Washington State ESAs responded quickly to the need for information and PPE for students and staff, and ensured that schools operated successfully during the pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, school districts across Washington State needed access to timely and accurate information from state officials, hard to find personal protective equipment for students and staff, and instruction in best practices for moving education to online platforms.
Accustomed to working together to serve the needs of schools on a regional basis, AESD partnered with state and local leaders to address the increased needs caused by the pandemic. The network leveraged its collective purchasing power to acquire $8 million in supplies and distribute them to schools. AESD created an online survey to gather questions from individual districts and communicated these questions to state officials so they could respond in a timely manner. Additionally, they provided a biweekly webinar with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. AESD also set up a variety of online training opportunities to help districts choose appropriate online learning management systems and enhance their virtual instruction.
Schools were able to operate successfully throughout the pandemic and increased state funding to the network will support these initiatives going forward.