State officials approve school plans

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Two Clark County schools got the state stamp of approval for innovations plans.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn approved the plans of Vancouver Public Schools’ iTech Preparatory magnet school and Battle Ground’s River HomeLink School. Dorn’s endorsement of the programs brings no benefits, financial or otherwise.

Eleven schools and one district had plans approved. Two of them were granted waivers from certain state requirements, the only tangible benefit available from the state under this designation.

Battle Ground’s home-schooling program had applied for waivers, but Dorn said in his reply letter he didn’t have the authority to grant them. HomeLink can still move ahead with training parents to teach their kids, even without an express waiver.

The Vancouver school, which will focus on science, technology, engineering and math, is scheduled to open in September. It was developed in collaboration with Clark College, Washington State University Vancouver, Educational Service District 112 and local businesses.

It had not applied for any waivers, but having its plan approved leaves a door open to future waiver requests once the school is up and running, officials said.