Election results: Replacement levies pass

Two levy measures that will continue funding for basic programs/services and technology were approved by Vancouver voters on Feb. 12. Preliminary election results show both levies passing: the education and operations levy with 64.47 percent support and the technology levy with 62.63 percent support. Both levies needed a simple majority of yes votes to pass.

In past elections, the percentage of yes votes increased as additional ballots were counted after Election Day. The 2019 results will be certified on Friday, Feb. 22.

“I am extremely proud of our community,” said Board President Rosemary Fryer. “The passage of the levies shows the high regard our voters hold for our school district and the education of our children and youth.”

The four-year education and operations levy continues local funding through 2023. At the new state cap of $1.50 per $1,000 estimated property value, it makes up about 12 percent of the district’s general fund budget.

The replacement technology levy, first approved in 2013, continues local funding through 2025. It makes up about 2.2 percent of the district’s budget. The tech levy enables the district to replace and update digital devices, such as iPads and laptop computers, for all students in grades 3-12. It also provides funds for teacher training on the effective use of technology for teaching and learning.

“Vancouver voters have shown their support for our schools consistently for more than 50 years, and I am grateful for this vote of confidence,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “Although we now must address budget challenges due to the state’s new funding system, the local levies will help meet the needs of our students and prepare them for college, careers and life.”

Important update about Friday evening and weekend activities

All Friday, Feb. 8, after-school and evening activities will be held as scheduled.

  • The Friday night (2/8/19) basketball game at Columbia River High School vs. WF West has been canceled. 

All weekend activities, athletic events and community use of schools are canceled for Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10. All district buildings, including Propstra Aquatic Center and the Jim Parsley Community Center and pool, will be closed.

The WIAA has canceled or rescheduled most district and regional sports events for teams traveling outside the area, as well as events being held within Southwest Washington. Rescheduled events include the bi-district swim meet in Kelso and the 4-A wrestling tournament in Camas which will occur today (Feb. 8) only. The District Gymnastics Meet at Northpoint will move to next Saturday, Feb. 16.

Weather conditions will continue to be monitored throughout the weekend. Please watch for more information regarding possible delays or closures next week.

Deadline to turn in school levy election ballots is Feb. 12

Ballots are due on Tuesday for Vancouver Public Schools’ levy election. Two levies—an  education and operations levy and a technology levy are on the ballot. These levies are not new taxes. They will replace the levies expiring this year.

Voters should vote both sides of the ballot. Ballots can be dropped in the mail (no postage necessary) and must be postmarked by Feb. 12. Ballots also may be dropped off in one of the 24-hour drop boxes located in several Vancouver locations. On election night ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m.

Depending on weather, on election day only, voters may drop off ballots at several school drop-off locations from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, if schools close due to snow or ice, these ballot drop-off locations will close as well.

  • Anderson Elementary School, 2215 NE 104th Street
  • Chinook Elementary School, 1900 NW Bliss Road
  • Felida Elementary School, 2700 NW 119th Street
  • Hazel Dell Elementary School, 511 NE Anderson Road
  • Minnehaha Elementary School, 2800 NE 54th Street
  • Salmon Creek Elementary School, 1601 NE 129th Street
  • Walnut Grove Elementary School, 6103 NE 72nd Avenue

Due to forecasts of snow this weekend and next week, the Clark County Elections Office is encouraging voters to mail their ballots as soon as possible.

Learn more about the levies.

Weather alert update: CLOSED on Tues., Feb. 5, 2019

All schools will be closed Tuesday, Feb. 5, due to icy conditions. All after-school and evening activities are canceled.

Debido a las inclemencias del tiempo, todas las escuelas de “VPS” estarán cerradas 5/February/2019. Todas las escuelas de” VPS” estarán cerradas.

Прослушайте важное сообщение из Ванкуверского школьного района. В связи с неблагоприятными погодными условиями, во вторник, 5 февраля все школы будут закрыты. Все занятия после школы и вечерние мероприятия отменены.

Weather alert: 2-hour late start on Tues., Feb. 5, 2019 | Español | Русский | Chuukese

All VPS schools are on a two-hour late start on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

No morning preschool or other morning activities.

UPDATE: Buses are on snow routes this morning.

Find more weather-related information.

Español
5 Febrero
Debido a las inclemencias del tiempo, todas las escuelas de “VPS” comenzarán 2 más tarde. Los autobuses funcionarán en las rutas establecidas para días nevados.

Русский
5 февраля
Прослушайте важное сообщение из Ванкуверского школьного района. В связи с неблагоприятными погодными условиями, во вторник, 5 февраля занятия во всех школах начнутся на 2 часа позже. Автобусы будут ходить по «снежному» маршруту.

Chuukese
Fápéwéri 5
Pokiten mei ngaw fetánin ásepwán, meinisin sukkunen nón VPS repwe poputá mang 2 awa. Ekkan bus repwe sá wón ekkan aan mei tongeni nimenim en sno me wón.

Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at 7:30 a.m. to include translations.
Posted: Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at 8:33 p.m.

 

VPS schools open Friday, Jan. 25 | Español | Русский | Chuukese

Schools will be open and operating on schedule Friday, January 25. We have reached a tentative agreement with the support staff union.

We look forward to seeing your child soon!

Español

Las escuelas estarán abiertas y operarán según su horario regular el viernes 25 de enero. ¡Esperamos ver a su hijo pronto!

También nos complace anunciar que hemos llegado a un acuerdo tentativo con la Asociación de Profesionales de Apoyo Educativo de Vancouver.

Русский

В пятницу, 25 января, школы будут открыты и будут работать по обычному расписанию. Мы с нетерпением ожидаем вашего ребёнка в школе!

Мы также рады сообщить вам, что мы достигли предварительного соглашения с профсоюзной Ассоциацией вспомогательных сотрудников сферы образования.

Chuukese

Mei wor ei aúchean esinesin a feito seni Vancouver Public Schools. Meinisin ach kei sukkun mei suuk iwe mei pwan wor sukkun ikenái Enimwu, Sánewéri 25. Sia men áneánei ach sipwe kúna néúmi kewe chóón sukkun iká ra etto sukkun.

 Ren mwo iei, a wor ewe etipew kich me ewe union e tupwuni ekkóch ekkewe chóón angangen nón ei sukkun sia tipew fengen wón.

Time to apply for specialized programs and schools

Vancouver students can participate in a variety of full-day magnet programs and half-day programs of choice that help them explore their interests and gain the knowledge and skills needed for their future careers. Current students may apply for any of the programs that serve the grade they will be in the following year. Enrollment will begin with the 2019-20 school year.

Enrollment in magnet programs and programs of choice is free, but students must apply for admission. Applications should be submitted online between Tuesday, Jan. 8, and the deadline for each program noted below. Admission is based on qualifications, not order in which the application is received. Applications will not be reviewed until after the deadline.

Students who live within district boundaries will be given priority over students from other districts. Transportation is provided only for in-district students.

Students who are not accepted to a program may be placed on a waiting list.

Parents and prospective students can learn more about the following programs by attending the district-wide magnet fair or an open house or through one of the ways outlined below.

Apply for a program

About the programs

Located at Fort Vancouver High School for students in grades 10-12

The Careers in Education program offers a unique experience for students who are interested in working with young people, particularly in the fields of teaching, early childhood education, educational paraprofessionals, child care, counseling, child psychology, pediatrics and social and human service occupations. Students gain hands-on experience working with children and can earn up to five college credits from Lower Columbia College. They also can get help preparing for the Washington state paraeducator exam, which provides eligibility to be employed as a paraeducator directly after high school. Students who have completed the Careers in Education program receive interview preference upon becoming eligible to work as a paraeducator or finishing a teacher-education program.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

For more information about this program, visit the Careers in Education webpagetalk to a school counselor, email fort.cie@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

For students in grades 9-12

Vancouver Flex Academy blends online education on individual student laptops with student-created schedules, face-to-face instruction from teachers and small group work.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. or Thursday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. at Vancouver Flex Academy, 2901 General Anderson Ave.

For more information about this program, visit the Flex webpage or school websitetalk to a school counselor, email vfa.flex@vansd.org or call 360-313-4350.

Located at Fort Vancouver High School for students in grades 10-12

The Welding/Fabrication Technology program is designed to provide students with the technical knowledge and skills to pursue machining, welding and related career fields.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

For more information about this program, visit the Welding webpage or Fort’s website, talk to a school counselor, email fort.welding@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

Located at Fort Vancouver High School for students in grades 10-12

Extensive hands-on opportunities in catering, restaurant management and food service offer Culinary Arts students real-world job experience while developing leadership and job skills.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

For more information about this program, visit the Culinary Arts webpage or school website, talk to a school counselor, email fort.culinary@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

Located at Columbia River High School for students in grades 9-12

International Baccalaureate is a worldwide honors program with an internationally designed curriculum stressing the importance of expertise in all academic areas and helping students develop critical thinking and research skills that will facilitate their success both in college and within the larger global society. Students must have completed Algebra I with an A or B grade by the end of eighth grade in order to be accepted. Once in the program, they must study a world language, in addition to meeting other academic requirements.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Monday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th St.

For more information about this program, visit the IB page, talk to a school counselor, email river.ib@vansd.org or call 360-313-3900.

Located at Fort Vancouver High School for students in grades 9-12

The Medical Arts magnet introduces students to the expanding field of health care, with a curriculum rooted in health, wellness, science, math, technology and medicine.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

For more information about this program, visit the Medical Arts webpage or Fort websitetalk to a school counselor, email fort.medical@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

For students in grades 6-12

Vancouver iTech Preparatory features a project-based comprehensive program for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. The middle school is located at the Jim Parsley Community Center, and the high school is located at the Clark College Building on the Washington State University Vancouver campus. Both middle and high schools will attend classes on the WSUV campus once construction is completed on the new school.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open houses: Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Parsley Community Center, 4100 Plomondon St. Parent/student must attend one open house in order to submit an application.

For more information about this program, visit the iTech webpage or school website or email itech@vansd.org. Interested parents and students also may contact iTech Prep’s middle school counselor or program coordinator at 360-313-5200 or high school counselor or program coordinator at 360-992-6021.

For students in grades 9-12

The Center for International Studies will develop students’ global competence by asking them to investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate their ideas and take action to make a difference in the community and the world.

  • No application is required. All students who attend Fort Vancouver High School participate in the program.
  • Open house: Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

For more information about this program, visit the CIS webpage or school website, talk to a school counselor, email Allison Darke or call 360-313-4000.

Located at Hudson’s Bay High School for students in grades 9-12

The Architecture, Construction and Environmental Services—ACES—magnet offers a unique, hands-on experience for students who are interested in horticulture, natural resources, ecology, architecture and related fields.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at Hudson’s Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

For more information about this program, visit the ACES webpage, talk to a school counselor, email bay.aces@vansd.org or call 360-313-4400.

Located at Skyview High School for students in grades 9-12

The SMT program challenges students with rigorous science, math, and technology content to solve difficult problems using a hands-on approach.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. at Skyview High School, 1300 NW 139th St.

For more information about this program, visit the SMT webpage or school website, talk to a school counselor, email skyview.smt@vansd.org or call 360-313-4200.

For students in grades 6-12

Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, or VSAA, offers an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the arts—visual arts, dance, literary arts, moving image arts, music and theatre—and rigorous academics.

  • Application period begins Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • Application deadline: Monday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.
  • Open house: Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at VSAA, 3101 Main St.

For more information about this program, visit the VSAA webpage or school website, talk to a school counselor, email vsaa.arts@vansd.org or call 360-313-4600.

Vancouver voters to consider two replacement levies | Español | Русский | Chuukese

This February, voters who live within Vancouver Public Schools’ boundaries will cast ballots on two levies for students and schools. These levies are not new taxes. If approved, they would replace existing levies that expire at the end of 2019.

Even with additional state funding (McCleary), the local levies are necessary to make up ongoing gaps in funding for services and priorities designated by the Vancouver community.

What the levies would pay for

The education and operations levy (formerly called the “maintenance and operations levy”) would support basic programs and services from 2020 to 2023, including:

  • Classroom supplies
  • Textbooks
  • Equipment
  • Classroom programs
  • Special services
  • Extracurricular and intramural activities
  • Maintenance of buildings and grounds
  • Safety and security
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Fuel

From 2020 to 2025, the technology levy would help prepare students for higher education and future careers by funding:

  • Technology that supports students’ creativity, innovation and problem-solving abilities
  • Training to help teachers educate students on the skills required for success on the job
  • Tablet and laptop computers for all students in third through 12th grades

How much property owners would pay

Per $1,000 of assessed property value, the estimated rates are:

  • Education and operations levy—$1.50
  • Technology levy—$0.31

The total rates per assessed $1,000 for all local and state school-related levies and bonds, including the proposed levies, are:

  • 2018—$7.29
  • 2019—$5.81
  • 2020—$6.25 (estimated)
  • 2021—$5.99 (estimated)
  • 2022—$5.99 (estimated)
  • 2023—$5.99 (estimated)

The actual rate may be different due to changes in state funding, property assessments and area growth. For more information, visit vansd.org/levy.

The election date is Feb. 12, 2019.

Iká pwe ke mochen epwe wor emén epwe ánea ngonuk masowen ei taropwe nón fóósun fénúomw ren ómw kopwe weweiti, en mei tongeni kéri Juanita Yasu, 360-771-5343.

Los votantes de Vancouver considerarán dos recaudaciones fiscales de reemplazo

En el próximo mes de febrero, los votantes que viven dentro de los límites del Distrito Escolar “Vancouver Public Schools” emitirán sus votos en dos recaudaciones fiscales para estudiantes y escuelas. Estos gravámenes no son nuevos impuestos. De ser aprobados, reemplazarían las recaudaciones fiscales existentes que caducan a fines de 2019.

Incluso con fondos estatales adicionales (McCleary), los impuestos locales son necesarios para cubrir las brechas continuas en el financiamiento de servicios y prioridades designadas por la comunidad del Distrito Escolar de Vancouver.

Lo que pagarían las recaudaciones fiscales

La recaudación fiscal para educación y operaciones (anteriormente denominada “Recaudamiento fiscal para servicios de mantenimiento y operaciones”) mantendría los programas y servicios básicos entre 2020 y 2023, que incluyen:

  • Suministros para el salón de clases
  • Libros de texto
  • Equipo
  • Programas para el salón de clases
  • Servicios especiales
  • Actividades extracurriculares e intramurales
  • Mantenimiento de edificios y terrenos
  • Seguridad y protección
  • Servicios públicos
  • Seguro
  • Combustible

Del 2020 al 2025, la recaudación fiscal para la tecnología ayudaría a preparar a los estudiantes para la educación superior y futuros profesionales al financiar:

  • Tecnología que apoya la creatividad, innovación y capacidad de resolución de problemas de los estudiantes
  • Capacitación para ayudar a los maestros a educar a los estudiantes sobre las habilidades necesarias para tener éxito en el trabajo
  • Tabletas y computadoras portátiles para todos los estudiantes de tercer a doceavo grado

Cuanto pagarían los propietarios de inmuebles

Por cada $ 1,000 del valor tasado de la propiedad, las tasas estimadas son:

  • Recaudación fiscal para educación y operaciones – $ 1.50
  • Recaudación fiscal para tecnología – $ 0.31

El total de tasas a pagar por cada $ 1,000 tasados para todas las recaudaciones fiscales y bonos relacionados con las escuelas tanto a nivel local como estatales, es:

  • 2018- $ 7.29
  • 2019- $ 5.81
  • 2020- $ 6.25 (estimado)
  • 2021- $ 5.99 (estimado)
  • 2022- $ 5.99 (estimado)
  • 2023- $ 5.99 (estimado)

La tasa actual puede que sea diferente debido a cambios en la financiación estatal, tasaciones de propiedades y crecimiento del área. Para obtener más información, visite: vansd.org/levy.

La fecha de las elecciones es el 12 de febrero de 2019.

Избиратели Ванкувера будут принимать решение о замене двух школьных налогов

В феврале избиратели, проживающие в пределах Ванкуверского школьного района, будут голосовать по вопросу продления сбора двух налогов в пользу учащихся и школ. Эти налоговые сборы не являются новыми налогами. Если они будут одобрены, они заменят существующие сборы, действие которых истекает в конце 2019 года.

Даже при получении дополнительных фондов от штата (постановление McCleary) местные налоговые сборы необходимы, поскольку они предоставляют недостающие денежные средства для оказания услуг и решения приоритетных задач, указанных жителями Ванкувера.

На что пойдут налоговые сборы

Налоговый сбор в поддержку образования и деятельности школ (ранее называвшийся «налоговым сбором на эксплуатацию и поддержку деятельности школ») поможет сохранить основные программы и услуги в период с 2020 по 2023 год, включая следующее:

  • школьные принадлежности для использования в классах
  • учебники
  • оборудование
  • программы в классах
  • услуги специальных программ
  • внеклассные и факультативные занятия
  • эксплуатация зданий и территорий
  • обеспечение охраны и безопасности
  • коммунальные услуги
  • страховки
  • горючее

С 2020 по 2025 год налоговый сбор на компьютерные технологии будет использоваться для того, чтобы помочь подготовить учащихся к обучению в высших учебных заведениях и к будущим профессиям за счёт предоставления фондов для следующего:

  • компьютерные технологии, которые помогают развить у учеников творческие способности, инновационный потенциал и способность решать поставленные задачи
  • курс обучения для учителей, который поможет им привить ученикам навыки, необходимые для достижения успеха на работе
  • портативные компьютеры, планшеты и лэптопы, для всех учеников с третьего по 12-й классы

Сколько будут платить домовладельцы

По предварительным расчётам на каждую $1000 оценённой стоимости недвижимости размер налога составляет:

  • налог на образование и эксплуатацию зданий — $1.50
  • налог на компьютерные технологии — $0.31

Общая налоговая ставка по всем местным и штатным школьным налогам и облигациям, включая вышеуказанные планируемые налоговые сборы, на каждую $1000 оценённой стоимости недвижимости составляет:

  • 2018—$7.29
  • 2019—$5.81
  • 2020—$6.25 (по предварительным подсчётам)
  • 2021—$5.99 (по предварительным подсчётам d)
  • 2022—$5.99 (по предварительным подсчётам)
  • 2023—$5.99 (по предварительным подсчётам)

Реальная ставка может быть другой вследствие изменения предоставляемого штатом финансирования, стоимости недвижимости и развития района. Для получения дополнительной информации выйдите на сайт vansd.org/levy.

Выборы будут проходить 12 февраля 2019 года.

Working to help all VPS students be “Future Ready” one library at a time!

by Traci Chun | Teacher Librarian | Skyview High School

Students working with on iPads at Alki Middle School.You may have heard the term “Future Ready” or thought about what schools are doing to help support students for future careers and industries. Future Ready Schools is a national effort to provide students with digital learning opportunities and help move school districts toward preparing students for success in college, community and careers. Future Ready Schools provides districts with resources and support to help align technology and digital learning plans with best instructional practices. The goal is to inspire and guide educators to create personalized learning experiences for all students. Vancouver Public Schools has signed the Future Ready Pledge and is honored to be a part of the network of educators from all across the country.

But what is a Future Ready library and how are teacher librarians involved?

Part of the Future Ready Schools program is designed especially for librarians! School librarians lead, teach and support the Future Ready goals of our district including curriculum support, instructional support, as well as managing technology. Teacher librarians in Vancouver Public School are excited to be leading others in collaboration, empowerment, and advocacy for all students. By following the Future Ready Librarian framework, teacher librarians are able to design innovative lessons, provide instructional support for classroom teachers, and work on building a program to support digital learning opportunities. Future Ready libraries are more than providing resources and innovative projects; they are about providing support for educators so our students are ready for anything the future may hold!

Check out Future Ready Schools for more information on the Future Ready movement in libraries or to check out the framework that is guiding our work.

Blended learning: Student tested, teacher approved

Blended learning graphic

 

Since its introduction nearly seven years ago, Vancouver Public Schools’ one-to-one technology program has expanded to provide digital tools to all students in grades three through 12. Training and professional development for teachers and administrators are major components of VPS’ successful one-to-one technology program.

Instructional technology facilitators—teachers on special assignment—lead the work to ensure educators have what they need to use technology effectively for teaching and learning. Professional development focuses on the use of educational applications, communication and collaboration tools, innovative instructional practices and robust coaching. The goal is to use the power of technology to amplify student growth and access to rich learning experiences.

At Salmon Creek Elementary School, third- through fifth-grade teachers have embraced digital tools in a blended learning model to offer students choice and ownership of their learning.

“Blended learning can be defined as face-to-face learning combined with self-paced learning and online learning,” said Principal Heath Angelbeck. “We’ve leveraged student voice and choice as a key component at Salmon Creek Elementary.”

Salmon Creek fourth-grade teacher Daphne Russell describes students as digital natives—users of technology at a very young age. Teachers, on the other hand, have adopted technology-rich classrooms, but are not digital natives—they weren’t born into it.

“It’s something we’ve had to embrace,” said Russell.

When she began teaching at Salmon Creek last year, Russell received her iPad and computer. While she was familiar on how to use them, she didn’t know what to do with them as a teacher. She set a goal to attend all the trainings so she could learn to use the devices as a teaching tool. She describes her first training as transformative. The skills she acquired in her trainings led her down the path to learn more.

“I had an opportunity with my teammates to go to a blended-learning professional development, which as a professional development was a blended experience itself,” said Russell. “As a teacher, I sat in a classroom setting and I also did online learning. It was a blended experience to teach me and to teach my colleagues about a blended-learning experience. There was no going back.”

Using digital tools in a classroom environment allows students to work on lessons at their own pace, and at the same time allows the teacher the freedom to work with students in small groups or with those who may need extra help. Digital tools also allow students to be creative in demonstrating their learning and understanding in multiple ways.

Students take ownership of their learning because they can control it. Many educational applications provide online feedback and support. If a student’s response to a problem is incorrect, the student is able to review and learn the material before moving on. In addition, students can take the iPads home and still collaborate with their teacher and classmates online. Parents also can be active partners in their child’s learning through login access to their child’s device.

“The most important thing to me is the equity that happens when you have the iPads and the technology,” said Russell. “When you leverage all these tools, it levels the playing field. It gives each child the same materials that they can use at home.”

As teachers and administrators become proficient with digital tools, they are valuable mentors and leaders with their colleagues. The focus on mentoring creates a model of innovation and change as school technology leaders lead the way for others. Providing educators with tools and support is critical in sustaining the program into the future and improving learning for all students.

“This is not a finished product, it’s a work in progress. With all the tools I have, I can customize the experience for each child,” said Russell. “It’s truly a journey. I suspect this will be a lifelong learning experience for me, and it’s my hope that it empowers students and that it supports their families. It really gives me the opportunity to love what I do all the more.”