Vancouver Sch. Dist.
Vancouver noted by the White House as a leader in computer science education
Vancouver, Wash. -- Vancouver Public Schools is one of 25 school districts in the nation commended by the White House for its commitment in support of President Barack Obama's initiative to expand computer science curricula for K-12 students. The White House briefing was released Jan. 30 in conjunction with President Obama's announcement of a $4 billion plan to give all students across the country the opportunity to learn computer science.
"We are proud to be named as a supporter for expanded opportunities so students can thrive in the innovation era," said Dr. Steven Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools. "This initiative will place creativity, critical thinking and agency at the very heart of the learning process, and will support the adaptive skills our graduates need to thrive in an increasingly interdependent economy and global community."
President Obama announced he will ask Congress to provide funding over the next three years for computer science learning in elementary, middle, and high schools.
"Now we have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future--which means not just being able to work with computers, but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovative economy," said President Obama in his weekly radio address.
Vancouver Public Schools, recognized as a leader in digital learning, offers a number of middle and high school courses connected to programming, coding and project-based learning. With potential funding from the initiative, the district would reinforce current programs and enhance college and career readiness. The district also would prioritize development and integration of coding, computer science and project-based learning at the elementary levels and content areas, and expand extended-day programming and internship opportunities for secondary students.
Levy ballot deadline nears
Voters have just one more week to submit ballots for the Vancouver Public Schools' levy election. The educational maintenance and operations (M & O) levy is not a new tax. It will replace the levy expiring this year.
Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off at the Elections Drop Box by Feb. 9. The Drop Box is located on 14th Street between Franklin and Esther streets. On election day only, ballots also may be dropped off at some area schools. A list of school locations accepting ballots will be posted on Monday, Feb. 8, on the Clark County Elections website at https://www.clark.wa.gov/elections.
The replacement M & O levy will continue basic programs and services for three years--2017, 2018 and 2019. The district is requesting authorization of $46.2 million for collection in 2017, $47.3 million in 2018, and $48.4 million in 2019. The current levy amount (for 2016) is $45.2 million. Levy amounts are limited by a state-set "levy lid." Vancouver Public Schools is below that lid.
Projected replacement levy rates (per $1,000 of assessed property value) are $3.04 for 2017, $3.02 for 2018, and $3 for 2019. The current estimated levy rate for 2016 is $3.06.
More information is available on the Vancouver Public Schools website: www.vansd.org.
Vancouver Public Schools takes Wi-Fi on the road - 01/28/16
VPS students in sixth through 12th grades have gained managed access to the Internet while traveling on school buses. The district recently installed a Wi-Fi network on buses as part of strategic efforts to improve Internet access and capacity and create equity for students who do not have Internet at home.
Approximately 160 bus routes were upgraded. This gives opportunities to extend the school day to some 5,000 secondary students who ride a bus regularly and have district-issued one-to-one devices. The actual number of students using the network most likely is higher, to include those students and staff members who travel for athletic competitions and extracurricular activities.
Safety and security also is improved because the network allows remote, real-time access to cameras already installed on buses.
The Wi-Fi network is paid for by the district's technology levy, which also will fund one-to-one devices for all students in grades three through 12 by 2019. As of the 2015-16 school year, sixth- through 12th-graders and teachers are using devices. The Vancouver community approved the levy in 2013.
VPS also implemented a Wi-Fi network on its mobile Family-Community Resource Center, or FCRC. The mobile FCRC's network will be available to students, families and community members within roughly a 100-foot range.
Staffed by a full-time coordinator, the mobile FCRC roves around the district to provide resources and supplies for families who require assistance with housing, food, clothing, school supplies and other unmet needs that can be barriers to learning.
Planning is underway to determine where the mobile FCRC will stop. The plans include availability in neighborhoods; at community centers and events; in parks; and at the Lieser Campus, located at 301 S. Lieser Rd., Vancouver, WA 98664. Locations will be announced via Twitter by @VPS_FCRC.