Harbor Career and Technology Center—April, 2019

Students in computer lab

South Bend & Raymond School Districts, Port of Willapa Harbor, Collaborating on 

Career & Technical Education Partnership

At their regular March school board meetings, South Bend School District and Raymond School District approved the implementation of a joint CTE (Career & Technical Education) partnership between both school districts. Targeted to begin during the 2019-20 school year, Raymond and South Bend will use engineering curriculum from Project Lead the Way, (PLTW.org) as well as both schools’ current Construction programs.

Harbor Trade & Technology Center

Over the last several months, school superintendents Dr. Steve Holland and Dr. Jon Tienhaara have worked to identify ways to provide increased vocational pathways to high school students. This work included visiting other school programs, researching curriculum, and brainstorming possibilities with both high school principals.

The result? A concept called, “Harbor Trade & Technology Center” (HTTC), a program designed to provide students meaningful vocational training and work skills in various industrial trades and technology careers. Ideally, the HTTC will allow students to earn core high school graduation credits in science, math, language arts, and vocational areas through a non-traditional pathway, while learning valuable vocational skills that can be used immediately after high school.

Partnership with Port of Willapa Harbor

One of the goals in developing a joint school district program included finding a central location that could accommodate the type of hands-on learning and vocational training desired. We approached Rebecca Chaffee at the Port of Willapa Harbor and learned about a 9,000 square foot Port building that could be potentially utilized. The building includes ample space, utilities, and room to expand the program. Its proximity to the Willapa River and adjacent docks also provide expansion possibilities into marine and maritime programs. Personnel from both school districts are currently evaluating the building to determine needed retrofitting.


The courses will be phased in over time. The first year, the districts anticipate offering “Introduction to Engineering Design.” This course will allow students to dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product. Other courses, which could be added over time, include:

  • Principles of Engineering—Students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, strength of structure and materials, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car.
  • Engineering Design and Development—Students identify a real-world challenge and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their unique solutions to a panel of engineers.
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing—Students discover and explore manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation, and then they apply what they have learned to design solutions for real-world manufacturing problems.
  • Aerospace Engineering—Students explore the physics of flight and bring what they’re learning to life through hands-on projects like designing a glider and creating a program for an autonomous space rover.
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture—Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development, and then they apply what they know to design a commercial building.
  • Computer Science Principles—Using Python® as a primary tool, students develop computational-thinking skills and tackle challenges like designing apps to solve real-world problems for clients.
  • Digital Electronics—Students explore the foundations of computing by engaging in circuit design processes to create combinational logic and sequential logic (memory) as electrical engineers do in industry.
  • Environmental Sustainability—Students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply, and renewable energy.

Next Steps

In the coming weeks and months, we will be evaluating facility needs for housing the HTTC, and will work with the Port to create an adequate learning space. In addition, we are taking steps to procure curriculum and materials, and will be developing curriculum frameworks to submit to the state for approval. Staff from both school districts are working the logistics to create a flexible program that can accommodate students from both schools.

South Bend and Raymond School Districts believe in the importance of providing students relevant learning opportunities. Our school boards agree, we need to find ways to teach meaningful, hands-on, vocational skills that can be directly transferred to post-secondary vocational schools and/or career pathways. We believe a joint partnership between our two school districts can provide stronger opportunities for students, and lead to increased possibilities for future program expansion.

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