Vancouver Public Schools is one of nearly 50 school districts from across the U.S. and one of just four Washington state districts honored with an inaugural District of Distinction award from District Administration magazine. VPS’ network of 13 Family-Community Resource Centers was recognized in the public/private partnerships category.

Coordinators assigned to the school-based FCRCs work with partners to provide basic needs assistance, parent academies, early childhood education, before- and after-school programs, connections to community-based services, outreach to chronically absent students and other support.

FCRCs have produced dramatic gains over the past six years:

• From 2009-10 to 2013-14, partnerships and volunteers increased from 22 to 733 and from 673 to 2,660, respectively.
• In 2013-14, FCRCs generated nearly $3.2 million in partner contributions and grant support.
• Return on investment grew from 2-to-1 in 2010-11 to 4-to-1 in 2013-14.
• Students (duplicated count) receiving basic needs assistance increased from 10,353 in 2010-11 to 26,450 in 2013-14.
• Parents (duplicated count) participating in on-site classes or parent academies increased from 2,490 in 2010-11 to 26,490 in 2013-14.
• Student mobility across all FCRC sites decreased 12 percent on average over four years.
• More than 2,000 preschoolers and parents participated in early learning programs.
• Nearly 2,500 students participated in before- and after-school enrichment and learning programs during the 2012-13 school year, an increase of 72 percent from 2010-11.
• Almost 300 students received dental services and nearly 800 students were connected to health resources.
• The kindergarten through third-grade achievement gap narrowed to within 3 percentage points.

Said Superintendent Steven Webb, “To achieve transformational results in public education, we must reduce barriers to learning. Family-Community Resource Centers are about the village—schools, families and communities interacting as partners to strengthen opportunities for students to learn and grow. We’re so grateful for our community partners who are making a difference in the lives of our students.”

The award follows other recent national and local honors for VPS’ FCRC network. In April 2014, FCRCs were the focus of a success story by the Data Quality Campaign, an advocacy group focused on the use of high-quality data to improve student achievement, and the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning, a social-sector advisory organization.

In September, Chief of Staff Tom Hagley Jr. was named the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Community Champion for his leadership of the FCRC network.