Vancouver Public Schools - May 1 – 3, 2013
As one of NSBA’s first Technology Leadership Network (TLN) Salute Districts (1992), Vancouver Public Schools is also the first district ever selected to host three TLN site visits (1993, 1999, and 2013). A sustained, long-term commitment to the integration of technology is one of many reasons why the TLN is making a return visit to Vancouver, Washington, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Vancouver Public Schools is one of 26 school districts across the country participating in a prestigious nationwide initiative called the League of Innovative Schools. Announced at a White House event in September 2011, the League is an alliance of districts committed to working with entrepreneurs and researchers to make dramatic gains in student achievement. The League was launched in partnership with Digital Promise, the new national center created by Congress to advance breakthroughs in education with technology, and the U.S. Department of Education. Superintendent Steve Webb serves on the League’s advisory council. He and Lisa Greseth, chief information officer, co-chair the League’s research work group. Greseth also is on NSBA’s “20 to Watch” list of emerging leaders in educational technology for 2012.
Vancouver Public Schools is identifying, resourcing, implementing and supporting the enabling conditions for 21st century flexible learning environments. This strategic initiative includes standard classroom equipment, wireless deployments, one-to-one/mobile concepts, professional development, and a digital learning space/learning management system. The district also is deploying performance management tools, such as a Learner Profile, which collects and portrays data related to individual student learning as well as classroom, grade level and school-wide achievement. Additionally, the district is implementing a data dashboard based on its milestone benchmarks—high-leverage, high-yield indicators predictive of student success. To further personalize education, the district offers nearly two-dozen programs of choice. The new Vancouver iTech Preparatory, for example, is an early college, STEM magnet school that provides a technology-rich environment for middle and high school students.
Vancouver Public Schools enrolls approximately 22,500 students in 34 schools and several specialized programs. Located in the southwest corner of Washington, across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, the district covers 58 square miles, serving areas of the City of Vancouver and Clark County. The socioeconomic profile is exurban; the south end has inner city characteristics, and the north end is generally more affluent. More than 70,000 residents commute to Portland every day. During the Great Recession, Clark County had the highest rate of unemployment in the state—nearly 14 percent. Consequently, 54 percent of VPS students now qualify for subsidized meals, up from 39 percent six years ago. The student population also is becoming more ethnically diverse. About 32.5 percent are minority students, and 20 percent have a home language other than English.
To learn more about the current initiatives and recent achievements of Vancouver Public Schools, please visit http://www.vansd.org/Recent_Achievements.