ESD 123
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Students at a 21st Century Learning Site
Students at a 21st Century Learning Site
Shaping Better Futures for Our Students (Photo) - 11/16/17

PASCO, WA -- Educational Service District 123 is the proud recipient of a new 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant awarded by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The newest 21st Century cohort, "Shaping the Future," is the 10th cohort established with ESD 123 and focuses on serving diverse communities with different challenges in three cities: Prosser, Benton City, and Kennewick.

Over the next five years, the grant will fund programs aimed at supporting students, connecting families with the schools, and narrowing the opportunity gap. The cohort sites will be located at Housel Middle School in Prosser, Kiona-Benton Primary and Intermediate Elementary Schools in Benton City, and the Apostolic Youth Center, serving Amistad and Eastgate Elementary Schools, in Kennewick. These areas have growing populations of minority families, many of whom are Hispanic migrant workers wishing to secure a better future for their children.

Margarita Alaman, 21st Century Program Director at ESD 123, says that the goal is to create connections between the families and the school, while aiding them in their pursuit of a better way of life.

"The families we will be serving chose to settle with dreams of securing a better future for their children," states Alaman. "Meanwhile, the concepts of 'school readiness' and 'parents as their child's first teacher' are unknown concepts for many. In collaboration with many other ESD Departments, we can collaboratively approach these needs."

The 21st Century sites will complement and support the schools' limited after-school programs by offering homework/tutoring help, snacks, academic and enrichment activities, career development, social emotional learning development, financial literacy, and more. Staff training in Adverse Childhood Experiences, resilience, youth mental health first aid, and curriculum for youth and families is also planned.

For more information, contact Molly Curtiss, Communication & Graphics Coordinator, at 509.544.5787 or


School of Distinction Banner
School of Distinction Banner
Washington's Highest Improving Schools Honored (Photo) - 11/06/17

PASCO, WA -- Six schools in Southeast Washington are celebrating their notification as 2017 Schools of Distinction. The Center for Educational Effectiveness notified Educational Service District 123 of its regional winners who have made outstanding improvements in reading and math for the past five years. Among the 98 schools statewide, the following schools represent our region: Dayton Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary (Kennewick), Wahitis Elementary (Othello), Pasco High School, Paterson Elementary, and Waitsburg Elementary.

The School of Distinction award recognizes schools in the top 5% of improvement for their levels. Of the six regional schools, four are repeat winners, with Paterson Elementary taking home its 4th School of Distinction Award.

ESD 123 Superintendent, Mr. Darcy Weisner, is proud to congratulate these schools for their well-deserved recognition.

"These awards both validate and highlight the need for continued support of the efforts being made each day in our classrooms," states Superintendent Weisner. "We congratulate the staff, students, leaders, and communities for their unfailing dedication to helping each student become successful."

In Washington, each ESD provides award recognition by choice of its winning schools. For more information, contact ESD 123 Communication & Graphics Coordinator, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or


These awards are sponsored by CEE, in partnership with the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA), and Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD).

Attached Media Files: School of Distinction Banner
MEDIA ALERT - Students Meet Judges and Law Enforcement - 11/02/17

PASCO, WA -- Middle and high school students from across Southeast Washington will attend the 14th annual Tri-Cities Youth and Justice Forum tomorrow, November 3 at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. This full-day forum teaches students about the many professions and resources that make up our justice system, with the principal goal of creating opportunities for racial and ethnic diversity in the justice system to match the people it serves.

This year's theme is "How Science and Technology Can Help Us In Our Quest for Justice," thanks to a generous $10,000 donation from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Students will explore how technology can be used in conjunction with regular law practices to advance justice, such as the use of social media and apps, as well as participating in a drone demonstration.

For more information, contact Molly Curtiss, Communication & Graphics Coordinator, at 509.544.5787 or


Early Learning Dinner & Dialogue Tomorrow in Pasco - 11/01/17

PASCO, WA -- Over 100 early learning stakeholders and state-level representatives will gather for the 5th annual Dinner & Dialogue tomorrow, November 2 at Educational Service District 123 in Pasco. This growing event, hosted by the Benton Franklin Early Learning Alliance, provides an opportunity for kindergarten teachers, childcare providers, and early learning partners to come together in one location for an evening of collaboration. Participants work together to build cross-sector relationships in order to provide smooth transitions for incoming kindergarten students and their families.

Each year, the Dinner & Dialogue event provides an opportunity for our early learning community to learn about statewide initiatives and their impact on kindergarten transition. ESD 123 is thrilled this year to host Frank Ordway, Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations, and Nicole Rose, Assistant Director for Quality Practice and Professional Growth, from the Department of Early Learning. Together with Karma Hugo, Director of Early Learning from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mr. Ordway and Ms. Rose will provide an update on the new Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Also new to this year's program is the presentation of our Early Learning Champion Awards. These awards honor the exemplary leadership of members of our community who have championed early learning efforts. Their efforts have led to system-wide changes offering how to best help prepare children for kindergarten in our communities.

Participants must have registered to attend Dinner & Dialogue, and the media is invited to attend. For more information, contact ESD 123 Communication & Graphics Coordinator, Molly Curtiss, at 509.947.7305 or


About ESD 123: Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit