eMemo

The Washington Federation of Independent Schools - WFIS

Thank you to The ARK Institute of Learning for sponsoring this issue of the WFIS eMemo

 

WFIS Executive Board Reviews Accomplishments-Prepares for the Future

 

The May 8 Executive Board meeting proved to be a full day as administrators from around the state and across constituencies reviewed the successes of the 2005-06 year and laid the foundation for the coming school year's WFIS agenda.

 

While the educational agenda of the legislature was quite large, the impact of the vast majority of approved bills will have little or no effect on the private school community.  We were successful in re-electing Jack Schuster to the State Board of Education as our representative, with full voting privileges, and we asked to remain under the oversight of the SBE rather than be set adrift in some new configuration.   That, too, was successful.  Two areas that we continue to watch with great interest and diligence are the new Early Childhood Department and the new duties of the Professional Educators Standards Board.  We are also carefully watching the transitioning of duties with regard to OSPI .

 

On an operational note, WFIS experienced a 6% increase in school membership this year.  We have also been able to continue our positive working relationship with 24/7 Educational Services on-line professional development as well as adding Educator Resources and a brand new benefits program to help lower the business costs for our member schools. This year, we have also welcomed the return of the Washington Council for Private Education (WCPE).   For the past several years, WCPE, our 501(c)3 organization, was under the direction of Stephen Dinger, former WFIS executive director.  With Mr. Dinger's return to school administration, our WFIS board will provide future oversight of WCPE.

 

The Board also took time to recognize those members that will be retiring from the board this year.  Ross Hjelseth, Headmaster at Life Christian School and Academy (ACSI), past WFIS board president, served 7 years. Wanda Stewart, Principal at St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School (Catholic Schools), and past board secretary/treasurer also served 7 years.  Paula Smith, Head of University Child Development School (PNAIS) served 7 years as well.  Mary Schneider, Head of Woodinville Montessori completed 4 years on the board.  Each one provided exemplary leadership on behalf of Washington 's private school students and their expertise will be missed.

 

We also welcomed two of our four new members to the board.  Jamie Estill, Silverwood School in Poulsbo (PNAIS), and Dave Boneham, Cedar River Montessori in Renton, (Montessori Schools).  Our other two new members are Kristi Brown, Holy Rosary in Seattle, and Pam Dellino, St. Monica School, Mercer Island.  Both will represent Catholic Schools.

 

We wish each of our schools a successful end to their school year!

Thanks for being part of WFIS!

 

Judy Jennings

Executive Director

 

 

ARK INSTITUTE OF LEARNING ANNOUNCES SUMMER ACADEMY

 

The ARK Institute of Learning is expanding its offerings to Summer Academy for K-3 students who need a boost in reading and writing or who puzzle teachers and parents about why they are not progressing as anticipated. The agency's specialists have served area students, families and teachers for over 27 years. See www.arkinst.org .

 

Now located in a new facility near 19 th and South Union in Tacoma, the ARK Institute's Summer Academy provides a professional evaluation, parent mentoring and coaching, and 12 one-hour instructions for the child in individual or small group settings. The ARK is known for accurately assessing a child's learning strengths and weaknesses and identifying ways to help support academic progress. The ARK provides a place where non- readers read and those struggling with writing write better. More than simply tutoring, the academy opens doors to the future.

 

Session One: Tues, Wed & Thurs June 27-July 20

Session Two: Tues, Wed &Thurs August 1-24

 

Registration deadline is June 1

 

For more information, please call Julie Aiken , ARK Summer Academy Coordinator, 759-9682 or email jaiken@arkinst.org

 

 

Congratulations to Mr. Harlan Kredit, long time biology teacher at Lynden Christian High School.  Mr. Kredit has been named to the National Teachers Hall of Fame.   He is the first teacher in the history of the state of Washington to be inducted.   Mr. Kredit has received numerous other prestigious teaching awards during his career.  Among them was the 2004 WFIS Best of Washington Teacher's Award.  At the May 8 th WFIS Board of Directors meeting, a resolution was passed to honor Mr. Kredit.   We are proud of you, Harlan!  Thanks for representing our private schools so capably.

 

 

Private Schools Days at the Puyallup Fair will be September 15 & 16, 2006.  Private schools are invited to particiate by manning a booth and providing entertainment on the Education Stage both days.  Contact Jan Morrison at jmorrison@wfis.org or jan.morrison@comcast.net or telephone 425.228.9347 for reservations and information. 

 

 

Principles Relating to School Choice Legislation

At the March meeting of the national Council for American Private Education the board unanimously passed the following:

Introduction

 

The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) is a broad-based national organization

representing private schools.  In its vision statement, CAPE recognizes that America 's children have greater opportunities because of access to an array of high-quality schools. CAPE 's mission is to preserve and promote educational pluralism so that parents have a choice in the schooling of their children.  In keeping with its vision and mission, CAPE offers the following principles to guide school choice legislation at the state and federal levels. Choice initiatives have taken various forms, including government vouchers for parents, tax credits/deductions for parents, and tax credits/deductions for corporate or individual contributors to programs that award scholarships.  Because any one of these approaches might be best in a given situation, these principles are intended to apply to all of them.

 

General Principles

 

•  Funds relating to school choice should flow through parents rather than directly to schools

•  School choice initiatives should not in any way infringe upon the existing right of private schools to control the hiring of staff

•  School choice programs should safeguard the right of private schools to control the instructional program and curriculum, and should not add restrictions or regulations in this regard beyond what may already exist in state law

•  School choice programs should allow schools to retain their admission policies

•  Test scores should never be allowed to become a sole or dominant indicator of achievement or failure

 

Level and Distribution of Benefits

 

•  Benefits to families should be substantial enough to allow families to select from a variety of schools

•  Benefits should vary with family financial need to ensure that families with the greatest need receive the greatest benefit

•  Families with children already in private schools should be eligible for benefits

 

Responsibilities of Participating Schools

 

Participating schools should comply with federal, state, and local requirements that currently apply to private schools, including those relating to civil rights, nondiscrimination, background checks for employees, and student health and safety.  However, choice legislation should not give rise to additional regulation of private schools.

 

Approved by CAPE 's Board of Directors, March 2006

 

 

 

Constituency Spotlight: Lutheran Schools

by Paul Bethke, Principal, Concordian Lutheran School, Tacoma

 

The Lutheran churches in America operate over 1500 preschools, 1400 K-8 schools, and 103 high schools.  These schools are located in the United States, as well as places such as Russia, Hong Kong, China, and Africa.  In addition, there are over 50 colleges and universities throughout the United States.  Most are liberal arts, but some have a specific mission of preparing pastors and teachers.

 

Lutheran schools in America date back to the time of the Revolutionary War when Lutheran immigrants established schools partly to perpetuate their culture but largely to assure quality education for their children.

 

In Washington there are 17 Lutheran elementary schools, three high schools, and over 80 preschools.  These schools are operated by three different synods of the Lutheran church. Most of these schools are operated by a single parish, and some are operated by an association of churches.

 

The uniqueness of the Lutheran schools grows out of an understanding of grace that guides the application of the law and gospel.

 

Lutheran schools have a desire to partner with families in the development of the whole child: spiritual, intellectual, aesthetic, physical, social, and emotional.

 

 

 

Pandemic Flu Planning

 

The White House has recently released the national plan for a flu pandemic.  You may access it at the following internet link:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/pandemic-influenza.html

 

The U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has prepared a Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist. It is available at http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/schoolchecklist.html

Additional guidance is available on OSPI's Web site at: http://www.k12.wa.us/HealthServices/default.aspx

 

Private School Success Stories

 

Spruce Street School in Seattle reports that a group of their alumni have continued to play marimbas with their music instructor, Sheree Seretse.  They were chosen to play at the Apollo in New York City last winter.  The name of the ensemble is Shumba.  Spruce Street also has an alum working for Governor Chris Gregoire in her communications office in Olympia.

 

St. Francis of Assisi School in Seahurst reports that one alumna, Adrianne Hughes, has graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in cellular molecular biology.  She has an internship this summer at the Louis Pasteur Institute in Paris, working in her chosen field.

 

Please send us YOUR success stories to share with others! They may be e-mailed to jmorrison@wfis.org .

 

 

 

News from the U. S. Department of Education

Secretary Spellings Visits Private School and Delivers Remarks on School Choice U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings recently visited Allen Christian School and delivered remarks at the school choice forum at the Greater Allen Cathedral   in Jamaica, NY.  During her visit, she discussed the public school choice and tutoring options under the No Child Left Behind Act, and the President's proposal for a new $100 million Opportunity Scholarship Fund to help low-income students in underachieving public schools attend private schools or receive intensive tutoring. 

“If we are going to meet our goal of having every child at grade level by 2014,” the Secretary said, “we must empower parents to demand more from our schools.” She cited the successes of the federally funded DC Opportunity Scholarship Program :

We've seen the power of choice in Washington , DC , where the first-ever federally funded opportunity scholarship program has given low-income families the same choices other Americans have.  Almost 1,700 disadvantaged students have received grants of up to $7,500 to attend the private or parochial school of their choice….  The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is only in its second year, but the early results … are encouraging. President Bush and I want to help spread this experiment to other cities as another alternative to help students trapped in schools that fall short of standards year after year.

To view the complete remarks made by Secretary Spellings, visit: Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks on School Choice .  For additional information on school choice, visit:  School Choice Fact Sheets

 

 

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program Expands to Private School Teachers In signing the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA) on February 8, President Bush made permanent certain teacher loan forgiveness provisions included in the Taxpayer-Teacher Protection Act of 2004 and expanded the loan forgiveness program to certain teachers employed in nonprofit private schools.  Both public and private school teachers applying for teacher loan forgiveness must, at a minimum, have worked for five consecutive years in an eligible low-income school.

 

The HERA authorizes up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness for certain full-time secondary school teachers of mathematics or science who meet the “highly qualified” teacher definition under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and for certain highly qualified full-time elementary and secondary school special education teachers whose primary responsibility is to provide special education to children with disabilities.

New Provisions for Private School Teachers

Effective July 1 of this year, the HERA expands the loan forgiveness program to teachers who are exempt from state certification and employed in nonprofit private schools.  The HERA provides that an individual who is employed as a teacher in a nonprofit private school and is exempt from state certification requirements may have such employment qualify for the loan forgiveness program if the teacher can demonstrate rigorous subject knowledge and skills by taking competency tests in the applicable grade levels and subject areas.  The competency tests must be recognized by five or more states and a teacher's score on each test must equal or exceed the average passing score of those five states.  The HERA makes no change for private school teachers who are subject to state certification and who meet the “highly qualified” teacher definition under NCLB; they will continue to qualify for student loan forgiveness to the extent they meet the eligibility requirements.

Teachers who do not teach in the specialties noted above and began teaching after October 30, 2004, may be eligible for up to $5,000 in student loan forgiveness, so long as they meet the “highly qualified” teacher definition under NCLB or, effective July 1, 2006, meet the requirements set forth in the HERA for private school teachers, and meet the eligibility rules applicable to all Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and Federal Direct Loan Programs.  Teachers who began their teaching service prior to October 30, 2004 , continue to qualify for up to $5,000 in student loan forgiveness and are not required to meet the “highly qualified” teacher definition.

Click here to review the policy letter on student loan forgiveness for private school teachers .

 

 U.S. Department of Education Releases Additional Emergency Impact Aid FAQs  The U.S. Department of Education has released additional guidance for States, local educational agencies (LEAs), and private schools with implementing the Emergency Impact Aid assistance program for students who were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Volume II Frequently Asked Questions: Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students provides answers to 21 additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) on topics including:  the eligibility of students, LEAs, and schools; payments; uses of funds; and recordkeeping.

Notable FAQs

FAQ #57 clarifies that students are considered displaced if they attend the same school in which they were initially enrolled when that school's physical location has changed as a result of one of the hurricanes.  This would include schools that moved to other buildings, including other schools or non-school buildings, or were operating the entire school on the original site using portables or other temporary structures such as tents.

FAQ #58 specifies if the school in which students were enrolled on August 22nd is still operating in the same facility, in whole or in part, the students attending it are considered to be attending the same school in which they were initially enrolled.  These students would not be eligible displaced students for purposes of this program.

Additional information about the assistance available under the Hurricane Education Recovery Act is located on the Department's Hurricane Help for Schools website.

 

 

 

 

The Bulletin Board

 

Position Openings in Private Schools:  

 

The Hamlin Robinson School , an independent, 1 st -8 th grade school in south Seattle serving students with dyslexia and related language difficulties, seeks an Assistant Director/Self Study Coordinator. This full-time administrative position will begin in July 2006. The self study coordinator portion of the job description will end in the spring of 2008; the assistant director position will continue on a full-time basis.

 

We seek a candidate with exceptional interpersonal and verbal/written skills.  She/he must be professional, highly organized, and have positive experience in school supervision.  She/he must have a background in dyslexia and language disabilities and expertise in Slingerland language training and test interpretation.

 

To apply, please send a resume and letter of inquiry to Jeanne Turner, Director, Hamlin Robinson School , 10211-12 th Ave. S. Seattle , WA , 98168 ; jturner@hamlinrobinson.org ; 206.762.2419 (fax); 206.763.1167 (phone).

 

The Hamlin Robinson School , an independent 1 st -8 th school for students with dyslexia and related language difficulties, seeks a school secretary four days a week. This fast-paced position is critical to the school's daily operation, providing personal contact, acting as a source of central information, and setting a professional tone for the school. Previous experience in school setting preferred.  Knowledge of Microsoft Office required. Salary plus benefits.  Please send cover letter and resumé to Hamlin Robinson School , 10211-12 th Ave. S. Seattle , WA 98168 or to jturner@hamlinrobinson.org.

 

 

Chelan Valley Independent School is seeking an energetic and experienced leader for the position of Director beginning with the 2006-07 school year.  CVIS is a Pre-K through 6th grade established independent private school located in beautiful Chelan, Washington.  At CVIS students join a community led by a faculty committed to teaching the "whole" child, guiding each student toward physical, intellectual, artistic, emotional and social growth.  CVIS provides an environment that encourages and guides children to become lifelong learners.  The school currently enrolls up to fifty students with eight part time instructors. Parents are viewed as an integral part of the school community, volunteering in the classroom and working with fundraising projects. For more information about the school, please visit our website at www.cvis.org.

The new Director will be a person familiar with preK-6 curriculum and current trends in educational philosophy.  The ability to work with people of all ages is a must.  Strong leadership skills and the ability to manage a program within budget are required. Administrative certification and experience teaching at the elementary level are preferred but not required.  Salary range offered is $35,000 - $50,000, DOE.  Interested candidates should provide a current resume and letter of interest to:

CVIS Director Search Committee

P.O. Box 1330

Chelan, WA 98816

 

Chelan Valley Independent School (CVIS), an established, independent PreK-6 school has an opening for a part-time elementary teacher, beginning September 2006.

 

This position is in a team-taught, upper grade, multi-age classroom. We are seeking experienced candidates who can help guide children to become life-long learners and who will enjoy working with them in an environment that is safe, respectful, family-oriented and community conscious.

 

CVIS uses a thematic curriculum, weaving traditional subjects together, emphasizing the relationships between the subjects. We view the arts, both visual and performing, as an integral component of the education we provide.

 

Applicants should call 509-682-2020 to request an application form. Please submit this with a resume and cover letter of interest to:

 

CVIS Employment

PO Box 1330

Chelan, WA 98816

 

For further information about CVIS, please visit our website at www.cvis.org .

 

 

 

Don't let your teachers' certificates lapse! Contact www.my247ed.com for online clock hours for professional development.  Customize your program according to your need. 

 

Mark your calendar now for the February Winter Dinner and Best of Washington Awards Tuesday, February 13, 2006 .

 

Watch for fall dates for the annual WFIS Workshop Day to be held in November and the February Private Schools Day at the Capitol.

 

 

WSAME Annual Fall Conference

SAVE THE DATES: October 27-28th

Where:   Clark College Campus, Vancouver , WA . (just across the border from Portland , OR -- for tax-free shopping and big city night life!)

Keynote Speakers

Donna Beegle : The Poverty Factor

Charles Hirschman : Race And Ethnic Concepts: How are They Measured/What Do They Mean?

 

Special Features: 

* Two-day Anti-Racism School Team Training for students and staff (apply now for team scholarships

   to attend!)

* Friday Intensive Workshops & Seminars

* Saturday Breakout Sessions

* Multicultural Excellence Awards

* Silent Auction Scholarship Fundraiser

* Complimentary Diversity/Multicultural Resource Materials

* Up to 16 Clockhours

* Multicultural Vendors

 

Registration brochures available end of May.  For questions regarding registration, contact Marisa Afzali at marisa.afzali@cityu.edu  or (425) 709-7640. 

 

 

The WFIS eMemo is a publication of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools.  If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please let us know at jmorrison@wfis.org.

 

The Washington Federation of Independent Schools is the umbrella public policy organization for private education in Washington State. With the vast majority of the independent student population enrolled in member schools, WFIS serves as the only statewide vehicle for regular communication and strategic development between the many diverse religious and independent sponsoring boards.

WFIS schools are affiliates of the Catholic dioceses in the state; the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI); the Christian Schools International (CSI); Lutheran Schools; Montessori schools; the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS); the Seventh-day Adventist Schools (SDA); and numerous other religious and independent institutions, including the Waldorf Schools, Hutterian Brethren, and those institutions with sponsorship within the Jewish and Islamic communities.ý The WFIS Board of Directors consists of eighteen school heads representing the largest member constituencies elected regionally by their respective bodies. WFIS is networked with similar organizations in the other states through the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The WFIS eMemo is a publication of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools.  If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please let us know at jmorrison@wfis.org.

 

The Washington Federation of Independent Schools is the umbrella public policy organization for private education in Washington State. With the vast majority of the independent student population enrolled in member schools, WFIS serves as the only statewide vehicle for regular communication and strategic development between the many diverse religious and independent sponsoring boards.

WFIS schools are affiliates of the Catholic dioceses in the state; the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI); the Christian Schools International (CSI); Lutheran Schools; Montessori schools; the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS); the Seventh-day Adventist Schools (SDA); and numerous other religious and independent institutions, including the Waldorf Schools, Hutterian Brethren, and those institutions with sponsorship within the Jewish and Islamic communities.ý The WFIS Board of Directors consists of eighteen school heads representing the largest member constituencies elected regionally by their respective bodies. WFIS is networked with similar organizations in the other states through the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).