2019 Legislative Wrap Up

Digital Public School Family,


The State Legislature adjourned the 2019 legislative session on April 28. During the long session, legislators considered bills that addressed climate change, health care, education, energy, homelessness and many other issues.

The legislature also considered several bills that would have impacted digital public schools. The most notable of these would have created a pilot project to determine how best to provide enhanced career and technical education (CTE) funds for ALE programs – including for our online public school students. Although the bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, it died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Thanks to everyone who called, emailed and visited legislators to urge passage of this important legislation that would have provided online public schools the resources necessary to ensure enhanced, robust CTE programs that integrate work into learning.

We will work hard during the interim to continue to educate policymakers about this important education option and urge them to reintroduce CTE legislation during the 2020 legislative session.

If you are motived to advocate for this education choice and you would like to become more active in our efforts, please email us at info@digitalpublicschools.org. Parents are a powerful force, and we want to ensure that the parent voice is part of the policymaking conversation surrounding digital public schools.

Thank you for your help and support.

Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President

CTE UPDATE: Urge Senate Ways and Means to approve CTE bill

Digital Public School Parent,

We need your help on a quick project. 2SHB1304 is moving through the legislative process. As you know, this bill would create a pilot program to determine how best to provide enhanced career and technical education (CTE) funds for Alternative Learning Experience Programs (ALE) — including for our online public school students. Both the full House of Representatives and the Senate Early Learning and K12 Education Committee have approved the bill. 2SHB1304 is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. 

Would you please take a few minutes to call your state senator, David Frockt, 360-786-7690, who is a member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, to urge the committee to schedule a hearing on 2SHB1304 and approve the bill. Please call as soon as possible to urge your support.

This is what you can say when you call:
“I’m the parent of an online school student. I urge the Ways and Means Committee to schedule a hearing and support 2SHB1304 so our public school students can have robust CTE programs that integrate work into learning and provide our children skills that will lead to jobs in their future. Thank you.”

We want to make sure that this bill continues to move through the legislative process and is signed into law. We need your help to make sure that happens! Thank your for your quick response to this request and for all you do to support digital public schools.

Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

Urge your legislators to support CTE legislation

Digital Public School Parent,
 
We need your help on a quick project. Next Wednesday, March 13, the Washington State House of Representatives will be voting on SHB1304.  This bill would provide enhanced career and technical education (CTE) funds to Online Alternative Learning Experience programs, including CTE programs offered at digital public schools.
 
Would you please take a few minutes to call your State Representatives, to urge support for SHB1304?
 
If you don’t know your State Representatives, click on this link, and type in your home address to find out who represents you in Olympia.
 
Please call as soon as possible because the House is voting on SHB1304 next week!
 
This is what you can say when you call:
 
“I’m the parent of an online school student. Please support SHB1304 so the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and our online public school can work together on how best to provide CTE pathways for our public school students. Thank you.”
 
Please send us a quick note, info@digitalpublicschools.org, to share any feedback you receive from your legislators. 

Thank your for your quick response to this request and for all you do to support digital public schools!

Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

Digital Learning Day at the Capitol - March 1

Dear Digital Public School Family,

If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to teach your children about how the government works and show your support for digital public education, I hope you’ll join other students and parents for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 1 at the State Capitol Building in OlympiaClick here to register now!

Digital Learning Day at the Capitol is an opportunity to thank our legislative champions, show support for digital public schools and talk to legislators about protecting this important education option. Students will have the opportunity to participate in educational activities and visit their state legislators. Never met with a legislator? No problem! We’ll walk you through how it’s done.

Please make sure your voice is heard in the halls of the Capitol. I hope you will attend Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 1. Please register today!

Here's the agenda for the day:

10:00am - Registration in the Columbia Room in the Capitol Building
10:30am - Students: Fun and interactive activity 
Parents: Legislative update
11:30am - Lunch 
12:00pm - Rally, awards ceremony and group photo in the Capitol Rotunda
12:30pm - Meetings with State Legislators
1:30pm - Educational activities in the Capitol Building

Thank you for all your hard work and support on behalf of our schools. I look forward to seeing you in Olympia on March 1!

Sincerely,

Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA
Learning Coach to Austin and Andrew

2018 Family Survey

Dear Digital Public School Parent,

During this season of gratitude, I’m grateful that my sons have the opportunity to attend the Washington Virtual Academy. This education option has been a good fit for our family. My sons have thrived in this school setting and they have been able to learn at a pace that suits their needs.

Why did you choose a digital public school for your child? Was he learning at a different pace than his peers? Did she have difficulty functioning in a traditional school setting? Was he getting bullied in his traditional brick and mortar public school?

This is the kind of information we gather yearly from families so we can share data with policymakers about Washington’s digital public schools. Will you spend a few minutes taking the survey now?

One of the primary goals of the Washington Digital Public Schools Alliance is to inform state policymakers about this important education option and tell them why it’s the right fit for so many Washington families. Even though digital education has been around now for more than a decade, many in our government do not really understand what it is, how it works, its benefits or how it is funded. They don’t see the day-to-day learning that happens through instruction by dedicated teachers in digital public school classrooms with the use of high quality curriculum. They don’t understand the reasons why families have chosen this style of education for their kids.

With your help we can inform the debate surrounding digital public schools and let our legislators know how you and so many other Washington families have benefited from a digital public education.

Would you be willing to take a few minutes to fill out our survey and let us know why a digital public school option has been a good fit for your family? We will not share any of your individual responses unless you give us permission. The data will be aggregated and shared with Washington’s leaders on education policy.

Please pay particular attention to the survey question about photos and videos. If you’re willing to make a short video telling your virtual public school story or share some photos of your child, that will help us connect with legislators and ‘put a face’ on digital public education.

We have great digital public schools in Washington that are working well for our children. We might have different reasons for selecting our specific school, but all of our families share a common goal: We want our children to get the best education possible. 

Please add your voice to the discussion about online education by completing our survey and telling us why a digital public school is right for your family.

With the help of digital public school families across the state, we have been able to protect our funding in past legislative sessions, despite bills that threatened to reduce it significantly. There will be more challenges ahead and we are working hard to prepare for them now. With your help, we will be ready.

Sincerely,


Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

2018 Voters' Guide

Dear Digital Public School Families,

Those of you who have supported our efforts over the years know that it’s elected state officials who will ultimately decide whether or not our digital public schools survive and thrive here in Washington.

As part of this parent coalition, your voice is critical to protect innovative public school options for our kids in Washington State. Please consider making your voice heard by:

Becoming an informed voter: To learn how candidates support digital public schools, we circulated a candidate questionnaire to every 2018 Washington State legislative candidate. Our 2018 Voters' Guide will help you find out if the candidates seeking to represent you in Olympia responded to our questionnaire. Not all candidates responded. It also shows what they said about digital public schools.

  • View the Voters' Guide. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order in the guide. Senate candidates and House candidates are listed on separate tabs in the guide.

  • If you don’t know who represents you or in which legislative district you live, look up your legislator to find out that information. Please note that this will link you to your legislative district and your current state legislators, some of whom may not be running for re-election or may not have responded to our candidate questionnaire.  

  • Most importantly, vote and return your ballot by November 6th.

Advocating for our children: It can be as little as sending an email to a legislator, making a phone call, attending Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on March 1, 2019 (a great way for kids to learn about state government!), or meeting with your elected representatives to tell them why a digital public school is the right fit for your child. 

  • Sign-up and let us know how you can help. Your voice will make a difference!

We hope this information is helpful, and we look forward to working with you in the 2019 legislative session to protect innovative, individualized public school options and access to quality digital public schools.

Sincerely,

Sally Karr
President
Washington Digital Public Schools Alliance

Welcome Back to School

Dear Digital Public School Families,

Welcome back to school! This is an exciting time for students and parents as the 2018-2019 school year is fully under way. My name is Sally Karr, the President of the Washington Digital Public Schools Alliance (DPSA) and learning coach to my two sons. DPSA is a coalition of Washington digital public school families and supporters dedicated to the long-term viability of digital public schools in our state. 

I want to commend all our parents who, over the last several years, have worked hard to educate state policymakers about the importance of digital public schools. Thanks to your efforts, the Washington State Legislature is better informed about the critical role of digital public schools for so many Washington families. Stories from digital public school families need to be a part of the public debate as we continue to inform and educate policymakers about our unique form of schooling. Your participation makes a real difference to decision-makers in Olympia.

As we start the new school year, I urge you to:

Also, be on the lookout for two upcoming emails:

  • 2019 DPSA Voter Guide: This is a great resource to see where legislative candidates stand on issues related to digital public education.

  • DPSA Parent Survey: Our survey gives us some insight as to why families choose a digital public school and how it is working for them.

I also encourage you to mark your calendars to attend our Digital Learning Day at the Capitol which will be held at the State Capitol in Olympia on March 1, 2019. This is a great opportunity to meet other digital public school families and learn about our state government. We'll share more information, including how to register in the coming weeks.

Thanks for your support, and I look forward to working with you to promote digital public education.

Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

Thank you for joining us for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol

Dear Digital Public School Family,
 
Earlier this month, digital public school students, parents, teachers, administrators and supporters gathered at the State Capitol in Olympia to participate in Digital Learning Day at the Capitol and show their enthusiastic support for digital public education. During the day, they,

  • participated in a fun and interactive educational activity,
  • rallied in the Capitol Rotunda to make their voices heard and present awards to key legislators,
  • and walked the halls of the State Legislature to talk to their legislators about the importance of keeping digital education as an option for Washington families! 

Thousands of Washington families have found success for their children in digital public schools. They are a vital part of our public school system that give kids who need an alternative to the traditional classroom a place to get a quality education. It was wonderful to have so many of you at the capitol to reinforce this message.
 
If you attended Digital Learning Day at the Capitol this year or in a previous year, thank you so much for your support! For those of you who have not been able to join us for our Digital Learning Day event, you can view photos here.
 
Thank you for all you do to support our schools. We hope you can join us in Olympia for our 2019 Digital Learning Day at the Capitol! We will let you know as soon as we confirm a date!

Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

Join Us for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on March 2

Dear Digital Public Schools Families,
 
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to teach your children about how the government works and show your support for digital public education, I hope you’ll join other students and parents for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 2 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia. Click here to register now!
 
Digital Learning Day at the Capitol is an opportunity to thank our legislative champions, show support for digital public schools and talk to legislators about protecting this important education option. Students will have the opportunity to participate in educational activities and visit their state legislators.
  
Please make sure your voice is heard in the halls of the Capitol. I hope you will attend Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 2. Please register today!
 
Here is the agenda for the day:
 
10:00am      Registration in the Columbia Room in the Capitol Building
10:30am      Students: Fun and interactive activity/Parents: Legislative update
11:30am      Lunch
12:00pm      Rally, awards ceremony and group photo in the Capitol Rotunda
12:30pm      Meetings with State Legislators
1:00pm        Educational activities in the Capitol Building

Thank you for all your hard work and support on behalf of our schools. I look forward to seeing you in Olympia on March 2!

Sincerely,

 
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA
Learning Coach to Austin and Andrew

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please take a few minutes to fill out our survey and let us know why a digital public school is the right fit for your family. Take the survey now!

Join us for a fun, free educational event

Dear Digital Public School Families of K-4th grade students,
 
The Washington Digital Public Schools Alliance invites you to join us for a time of fun and learning at Olympia’s Hands on Children’s Museum on Friday, November 17 – at no charge! This is an opportunity to meet other digital public school parents and students and enjoy an educational day at the museum.
 
What: Visit to Hands on Children’s Museum for K-4th grade students
414 Jefferson Street NE
Olympia 98501
When: Friday, November 17
Time: 10:00am - noon
Cost: This is a no cost event
Parking: On-site parking - Parking fee $1 per hour (We will cover the cost of visiting the museum. Families are responsible for paying for parking.)
RSVP: Please RSVP by Tuesday, November 14. Click here to RSVP (You must RSVP to attend)
 
Don’t miss this great opportunity! I hope you can join us in Olympia on November 17.
 
Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

digitalpublicschools.org
info@digitalpublicschools.org

Send us your back to school photos and stories

This week we start a new school year! As a digital public school parent and learning coach, I have watched my sons, Austin and Andrew, prepare for the new year. They have bought back to school supplies, excitedly unpacked boxes of books from their school, and attended orientation sessions.  They are especially excited to meet their new teachers and see their friends in the online classrooms.

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Join us for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol

Dear Digital Public Schools Families,
 
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to teach your children about how the government works and show your support for digital public education, I hope you’ll join other students and parents for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 10, 2017 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia.
 
Every year, digital public school families travel to Olympia to express their support for this important education option. Digital Learning Day at the Capitol is an opportunity to thank our legislative champions, show support for digital public schools and talk to legislators about protecting this important education option. Students will have the opportunity to participate in educational activities and visit their state legislators.
  
Please make sure your voice is heard in the halls of the Capitol. I hope you will attend Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 10, 2017. Please register today!
 
Here is the agenda for the day:
 
10:00am – Registration in the Columbia Room in the Capitol Building
10:30am – Students: Fun and interactive activity that will teach you about our state government
Parents: Legislative update
11:30am – Rally, awards ceremony and group photo in the Capitol Rotunda
12:00pm – Lunch and meetings with legislators
1:00pm – Educational activities in the Capitol Building
 
Register for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol
 
If you haven’t already done so, and you want to stay connected for future events, please join the Digital Public Schools Alliance. And, follow us on Facebook.
 
Thank you for all your hard work and support on behalf of our schools. I look forward to seeing you in Olympia on March 10!
 
Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA
Learning Coach to Austin and Andrew
info@digitalpublicschools.org

Help us tell your story

Dear Digital Public School Family,
 
We need your help on a quick project. As many digital public school families know, changing the perception of digital public school classrooms is one of the more difficult parts of what we do every day. Allowing families to provide their children with the best learning environment for them is what drives us in our pursuit of a robust and widely supported digital public school system. Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go towards educating many policymakers who do not know about the existence and benefits of online learning for many families across the state. 
 
One of the most effective ways that we can convey this message is by telling the story of how your family has benefitted from our digital public schools.
 
Please take five minutes and fill out our online survey so that we can show our lawmakers the benefits of funding and supporting digital public schools.
 
We will not share any of your individual responses unless you give us permission. The data will be aggregated and shared with Washington’s leaders on education policy.
 
Informing policymakers about digital public schools and the enormous benefit they bring to our kids continues to be our mission, and you can make a big difference in this effort.
 
Please take five minutes to fill out our online survey.
 
With the help of digital public school families across the state, we have been able to protect our funding in past legislative sessions, despite bills that threatened to reduce it significantly. There will be more challenges ahead, and we are working hard to prepare for them now. With your help, we will be ready.
 
Thank you for your help and support.
 
Sincerely,
Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

P.S. Save the Date!  Digital Learning Day at the Capitol is March 10, 2017.  I will send you more information on this important event in the coming weeks. 

 

Newsletter: Welcome Back to School

Dear Digital Public School Families,
 
Welcome back to school! This is an exciting time for students and parents as the 2016-2017 school year is fully under way. My name is Sally Karr, the President of Digital Public Schools Alliance (DPSA) and learning coach to my two sons. DPSA is a coalition of Washington digital public school families and supporters dedicated to the long-term viability of digital public schools in our state. 
 
I want to commend all our parents who, over the last several years, have worked hard to educate state policymakers about the importance of digital public schools. Thanks to your efforts, the Washington State Legislature is better informed about the critical role of digital public schools for so many Washington families. Stories from digital public school families need to be a part of the public debate as we continue to inform and educate policymakers about our unique form of schooling. Your participation makes a real difference to decision-makers in Olympia.
 
As we start the new school year, I urge you to check out the DPSA website, sign up for our updates and be sure to Like our Facebook page. If you’d like to play an active role in advocating for our education choice, please email me at info@digitalpublicschools.org.
 
I also encourage you to mark your calendars to attend our Digital Learning Day at the Capitol, which will be held at the State Capitol in Olympia on March 10, 2017. This is a great opportunity to meet other digital public school families and learn about our state government.
 
Thanks for your support, and I look forward to working with you to promote digital public education.
 
Sincerely

Sally Karr
President, Digital Public Schools Alliance - WA

 

Legislative Page Program: A Wonderful Opportunity for Digital Public School Students

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The Gift of Learning

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Capitol building drawing contest!

Wanted: original line art drawings of our state Capitol building in Olympia!

Students, send us your best line art interpretation of our domed Capitol building, and your drawing may be the featured artwork on all of our distribution cards for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on March 6th! 

This contest is open to any student in grades K-12 who is currently enrolled in a digital public school in Washington State.

Drawing must be of the Capitol building in Olympia, WA, and include at least part of the dome. Drawing may be stylized; we are looking for art, not just architecture.

Entries must be hand-drawn line art, meaning black and white only, with no additional colors or shading. Black pen or marker, or dark pencil, will show best.

Size: 8 1/2” tall x 5 1/2” wide (sheet of paper folded in half lengthwise; drawing should be made vertically).

Drawings may be submitted electronically or through regular mail service.

Electronic entries should be scanned or digitally photographed and submitted online at Info@DigitalPublicSchools.Org.  

Mailed entries should be sent to:

Digital Public Schools Alliance 506 Second Ave. Suite. 1430 Seattle, WA 98104.

All entries must be received by January 18, 2015.

Winning entry will be judged and selected by the DPSA board members.

Winning entry will be printed on yellow card stock for hundreds of note cards that will be hand-delivered to all WA State senators, representatives, and our governor for Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on March 6, 2015.