Van Wert City Schools

205 W. Crawford Street
Van Wert, Ohio 45891
http://www.vwcs.net

Van Wert City Schools provides a comprehensive and diverse educational experience for students in preschool through 12th grade. The range of education begins with an emphasis on social-emotional development and purposeful play with preschool students, helping children establish a strong foundation for their learning. The learning experience then culminates with high school opportunities in courses such as pre-engineering, biomedical, and advanced placement options.  Our mission is: “Van Wert City Schools will continue to be a source of Cougar Pride while providing each student a quality education through innovative instructional methods and technology.”

ABOUT VAN WERT CITY SCHOOLS

Van Wert City Schools offers an extensive balance of educational opportunities. Students have varied experiences in academics, leadership and service opportunities, the arts, and athletics.

Academics – The Ohio Learning Standards provide the direction for our student learning expectations. Progress is carefully monitored through our RTI (Response to Intervention) process. Students are benchmarked three times a year K–8th grade to ensure every student is showing growth. At the high school level, programs are offered for college preparatory, vocational, and general education. Courses offered include art, language arts, math, science, social studies, business, family and consumer science, French, German, Spanish, and 16 vocational programs at Vantage. We offer seven advanced placement courses, and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) offers two four-year pathways in pre-engineering and biomedical programs. VWHS initiated the Project Based/Problem Based Learning approach to instruction as part of the “Race to the Top” program beginning August 2012 and it continues to build on its success with student achievement. The PBL model is now used district-wide, beginning with Play Based Learning in our Early Childhood Center. Van Wert Middle and High School also offer the Renaissance program, rewarding students for meeting specific criteria for academics, attendance, and attitude excellence. 

Leadership & Service – Students in Van Wert City Schools have many possibilities to lead and serve beyond the classroom through clubs and service projects. High School clubs include: Beta Club, Cougar Talk, The Cougar’s Roar, Excalibur, FCA, FCCLA, German Club, National Honor Society, Robotics Club, Scarlet Squad, Scholastic Bowl, Service Pack, Spanish Club, Student Council, Theater/Performing Arts, and Varsity Club. Van Wert Middle School promotes leadership through its Cougar Leaders program where 64 students are elected annually to promote kindness and a positive culture throughout VWMS and our community. Van Wert Elementary selects Word of the Week winners for displaying outstanding characteristics each week. Elementary students are also given the opportunity to lead through its Cougar CLUB program, as well as Student Council.

Arts – Fine and visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, and drama are all offered throughout Van Wert City Schools. The beautiful Niswonger Performing Arts Center provides a venue for students to express their musical talents and display their artistic work.

  • Fine and Visual Arts: Students are exposed to various forms of art from K–12th grades with advanced classes offered beginning in eighth grade. Students will have the opportunity to experience painting, sketching, sculpting, digital art, photography, and television production.
  • Vocal and Instrumental Music: Students are introduced to music classes in kindergarten and participate in weekly music classes throughout fifth grade. Elementary students also experience a piano lab and vocal music classes. Fifth graders learn to play the ukulele and may join the band for the first time. Middle School students have the opportunity to continue with band, learn to play guitar, and participate in general music classes, as well as choir. High School students can elect to be a part of freshman, sophomore women’s or concert choirs, and instrumental music students will experience marching, concert, and pep band.
  • Drama: Van Wert High School offers theatrical design and performing arts classes, as well as producing both a fall and spring play. Middle School eighth graders can elect to take Creative Dramatics and often our young students have the opportunity to audition for the high school plays.

Athletics include baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling.

HISTORY

The majority of the Van Wert City School district is made up of two communities: the city of Van Wert with a population of 10,728 people and the village of Ohio City with a population of 790 people. The school district’s current enrollment for preschool through 12th grade is 2,154 students. 

Construction for a new building for our middle school and high school population began in September 2003 just outside of the city limits of Van Wert on State Route 118. The building was first occupied on November 27, 2006. Alumni Scott Niswonger was the catalyst behind the inclusion of a performing arts center as a part of the new educational complex. His initiative to “give back” has greatly inspired our education of the arts that will continue far into the future.

Construction for a new elementary school on the adjoining campus of the high school and middle school began in July of 2011 and was first occupied in September of 2012. Renovation of the old Jefferson Elementary also began in July 2011, which was transformed into Van Wert Early Childhood Center for our preschool and kindergarten population. This newly-renovated building opened its doors to our youngest students in January 2013.

THE FUTURE

VISION STATEMENT: “In partnership with our community, Van Wert City Schools will ensure that all students develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to thrive in post-secondary education, careers, and civic life.”

Van Wert City Schools continues to be at the forefront of student learning by adapting our methods and instruction to ensure our students receive the most relevant education possible. Throughout the years, VWCS has implemented changes to our educational process, transforming the traditional classroom into hands-on learning that goes beyond a textbook. Some of those changes include:

  • Project/Problem Based Learning – an approach to instructional delivery in our Elementary, Middle and High Schools
         Play Based Learning – instructional delivery for our Early Childhood Center
  • Project Lead the Way Programs – educational pathways with a four year curriculum available to our high school students, including:
         Pre-engineering
         Biomedical
  • Career Education Opportunities (CEO) Program – internships, apprenticeships, or other hands-on business opportunities for seniors
         Career Connections – 8th grade
  • Emphasis on STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curricula
  • Literacy Collaborative – an interconnected reading and writing teaching method that promotes authentic learning across the curriculum; currently implemented in grades K–2 with goal of expanding into additional grade levels
  • All-day preschool and kindergarten
  • Wellness Initiatives for Elementary students:
         100 Mile Club – daily morning walking/jogging program
         Road Runners – after school fitness program
         Jumpin’ Jammers – student jump rope team
         Nutrition Videos
         Classroom Brain Breaks
         Health Fairs & Fun Runs
  • Robotics Club – available in our Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

Our staff members are what truly make a difference at Van Wert City Schools. Our teachers and support staff help each student to achieve his or her highest potential by striving to do what is right and what is necessary for every single student. Our special services programs includes 39 staff members that service 24% of our student population, ranging from educational intervention to occupational, physical, and speech therapies to gifted interventions. We continually aim to help make our community a better place to live and work in by guiding our students to be good citizens and preparing them for success.

FOR VAN WERT

Van Wert City Schools provides a rigorous and inclusive environment for learning. It serves a diverse population and the staff is able to diligently meet the needs of every student with the ongoing support and open communication with parents. Our instructional delivery through new teaching methods such as Project Based Learning and Literacy Collaborative continues to propel our district into an atmosphere of deeper and more purposeful learning. The collaborative environment through a project based approach in the classroom is developing the minds of students for more inquiry as well as individual and group initiatives. Knowing how to work productively with others is a coveted skill for all business, industry, and professional careers that we are instilling in all of our students.

CONTACT

Superintendent: Vicki Brunn

Treasurer: Mike Ruen

Board of Education members: Debby Compton - President, Anthony Adams – Vice President, Rachel Dickman, Tom Losh, Scott Mull

AT A GLANCE

  • Van Wert City Schools has 4 locations to meet the varying needs of the students by age groups:
    • Early Childhood Center – Preschool to Kindergarten
    • Elementary School – Grades 1 to 5
    • Middle School – Grades 6 to 8
    • High School – Grades 9 to 12

The district has 268 certified and classified employees in its four locations.