Monthly Archives: August 2016

Financial Aid Events Support Students and Families

As we prepare to enter a new school year, many juniors, seniors and their families will be planning for life after graduation. Financial Aid Events take place early each calendar year to provide support to high school students and their families as they navigate the financial aid process. Students have the opportunity to work with trained volunteers and financial aid experts as they apply for scholarships and file the FAFSA or WASFA. Financial Aid Events are referred to as College Goal Sunday or College Goal Washington in the rest of the state. These events are referred to Financial Aid Events, rather than College Goal Washington/Sunday, to provide better insight into the event purpose and to allow for cohesive branding.

In the Road Map Region for the 2015-16 FAFSA/WASFA campaign season, over 33 high schools, local libraries, and colleges hosted an event which brought in more than 600 students, 150 parents, and 250 volunteers logging 600+ hours. For more information please visit or Also, for hosting or volunteering opportunities please contact

Starting Strong Conference Shares Promising Practices

On August 1-3, early learning educators from around the state gathered in Tacoma for the annual Starting Strong Conference. This conference provides a unique opportunity for community providers, teachers, administrators and state leaders to come together for three days of learning and networking. A variety of presentations, covering a wide range of topics, are submitted each year by experts and practitioners. For the second year in a row, the Race to the Top PreK-3rd grade team has been fortunate to present on promising practices being implemented by the seven Road Map school districts.

This year, the P-3 team, along with early learning leads from three districts, led a panel focused on the building of districts’ early learning advisory teams. Page Meyer, Early Learning Director for Kent School District; Heather Newman, former Early Learning Director for Tukwila School District; and Karen Soine, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Renton School District, shared their challenges and successes in building and sustaining a cross-sector early learning advisory team. A packed room of roughly 30 participants heard from district leaders about lessons learned, successes, and strategies for sustainability, had the opportunity to ask questions, and worked with their own teams to brainstorm what implementation might look like in their own district.

In addition, Kent School District presented for the second year. Page Meyer led a session discussing Kent’s journey to build a robust PreK-3rd grade system. This session has been well attended both years, and has provided other districts with the opportunity to understand the adaptive and technical challenges in building and sustaining a PreK-3rd grade system. The Starting Strong conference has allowed districts and PSESD staff to share the tremendous work of the Road Map Region with district, community and state-level leaders from all over Washington.