Graphic: Strategic plan logoVancouver Public Schools will enlist members of the community to write the next chapter of its Design II strategic plan. Design II, Chapter 3 will build on the successes of the current plan and will continue the work to remove gaps in opportunities and to prepare future-ready students.

An inherent part of Vancouver’s strategic planning process is to engage community stakeholders in symposia and focus groups and through public surveys. Students, recent graduates, district employees, parents and community members along with leaders in government, business and non-profit sectors will have a voice in setting the district’s direction for the next five years.

“We want to make sure everyone who wants to have a say has an opportunity to provide input,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “This is a grassroots effort by design. The process of engagement ensures that the plan embodies the vision of the community for its students.”

The Design II story began in 2008 when about 400 people came together to plan the future of VPS, and the district collected more than 2,000 sets of input from the greater community. That plan, Design II, The Art of Imagination, provided a roadmap to improve learning and teaching throughout the district. The plan was updated in 2013 using a similar public engagement process. Built on the foundation of the 2008 plan, Design II, Chapter 2 extended district priorities through 2020.

Progress is evident in many areas. More kindergarten students are starting school ready to learn. One-to-one technology allows connected and engaged learning. Family-Community Resource Centers and mobile centers assist families and help remove barriers to learning at all district schools. More students are enrolling in advanced courses and earning college credit while still in high school. Programs of choice and Career and Technical Education opportunities provide career and college readiness options. The official 2018 graduation rate is 85 percent (up from 64 percent in 2010). School facilities are being rebuilt and upgraded district-wide.


The timeline to update the Design II plan will begin this spring and continue through June 2021. School board directors will be active listeners and participants in the process along with students, staff, parents and community members in creating a plan that will take the district through 2026.

The public engagement process will include:

  • March-May 2020 – Focus group discussions with school board members
  • Aug. 2020 – District leadership team workshop to gather input from principals and associate principals as well as central office administrators
  • Sept. 2020 – Student symposium to involve approximately 50-75 current students and recent graduates
  • Oct. 2020 – Community symposium consisting of about 100 stakeholder representatives including school board members
  • Jan. 2021 – Preparation of draft goals and objectives based on input from symposia
  • Feb. 2021 – Online survey gathering public feedback on updated goals and objectives
  • April 2021 – Refinement of the plan to reflect survey feedback
  • June 2021 – Final plan put before school board for adoption

Want to be involved? Please contact Tom Hagley, chief of staff,

Learn more about the strategic plan.