ASD Staff Insider

Important info for ASD staff - 3/18/22

Welcome to our bi-monthly staff newsletter! This goes out every other Friday to all staff, with a preview of the Education Insider - our newsletter for families.

You'll find links to the Education Insider and Community Bulletin Board below.

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Dear staff:

Over the past couple of months, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting schools. Thank you to the various teams and individuals (classified and certificated staff) who created a welcoming space. I enjoyed every moment of it - your passion, hope, frustration, and stories. I also loved the opportunity to connect on a personal level. Thank you!

I have not had a chance to gather as much feedback as I would have liked from our operational staff. I have meetings scheduled with our operations teams over the coming months.

As always, my door is open. If you did not have an opportunity to connect with me and would still like to, please reach out. I am happy to come to your space, or I will welcome you to my office.

I will begin reviewing the notes from our meetings to identify themes. I will share those themes soon.

- Justin

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Updating Staff Contact Info

Please make sure that we have your correct contact information. This is key for HR, Payroll, and for emergency notification purposes.

Check out Skyward, Employee Access, to ensure that everything is accurate. If you need to make any changes, contact Human Resources: Shelby VanderKooy ( or Laura Dennis (

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ASD Highly Capable Services

A Spring highly capable referral window will also be open to all ASD children from March 21-April 1. Referrals can be made by any adult familiar with the child using the High Capable Referal Form. (open on March 21) All students referred will be assessed in April.

This year, we are expanding universal screening for Highly Capable identification. All 2nd-grade and 5th-grade students will be screened in their classrooms during the month of March. Those showing potential for eligibility will be further assessed in April, along with all other referred students, after communication with families/caregivers.

A multidisciplinary selection committee meets to select eligible students for highly capable services. The spring meeting will take place in May, and communication about decisions will be sent to families/caregivers by the beginning of June.

Students who are eligible for Highly Capable services don't necessarily fit the mold of a 'bright student' or 'good student' in class. Children who are gifted are defined as those who demonstrate an advanced ability or potential (not necessarily academic achievement) in one or more specific areas of aptitude when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment. They may excel in their ability to think, reason, and judge, making it necessary for them to receive special educational services and support to be able to fully develop their social, emotional, and/or academic potential.

If you are considering referring a child for Highly Capable services or would like to speak to parents about it, you may want to refer to this presentation shown at staff meetings last spring.

Please also reach out to Angie Miller ( if you have any questions.

Inclusive Services Community Engagement Update

The Inclusive Services department will be conducting Community Engagement Groups beginning in April. The goal of this committee is to share experiences, review current programs, identify hopes of stakeholders, and examine state results indicators. The outcome of these meetings will identify areas of growth and develop partnerships to help all students find successful learning opportunities.

Questions? Contact Director of Inclusive Services, Shannon Gilbert, or (360) 503-1216

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We are still actively recruiting new substitutes for a variety of positions. Please apply online at For questions, please reach out to Shelby Vander Kooy in Human Resources -

Interested in volunteering, please connect with Laura Dennis in Human Resources at

And, as a reminder for current staff, please feel free to continue to use our ASD intranet site for current forms, procedures, and general information. It can be found by visiting:

Connie Sheridan-Director of Human Resources -

Education Insider Newsletter

Click here for the Education Insider - Important updates for ASD families