ESD 112
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Stevenson-Carson School District announces Karen Douglass as next leader - 06/04/15
The Stevenson-Carson School District Board of Directors has selected Karen Douglass, Principal of Stevenson Elementary, as its new Superintendent of schools. The Board chose the current Stevenson Elementary School Principal to succeed outgoing Superintendent Dan Read who leaves the District on June 30.

Douglass has worked in the Stevenson-Carson School District for over 25 years, spending the last 10 years as Principal of Stevenson Elementary. As a long-time area resident, Douglass is extremely knowledgeable about the District, its staff and the community. She also currently serves as the District's federal programs supervisor, Title I LAP director, homeless liaison, and professional development coordinator. She holds a bachelor's degree from Warner Pacific College and a Master's degree from Portland State University.

"The reason I chose to apply for this position is because I'm passionate about our school district, our community and the families who live here," she said. "This is my home and I have no plans of going anywhere else!" she added. "As superintendent, I will listen to people individually so we can learn and grow together," she said.

As an active member of the Gorge Early Learning Commission, she is also passionate about early learning and plans to work closely with the entire early learning community. Thanks to a Community Foundation grant, she's been involved in a school readiness program in partnership with ESD 112 and several early learning partners in the Stevenson community.

Douglass was especially impressed with the involvement of the community during the meet and greet with the three finalists. "It was wonderful seeing the room full of people. It is evident people here are interested in what's going on," she said.

While Douglass is excited about taking the next step in her professional and personal journey, she said leaving the elementary staff with whom she's worked for many years will be tough. "It will definitely be a day of tears," she said.

Douglass will begin her new position on July 1.
Local agencies partner to support our youngest learners in three Southwest Washington communities - 06/02/15
School districts and community agencies are partnering to help support the region's youngest learners thanks to a Community Foundation for Southwest Washington grant. The grant supports Kelso, Stevenson-Carson and Washougal communities to help promote collaboration between the preschool and kindergarten years.

In the Stevenson-Carson area, more than 10 agencies have formed a School Readiness Team to focus on the goals of aligning learning objectives and promoting collaboration between preschool and kindergarten programs and providers. The team, consisting of Stevenson Elementary, child care centers, family care home centers, and MCCC Head Start members, meets regularly to raise awareness of the value of preschool in the transition to kindergarten and to connect early learning agencies and providers.

A similar team in Washougal is working to develop a clear understanding of what kindergarten teachers expect children to know when they walk in the door and to help preschool providers prepare children for this transition.

"It has been wonderful for this group to work together, much like a professional learning community, for the purpose of preparing children for school," said Young. "I am very impressed with the caliber of child care in our community."

Team members agree that students should meet certain social and emotional characteristics such as being able to be part of a group, listen, and be ready to learn.

Research shows that high quality early learning reaps tremendous rewards in increasing the quality of life for children, families and communities. Children who have access to high quality early learning programs are 29% more likely to graduate from high school, 50% less likely to require special education, 50% less likely to become teen parents and 70% less likely to be arrested for a violent crime before the age of 18. (Source: First Five Years Fund)

"The opportunity to strengthen the relationships between all the individual players in our early learning community is very exciting," said Stevenson Elementary Principal Karen Douglass. "We are hopeful that the grant will continue into the future and that we can delve into the complicated work around aligning expectations and building a P-3 system that includes all the spokes on the wheel."

Educational Service District 112 is the fiscal agent leading the project.

Educational Service District 112 enables school districts to concentrate more time, money and energy on student learning. Headquartered in Vancouver, ESD 112 provides local and regional cooperative programs and services to school districts and communities in the six counties of Southwest Washington. ESD 112 was established by the Legislature in 1969 as one of nine regional educational service centers to work in partnership with local communities and school districts to provide support services for student instruction, professional development for staff, and technical assistance in the administration of schools. The agency offers more than 250 cooperatives and services ranging from interactive telecommunications to a child care consortium. There are 30 public schools, 23 private schools, two state schools and 26 child care centers serving 100,000 students and 15,000 school employees who benefit from ESD services.