Vancouver iTech Preparatory is a grades 6-12, early college, STEM-focused program created and operated by Vancouver Public Schools on the campus of Washington State University Vancouver. Supported by partnerships with business/industry and higher education, iTech combines STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—with liberal arts by integrating art and design principles into research and problem-based learning.
A lottery process with a designated number of slots for each zip code helps ensure that iTech’s enrollment reflects the demographics of the Vancouver district. Ten percent of iTech’s enrollment is reserved for students in Battle Ground Public Schools, because the WSUV/iTech campus is located within that district.
Established in 2012, iTech initially operated at two sites. The middle school program was housed at the Jim Parsley Education, Family and Community Center in central Vancouver, and the high school program was housed in the Clark College building on the WSUV campus. In January 2020, iTech moved into a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility designed by LSW Architects and built with proceeds from a bond measure approved by VPS voters in 2017.
Vancouver iTech Preparatory was one of seven schools to earn Washington state’s “Innovative Schools” designation for 2016 and was the focus of a “Most Innovative School Districts” case study by the American Association of School Administrators in 2018. The school currently serves around 400 students with plans to grow to 670 over the next few years. ITech’s four-year (on-time) graduation rate is 100%.
Our philosophy of learning grows out of a commitment to specific principles, which guide us in how we learn. Students and staff alike come to the school knowing that the people here teach and learn with a creative and inquisitive approach sustained by high academic integrity. Within the framework of our guiding principles we constantly ask fundamental questions which explore evidence of learning. In this school, we learn the value of individual commitment and respect for uniqueness because we live and learn everyday with people who are inventive, receptive to new ideas, responsible, and committed to learning.
September 2012 — Vancouver iTech Preparatory opens
January 2015 – iTech became the district’s first STEM Lighthouse School and earned a $20,000 grant. It also is a Washington Innovative School.
July 2015 – iTech receives the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Student Engagement Award for 2015. The Student Engagement Award is intended to recognize educators who contribute to providing a school where students are actively engaged in learning and are connected to the school and broader community.
November 2015 – iTech earns a District of Distinction award from District Administration magazine. VPS was one of 30 districts nationwide and one of just three Washington state districts to receive the award.
May 2016 – iTech is one of seven schools to receive the state’s Innovative Schools designation for 2016. It is the only VPS and Southwest Washington school selected for 2016.
February 2017 – a bond is passed by taxpayers that includes plans to consolidate both the middle and high schools of iTech in a new building on the Washington State University Vancouver campus.
Spring 2017 – Plans for a new iTech school are unveiled, with construction slated for June 2018 through December 2019.
January 2020 – the new iTech building opens