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Center for Collaborative Support

The Center for Collaborative Support (CCS) was formed in 2001 as a joint venture and includes five school districts: Issaquah, Mercer Island, Riverview, Snoqualmie Valley, and Tahoma. District Superintendents and Local Union Association Presidents partner to organize and manage CCS programs to achieve the CCS mission: to provide a great teacher for every child. The districts in the CCS are committed to making the instructional changes necessary to increase student achievement. The districts know that what matters most is what happens between teachers and students in classrooms. They also understand that this work takes place in schools which have a culture that impacts what teachers do behind classroom doors and with their students. As a result, the districts realize that success depends on the ability to support teacher and system growth through sustained, focused, professional development opportunities. This occurs when teachers have the opportunity to change practice in learning cultures that draw from the best of what we know and that provide a supportive environment for growth over time.


CCS is designed to take advantage of collective knowledge, skills, and experiences in the member school districts. Working collaboratively, the districts can better assist the needs of the individual teacher, teacher teams, schools, and districts to focus on those changes that can improve student achievement. Each member district brings knowledge, experience, and expertise in different areas to this collaboration that increases the collective capacity to successfully support our many and varied needs.

CCS has had many initiatives over the years:
  • Sponsorship of a collaborative summer conference designed to support the implementation of new standards, best practices, and leadership for learning. The Powerful Learning Summer Conference may impact up to 1200 teachers, including both teachers in the CCS collaborative as well as districts outside CCS. 
  • In support of building knowledge and support implementation of the new Common Core Standards CCS began sponsoring an on-line book study around the new ELA and Math Common Core Standards. Through this collaborative effort there have been 14 different books and the focus has expanded from Common Core to best practices in instruction across all content areas as well as assessment and grading practices. This has had impact on over 496 participants in 2012-13; 371 participants in 2013-14 and 329 participants in 2014-15. 
  • A total of 130 teachers, administrators, and specialists were trained through partnerships with WEA and Barbara Lawson, an internationally known teacher and expert on cognitive coaching. 
  • The Leadership Capacity Initiative, facilitated by Dr. Kathy Kimball of the University of Washington, provided training to build district-wide leadership capacity. 
  • Professional Certification courses for teacher certification were taught in partnership with Seattle Pacific University. A total of 250 teachers were served at a significantly reduced cost, and the proximity of the coursework to the workplace gave teachers more time toward their teaching duties. 
  • The Tahoma Teacher-Leadership Seminar, taught by Connie Hoffman and Mike Maryanski, was an intensive 2-year leadership and facilitation course. Each district brought teams of staff to this highly effective training, and student learning was dramatically improved by using this aligned, teaming approach. 
District administrators and local union association presidents partner to organize and manage CCS programs to achieve the CCS mission. Lead facilitation for CCS rotates yearly between the districts. Each district contributes on a per student basis to support the Center’s activities, and each district determines its own level of involvement in each activity. CCS is a registered non-profit organizations and has 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.