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  Washington's Innovative Schools

Vancouver iTech Preparatory, Vancouver School District

Christina Iremonger, Principal
itech.vansd.org

Grade level: 6–12
Free and Reduced Meals: 29.1%
Year school began to implement innovative practices: 2012


Vancouver iTech Preparatory was created as a non-traditional approach to learning. The project-based (PBL), STEM-based, early college model incorporates standards-based learning with hands-on, transdisciplinary projects.

An engaged iTech student is immersed in STEM-based, problem-, project-, and practice-based experiences while maintaining voice and choice during their 7-year program. They rarely have absences, failing grades, nor do their work in isolation. They are comfortable presenting in front of peers, teachers, public audience, and their college professors. Since opening in the 2012-2013 school year, iTech does things “a little differently.”

The bulk of iTech learning happens in transdisciplinary projects and themes. Teachers drive curriculum innovation in collaborative teams to develop project-based learning like “iPrize,” “Simple Machines,” and “Forensics.” Students experience cross-curricular connections within these projects.

Partner organizations like Smith-Root Fisheries, LSW Architects, Mount St. Helens Institute, Clark College, and Washington State University–Vancouver consult and work with students before, during and after projects.

We use “Advocacy” periods in many innovative ways. Teachers and students develop school-wide lessons, such as technology training, engineering challenges, Smarter Balanced practice, cultural diversity, and Math fundamentals. Data-driven decisions are used for Advocacy student groupings and lessons.

Our social and behavioral student support focuses on digital citizenship, positive behavior/communication, and restorative justice. Core 24 teachers support early college and struggling students with coursework, time management, and positive communication.

The iTech model provides our students with a unique experience working alongside STEM professionals in a project-based STEM environment. We place high emphasis on regularly evaluating and refining our practices, testing innovative approaches, and providing strong student support in regular and college courses.

 

   Updated 4/15/2016

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
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