West Valley School District 208’s (WVSD) educational system focuses on early learning and providing high quality early learning experiences for all children to prepare them for success in their K-12 educational journey and life. 

Located in Yakima, Washington, WVSD contains both suburban and rural areas with approximately 5,000 students in grades Pre K – 12. Approximately 40% of students qualify for free/reduced meals and 7% of students qualify as English Language Learners. 

The District’s Pre K Initiative is led by the P-3 Leadership Team which meets on a monthly basis. The collaborative Leadership Team is composed of staff members from the district and from community organizations such as child care centers, state and federally funded preschools, faith-based preschools, and the regional Educational Service District. 

District leaders continue to explore ways to expand the work of the District’s Pre K Initiative to close opportunity gaps, increase equity, and ensure that all students enter school “Kindergarten Ready.”

WVSD’s strategies include: 

  • Early learning goals included in its strategic plan and school improvement plans, with metrics for monitoring during the school year.
  • Plans to support and connect the school district to early learning providers and programs.
  • Early learning standards are part of the overall district curriculum plan and are closely articulated in the K-12 system.

Professional learning is provided for all programs, public and/or private that supports quality and continuous improvement. “The West Valley School District leads a system within our community to focus on early learning,” said Peter Finch, superintendent, WVSD. “This system—the West Valley PreK Initiative—uses multiple strategies to ensure a seamless alignment of curriculum, instruction, assessment and family engagement with our early learning community partners and the district’s PreK-through-third grade efforts.”

For the bold and actionable steps it’s taking to create positive change in public education, West Valley School District 208 (WVSD) in Yakima, Washington was honored by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, as an AASA Lighthouse Demonstration System.

Click here to view a video capturing highlights from the meeting. Click here to view the WVSD case study on early learning.