We’re mid-way through 2016 and already ESD 112 has seen growth and change as well as some key successes with our partners in education.
Early Learning growth
One exciting area seeing tremendous growth is ESD 112’s early learning programs. Renamed to “Early Care and Education” the program has a strong foundation through a partnership with the state Department of Early Learning. In 2016, ESD 112 received funding for more than 400 Early Childhood Education Assistance Program (ECEAP) slots across several counties. This increase in numbers of children served was made possible by ESD 112 staff who secured new facilities space to house the programs and worked long hours to prepare the buildings for use.
Professional development made easy
If you have enrolled in a class at ESD 112, you’ve likely used our new pdEnroller. This web-based, mobile friendly system supports event registration, payment, clock hour approval and reporting. Check out the professional development opportunities available: https://www.pdenroller.org/
Our new partnership-Quest Academy
A vacant Longview building previously used as both a skating rink and a fitness center will soon become the new home of Quest Academy, a program that supports Cowlitz County students who require a more therapeutic learning environment. Quest is made possible through a partnership with Cowlitz County superintendents.
“We are very excited to be bringing this level of support to Cowlitz County!” said Quest Academy Director Dr. Sara Paul. “We have an incredible team of folks working on all aspects of this project. It has just been an amazing process and we are ready to speak greatness into the hearts and minds of our youth and families in Cowlitz, County.”
Enhanced safety and security
Like many school districts in our region, ESD 112 has made upgrades to safety and security in our building. Employee badges are required to access areas of the building beyond the main lobby, hallway and conference and institute center. Visitors will be required to check in at reception to go beyond secured areas. “We don’t want to inconvenience visitors, but we want to do everything possible to make sure our employees and guests feel safe in and around the building,” said Superintendent Tim Merlino.
Staff changes at ESD 112
We are pleased to welcome former Camas School District Superintendent Mike Nerland as our new Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. Three executive directors in Teaching and Learning will report directly to Mike – Jodi Wall, Executive Director of Early Care and Education; Kathy Whitlock, Executive Director for Student and School Success; and Mary Mertz, Executive Director of Special Services. Welcome Mike!
Upgrades to Conference and Institute Center
Users of ESD 112’s Conference and Institute Center will be pleased to hear that upgrades to the technology and audio systems in these rooms are taking place. The C & I Center is heavily used for meetings, workshops and trainings by district and ESD 112 staff throughout the year.
Facilities growth—from Zero properties to 240,000 square feet
ESD 112 has gone from owning zero properties to owning more than $22 million in assets and 240 thousand square feet. In just 13 months we have purchased and remodeled Ogden Business Park, the former Hough Pool (now an early learning center), Longview QUEST property and Minnehaha Early Learning Center. We are also leasing ParkCrest Early Learning Center. “Purchasing the properties occupied by ESD programs and services makes good sense financially,” said Gavin Hottman, Assistant Superintendent and chief Business Officer.