Washington to regain 9 weeks of long-term unemployment benefits

OLYMPIA – The federal shutdown in October generated one dubiously positive result: it helped to lift the state’s unemployment rate enough to reactivate nine weeks of long-term unemployment benefits that were shut off in August.
 
Currently in Washington, jobless workers can claim up to 54 weeks of unemployment benefits, including 26 weeks of regular, state-paid benefits and 28 weeks of federally funded emergency unemployment compensation (EUC).
 
Nationwide, EUC is paid in a series of four tiers. All states qualify for tier 1, but tiers 2 through 4 are tied to a state’s three-month average unemployment rate.
 
Washington triggered off tier 4 in April 2012 after the three-month average dropped below 9 percent, and tier 3 was turned off last summer after the three-month average fell below 7 percent.
 
When the October 2013 unemployment rate was factored in, the three-month average rose again to 7 percent. The federal Department of Labor has directed Washington’s Employment Security Department to restart EUC tier 3 on Dec. 8.

Hoquiam School District earns School of Distinction award

HOQUIAM, Wash. - The Hoquiam School District this week was recognized as a School of Distinction in their region. School Superintendent Mike Parker tells us Educational Service District 113 notified them this week that they are one of twelve schools throughout the region that will receive the award.
ESD 113 serves 44 school districts in Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties as well as approved private schools within those counties.
To earn School of Distinction status, schools must be performing at least at the state average in each grade level measured in their school (3rd through 8th and 10th grade) on Reading and Math assessments. Schoolswere then evaluated on combined Reading and Math improvement over the last 5 years. The top five percent of the elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools and alternative schools are designated as Schools of Distinction.

Grays Harbor College to host career fair October 15

Grays Harbor College will host its second annual Career Fair on Tuesday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the HUB on the main campus in Aberdeen. It will provide students and the public the chance to network with professionals in their career field, gather information about career requirements and expectations and explore career opportunities in Grays Harbor. Bonell Photography will be offering free head-shot photographs. This is an informational event, not a hiring event.  Admission is free and parking is available. For more information, call 360-538-4165.

Raymond School District Honored by WASA

RAYMOND, Wash. - The Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) presented a Community Leadership Award to the Raymond School District at the WASA Regional Awards Banquet in Olympia on the 23rd. Accepting the award at the banquet was Raymond Superintendent Dr. Steven Holland, and Board Chair Mark Hatfield.

The Community Leadership Award is presented to community members or groups in recognition of their contributions toward education. The award presented to the Raymond School District superintendent and board of directors for their leadership in sponsoring GRAVITY High School, a region-wide educational re-engagement program for older youth who have dropped out of school. This school year GRAVITY (GED+ Reengagement Alternative Vocational Individualized Training for Youth) has served more than 160 students from within a five county region. The high school has regional centers in Aberdeen, Chehalis, and Shelton. GRAVITY services are available to youth in the East Willapa Harbor area at the WorkSource office located in the Grays Harbor College Riverview Education Center.

Aberdeen Among 50 School Districts to Receive OSPI Grant

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Aberdeen School District is among a total of 50 school districts have been selected to receive grants of $4,500 each to help with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics during spring and summer 2012.
The money will be used for travel and other costs related to participation in standards workshops that are hosted by Educational Service Districts (ESDs) throughout the state.

The grants are funded by Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP!), a federal grant program that helps increase the number of low-income students preparing for college. OSPI partnered with the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board to provide these resources.

The Office of Superintendant of Public Instruction tells KBKW a total of 75 districts applied for the grants. Priority was given to districts with 49.5 percent or more than of its students qualifying for free and reduced-priced meals and to district size so that districts of all sizes were represented.

No Place for Civics in WA Classrooms?

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Is Washington doing a good enough job raising informed citizens and future voters? As kids go back to school, one thing they are not necessarily learning is how their state and local governments work. Civics is part of some classes, but it's not a required subject - at least, not yet. The legislature has mandated civics instruction, but only if the State Board of Education decides to increase the number of credits needed to graduate.

The League of Women Voters of Washington is concerned that, with school districts' financial struggles, the Board will be unlikely to add more requirements. League education chair Catherine Ahl says this one seems to be needed, however, based on volunteer work that she and other League members have done in the schools.

"You go into a class of seniors, many of whom are eligible to vote. You ask 'em about elections or functions of their state - or particularly about local officials - and they don't have a clue, because they don't have a class where it's taught."

 

TEAM OF TEACHERS FROM ABERDEEN WINS QWEST GRANT

ABERDEEN, Wash. - A team of teachers from Stevens Elementary School in Aberdeen learned Tuesday, March 2, that they have won $10,000 from the Qwest Foundation Teachers and Technology Grant Program. 
 
The team from Stevens School includes fourth-grade teachers Martha Lennier and Sara Schultz, fifth-grade teacher Sheryl Woodruff and sixth-grade teacher Dana Persson-Zora.
 
Since 2007, the Qwest Foundation has funded nine awards each year, each worth $10,000, to effective teachers in Washington state who propose unique projects that integrate real-world technologies.