Education

Seattle teachers make signs at Judkins Park Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in advance of a possible strike this week. Teachers in Seattle have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike as contract talks continue on the eve of the new school year. Seattle Education Association President Jennifer Matter announced Tuesday that 95% of ballots returned by the union's membership favored going on strike absent an agreement with Seattle Public Schools. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Seattle cancels 1st day of school as teachers OK strike

Wednesdays first day of school canceled after teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

Seattle teachers make signs at Judkins Park Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in advance of a possible strike this week. Teachers in Seattle have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike as contract talks continue on the eve of the new school year. Seattle Education Association President Jennifer Matter announced Tuesday that 95% of ballots returned by the union's membership favored going on strike absent an agreement with Seattle Public Schools. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Wary optimism as students, educators embark on new school year

There’s a sense of normalcy. There’s also concern about the pandemic’s toll on students and its impact on staff shortages.

Liberty Elementary (top) and (bottom, L-R) 10th Street Middle, Cascade Elementary, Marysville-Getchell High and Shoultes Elementary schools. (Marysville School District)

Bigger class sizes, smaller staffs await Marysville students

After two levies failed, this year’s budget includes 45 fewer full-time positions. Most reductions were at the elementary level.

Liberty Elementary (top) and (bottom, L-R) 10th Street Middle, Cascade Elementary, Marysville-Getchell High and Shoultes Elementary schools. (Marysville School District)
The Snohomish School Board, pictured here, recently appointed Sarah Adams, fourth from the left, to fill a vacant position. (Courtesy of Snohomish School District)

Mental health professional appointed to Snohomish School Board

Sarah Adams wants to emotionally and academically support students as schools “rebuild after COVID.”

The Snohomish School Board, pictured here, recently appointed Sarah Adams, fourth from the left, to fill a vacant position. (Courtesy of Snohomish School District)
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Small school districts find special ed ‘safety net’ can be tangled web

Lake Stevens lost about $140K in special education refunds due to clerical errors. Avoiding a repeat will consume staff resources.

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President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Student loan forgiveness a ‘Band-Aid’ for big wound, say locals in debt

Up to $20K in debt will be erased for millions. In Snohomish County, reactions were mixed: elation, frustration, calls to go further.

President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Heritage High Principal Dr. Nathan Plummer and Tulalip Education Division Executive Director Jessica Bulstad stand out front at Heritage High School on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Marysville school’s new approach embraces ‘Indigenous ways of learning’

Educators are redesigning Heritage High’s education model to support Indigenous students in a culturally competent way.

Heritage High Principal Dr. Nathan Plummer and Tulalip Education Division Executive Director Jessica Bulstad stand out front at Heritage High School on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Marci Larsen

Monroe’s interim superintendent hired at $260K

Marci Larsen is set to lead the school district for 2022-23.

Marci Larsen
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Now, students can take a mental health day without cutting class

A new law requires school districts rewrite their manuals to add mental health as a reason for an excused absence.

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Monroe school officials ink nearly $400K resignation deal with Blasko

Some parents were ruffled by the details in the agreement with the superintendent, but relieved to have a resolution.

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Justin Blasko

Blasko to resign, get nearly $396K in severance with Monroe schools

The embattled superintendent exits weeks after a scathing report found his conduct created a toxic work environment.

Justin Blasko
Teachers get off the Cool Bus to prepare for their next stop Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at Presidents Elementary School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

‘Broccoli in the brownies’: New takes on summer school boost attendance

Lakewood schools are trying a summer camp-style approach. Meanwhile, Arlington buses books and math games directly to kids.

Teachers get off the Cool Bus to prepare for their next stop Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at Presidents Elementary School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
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Monroe schools wants to know what public seeks in an interim leader

The board is on track to interview candidates July 28, though it’s unclear if the community can watch

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Alissa Long gets a group photo of some of the graduates during a Second Chance Foundation graduation party on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

These grads have something ‘priceless’: Degrees and lived experience

Meet three women whose degrees are just as valuable as their experience with addiction, incarceration and homelessness.

Alissa Long gets a group photo of some of the graduates during a Second Chance Foundation graduation party on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
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Search begins in earnest for Monroe interim superintendent

Meanwhile, Superintendent Justin Blasko is still on leave, and school officials are keeping quiet about his future.

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Jen Hirman

State PTA director appointed to Everett School Board

Jen Hirman brings more than a decade of education policy work and local PTA involvement to the role.

Jen Hirman
Students line up and wait to begin their procession during Lake Stevens High School’s 2022 commencement ceremony Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Pandemic, protests leave indelible mark on high school grads

In speeches, students reflect on challenges they overcame and hopes for future

Students line up and wait to begin their procession during Lake Stevens High School’s 2022 commencement ceremony Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
A student wipes away tears as the 592 graduates take their places during the processional at Lake Stevens High School’s 2022 commencement ceremony Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

’Tis the season for tassel-turning and cap-tossing

Thousands of students will receive diplomas as 2022 graduation ceremonies kick into high gear.

A student wipes away tears as the 592 graduates take their places during the processional at Lake Stevens High School’s 2022 commencement ceremony Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reverend Kate Kilroy makes a heart with her hands towards passing vehicles during a rally backing LGBTQ+ students on Monday, June 6, 2022, in front of the Marysville School District Service Center in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Marysville schools pause parental consent plan for LGBTQ, other clubs

After experts said it could infringe on student rights — and lead to costly legal battles — board members hit the brakes.

Reverend Kate Kilroy makes a heart with her hands towards passing vehicles during a rally backing LGBTQ+ students on Monday, June 6, 2022, in front of the Marysville School District Service Center in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Justin Blasko

Monroe schools on to ‘next steps’ for embattled superintendent

Blistering report in hand, Monroe school leaders are seeking an acting leader to fill in for Justin Blasko.

Justin Blasko