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About the NWESD

Our Philosophy

Together we can...Provide Leadership and cooperative services to our educational communities in support of their efforts to help all students achieve at high levels. In response to school requests and/or state and federal initiatives, the NWESD has the ability to develop new services quickly and bring them to scale regionally or statewide as needed. 

Making Connections: Linking Educators with Resources

ESDs are a vital link between the public schools, private schools, and various state and federal agencies. This includes working closely with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). For our region, the NWESD provides, a centralized point for the aggregation of services and information relevant to K-12 education in Washington. 
Through the aggregation and pooling of services, administrative and overhead costs are minimized. The result of this centralized approach is to provide a highly efficient and cost-effective service delivery system to NWESD partner school districts.  Regional centralization also assures that school districts receive the services they desire and a voice in how they are delivered. Minimal duplication of support services results in significant cost savings to the participating school districts, allowing the greatest use of taxpayer dollars for instructional purposes.

Operational Overview

In Washington State, there are nine Educational Service Districts (ESDs) that support a total of 295 school districts. These nine ESDs comprise the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD). ESDs are critically necessary in Washington State, providing resources to facilitate the implementation of essential educational services and statewide education initiatives. The ESD structure was established in 1969 by the state legislature to assure that quality services are available to all public and private schools in their respective service areas. Educational service districts have evolved through a series of legislative directives. ESDs originated as County Superintendent Offices.

Northwest Educational Service District's area includes 35 public school districts and several private schools in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties. The school districts in our region serve 168,000 students with varying languages, special needs, and learning styles. Our staff of administrators, educators, and support personnel work to provide quality professional development opportunities and student programs while providing administrative support and technical assistance to local school districts.

Only two percent of NWESD's funding comes from a direct state allocation. Our programs are funded primarily by entrepreneurial means. We apply for and receive competitive state, federal, and private grants.

In addition, we operate cooperatives that are supported by membership fees from schools and other agencies. Other funding sources include class fees, investment earnings, member contributions, and long-term financing.

NWESD saves schools money through cost-effective cooperatives, centralized services, and pooled resources. The NWESD also provides specialized services otherwise unavailable and secures new resources for the region through grants and innovative funding.



The Northwest Educational Service District 189 is committed to providing access to all individuals, with or without disabilities, seeking information on our website. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all individuals with disabilities have access to and use of information and data, comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities unless an undue burden would be imposed on us. Throughout this website, we make use of different third-party websites, PDFs, and applications to provide information about our agency and to connect our staff and visitors to various educational resources and services. Some of these PDFs, applications, and sites are not controlled by the NWESD. 

Please contact us at 360-299-4000 or communications@nwesd.org if because of a disability you are unable to access content on the NWESD’s website, have questions about the accessibility of content or technology used by the NWESD, and/or would like to report barriers to accessing any information on this website. Or if you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader, eye tracking device, voice recognition software, etc.) and have difficulty accessing information on our website, please contact us and provide the URL of the material you tried to access, the problem you experienced, and your contact information. We will contact you and attempt to provide the information you are seeking.

Copyright 2018. Northwest Educational Service District | 1601 R Avenue  Anacortes, WA 98221 | ph: 360-299-4000  fx: 360-299-4070  Back to Top

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