Thursday, August 28, 2014

Information From the Governor's Office of the Education Ombudsman

Over the past week, you have probably read in the newspaper or received a letter from your school district explaining Washington state’s loss of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver.  This waiver is also referred to as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver.  As a result of the waiver loss, the majority of school districts were required to issue letters to parents explaining the options they may have if their child attends a school that has not made “adequate yearly progress” or AYP.  Parents whose children are assigned to a school that has not met AYP will be offered the option of:  1)  staying at their assigned school and receiving Supplemental Education Services, or  2) the option to transfer to a public school of their choice that has met AYP within their district.

The application process for SES or a public school transfer request is very short and requires completion of a written application with a deadline associated with it.  In some school districts, this deadline occurs on or before the first day of school.  It is very important that parents understand they will not get SES services or be able to request a transfer after the deadline set by their district.  For limited-English speaking parents, it is important that they understand they can ask for the instructions and application in a language understood by the parents or guardians.  In addition, limited-English speaking parents can and should ask for an interpreter at their child’s school meeting to determine the SES Student Learning Plan if they need language access and assistance.

In an effort to assist parents, students and advocates to understand what some of the changes are, the Office of the Education Ombudsman has developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).   For more information, please call (206) 748-5613 or 866-297-2597.