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County grants help boost efforts to provide targeted support to all students

Administrators and counselors from Lake Stevens Middle School meet with consultants from Continua Consulting

Lake Stevens School District and several schools received special grants from Snohomish County to support efforts to reach all students. Here, administrators and counselors from Lake Stevens Middle School meet with consultants from Continua Consulting to review the school’s progress and to create an implementation plan.

Lake Stevens School District, and eight of its schools, received special grants from Snohomish County to support continued work around Trauma-Informed Practices, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

What is MTSS?
MTSS is the way our staff members support students by delivering a range of interventions based on levels of need. Learn more at

What is SEL?
SEL is the process through which people understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Learn more about SEL at

The grants include professional learning opportunities from specialized consultants who, at the district level, will collaborate with the District MTSS team to strengthen the great work that is already happening across the district. The District MTSS team was formed in the 2017-18 school year, and is made up of district and school administrators, teachers and classified staff members from across the district.

At the building level, these specialized consultants will work with data teams and staff members at Lake Stevens High School, Cavelero Mid High School, Lake Stevens Middle School, North Lake Middle School, Glenwood Elementary School, Highland Elementary School, Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School and Sunnycrest Elementary School. The consultants will support schools in taking the next steps in MTSS, with a specific focus on social and emotional learning. The implementation of these practices will vary across schools, based on their building’s MTSS implementation plan.

The four remaining schools, Hillcrest, Skyline, Stevens Creek Elementary Schools and the Early Learning Center; and HomeLink, the parent partnership program, made thoughtful decisions in choosing not to apply for the grants. However, staff members in these buildings will continue to be engaged in professional learning that aligns with our district-wide MTSS plan. Their professional learning will be parallel to the schools that received the grants.

The grant will also support staff training in the use of Panorama, a universal screening tool that will help monitor student progress in developing social-emotional skills.

“This is important work that we have been doing for quite some time,” said Dr. Amy Beth Cook, Superintendent of Lake Stevens School District. “These grants, and subsequent professional learning opportunities will help us dive deeper into our work, and to examine our student data to determine what is working well, and where we can improve. We’re so excited for this opportunity to better serve our students.”

District administrators have received extensive training on developing an understanding of SEL. Additionally, certificated staff members at buildings participated in professional learning focused on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Trauma Informed Practices. Many classified staff members also participated in training opportunities at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The outcome of this work will result in a decreased need for student discipline; increased attendance; increased academic instruction time that is more focused and less disrupted; and positive growth of a culture that is safe and nurturing for students.