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Connecting Families of Students with Disabilities to Area Resources - 09/18/18

PASCO, WA – Families of students with disabilities are invited to attend an informational evening on Thursday, September 27 from 4-6 PM at Educational Service District 123 in Pasco.  In partnership with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), ESD 123 is honored to connect area families to the information they are seeking.

Attendees of the event will learn what services and resources are available for their students with disabilities, as well as eligibility requirements and how to apply to receive services.  ESD 123 works in partnership with school districts across the region to support students with disabilities, from birth to age 21. 

Transition Director at ESD 123, Lori Scott, says that this event is an important opportunity to connect staff, students, and parents in our region with valuable support.

“Families don’t always know which way to turn, or even all of the potential services that are available to their students,” states Ms. Scott. “In our work through the ESD, our goal is to serve as a hub that connects families and their students with what they need to be successful in school and in life.”

The “DVR & DDA Services for Students with Disabilities” event will include a panel of experts available to answer questions and provide information on medical, housing, employment, and transitioning from school to adult living. The event is free and no registration is required.  For more information, contact Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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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 www.esd123.org.

Threat Assessment Coordinator, Katie Haynes
Threat Assessment Coordinator, Katie Haynes
Regional Threat Assessment Coordinator Serves Local Schools (Photo) - 09/17/18

PASCO, WA – School safety and a proactive approach to identifying potential threats remains a top priority for schools across the United States.  Beginning this school year, Educational Service District (ESD) 123 is launching a new Threat Assessment program to provide an immediate and systematic response to youth who pose a serious threat to commit acts of violence to others. Newly-hired Threat Assessment Coordinator, Katie Haynes, is leading the charge.

The ESD 123 Student Threat Assessment program is a two-level system that includes a school site-based screening team, called a Level I Assessment, and a multi-agency community team, called a Level II Assessment.  The program was adopted from the Salem-Keizer Mid-Valley Student Threat Assessment System (STAS), a set of protocols and safety planning procedures to promote safe school environments.

According to ESD Threat Assessment Coordinator Katie Haynes, over-reactive school responses to Zero-Tolerance Policies often result in an inflated number of students identified as potentially dangerous, and an over reliance upon expulsion to resolve school safety concerns. The Threat Assessment program takes a team-based approach instead.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work alongside our schools, provide support, and help foster learning environments that are free from the distraction of fear,” states Ms. Haynes.

Initial funding is allowing ESD 123 to launch our Threat Assessment program in three of our twenty-three school districts:  Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick. The goal is that more school districts will join in the Threat Assessment cooperative so that services can expand to all districts across Southeast Washington.

To learn more, visit the ESD 123 website at  www.esd123.org/programs__services/prevention_services/threat_assessment, or contact ESD Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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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 www.esd123.org.

Art In Education All Yearlong - 09/14/18

PASCO, WA – Each year, cultural and education communities come together to celebrate the power of arts in education to transform our communities, schools, teaching, and learning. As we wrap up National Arts in Education Week (September 9-15), Educational Service District 123 eagerly announces the exhibit dates for our yearlong art display at our facilities in Pasco.

Beginning this school year, ESD 123 will host a yearlong rotation of art displays at our Professional Development Center.  In addition to the longtime Regional High School Art Show hosted each year, ESD 123 will also host a Regional Teacher Art Exhibit, Middle School Art Exhibit, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers Exhibit. Each of these exhibits will display artwork from schools across the ESD 123 region, which covers 23 school districts.

2019 Regional Art Exhibit Dates:

  • January (date TBD) 2019 – 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  • February 18-March 1, 2019 – High School
  • April 18-May 1, 2019 – Middle School
  • October 2-16, 2019 – Educators

“The role of arts education in student lives is deeply impactful,” states ESD 123 Superintendent, Mr. Darcy Weisner.  Incorporating the arts leads to a more well-rounded education for our students, and innumerable lessons that can be applied across disciplines.”

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Tri-Cities’ newest credit union, STCU, the ESD will be able to host opening receptions for each of the 2019 art exhibits to celebrate the artists and their work.

“National Arts in Education Week is the perfect time to announce this new partnership and the interaction of STCU in our local schools,” says Elizabeth Burtner, STCU Community Engagement Officer.  “As a credit union founded by teachers, we are proud to support the involvement of our region’s students and educators in arts education.”

The first art exhibit of the year takes place in January 2019 and will showcase artwork from students participating in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program. For more information, contact ESD Director of Communications Molly Curtiss at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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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 www.esd123.org.

Attached Media Files: Art Exhibit Flier
Local Event: Walk About to Talk About Suicide Prevention Sept 15th - 09/11/18

KENNEWICK, WA – September is Suicide Awareness Month, and the Benton Franklin Suicide Prevention Coalition (BFSPC) is pleased to host the 10th Annual “Walk About to Talk About Suicide Prevention” walk on Saturday, September 15th. Registration begins at 10:30 AM in the parking lot of Outback Steakhouse on Canal Drive in Kennewick.  The annual walk is free and open to all who wish to participate in raising awareness about suicide prevention and remembering those we have lost.

The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey (2016) shows that 21% of 10th graders thought about attempting suicide. In 2017, we lost 11 young lives to suicide in Benton and Franklin Counties. It is the second leading cause of death in our state.   

Help is immediately available by calling or texting the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255)
  • LGBT at (866) 4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
  • Local Crisis line at 509-783-0500
  • Text “Heal” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741

Community members are encouraged to participate in the 10th Annual Walk About event to raise suicide prevention awareness and remember those we’ve lost.  At the event, the first 100 participants will receive a free “bloomin’ onion” coupon from Outback, as well as a t-Shirt. For more information, contact Cameron Fordmeir at on.Fordmeir@lourdesonline.org">Cameron.Fordmeir@lourdesonline.org or 509.783.0500.

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The Benton/Franklin Suicide Prevention Coalition is a local group consisting of concerned citizens, mental health professionals, clergy, educators and social workers who meet the first Wednesday of each month at 9:15AM at the United Way Bldg. Our Mission: To promote awareness and understanding that suicide is a preventable health problem and to encourage our community to TALK ABOUT IT.

Attached Media Files: Walk About Poster 2018
Kimm Minkler
Kimm Minkler
ESD 123 Appoints Retired Kiona-Benton Counselor as New Board Member (Photo) - 08/29/18

PASCO, WA – During their regular August 2018 meeting, the board of directors for Educational Service District 123 welcomed Mrs. Kimm Minkler as their newest member. Mrs. Minkler will serve in the District 6 Director position, which serves part of the Kennewick School District in Benton County.

Recently retired, Mrs. Minkler served as the lead guidance counselor at Kiona-Benton City High School for seventeen years. Prior to that, she worked as the registrar and media specialist at Kennewick High School for seven years.  Additionally, Mrs. Minkler was the 2017 Kiona-Benton School District recipient of the prestigious Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Education.

“Although I have retired, it’s important to me that I stay current on local, state, and national educational issues,” says Mrs. Minkler. “By serving on the ESD 123 board of directors and supporting their mission, I can remain actively involved in our educational community.”

On Thursday, September 27, Mrs. Minkler will be officially sworn into her position as a member of the board of directors.  For more information, contact ESD Director of Communications, Molly Curtiss, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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Attached Media Files: Kimm Minkler