Superintendent update

Dear Battle Ground School District Community,


It is a great honor for me to introduce myself as the new superintendent for Battle Ground Public Schools. As assistant superintendent these past three years, I have seen what a great school district we have and how special the greater Battle Ground community is.


We have tremendous people in our district who have the success of each and every student as their primary focus. From the teachers in the classrooms, to the district office, our amazing support staff and the school board, our mission is to see that every student reaches his or her full potential by the time they walk across the stage at graduation.


This will be my 35th year in education. I have been a classroom teacher for 16 years, a building principal for 12 and a district administrator for six. I have spent the majority of my career working in the Camas, Vancouver, Evergreen and now Battle Ground school districts. Having graduated from Camas High School when Camas was still considered a “mill town,” I am a product of Clark County.


I’m proud to say that I come from working class roots. My father spent many years working at the Camas paper mill until retirement, and my mother has been a self-employed dog groomer for the past 50 years (and is still clipping away at 80 years old).  My wife Brenda and I have five children, ranging in ages from 24 to 17. Our greatest fear is that the four girls will all want big weddings around the same time. Being a University of Washington graduate, I am a huge fan and season ticket holder for Husky football and I’m also a diehard Seahawks fan. Needless to say, fall weekends are pretty intense in the Ross household.


As I am hoping that this article is the first of many that I will be writing for the Reflector, I would like to lay out what I see as focus areas for the upcoming year in Battle Ground Public Schools.

  1. Preparing all students to be successful in a pathway of their choice after high school. Our primary mission is to give all of our students the education, resources and confidence that they need to choose a path after high school that leads them to success. Many of our students will be heading to a four-year college after graduation. We need to make sure that they are provided with challenging and rigorous curriculum and the skills needed to persevere when the going gets tough. Some of our students will be proudly serving their country and heading off to the military, and many others will enter the workforce after some post-graduation extended training. We will need to provide our teachers with the training, materials, technology and infrastructure to help our students be competitive in whatever field they choose to enter after completing their education with us.
  2. Social-emotional learning. This has been a focus for our district for the past three years and will continue to be a priority. We want to make sure that our students are ready to learn when they enter our classrooms. This means being proactive when it comes to the social and emotional needs of our students.
  3. Equitable facilities for all of our students and staff.  As the population in North Clark County continues to grow, some of our current facilities are totally inadequate to accommodate growth, meet safety standards and the technology requirements of 21st Century learning. We will need to make some important decisions in the coming months on how to ensure equity for all of our students in the area of school facilities.
  4. Early learning partnerships. This was an exciting year for our district in early learning. With financial support from the state and encouragement from our school board, we were able to offer all-day kindergarten at all of our primary schools this past year. While we know the benefits from this extended learning at an early age will pay big dividends for our students in the coming years, what we noticed this year was a huge gap in readiness levels amongst many of the kindergartners coming to us. This year we hope to partner with the many private early learning/preschool centers in our community and help them prepare their students for entry into our school system.
  5. Meeting the needs of our community. As a school district, we are an integral part of the Battle Ground community. I currently serve on the executive board of the Chamber of Commerce for North Clark County. As superintendent, I will continue to look for ways that the district can best serve the needs of greater Battle Ground and seek to create partnerships that have mutual benefits for our schools and the community.

I am looking forward to a great year as superintendent of Battle Ground Public Schools. It is my hope that with the support of parents and the community, we can help all of our students be healthy, productive and caring citizens. Together we are Battle Ground strong!  


Sincerely,


Mark Ross, Superintendent

Battle Ground Public Schools

July 25, 2017
ross.mark@battlegroundps.org