Minutes from Board of Trustees Meeting

September 21, 2018

Vancouver, Washington



Board Members Participating:  Greg Szabo, Dennis Mathews, Keri Clark, Reg George, Nancy McDaniel, and Berl Colley.


Ex-Officio Members Participating:  Jim Eccles (Washington Federation of State Employees Local #1225), Joleen Ferguson (Washington Council of the Blind), Jennifer Butcher (Teacher Representative), Marci Carpenter (National Federation of the Blind of Washington), and Krista Bulger (Parent Representative).


WSSB Staff Members Participating:  Mr. Scott McCallum (Superintendent), Pam Parker (Director of Outreach/Statewide Vision Consultant), and Janet Kurz (recording secretary).


September 21, 2018 – 11am-1:35pm                                              

Nancy called the meeting to order at 11am.   


Business Meeting:

Old Business:

*      Approve board meeting minutes of June 1, 2018. Greg moved to approve the minutes as submitted; Berl seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved unanimously.


New Business:


Department Highlight – Pam Parker, Director of Outreach/Statewide Vision Consultant: 

*      Scott introduced Pam.  Pam reviewed her written report (attached to the meeting minutes):

o   Pam stated she lives in Walla Walla and has been with the WSSB for 8-9 years. 

o   Pam went to Nepal this past summer as part of the knowledge exchange program.  Sean McCormick, Director of On-Campus Programs, and Stephanie Face, on campus Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) went as well.  This could lead to a potential partnership with Portland State University (PSU).

o   This year’s Summer Institute (SI) was a success with 50 participants and 10 on the waiting list.  Discussion was held regarding the possibility of holding a separate SI for Oregon participants. 

o   Pam feels that the transition to this position has been smooth.  A TVI was hired in Snohomish, and Ron Jasmer and Kathryn Kier (fellow Outreach TVIs) are assisting her as they served that district.  Due to Emily Coleman’s (former Director of Outreach) departure and Kathy Michielsen (Outreach TVI) going to the Birth-3 Department, there is a shortage of TVI’s in Eastern Washington.  Pam has a small caseload until they figure out how to cover the districts. 

o   The Stephen F. Austin (SFAU) TVI program is going strong.  Joe Dlugo (Outreach TVI) will now be the mentor for that program, replacing Pam.  The cohort has six graduates and they are all hired at this time.  Greg asked about the SFAU program; Pam said because Washington state doesn’t have a TVI program, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provided some funding through the Washington Sensory Disability Services (WSDS) to help address the shortage of TVI’s; current general education teachers can get their TVI endorsement through SFAU, a one-year online program. 

o   TVI round ups are starting.  This is an opportunity for TVI’s and service providers to get together to discuss technology, caseloads, etc.  Greg Szabo offered to host one at the Lighthouse for the Blind in Spokane.  Other round-ups will be held in Olympia, Puget Sound, Tri Cities and Spokane. 

o   In October, Pam will be heading to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) meeting in Kentucky.  She, Sean McCormick and Scott will also tour the Tennessee School for the Blind.

o   Scott said we are very fortunate to have Pam in that position.  The position was opened nationwide and Pam was the right person for the job. 


Discussion Regarding Regional Programs

o   Scott reported that he came to WSSB from Oregon where their service delivery is separated into eight regions and the Department of Education and the state jointly fund the ‘regional programs’.  Any school district could contact the regional program and a TVI in that region would provide the services.  Scott felt that it was an efficient and effective way of meeting student needs across the state especially in rural areas.  In Washington, it is difficult to find TVI’s to serve rural areas. 

o   Rick Hauan, Director of the Washington State Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL) and Scott have been talking about this. When Glenna Gallo, Assistant Superintendent, Special Education began her tenure at OSPI, Rick and Scott pitched the idea to her to better meet the needs of students with low incidence disabilities. Discussions are being held with OSPI and budget analysts at the Office of Financial Management (OFM).  Currently, some districts such as Seattle and Spokane have their own program, so the difficulty may be in not taking away from the districts who have the great programs.  Scott’s intention is to make sure that all students have access to services.  Scott is currently in a doctoral program and is hoping that his dissertation may help inform how we move forward in WA. 

o   Marci said she is interested in this concept and has talked to parents in rural areas where there are no or inadequate services.  Keri likes the regional idea as well.  Scott doesn’t feel that districts intentionally neglect blind and visually impaired students and often times it can be difficult to diagnose what the student needs, as there are no specialists in their districts. 

o   Jennifer asked what this could do to the enrollment at the WSSB.  Scott believes most students are served well in their communities; however, there will always be a need for a more intensive type of program.  Scott believes wholeheartedly in a full continuum of services.  Scott feels if the regional program did go forward it could also expand and increase our on-campus program. 

o   Dennis suggested the services that Scott is talking about might be facilitated by way of ESDs’ regional systems.

o   Joleen asked what the consumer organizations can do regarding spreading the news, etc.  Joleen said if Scott needs the consumer groups to help, just to let them know. 

o   Nancy met with her counterpart at the CDHL on the board and had coffee.  Nancy encouraged board members to reach out to board members from the CDHL. 


November Board Meeting date (input from board for department update, agenda)

o   Nancy said neither she nor Scott can attend the November 16 meeting. Nancy asked if November 9 could work.  Berl moved to move the November meeting to November 9; Keri seconded the motion. 

o   Nancy asked for input from the Board for the meetings.  In prior meetings, Nancy enjoyed having dinner with students the evening before, sit in on a class, or invite someone in to be a speaker.  Marci would like to hear about how the school is doing on promoting STEM education; Berl felt it would be interesting to learn more about sports and Joleen would like to have a stronger connection with the students.  Berl enjoyed seeing the Learning Independence for Today and Tomorrow Program (LIFTT). 



Superintendent’s Report

Scott reviewed the following: 

o   Scott reported that the start of the school year was positive.  Scott asked staff for feedback regarding this year’s fall workshop/in-service. Approximately 70 out of a possible 100 responses were received and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  Each year, the admin. team reviews the responses and uses the feedback to plan the next in-service.  Jim stated he felt that the ice breaker activity that was held this year (trivia game) enabled staff to participate with staff from different departments and they learned more about the agency through this activity.  Jim felt it was interactive and really got people to collaborate.  The end of the day involved watching the school’s new video.  The movie will be shared with educators, parents, etc. and will be placed on our website. 

o   On September 20, the House Education Committee visited the WSSB.  The committee asked numerous questions of parents and students.  Berl felt the committee asked great questions and the students answered honestly and very well.  Berl said the presentations by department managers were done well.  Berl said two Representatives spoke to Berl on his way out and he feels that they got quite a bit out of this visit.  Several representatives remarked how impressed they were with our school and the CDHL and had no idea the breadth of the programs the WSSB had.  One Representative remarked that our school feels special and welcoming and wished his own kids’ school had the same feeling. The legislators stated they want to be more engaged.  Representative Tomiko-Santos remarked that she felt if WSSB was under OSPI that we would have access to more resources and apportionment.  Berl said there would be resistance from the consumer groups if that were proposed.  Scott’s concern is that the need may be marginalized if that were the funding/reporting structure.  Jim felt the school operates best being a separate state agency.  Representative Tomiko-Santos also discussed this with the CDHL.  The House Education Committee invited Scott to speak to the committee in January 2019. 

o   Decision packages were submitted to the Governor’s office. A feasibility study was done regarding the proposal of a new LIFTT building.  The result of the study recommended razing the building and building it from scratch.  It would cost $8.5 million over the course of several years, if it is funded.  This building would be placed where the Ahlstein building is. The WSSB also requested funding for the state mandated move of servers to the ‘cloud’ (every state agency is going through the same process).  Jim asked if this affects our IT department.  Scott said at the recommendation of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), they suggested we ask for a transition staff person to help do that work.  The WSSB also requested funding for a licensed clinical social worker. Currently, the WSSB has a school psychologist and counselor (one person, dually certificated) and they are fitting in very well, however our students have mental health needs that may require additional levels of support. 

o   Reg asked if the WSSB could share job openings from the WSSB with the DSB.  Scott asked Reg if he could send him the email address.  Marci said she would also be happy to distribute job openings through the NFB network. 

o   Scott showed the WSSB video to the Board.  Janet will forward the link to the Board.  Jim complimented Scott for making the audio description a must. 


Ex-Officio’s Reports:

*      WFSE Local #1225 (Jim Eccles):

*      Washington Council of the Blind (Joleen Ferguson):

o   Joleen reported that the WCB and NFB of Washington are working together to address the recent DSB order of selection mandate due to decreased funding.  The DSB currently has more clients than they can accommodate, financially.

o   The WCB fall convention will be held November 1-3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the SeaTac airport.  There will be a full complement of activities and an exhibit hall.  Joleen invited everyone to attend.  Additional details for the convention can be found at www.wcbinfo.org. Reg said it is his understanding that the DSB is working with the NFB of Washington and WCB to have some type of youth seminar at the state conventions this year.

o   Berl said the WCB has been working with Joel Snyder to ensure that audio description be the norm instead of the ‘add-in’.  The American Council of the Blind has been working with 3-4 sub committees on this.  Berl remarked that the White House tour used to provide an audio description; however, with the current administration this has been taken down.  Also, the ADA website that was part of the White House website has been removed.  80% of the movies developed by major companies are going to be audio described.  Joel has been a self-advocate for many years. 

*      National Federation of the Blind (Marci Carpenter):

o   Marci is the chairperson of the state rehabilitation council for DSB.  On October 1, the DSB will be going into order of selection for adult voc. rehab programs. If someone applies after October 1, or are in the application process, they will go on a wait list for services. People will come off the wait list when money is available and priorities will be based on functional limitations.  Both consumer groups are working hard to train their voc. rehab counselors so that different people in different parts of the state will be receiving the same evaluations.

o   The first Washington state Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program was held at WSSB this summer. Marci stated that there was a great group of students who participated.  At the end of each day, students would say one or two things they learned, liked or was challenging, then everyone would ring the bell to encourage and support the students. One participant said they played on the playground the first day and the boy said he never had the courage to go down a tube slide and comments like they are why they host those type of programs. 

o   The NFB of Washington convention will be held October 26-28 at the Hotel RL in Olympia. Marci will send out information regarding convention registration and a link for the registration.  The agenda is currently being worked on.  This year, Mark Riccobono, NFB’s Executive Director will be coming to the Washington convention. Mark will be speaking on Saturday morning and also at the banquet.  The NFB will be awarding two scholarships during the convention.  The deadline to apply for scholarships is October 1. 

o   The 2019 NFB national convention (July 7-12, 2019) will be in Las Vegas.  It will be a huge convention as many more people from the West will attend. 

*      Parent Representative (Krista Bulger):

o   Krista stated that with the new school year, there are many new parents who have expressed an interest in participating in the parents group.  Many parents live in different parts of the state and it is difficult for them to attend functions during the school year. 

o   Monthly meetings will be held on and off campus (every other month) and they can utilize Zoom meeting software so that more parents can attend remotely.  Krista sent an email to parents and she had five parents responded that said they were interested in participating. 

o   A parent meeting was held last week and they discussed the four dances that students will be holding this year.  This year, there will be a fall harvest party dance/kick-off.  In January, there will be a winter ball that will be called the “snow ball”.  Krista stated that students would like to have a formal dinner in the Fries Auditorium for Prom this year and perhaps they could have a social skills class that leads up to this event. Keri asked if there are many parent volunteers at the school; Krista said some, but due to the parents living all over the state, it is difficult. 

o   Scott mentioned that the WSSB holds a ‘new family orientation’ for families of students who are attending the WSSB for the first time. This includes a tour, barbecue, activities, and the families get to spend the night in the cottages. Krista and other parents attended so they could answer questions, interact with new parents, etc.  Scott felt it was a great idea. 

*      Teachers Representative (Jennifer Butcher):


Committee Reports:

*      Education Committee

*      Buildings and Grounds Committee

o   Nancy was not able to meet with Rob before the meeting, however she walked through campus and the campus looks wonderful.  New furniture was purchased for the cottages, all cottages were re-roofed over the summer and the sewer line project will be taking place in the next month.  Corey Grandstaff, Residential Program Manager did a wonderful job making each cottage warm and family-like. 

*      Management Committee

o   Berl and Nancy are the co-chairs.  No report at this time. 

*      Legislative Committee

o   Berl said the only thing that is currently going on was the House Education Committee visit. Berl felt it was a good experience and was pleased with the questions they asked. 



*      Scott stated there is a safety improvement plan that the City of Vancouver is looking into involving McLoughlin Blvd., the street that runs in front of the Irwin school building.  One of the city planners came to the WSSB to discuss this with our staff.  Scott met with Judy Koch-Smith, Orientation & Mobility Specialist and at this point Judy is feeling OK with the proposed changes and felt it is a good opportunity to teach students about bike lanes.  The City is very willing to work with us through any concerns and issues.  Jim stated that some time ago a former student got hit by a bicycle.  Jim said that bicyclists coming down the hill on McLoughlin ride at a quick pace.  Jim’s concern is that because the bicycles are fairly silent it could pose a risk.  Nancy said she was recently traveling and there was a sign that asked the bicyclists to use a bell when encountering pedestrians.  Marci encouraged people to check into putting in a pedestrian actuated button; this would cause a yellow light to blink and will warn the bicyclist of pedestrians.  Scott asked if the Board would like him to write a letter to the City requesting clear signage for bicyclists near the WSSB.  The Board said yes. 


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:35pm.  The next Board meeting will be held on November 9 at 11am at the WSSB.




Nancy McDaniel, Chair                                                                 Scott McCallum, Superintendent



Board Reports – September 2018



This school year is off to a great start, despite a few glitches, which proves how resilient the WSSB Outreach team is and how committed they are to providing the best services to students and districts.


·         Nepal Knowledge Exchange 2018: I was a part of the team sent to Nepal. The trip was a success on many levels, with visiting many different schools and programs, hospitals and ending with Robert Rose, Executive Director of The Rose International Fund for Children (TRIFC), meeting with government officials. This trip has the potential for many more opportunities between WSSB, TRIFC and Portland State University (PSU).

·         Summer Institute (SI) was a big success with 50 registered participants serving about 300 blind and visually impaired (BVI) students and staff (July 31-August 3).  There were 10 on the waiting list and this has been consistent the past two years. There were at least 10 participants from Oregon and there is some discussion about possibly having a separate Summer Institute for Oregon staff.

·         Began as the Director of Outreach the week after Summer Institute with Emily Coleman, former Director of Outreach, imparting her wisdom during the week of SI.  Emily, and everyone else, have been very helpful during this transition.

·         Hired new part-time Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) to cover the students in Snohomish County, Arlington School District.

·         Just as every start of the school year, Outreach is stretching and pulling to meet the needs of BVI students around the state. With the loss of Emily and the other TVI going to the Birth-3 program, we only have one TVI in Eastern Washington. I am also serving students in Eastern Washington and Goldendale, as well as doing evaluations for students.

·         The Stephen F. Austin University (SFA) TVI program is going strong with two TVI’s who finished in May. There are six from the previous cohort working as TVIs and will finish their practicum this quarter. Currently there are six new students who began the cohort this summer and are taking classes.

·         In the process of hiring a new mentor for the SFA program. This is a position I previously held.

·         Planning TVI Round-Ups around the state to be held sometime in October, November and December.

·         October 2-7 I will be traveling to the Tennessee School for the Blind to visit their school, then to the Council of Services and Schools for the Blind (COSB) Institute as well as the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) annual meeting as the Ex-Officio Trustee for the state of Washington.



On Campus


Students On-Campus: ( 31 Residential; 15 Day Students)

Comprehensive programs: 46

Distance Learning: 4

Local District Day: 3

Total: 53



·         68% Blind/Visually Impaired; 30% Multiple Disabilities; 2% Deafblind

·         Ethnicity Background: 2% African; 9% American Indian; 2% Pacific Islander; 11% Asian; 65% Caucasian; 9% Hispanic; 2% Other/Multiple

·         60% of families qualify for free or reduced lunch


The Beginning of A New School Year

This year began with a burst of positive energy and connection among staff and students.  The on-campus team began the first few days back on campus preparing their classrooms and cottages in late August.  Professional development centered around safety, commitment to working together, assessment of student learning, and fostering a positive school environment in all environments on campus.  There are 11 new students at the start of the school year and five new staff members on-campus (three education, two residential). The veteran staff and returning students have provided a warm-welcoming environment that allows them to feel a sense of belonging at WSSB. While it is early in the year, there is a strong positive feeling around campus, blossoming friendships among students, and an overall commitment to raising expectations for all students in their academics and independence.


Assessment for Learning and Growth

This school year at WSSB, students will be assessed to measure their academic and non-academic learning.  Collecting student data will help educators identify areas of growth and areas in need of support.  Embracing a culture of data-driven practice takes time, training, and patience as students and staff endeavor assessing with new methods. 

·         All new students at WSSB are being assessed in areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC).  At the conclusion of their placement assessment period, an ECC report will be shared with the team, their family, and local district. 

·         Academic testing will be increased this year with the implementation of Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) to track student growth in math, reading, and language aligned to Common Core State Standards.

·         Social Emotional Learning will be assessed using the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA).  DESSA includes multiple points of data over time.  With this data, student leadership and a social-emotional learning curriculum will be utilized to foster student strengths in self-determination, relationship skills, and is intended to bring students together to strengthen a positive school culture. 


New Staff On-Campus

Tyler Parker – Residential Life Counselor (RLC), Clarke Cottage

Sara Logston – RLC/Transportation Monitor

Emily Owens – Mathematics Teacher

Billie Jo Thomas – School Counselor/Psychologist

Shane Dittmar – Music Teacher


To Nepal from WSSB and Back

Over the summer, three staff members had the opportunity to travel across the globe to Nepal to visit with our Nepal-WSSB Knowledge Exchange partners.  Stephanie Face, middle school academics, Pam Parker, Director of Outreach, and Sean McCormick, Principal, spent two weeks observing various programs for students that are blind and visually impaired (BVI) in Nepal.  Over that time, the group visited with 11 different programs/schools and toured with over 150 students with visual impairments.  This perspective shifting opportunity provided ample fuel for the group from WSSB and practitioners in Nepal to discuss professional development, accessibility, systems leadership opportunities, and get first-hand feedback from students on their perceptions of their education.  Most of the students who are visually impaired in Nepal do not attend school, while those that are attending school are living on-campus.  Many of the students are integrated into the general education classes, but live in hostels on-site, traveling home twice a year.  While Nepal is only the size of Arkansas, its physical landscape is treacherous and poses a different set of obstacles for students to access their education. At the same time, the training for the specialist that need to know braille and how to support students with visual impairments have limited training and resources once students can get to school.



Transition Services

The Learning Independence for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT) program started on September 9 with the arrival of six of the eight accepted participants. We have two resident advisors this year. Students are spending their first week getting oriented to the program space, getting bus passes, groceries, etc. Those going to Clark College are getting final preparations done, and learning the campus.


We hired two staff this summer after the departure of Eva Cole and Libby Pitts. We welcome Jo-Anne Fink to the Rehab Teacher 2 position and Dalton Williams to the Rehab Teacher 1 half time position on the weekend. They are settling in and we are happy to have them on our team.


We moved staff spaces to different rooms over the summer. The staff now “reside” in the room next to the kitchen. We will have the common wall opened up with a doorway to allow access between the two spaces. This is done for safety and “teachable moments” purposes.


Health Center

Summer school and the Youth Employment Solutions (YES) program went very well. Nurses were available to administer medication to students, provide first aid and support camp staff.


Pacific University and WSSB are partnering to bring the “Smile Care Everywhere” dental mobile to our school again for the 2018-2019 school year. The dental mobile will be staffed with licensed dental hygienists and a dentist that will provide free dental exams and cleaning for eight students per visit.


WSSB will host the Bloodworks bloodmobile in October for staff and students to donate blood for the community.


Nurses participated in the 2018-2019 student registration and family orientation day.


WSSB continues to provide services for students with complicated medical conditions, requiring health center nurses to provide additional staff training.


Nurses did CPR/AED/First Aid training August 24. Approximately 80% of WSSB staff are certified to perform CPR and first aid.


Youth Service Specialist (YSS)

·         Participation in the quarterly WorkForce South West Washington Emerging Workforce Committee and monthly WorkSource Business Services WIOA Partner Team meetings.

·         School day pre-employment transition services:  YSS utilizes the web-based Career Cruising platform to facilitate individual work readiness skills training sessions with WSSB GOALS class students.

·         Skills Vancouver: Skills was held for eight participants from June 25-29, 2018.  The theme for this year’s Skills camp was safety awareness. Campers had a presentation from a WSSB nurse about basic first aid, created their own first aid kits, discussed kitchen safety (knives, cutting boards, electric appliances), practiced evacuating from a window and learned about the use of a fire extinguisher. The campers visited a local fire station and learned what a firefighter looks and sounds like when they are dressed in turnout gear. Water safety was discussed at an outing at Vancouver Lake, where campers had the opportunity to go paddle boarding and kayaking.  On the last day, campers traveled to Battleground State park where they learned about hike and campfire safety, went on a hike near the lake, built a campfire and roasted hot dogs and made s’mores. A few parents were able to join the fun that day.

·         YES 1 – was held for 16 participants from July 8-19, 2018.  Activities included:

1.      Workplace tours in a variety of industry sectors.

2.      An interview preparation workshop including the creation of a Career Cruising portfolio and completion of a job application.

3.      Mock interviews (1st year participants).

4.      Three days of job shadows (2nd year participants) in a variety of industry sectors.

5.      Three days of community service activities including placements washing cars, creating blood mobile kits, state park maintenance, sorting donated school supplies and filling backpacks, and creating handmade items for donation.

6.      Recording studio activities and an all-day self-advocacy/problem solving workshop while visiting the YES 2 program in Seattle.

7.      Presentations from three successfully employed adults who have visual impairments.

8.      Independent living skills training in the areas of recreation, safety preparedness, social skills, basic home repair, financial management, cooking skills, hygiene and home management.



Business Office

1.      2017-19 Budget FY1

a.       Operating

        Phase 2 of our year-end close was completed September 1 and our final disclosure forms have been submitted.  We continue to improve our closing processes and continue to experience fewer issues at the end of the year. 


The total expenditures in each of the funds were as follows:

General                                        $6,977,000

19B                                                 $1,602,183 (Revenue generated:  $1,897,610)

03K-LNI Retro Refund           $     37,822

Capital                                          $     27,735

Betterment                                $     36,849

Braille Access Center             $   375,994 (Revenue generated:  $456,172)


        The carry forward balance in 19B fund was $2,557,698


b.      Capital

        We started July 2018 with the same carryover of $123,553 that we did in July 2017 in addition to the 2nd year funding of $570,000. 


        Due to the delay in passing the 2017-19 capital budget, we missed the summer construction window.  In addition, due to a lack of a budget, Olympia staff paid with capital dollars were laid off.  That limited their availability due to backlog once they returned to work.  Therefore, we once again missed a major part of the window we have available when students and staff are not on campus. We will be requesting a re-appropriation of a portion of the funding depending on how much can be accomplished during the very limited window we have left of summer/fall.  We estimate that to be approximately $250,000.


2.      Safety Net

We received $57,820 of the $62,046 requested. 


3.      2019-21 Operating Budget

Our request was submitted on September 10, 2018 for a base biennial operating budget of:

001-1 General Fund                                                                               $14,677,000

001-7 General Fund                                                                               $        34,000

19B-6 School for the Blind Account- Non-Appropriated       $   5,969,000

489-1 Pension Funding Stabilization Account-State                $      590,000


In addition to our base budget request, we submitted the following decision packages:

State Data Center/Cloud co-location                                              $   392,760

Student Wellness and Safety                                                             $   234,000


Our 2019-21 Capital Budget request was submitted on September 11, 2018 for:

Independent Living Skills Center (Pre-design/Design)            $1,513,000

General Campus Preservation

        Roof Rejuvenation/Replacement                                             $   120,000

        Remodel/Renovation-Cottage kitchens & bathrooms   $   300,000

        Energy Management-Convert to LED lighting                    $     80,000

        Energy Management-boiler replacement                            $     80,000


4.      2019 Supplemental

Supplemental requests are due October 1.  We will more than likely have to apply for additional funds to implement the new teacher wage scale so it is commensurate with Vancouver School District per the collective bargaining agreement.  We should have more information this week.


5.      One Washington

One Washington is a comprehensive business transformation program to modernize and improve the state’s aging administrative systems and related business processes that are common across state government. Over the next eight years, One Washington will examine the state’s business functions and implement initiatives so these functions are connected, standardized and managed in a unified manner to provide reliable data and enable high performance.


One Washington consists of two elements: transformation of business processes and selection and implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to support those business processes. ERPs are defined as common business practices across the enterprise and the technology that supports them. A complete ERP system combines data on an organization’s main resources–its people, money, information and assets–and provides decision makers with real time, enterprise information. By implementing an ERP and transforming the processes that support the state’s business, One Washington will help ensure decision makers have access to data that is accurate and timely, standardize common business processes across agencies, and enable improvements to citizen service delivery.


The scope of One Washington includes the Finance, Procurement, HR/Payroll, Budget and Business Intelligence (BI) functions of the state. Washington currently relies on many manual and time consuming financial processes with an antiquated financial infrastructure. Failure of that old infrastructure means the state risks potential loss or degradation of financial information, with a commensurate loss of transparency and credibility – in other words, at minimum it could result in a significant loss of public trust. Additionally, there are disparate procurement functions and systems across the state, a complicated budgeting infrastructure that limits transparency, and an HR/Payroll system over 10 years old.


One Washington determined key dates for executing technology and non-technology initiatives to support business transformation and the implementation of enterprise systems over the next eight years. These dates are below:


One Washington Implementation Schedule:

·         Go-live for initial functionality for Finance and Procurement will roll out in two waves of agencies, at the beginning of FY22 and beginning of FY23.

·         Expanded functionality for Finance and Procurement will roll out to all agencies at the beginning of FY24.

·         Budget functionality will roll out statewide on January 1, 2026.

·         HR/Payroll functionality will roll out statewide on January 1, 2026.

·         BI roll out will be aligned with every go-live of the four business functions.

·         The schedule also includes time to select and procure software for each function.

·         Supporting non-technology dependent business improvement initiatives will be executed before and throughout most of the technology rollout, beginning in FY19 and continuing through FY24.


As noted, initiatives begin in FY19 and they have already begun.  Business Office staff will begin attending

mandated workshops beginning September 12, 2018.


We will be joining forces with the Center for Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL) to request funding for a

Joint change agent that will keep us abreast of processes, requirements and timelines.



Human Resources

New Hires:  

·         Director of Outreach/State Vision Consultant – Pam Parker (Promotion)

·         Music Teacher –Shane Dittmar

·         Math Teacher – Emily Owens

·         School Counselor/Psychologist – Billy Jo Thomas

·         Fiscal Tech/Senior Secretary – Sheryl Howe

·         Custodian 2 – Jacob Jendro (Promotion)

·         Custodian – Amador Madrigal

·         Custodian – Isaiah Gutierrez

·         Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) Snohomish County – Meghan Stott

·         Rehabilitation Teacher 2 – Jo-Anne Fink (Promotion)

·         Rehabilitation Teacher 1 – Dalton Williams

·         Residential Life Counselor (RLC) – Sara Logston

·         RLC – Tyler Parker


Open Recruitments:

·         On-call Teacher’s Assistant

·         On-call RLC

·         On-call Nurse

·         Substitute Teacher


Trainings/Functions Attended:

·         HR Managers Meeting – Facilitated by Franklin Plaistowe and Marcos Rodriguez

·         Labor Relations Roundtable – Facilitated by Office of Financial Management (OFM)

·         Safe Schools Task Force

·         HR Manager’s Meeting – ESD 112

·         PRIMA Conference

·         School Administrators’ Emergency Training Summit 2018



Ogden Resource Center (ORC)

The Ogden Resource Center has undergone a lot of change in the past year. Here is an overview of our current staffing at the ORC and partner program at the women’s prison (WCCW) in Gig Harbor.


Kandi Lukowski is the braille coordinator for braille projects and Adrienne Lattin is the proofreader.


Ian Goodrich is the Warehouse Operator and Large Print Coordinator. Justin Raner is the Warehouse Operator responsible for ordering and invoicing.


Jennifer Fenton oversees the operation of the resource center and works with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).


The partnership with Correctional Industries (CI) continues to go well and Beth Rietema is the CI manager at the women’s prison. James Estep continues in his role as site supervisor for the transcribers and neighboring ProCad team. Several inmates have left the program for a variety of reasons and new transcribers have been hired. There are currently 17 transcribers and 4 apprentices in our prison braille program. On August 29, Correctional Industries held a recognition event for all inmate workers and recognized the braille program transcribers for their excellent work.


Due to inmates leaving the program and the delays at NLS/NFB with certifications, there are currently seven (out of the 17) transcribers who do not yet have their national literary certification. We currently have five transcribers with Nemeth Certification and four with Music Certification.


Recent issues at the prison have been related to over-crowding and an increased level of drug activity. These larger prison issues have an impact on our program due to changes in policies and increased interruptions. This summer, two of our workers were taken away without notice to live at another facility for approximately 6 months. We are working with Correctional Industries and Department of Corrections to keep our program solvent while working within the parameters of inmate and staff safety at WCCW.


As of September 10, 2018, 131 braille projects are in process for customers and schools. This summer, 842 IRC items were shipped to schools for 283 students.


1,356 students are registered in ORC online and have parent permission on file. An additional 584 students are registered in ORC Online and have no parent permission on file. The ORC will be working with account holders, TVIs and school districts to get everyone updated with parent permission of file.



Buildings and Grounds


·         Recently, we had twenty-two volunteers on campus to help with landscaping around the administration building. They were able to spread twenty yards of bark dust and pull close to a wagon full of weeds and trimmings.

·         The custodial staff has undergone some staffing changes due to retirements and transfers. It is currently up to full strength with some very good workers.

·         The walls in the shower rooms for the pool were covered with a water and mold proof fiberglass wall covering over the summer. These panels were glued over the painted concrete block, which required a great deal of labor to keep clean.

·         As light bulbs need replacing, we are converting the fixtures over to LED’s where feasible. We have traded the fluorescent tubes in the elevator tower as well as one office so far as a test.



·         We were able to get all four of the residential cottages reroofed over the summer. Despite the hot days and ongoing campus programs, the contractors finished in four weeks.

·         The sewer line project was put out for bid but we received no bids from the local contractors. This was probably a result of the late release in the season. We have now signed a contractor using the states job order contracting mechanism. Work on the line is tentatively scheduled to begin mid-October with a four-week construction time. We have had a preliminary meeting with the contractor and been assured that the cottages will be able to remain operational during that time.

·         Emptying the furniture from all four cottages and replacing it with the new living room and student room items went very smoothly. Buildings and grounds crew, administrators and RLCs’ all pitched in for this well timed switch.

·         Seal coating of all campus parking lots was completed two days before staff reported back to campus.

·         The capital funding request for building a new home for the LIFTT program and Department of Services for the Blind was completed and has been submitted for approval.




The Birth to 3 Program at WSSB finished strong at the end of our fiscal year!  At the end of June 2018, we had 65 children and families on our caseloads, and served a total of 124 children and families from July 2017 to June 2018.  In addition to DeEtte as the statewide coordinator, we currently have two fulltime Early Intervention Visual Impairment Specialists (certified TVIs who serve birth to 3); one in SW Washington and one in Eastern Washington.  We are also contracting with a teacher in NW Washington on a part time basis. 


As noted in the last board report, referrals are frequent and since July 1, we have received 18 referrals from around the state from early intervention agencies about children who have either a documented blindness or visual impairment (BVI) or a visual concern.  As trainings about the importance of identifying BVI around the state are conducted by DeEtte, the more agencies are seeking assistance from WSSB to address the needs they are now able to identify.  Last year, 192 early intervention providers were trained BVI issues and our referrals rates are the impact.


Not only is the Birth to 3 Program at WSSB growing, but others as well.  For example, King County has recently (last month) hired two additional TVIs to serve birth to 3 within their established early intervention agencies.  DeEtte partnered with these agencies and will further mentor these new teachers.  Overall, children around the state are not only being identified with BVI, but services are being created to support the children and their families. The BVI registry had 294 children, however not all agencies are using this system to count children with BVI, so this number is still an underreporting of the true number of children identified with BVI or are receiving services.


Our goals for this new year are: continue to identify children, however also included are the following goals: 1) solidify our process to count them, 2) work towards a centralized funding system in coordination with the state’s Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) within the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF), and 3) increase the number of TVIs to serve the birth to 3 population.


On Sept 13-15, WSSB hosted the Early Childhood Visual Impairment Alliance, which is a group of early childhood and visual impairment professionals who develop best practices and policies to support services for young children with BVI.  This year’s gathering at WSSB included representatives from 13 states and 2 Canadian provinces.  Also, the group was from a diverse range of service provision systems including six university teacher prep programs, 4 state school for the blind, 9 non-profit agencies, 1 regional educational service district, and 1 state education department.  It was a very productive gathering and WSSB was proud to welcome this group on campus.   




Each month I will provide, in bulleted format, a list of the more significant activities of the Superintendent’s office. For each month, I will describe a highlight or two in more detail. If at any point you would like more information or have questions, please do not hesitate to call, email, or schedule a time to meet in person.  I want to make sure that you have the information that you need to advise and guide what we do to meet the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired throughout Washington State.



June 4:                  Deliver Board of Trustees Plaque to Cindy Bennett

June 4:                  Blind Youth Consortium Meeting (BYC), Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind

June 5:                  Public Hearing – introducing new WAC relating to Public Records Requests

June 7:                  Eighth Grade Graduation Ceremony

June 13:               Ed Konopinski’s (custodian) Retirement get-together

June 13:               Washington School for the Deaf Commencement Ceremony

June 19:               WSSB new video – review

June 20:               Meeting at Edward Jones – review WSSB betterment accounts

June 21:               Computer Science Principles Access for All – conference call

June 21:               Oral Hull Foundation tour of the Sensory Safari

June 26:               Results Review meeting, White Swan, Washington

June 27:               Governor’s Results Review meeting, White Swan, Washington

June 28:               Executive/Small Agency Cabinet meeting, Olympia, WA



Any chance to celebrate with and on behalf of students is always a highlight for me.  I was invited to speak at the eighth grade promotion ceremony on June 7, which also provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with family members who joined the celebration. This year, I was asked by one of our language arts teachers to read my choice of two books. The choice of books offered to me was, “What Do You Do With an Idea?” or “What Do You Do With a Problem”, both by Kobi Yamada. As with most important decisions around WSSB, I decided to ask someone who may be impacted by the final decision. I presented the two options to a small group of soon-to-be ninth graders. They pondered both options and paged through the books. It didn’t take long before they unanimously chose the book focused on the idea rather than the book about a problem. This thoughtful group of students suggested that an idea resonated with them and their classmates more so than a problem. The idea, to them, represented hope and possibility. I was honored to share this book and its message of hope and possibility with our soon-to-be ninth graders and their families.  I was also encouraged to hear this group of young people choose a message that spoke to them about a hope-filled future filled with ideas and positivity.



July 9-10:             Washington Sensory Disabilities Services (WSDS) retreat, Olympia, WA

July 16:                 Meeting with Glenna Gallo re: Regional Programs, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

July 19:                 Interviews for WSSB’s Director of Outreach/Statewide Vision Consultant          

July 19:                 Computer Science Principles Access for All – conference call

July 23:                 Meeting with the Community Foundation re Emil Fries Endowment Fund

July 25-29:           Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) – International Conference, Reno, NV

July 31-Aug 3:   WSSB’s Summer Institute



As many of you may know, WSSB’s Outreach Director, Emily Coleman, was recruited by and accepted a similar position at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI).  We are very appreciative of the great leadership Emily provided to the WSSB Community, the Outreach team, and on a statewide level in her role as the State Vision Consultant. 


With Emily’s rather sudden and unexpected departure from WSSB, we were extremely pleased to attract a very talented group of applicants from around the country. One of our own, Ms. Pam Parker rose to the top and accepted a promotion to become WSSB’s fifth Outreach Director. Before moving into the role of Outreach Director, Pam served as our pre-service teacher mentor and outreach teacher extraordinaire. Pam had also recently completed her administrative credential-training program through Washington State University.  Pam completed administrative practicum hours under both Dr. Stenehjem and myself in addition to working very closely with Emily.  Pam joins our administrative team with a significant amount of experience as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Due to Pam’s successful experience as a teacher-mentor, Pam has positive relationships with our partner University programs (Portland State University and Stephen F. Austin University) as well as key persons in the OSPI.  We are fortunate to have someone with all the right training and credentials, experience, and established relationships to fill our Outreach Director position.  Pam has been a wonderful addition to our leadership team at WSSB. 



August 1:             Conference call with Cynthia Hollimon, OFM Budget Analyst

August 3-4:         WSU Field-Based Superintendent’s Cert Program – Pullman, WA

August 6:             School Administrators Emergency Training Summit

August 8:             Admin. Retreat (DISC Evaluation and ShareHouse)

August 9:             Meeting with PFBC Donor – Fred Sjoholm

August 9:             Conference call regarding COSB Presentation with Professor Stefik

August 9:             Conference call with US Blind Hockey Association

August 16:          PFBC – Summer Friendraiser

August 20:          New staff lunch/tour

August 21:          Welcome Back Workshop – all staff

August 22:          Tour with new Low Vision clinic interns

August 26:          New Families Orientation – WSSB new students/families

August 27:          Ice Cream Social with students/staff

August 28:          First day of school

August 29:        Washington Correctional Center for Women/CI Recognition Event, Gig Harbor, WA

August 30:        Emil Fries Endowment Fund meeting



August was a very eventful month with many highlight worthy moments. I started my doctoral program at the very beginning of the month.  We had our administrative team retreat where we learned more about ourselves and how to work with each other.  We also spent time volunteering at the SHARE Center organizing items for back-to-school backpacks that will be distributed to children and families in need.  We enjoyed the opportunity to give back to our community and to work as a team in a different environment, practicing what learned during the morning professional development session.


My most important effort or activity during the month of August involves the opportunity to welcome back staff and students to WSSB for another school year. The administrative team worked with exceptional focus on our annual Welcome Back event for teachers and staff.  Over the months leading up to the welcome back event, we reviewed our plans and feedback from previous year’s efforts. We used this feedback in crafting a day in which staff would experience a positive and encouraging tone about the year ahead.  We worked to provide an opportunity for staff to engage and interact in meaningful ways with others from a variety of departments at WSSB.  We also wanted to provide our staff with a portion of the required trainings that they must complete during the year. Following our Welcome Back Workshop this year, we sent all employees a survey for their feedback to be considered when planning this same event next year.  I am extremely pleased to report that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and we had a very high response rate on the survey.  The positive start to the year has extended as we welcomed back our students.  At a time when staff from many districts around the state, especially here in Clark County, found themselves at odds with district leadership and felt woefully unsupported and underappreciated, staff at WSSB started the year feeling much the opposite.  A critical point of mine during my welcome back address to staff was that they are what make WSSB such a special place for the students and families we serve. 



September 1:                    WSDS Meeting, Wenatchee, WA

September 2:                    PFBC Meeting with Dr. Closson regarding mobile low vision clinic

September 13-14:            ECVIA Conference, WSSB

September 14-15:            WSU Field-Based Superintendent’s Cert Program – Spokane, WA

September 17:                  Meeting with Rob Rose, TRIFC (Nepal)

September 20:                  House Education Committee visit to WSSB

September 21:                  Board of Trustees meeting, Vancouver, WA



We have a wonderful opportunity to engage with House Education Committee members on September 20.  We expect that they will spend nearly half a day with us at WSSB.  We have a full agenda that includes a tour of the campus, brief reports about each level and type of student services offered at WSSB, and finally a panel discussion with students, staff, and parents. Berl Colley committed to representing the Board of Trustees.  In addition to visiting WSSB, the House Education Committee members will also visit the CDHL, several local schools, the Evergreen Public Schools Administration, and ESD 112.



Department managers and administration team meetings

PFBC meetings

Executive and Small Agency Cabinet meetings

Goal Council meetings

Clark County and Regional Superintendent Meetings

NWABA Board meetings

UEB committee meetings

Oregon Commission for the Blind Board meetings

Washington DeafBlind Advisory Council meetings

Washington Sensory Disability Services meetings