on the progress evaluation, a certificated teacher must determine and document whether the student is making satisfactory progress reaching the learning goals and performance objectives defined in the written student learning plan.
- If it is determined that the student failed to make satisfactory progress or that the student failed to follow the written student learning plan, an intervention plan must be developed for the student. If after no more than three consecutive calendar months in which it is determined the student is not making satisfactory progress despite documented intervention efforts, a course of study designed to more appropriately meet the student's educational needs must be developed and implemented by a certificated teacher in conjunction with the student and where possible, the student's parent. This may include removal of the student from the alternative learning experience and enrollment of the student in another educational program offered by the school district.
The superintendent, associate superintendent for student and school support, director of school support, and alternative campus principal shall be responsible for overseeing the district’s alternative learning experience programs or courses, for monitoring compliance, and for reporting at least annually on the program to the school district’s board of directors. This annual report shall include at least the following:
- Documentation of alternative learning experience student headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment claimed for basic education funding;
- Identification of the overall ratio of certificated instructional staff to full-time equivalent students enrolled in each alternative learning experience program;
- A description of how the program supports the district's overall goals and objectives for student academic achievement; and
- Results of periodic self-evaluation of these learning experiences in a manner designed to objectively measure their effectiveness, including the impact of the experiences on student learning and achievement. Self-evaluation will follow a continuous improvement model, and will be implemented as part of the school district's school improvement planning efforts.
Alternative School Programs
The Lake Washington School District shall provide programs for all its students. When particular goals of the district are not being met through the regular program, or when there is a demonstrated need, alternative programs may be established.
Teachers, administrators, parents, and students shall be given as much freedom as possible to develop alternative forms of education and shall be encouraged to propose programs which may be chosen by the student and his/her parents. Groups who wish to make proposals shall be provided the necessary guidelines for developing their proposal and shall be informed of the necessary steps for seeking approval.
An alternative program may be a special offering which a student opts to take as part of his/her regular program or it may be a total, or essentially total, program which is significantly different from the standard offerings of the district and is open to students on an optional basis.
The goals of alternative programs shall be congruent with state requirements and with the basic educational goals of the district, recognizing the need to provide some flexibility in interpretation of the methods used to achieve those goals.
Alternative educational programs must include a method for evaluating their effectiveness. Programs may be continued if they are achieving their objectives and purpose. Alternative programs not meeting their objective shall be modified; they shall be discontinued if they lack significant overall value.
Alternative programs shall be funded in accord with district budget procedures and shall receive monies which are comparable in range to those provided for students in other approved programs of the district.
District Choice Programs and Schools
The Lake Washington School District has a long-standing tradition of providing a continuum of educational program choices for students. As such, a number of “choice” programs and schools have been established. Most programs and schools are lottery based. Choice programs and schools shall:
- Be open to all students at the targeted grade level(s) and remain free from eligibility requirements. Some programs and schools may be established to be first open to students residing within a particular attendance boundary, learning community, or geographic area.
- Strive for diversity in the student body and staff. Through communication and outreach efforts, choice programs and schools will strive to promote their programs to a diverse demographic of students in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, ability, and socio-economic status.
- Be funded and staffed at comparable levels to other school programs at the same grade level(s).
- Be sited in each Learning Community in alignment with available space and the district’s long- term facilities plans.
- Be expanded on a space available basis as determined by the district.
Should the district determine that a new choice program or school be initiated, the interests of staff and parents will be gathered to help inform the focus of the program or school. When considering placement of new choice programs and schools, the district will strive to ensure equitable access to students from all regions through program location placement.
Extended Instructional Programs (Child Care Center)
The Board of Directors authorizes the establishment of a Nursery School (Child Care Center) the purpose of which shall be:
- To provide child care services and activities for the children of VTI students.
- To provide laboratory training for VTI Day Care Management students.
The Board of Directors authorizes the establishment of a fee schedule for the Child Care Center. The fee shall cover salaries, staff, supplies, and snacks for children. A registration fee shall cover replacement of supplies.