Portland IQ Partner: Portland Public Schools (PPS)

A truly sustainable and resilient innovation ecosystem requires a variety of participants, viewpoints, and ideas. We need everyone to have a seat at the table. And that includes the kids growing up in and around the Portland IQ. That’s why we partner with Portland Public Schools (PPS).

Because, at the Portland IQ, we believe that the opportunity to introduce innovation to students as early as possible — and facilitating collaboration among public educational institutions and private industry — provides Portland with the greatest opportunity to truly embrace the potential for innovation in the region.

And there is no Portland IQ partner with wider reach than PPS.

Established in 1851 — eight years before Oregon achieved its statehood — PPS is the largest preschool through high school system in the state of Oregon and one of the largest school districts in the Pacific Northwest. The organization serves nearly 50,000 per year through more than 80 facilities and employs more than 3,600 full time teachers.  

With highly trained teachers and staff; an engaged parent community; strong partnerships, and a focus on closing the racial educational achievement gap, PPS is at its highest graduation rate in at least 15 years and is enjoying its seventh straight year of enrollment growth. Thanks to the state Legislature, school funding is improving and thanks to Portland voters, a PPS School Building Improvement Bond is now fueling the modernization of our aging school buildings for 21st century learning.

Of particular interest to the Portland IQ is Benson Polytechnic High School. Not only is it the only high school in the district within the innovation quadrant itself, it has a unique focus on educating students with skills that will directly impact the innovation within the IQ, including but not limited to arts, communications, healthcare, and engineering.

PPS representative Jeanne Yerkovich, Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for PPS, serves as both a Portland IQ board representative and co-chair of the Career Pathways Working Group.

For more information, visit Portland Public Schools.

Rick Turoczy