Vancouver Public Schools, Vancouver, Washington
Administrators at Vancouver Public Schools realized during a 1-to-1 rollout that most district leaders and administrators lacked the necessary edtech skills to train teachers and lead the transformation.
The Future Ready Administrator initiative focuses on developing an administrator’s capacity to drive digital learning and encourage teachers to introduce innovative practices.
“By providing our instructional leaders time, place and space to explore digital learning tools, we ask them to answer, ‚ÄòWhat is a future ready administrator?'” says Zachery Desjarlais, director of instructional technology.
Prior to joining a cohort, principals and other leaders commit to two years of edtech PD and collaboration. Participants meet once every three weeks for two-hour sessions to share and discuss new digital learning tools, and then apply what they learn at their schools.
Colleague mentorship and support, which begins in the second year of the program, is critical. Each cohort guides colleagues in the following cohort, creating a dynamic professional learning community.
“Mentorship has been one of the most powerful ways we have connected our classroom teachers to this work,” says Desjarlais.
Participants are also encouraged to engage in out-of-district learning opportunities, such as a national or regional conference.
The district mounted its first Future Ready Administrator summit in June 2017. Principals and other participants from the first two cohorts provided content and organized breakout sessions for their peers.
The success of the program has led to requests for a full-district Future Ready Administrator support team as well as content for a Future Ready parent program.