Vancouver Public Schools has been named a Top Digital District for 2016 by the Learning Counsel, a research institute that provides information, training and support for schools on digital content and instruction. The honor recognizes VPS as a leader in creating a positive transformation to digital tools for teaching and learning.

VPS began implementing a districtwide digital one-to-one initiative in 2014, thanks to voter approval of a 2013 technology levy measure. The initiative, weLearn 1:1, aims to provide equity of access to digital devices and resources to provide rich teaching and learning experiences for all students.

This fall, fifth-grade students received iPads, bringing the implementation of weLearn to all students in grades five through 12. Full implementation will provide every student in grades three through 12 with a digital device by the 2017-18 school year. Last year, Vancouver expanded use of the Canvas learning management system to provide students with access to lessons, resources and tools from their devices. Ongoing digital content pilots focus on identifying and using outstanding resources to enhance classroom instruction.

“The Learning Counsel shares valuable research about adopting, implementing and sustaining digital curriculum to increase student learning,” said Zach Desjarlais, manager of instructional technology. “This experience has been an affirmation of our work here in Vancouver to provide students with the skills they need for their future.”

VPS was one of 10 districts selected from more than 900 entries. The award will be presented Nov. 14-15 at the Learning Counsel’s Gathering and National Awards event in Buena Vista, Florida.

Membership in the Learning Counsel includes more than 170,000 superintendents, district leaders, educators, publishers and partners. Their objective is to help educational systems develop sound implementations of digital curriculum strategies in support of personalized learning.