Event Recap: Restorative Justice in Schools

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern


Restorative Justice allows people affected by crime to communicate with the person responsible, often with the aim of a face-to-face meeting. This gives them the chance to talk about the incident. They can explain how it has impacted them, seek assurances that it won’t happen again, and agree on how to put things right. 

This is what many people affected by crime want, which is why 85% of victims who go through Restorative Justice are satisfied with the experience. Restorative Justice also leads to a significant drop in re-offending, as it helps people who have committed crimes to recognize the harm they have caused. Restorative practice can also be used to address non-criminal harm. 

In this Zoom meeting, we discussed Restorative Justice in schools, focusing on a healing approach to student behavior versus a penal approach. Our panelists discussed what brought them to the work, what their programs do, their philosophy, and where they can be found. They also discussed ways to expand these programs throughout Washington state. 

Featured Participants: 

  • Toyia Taylor, Executive Director and Founder, WeAPP 
  • Sean Goode, Executive Director, Choose 180
  • Saroeum Phoung, Executive Director, Peacemaking Academy 
  • Dion Schell, Director of Education, Community Passageways

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Recap: WA state Superintendent Chris Reykdal on State Assessments during the 2020-21 School Year

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern


In this webinar, Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal outlined what he knows about this historic and challenging year’s requirements for state testing and answered your questions.

This LEVinar was meant to be a forum and opportunity for discussion, questions, and understanding about an issue that will affect many families this spring. Our goal is to support families in better understanding what to expect regarding statewide assessments.

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Resources to Support the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern


Asian Counseling and Referral Service

League of Education Voters is committed to taking action and rejecting any form of racism or hate against students, families, and communities. We support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and communities of color across Washington state and everywhere.

Excerpt from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide:

Look inside yourself for biases and stereotypes.

Commit to disrupting hate and intolerance at home, at school, in the workplace, and in faith communities. Acceptance, fundamentally, is a personal decision. It comes from an attitude that is learnable and embraceable: a belief that every voice matters, that all people are valuable, that no one is “less than.”

We all grow up with prejudices. Acknowledging them — and working through them — can be a scary and difficult process. It’s also one of the most important steps toward breaking down the walls of silence that allow intolerance to grow. Luckily, we all possess the power to overcome our ignorance and fear and to influence our children, peers, and communities. Read More

Recap: Washington state Principals on Education in the Time of COVID

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern

Students at Summit Atlas Public School

In this webinar, we partnered with the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) to assemble a panel of principals from across Washington state to discuss how the 2020-21 school year is going, how they would reimagine education based on what they have learned from this unprecedented school year, and how principals can be better supported at the state and district levels. They also answered your questions. 

Panelists included:

  • Jason Smith, Rogers High School, Puyallup School District
  • Tricia Kannberg, Regal Elementary School, Spokane Public Schools
  • Carlos Gonzalez, McFarland Middle School, Othello School District
  • Nathan Plummer, Sultan Middle School, Sultan School District
  • Cindy Cromwell, Kelso Virtual Academy, Kelso School District
  • John Belcher, Mount Si High School, Snoqualmie School District
  • Justin Hendrickson, South Shore PreK-8, Seattle Public Schools

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Students Need Mental Health Resources on Every Public School Website

By Kellen Hoard, Chair, Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council
Guest Blogger


Kellen Hoard, LYAC

The Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is codified in law as the official youth advisory body to the state legislature, and its activities are wide-ranging.  Throughout the year, 14-to-18-year-old student members of the council actively lobby legislators, testify in committee, advise various government agencies, host events around the state, collaborate with nearly 200 community organizations, and much more.  LYAC also spends much time conversing with young people in every corner of Washington about their priorities in order to be a more effective advocate to the legislature, and this year the council has heard consistently that one of the top concerns for students is mental health. Read More

Washington Game Changers Podcast – Sean Goode of Choose 180

Washington Game Changers with Lauri Hennessey features leaders who give back to our community, drive innovative solutions, and inspire others in making our state more equitable and just. This podcast is a one-on-one conversation with these powerful leaders in a time when we need to hear about more good in the world.

In this episode, Lauri speaks with Sean Goode of Choose 180 about how they truly make a difference in the lives of kids and give an alternative to what many call the “school-to-prison pipeline,” particularly for kids of color. Sean’s organization involves the kids in making their own decisions, making commitments, and holding them accountable when they make mistakes. Choose 180 also asks us to examine how our society treats mistakes in youth and how that treatment often is disproportionate. You will be inspired by the work Sean and others do at Choose 180. Sean was inspired by the experience his own brother encountered with the juvenile justice system. Find out more about Choose 180 and Sean Goode at www.choose180.org.


Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Spreaker.


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Recap: Advancing Educator Diversity in Washington state

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern


In this webinar co-presented with the College Spark Foundation, we have assembled a statewide panel including student activist Charlie Fisher of the Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council, founder of Unite Ridgefield, and advocate for legislation to diversify school curriculum, Alexandra Manuel, Executive Director of the Washington State Professional Education Standards Board, Dr. Mia Tuan, Dean of the University of Washington College of Education, Dr. Margarita Magana, Director of Outreach & Recruitment of the Heritage University Education Department, Dr. Goldy Brown III, Director of the Principal Certification Program at Whitworth University, and Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit, Professor of English Language Learners at Washington State University Vancouver Campus College of Education. Panelists discuss how educator and principal prep programs work to undo the injustices that have led to the current disparities between the diversity of students and educators, what more is needed, and how we can work together to support and sustain a diverse education workforce in Washington state. They also answered your questions.

There’s a significant disparity between the diversity of Washington students and educators. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth make up nearly half of our student population, while more than 90% of our teachers and education leaders are white. Studies show that BIPOC students who are exposed to teachers who reflect their race and ethnicity have higher graduation rates, and when more of the adults in schools reflect the communities they serve, deeper, more authentic school/community partnerships become well-positioned to transform schools in ways that dismantle racism and benefit from the wisdom and vision of families. In this moment of racial reckoning for our country, it is more important than ever to grow, sustain, and advance the priorities of BIPOC educators.

Dr. Warren Brown from the College Spark Foundation emphasized that advancing educator diversity in Washington state isn’t a new effort, rather a renewed one. It will lead to better student outcomes, close opportunity gaps, and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly diverse society. With much work needed ahead, “it takes change… community… and collaboration,” he stated. 

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Podcast – The Power of Quality Early Childhood Education

Dr. Alejandra Barraza (L) and Sonja Griffin

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks Dr. Alejandra Barraza, President of the HighScope Foundation, and Sonja Griffin, Quality Practice and Professional Development Manager for the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning, why it’s important to invest in ages 0-8, what implementation of these investments looks like, how these investments impact K-12 student outcomes, what worked and didn’t work in their own education journeys, and how they would transform our education system if there were no budgetary constraints.

HighScope provided the early learning curriculum adopted by the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning that works with South Shore PreK-8 in South Seattle, a close partner of League of Education Voters.



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Recap: Why Every Family Deserves a Fair Start

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern


Representative Tana Senn (left) and Senator Claire Wilson (right)

In this webinar, Washington state Representative Tana Senn and Senator Claire Wilson, prime sponsors of the Fair Start for Kids Act (House Bill 1213 and Senate Bill 5237), explain how their omnibus legislation takes strong steps to address child care and early learning affordability, access, and the economic crisis. They also answered questions from the audience.

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