Strategic plan

Community’s vision for our schools

Design II, Chapter 2 Vancouver Public Schools logoThe Vancouver Public Schools board of directors adopted Design II, Chapter 2, the second phase of the district’s strategic plan, on June 10, 2014. The plan reflects the community’s vision for Vancouver Public Schools and is intended to guide the district through the year 2020.

Work on Design II, Chapter 2 started in August 2013, when the district began to engage stakeholders in refreshing the plan with updated goals and target objectives. Through a district leadership team workshop, student symposium, community symposium and goal-area team meetings, more than 300 participants were involved in creating the Design II, Chapter 2 plan. In addition, nearly 2,000 people provided feedback through an online survey.

“Broad involvement in the planning process was critical,” said Tom Hagley, Jr., chief of staff and the lead administrator for the development of the plan. “Ultimately, the strategic plan establishes the priorities of our district and influences the climate and culture of our schools. So, it was important to invite our community to participate in creating a plan that represents what we want for our students.”

The first phase of the strategic plan was adopted in 2008 and has guided district efforts to improve student achievement and other outcomes.

The plan includes six goal areas:

Read about progress and successes in the goal areas through the following showcases.


Strategic plan

Design II, Chapter 2

Design II, Chapter 2 Strategic Plan 2014-2020 The community's vision for Vancouver Public Schools

Goal Area Progress Reports

Design II, Chapter 2

Read the latest report

Strategic planning timeline

Design II: The art of imagination
Strategic Plan 2008-2013

  • Planning

    Teacher and student in classroom

    The strategic planning process kicks off with a three-day symposium.


    In attendance are more than 120 people, including parents, students, business leaders, educators, and other community members.

  • Design II: The Art of Imagination Launches

    Student in a classroom writing

    Vancouver Public Schools sets its focus on four new strategic priorities, 18 goals, and 70 target objectives.


    The plan is the result of a year’s worth of email communication, an online survey, symposia, and focus groups with more than 400 students, recent graduates, district employees, parents, community and business leaders, and representatives of early childhood and higher education.

  • Programs of choice

    Students learning spanish in the Spanish Immersion Program at Harney Elementary School.

    Spanish Immersion Program starts at Harney Elementary.


    The Spanish Immersion Program is an academically challenging and enriching program for developing linguistic proficiency in Spanish and English. Entry into the program starts at kindergarten. At the kindergarten and first-grade levels, the majority of instruction is in Spanish with some English to facilitate early Spanish language acquisition and literacy development. As students transition to higher grades, more of the instruction shifts to English.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resources Centers

    Vancouver Public Schools establishes its second Family-Community Resource Center (FCRC) with support from the Foundation for Vancouver School District.


    The new FCRC, located at Washington Elementary School, joins the first FCRC established at Fruit Valley in 1999, and launches an effort to expand FCRCs across the district.

  • Programs of choice

    Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) expands.


    This elective class, which offers rigorous curriculum to promote student achievement, debuts in five schools: McLoughlin, Gaiser, and Jason Lee middle schools, plus Fort Vancouver and Hudson’s Bay high schools. AVID was piloted in one seventh-grade class at McLoughlin Middle School the previous year.

  • Early learning

    Full-day kindergarten is offered at 10 locations. Student in full-day kindergarten classroom.

    Full-day kindergarten is offered at 10 locations.


    Peter S. Ogden, Harney, Washington, King, and Roosevelt elementary schools and Fruit Valley Community Learning Center offer state-funded full-day kindergarten. Thanks to partnerships, full-day kindergarten also is offered at Hough Elementary and the Patricia Nierenberg Early Learning Center. Tuition-based kindergarten, which began with one class at Chinook Elementary School the previous year, expands to include two classes at Chinook and one at Lake Shore Elementary.

  • Safe and supportive schools

    District resource officer shaking the hand of a Fort Vancouver High School football student.

    The district fills 16.5 new district resource officer (DRO) positions, replacing security monitors.


    The jobs are changed to be more professional, with ongoing training required. DROs, both men and women, are a uniformed presence in schools, at district athletic events, and at community functions that take place on school campuses. Their primary role is to be proactive and build relationships with students and staff, but they also have been trained to deescalate situations with the purpose of protecting students and adults. If a situation warrants police involvement, DROs are prepared to intervene until the police arrive. DROs do not carry any guns or deadly force equipment. They spend most of their time at the high schools and middle schools, but provide assistance as needed throughout the district and augment the presence of school resource officers employed through the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Vancouver Police Department.

  • Programs of choice

    Mandarin Immersion Program begins at Franklin Elementary School.


    Students have the opportunity to achieve true bilingualism and biliteracy in Mandarin and English, which may lead to greater academic gains. Research shows that students in language immersion programs typically develop strong academic skills in addition to becoming proficient in both languages. Students also develop cultural literacy and enhanced cognitive skills.

  • Instructional quality

    Teachers at Hough Elementary collaborate and work together to address the needs of students.

    Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) begin.


    Teachers receive focused time to collaborate and work together in PLCs twice per month to address the needs of each student.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resources Centers

    Read and Play programs offered by Educational Service District 112 increase partnerships with families with children ages 5 and under.

    Read and Play programs offered by Educational Service District 112 increase partnerships with families with children ages 5 and under.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resource Centers

    The Family-Community Resource Center network expands to Martin Luther King, Peter S. Ogden, and Eleanor Roosevelt elementary schools.

    The Family-Community Resource Center network expands to Martin Luther King, Peter S. Ogden, and Eleanor Roosevelt elementary schools.

  • Early Learning

    Jump Start, a kindergarten-readiness program in Vancouver Public Schools. Staff and students work on an educational project.

    Jump Start, a kindergarten-readiness program that had existed in the district since 2005, expands to 16 Title 1 schools.


    Kids who participate in Jump Start are nearly twice as likely to be at the early literacy benchmark at the beginning of the school year compared to those who do not participate.

  • Programs of Choice

    Students in bleachers at Discovery Middle School.

    Discovery becomes an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Middle Years Programme (MYP). 


    Similar to the IB program for high school students, MYP offers a rigorous academic program for middle school students. Students are encouraged to see connections among all areas of learning—humanities, mathematics, arts, sciences, technology, and physical education. Eight academic areas, including a world language other than English, are required. To qualify, Discovery staff members went through a three-year authorization process, which included training and revamping instruction to be interrelated with a global focus. They submitted a 350-page application and went through a two-day review.

  • Flexible Learning Environments

    Vancouver Public Schools implements one-to-one technology pilots, including laptops, iPods, and Mobi tablets. 


    Over the next two years, the district also installs wireless networks and standard technology, including projectors, laptops, and interactive whiteboards, in all classrooms at all schools.

  • Flexible Learning Environments

    The first weLearn Technology Showcase demonstrates how students and teachers use technology in the classroom.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Crossing guard student

    Vancouver Public Schools creates the Opportunity Zone to increase family and community engagement, ensure high-quality instruction, and provide flexible learning environments. 


    The Opportunity Zone includes 14 elementary, middle, and high schools with large concentrations of students affected by poverty and mobility. Opportunity Zone schools are closing achievement gaps. In 2010-11, a higher percentage of students in Opportunity Zone schools met growth targets in math than students in non-Opportunity Zone schools. In reading, students in Opportunity Zone schools performed equal to students in non-Zone schools for the first time that year. Overall performance improved in both groups of schools in both subjects.

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    Students are wearing pink to stand up against bullying.

    K–12 anti-bullying focus begins.


    Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a program designed to shift school culture and reinforce respectful and positive actions, is adopted. Five elementary schools begin PBIS training and implementation, establishing school-wide expectations.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resource Centers

    Students and parents are at the Family-Community Resource Center at Harney Elementary School. Children are listening to a story.

    The Family-Community Resource Center network expands to Harney Elementary School and Discovery and McLoughlin middle schools.

  • Instructional Quality

    The three-year retention rate for the 2008–09 cohort of new Vancouver Public Schools educators is 89.6 percent.

    The three-year retention rate for the 2008-09 cohort of new Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) educators is 89.6 percent.


    VPS provides newly hired educators with extensive support, including a teacher induction program, teacher mentor program, and ongoing professional development.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resource Centers

    Vancouver Public Schools’ Family-Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) win an honorable mention in the American School Board Journal’s 2011 Magna Awards.


    The Economic Policy Institute’s Broader, Bolder Approach to Education also recognizes the FCRCs as a national best practice model. And Executive Educator magazine features the FCRCs in its July 2011 issue.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    In one year, Vancouver Public Schools took three top awards in Washington state. Superintendent Steve Webb was named Administrator of the Year (2011); Mark Ray, teacher librarian at Skyview High School, was named Teacher of the Year (2012); and the Board of Directors was named School Board of the Year for the second consecutive year (2011 and 2012).

    The Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) honors Superintendent Steve Webb.


    In one year, Vancouver Public Schools took three top awards in Washington state. Superintendent Steve Webb was named Administrator of the Year (2011); Mark Ray, teacher librarian at Skyview High School, was named Teacher of the Year (2012); and the Board of Directors was named School Board of the Year for the second consecutive year (2011 and 2012).

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    Students at Minnehaha stand up to bullying.

    Vancouver Public Schools’ (VPS) safety efforts earn top marks from the Washington State Crime Prevention Association.


    The association bestows its highest honor, the award for Non-Law Enforcement Program of the Year, on VPS.

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is integrated with a complementary program called Response to Intervention (RtI). 


    In RtI, grade-level teams monitor student behavior and progress toward literacy and math benchmarks. Using data, the teams allocate resources to provide support to students who need additional services and enrich students who display a high level of achievement.

    In addition, seven more elementary schools begin the process to implement PBIS or both RtI and PBIS. Integration of these programs allows schools to improve student outcomes and reduce bullying.

  • Flexible Learning Environments

    Skyview students using their own devices.

    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilots begin in some classes at Alki Middle School and Columbia River and Skyview high schools.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Dr. Webb speaking with students

    Superintendent Steve Webb receives the Student Achievement Award from the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Region 112.


    WASA Region 112 honors the superintendent for his leadership in creating the Opportunity Zone to mobilize district and community resources in support of 14 schools with large concentrations of students affected by poverty and mobility.

  • Early Learning

    Teacher reading to a group of kindergarten students

    The number of students meeting benchmarks for kindergarten readiness increases from 6 percent between fall 2011 and fall 2012.


    Thanks in part to an expansion of the Jump Start program through a grant from the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools, kindergarten readiness has improved 15 percentage points since the 2007-08 school year. As a result, 250 more kindergarten students are ready to learn on the first day of school.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Large group meeting in a conference room

    Vancouver Public Schools is one of 40 school districts and education agencies selected for the League of Innovative Schools.


    The league is a prestigious alliance of school districts committed to working with entrepreneurs and researchers to make dramatic gains in student achievement. The league was launched in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and Digital Promise, a national center created by Congress to advance breakthroughs in education with technology.

  • Instructional Quality

    A new teacher and principal evaluation pilot program begins.


    The system is designed to help move principals and classroom teachers from a self-assessment model to one guided by frameworks, or common languages for discussing instruction and leadership.

  • Programs of Choice

    Vancouver iTech Preparatory, a magnet school, opens with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math.


    iTech Prep’s curriculum blends all curricular areas into project- and problem-based learning. Students are given individual laptops. Curiosity and critical and creative thinking are as valued as the end product.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resource Centers

    FCRC, Brittany Wade holding clothing

    The Family-Community Resource Center (FCRC) network expands to Hazel Dell, Lincoln, and Minnehaha elementary schools.


    By the 2012-13 school year, the number of FCRC partnerships reaches 659, with approximately $3.5 million in annual partner contributions. For every $1 spent on FCRCs, the district receives about $5 in support of children and their families.

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    Four students posing for photo

    Schools practicing Response to Intervention (RtI) display gains in scores on state tests.


    In the 2011-12 school year, RtI schools outperformed non-RtI schools by 6.12 percent in reading, 4.09 percent in math, and 2.87 on literacy assessments.

    Additionally, RtI and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) coaching positions are created.

  • Instructional Quality

    8 teachers posing for recognition photo

    Eleven new teachers achieve certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.


    There are 88 nationally certified teachers district-wide. National Board certification signifies advanced knowledge, skills, and practices.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    The community approves Vancouver Public Schools’ first technology levy.


    The six-year technology levy funds mobile computing solutions, professional development, and infrastructure support, as well as computer lab upgrades, standard classroom equipment, a learning management system, and curated digital content.

  • Flexible Learning Environments

    The weLearn 1:1 rollout begins at Alki Middle School, where sixth-graders receive iPads to use at school and home.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) hosts an unprecedented third National School Boards Association (NSBA) Technology Leadership Network site visit.


    After NSBA visits in 1993 and 1999, VPS is selected for its sustained commitment to the integration of technology into education. More than 100 attendees tour seven schools and the district’s information technology services department. One visitor comments, “Seeing the technology used for authentic learning was impressive. It is refreshing to see new and exciting things happening in the classroom that truly help students explore their passions.” Following the visit to Vancouver, the Learning First Alliance spotlights the district’s efforts as a national success story, and Digital Promise features VPS in a blog post.

  • Early Learning

    Free full-day kindergarten expands to all 21 district elementary schools.


    An increase of funding from the state allows for the implementation of full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Skyview students graduating.

    On-time and extended (five-year) graduation rates increase.


    The on-time graduation rate increases from 64 percent in 2010 to 73 percent in 2012, and the extended (five-year) graduation rate increases from 69 percent in 2010 to 74 percent in 2012.

  • Programs of Choice

    Lewis and Clark High School launches with a new blended learning model.


    The magnet school combines online instruction, group discussions, and teacher support. College-focused Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses also are offered. Each student is assigned a laptop and completes coursework on a flexible day-to-day schedule.

  • Family Engagement/Family-Community Resource Centers

    4 graduates signing year books

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awards a $50,000 grant to fund a pilot project at Fort Vancouver High School’s new Family-Community Resource Center (FCRC) to promote regular student attendance and achievement.


    A new FCRC also opens at Hudson’s Bay High School.

  • Instructional Quality

    Student and teacher working at a computer

    A new teacher and principal evaluation system is implemented district-wide.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Student working independently on an iPad

    The number of middle school Challenge and Honors section registrations increases from 1,152 in 2008-09 to 2,432 in 2012-13.

  • Programs of Choice

    Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) expansion continues.


    AVID includes approximately 1,000 students at the following schools: Marshall and Martin Luther King elementary schools; Alki, Discovery, Gaiser, Jason Lee, McLoughlin, and Thomas Jefferson middle schools; Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay, Lewis and Clark, and Skyview high schools; and Vancouver iTech Preparatory.

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    Student working at desk - paper and pencil

    In the district’s annual climate survey, nearly 90 percent of parents say that their child is safe at school.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Table group of students working on ipads

    The number of schools ranked good to exemplary jumped from five in 2008 to 20 in 2013, equaling 12,000 more students being served in higher-ranked schools.

  • Awards and Accomplishments

    Large group of students studying at a table

    More students take on and complete the district’s most rigorous coursework.


    Over the past decade, the percentage of high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses increases from 6 percent to 46 percent, nearly an 800 percent increase.

    Since 2007, the number of students enrolled in AP and IB courses has increased from 1,008 to 1,322, nearly a 33 percent jump. During the same time period, the number of low-income students taking AP and IB courses has grown from 342 to 578, nearly a 70 percent increase. Pass rates have remained stable.

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    students and bus driver posing in front of school bus

    Three elementary schools practicing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) are named exemplars, signifying the highest level of implementation.


    Peter S. Ogden, Minnehaha, and Harney elementary schools become model PBIS schools for the rest of the district, creating a sustainable professional development resource.

  • Safe and Supportive Schools

    Vertical banners: Respect, Responsibility, Attitude and Safety

    Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RtI) are introduced at the middle school level.


    Eighteen VPS schools have adopted PBIS or both PBIS and RtI and are in various stages of implementation.

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