April 27, 2020

Inside VPS e-news is back

Since the closure of schools last month by proclamation of Gov. Jay Inslee, VPS educators have been working hard to keep up with the evolving situation. VPS relies on the guidance of the governor, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education to create a path forward for our community's children and youth during the coronavirus pandemic.

You'll find resources, information and updates on our website. 

A message from Superintendent Steve Webb


You are #VPSamazing

I want to thank you for your partnership—and patience—as we navigate the world of remote education. A lot of behind-the-scenes effort has gone into this transition, and I am so proud of our employees, families and students.

Our community partners and employees have worked tirelessly to provide food, basic necessities, child care, technology, instruction, learning support, nursing, counseling and problem solving assistance. I am incredibly grateful for our parents and families for their partnership in meeting the educational needs of our children and youth. You can see the magnitude of the work that has been accomplished over the past three weeks on our website.

Read more and watch the video.

OSPI issues new grading rules for high school courses

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced today new rules that Washington state teachers must follow when determining grades for high school course credit.

Read more.

Four Vancouver high schools among top in state, country

U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of leading high schools includes the following in the top third of the state and nation:

  • Vancouver School of Arts and Academics: 12th in Washington and 749th in the nation
  • Skyview High School: 81st in Washington and 4,654th in the nation
  • Vancouver iTech Preparatory: 97th in Washington and 5,172nd in the nation
  • Columbia River High School: 100th in Washington and 5,339th in the nation

All four schools have appeared on the list in previous years.

In addition, Vancouver Flex Academy, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies and Hudson’s Bay High School rank in the top 40% of Washington high schools. 

Read more. 

Seven Vancouver schools earn awards from the State Board of Education

The Washington School Recognition Program includes honors for six Vancouver schools that made gains in academic outcomes and student attendance during the 2018-19 school year:

  • Fruit Valley Community Learning Center
  • Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Hough Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Minnehaha Elementary
  • Salmon Creek Elementary

In addition, Vancouver Flex Academy was credited for closing opportunity gaps and improving graduation rates. This is Vancouver Flex Academy’s second consecutive state recognition.

Read more.

District honored as one of best for music education

Vancouver Public Schools again earned a Best Communities for Music Education award from the nonprofit National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. This is the second consecutive year VPS has received the award, which recognizes commitment and dedication to music and the arts as part of a well-rounded education. VPS is one of 754 districts across the nation and one of just six in Washington state to be recognized.

Read more.

iTech's Zingale recognized with national middle school teacher award

Photo: Jeff Lightburn, left, and Tom Boardman, right, of the Ft. Vancouver SAR Chapter, present John Zingale  History Teacher of the Year Award

History teacher John Zingale brings the past to life for his middle school students at Vancouver iTech Preparatory. His hands-on teaching style recently earned Zingale the distinction of top middle school history teacher in the country, an award given by the Sons of the American Revolution. 

Said Zingale, “My students aren't just passively learning about history. The students experience history, and learn the skills to make them more informed and engaged citizens.”

Zingale’s hands-on teaching style has students thinking like historians by researching, analyzing and evaluating primary and secondary sources of information. To showcase their learning, students collaborate to engineer, design and create museum exhibits, documentaries, plays and websites.

Read more.

The following employees and students were honored at the March 10 school board meeting

A belated congratulations to the March Excellence Awardees

The following employees were selected for the March 2020 Excellence Award recognition. They were honored at the March 10 school board meeting. Pictured from left:

  • Charolette Brown, paraeducator, Sacajawea Elementary
  • Dee Lassiter, secretary, Minnehaha Elementary
  • Katie Arkoosh, principal, Anderson Elementary
  • Zachary Griffith, teacher, Anderson Elementary
  • Warehouse team: Roger Anderson, Steve David and Mike Nicholson, delivery workers, with Mark Novak, crew leader
  • Not pictured: Greg Snyder, warehouse delivery worker
Read more about the March Excellence Award recipients.

Counselor of the year Megan Bledsoe offers advice on mental wellness during remote learning

In this Quick Look video, hear from the Washington Counselor of the Year, Megan Bledsoe of Discovery Middle School. She shares what she and her fellow counselors are doing remotely, and has smart strategies to keep your mental wellness in order.
Megan Bledsoe, Discovery Middle School, was named Washington School Counselor of the Year by the Washington School Counselors Association. Bledsoe will represent Washington state in 2021 as a potential national school counselor of the year.

Bay's Allison Blaine is three time state champ

Hudson’s Bay High School senior Allison Blaine won her third state wrestling championship on Feb. 22. Blaine won in the 135 pound weight class at the Mat Classic in Tacoma on Feb. 22. Blaine is the fourth Clark County athlete to win three wrestling championships. Her coaches are Chad Ortiz, Vernon Bryant and Bryan Hugo.

Skyview junior receives President's Volunteer Service Award

Erin Ryan, a junior at Skyview High School, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their county. Last year Ryan raised $212,000 to help find a cure for childhood cancer. She was inspired by the story of former Skyview student Trey Foote who died in 2006 from a rare form of bone cancer.

Learn more about Ryan's efforts in this KOIN news story from last year.

Moving into a new Marshall Elementary

Staff members from Marshall Elementary and McLoughlin Middle Schools are moving into their new buildings during spring break. In this Quick Look, we check in with Marshall principal Bobbi Geenty to see how the move is going, and how they're maintaining social distancing.

Recap of the April 14 and March 10 school board meetings

The board of directors approved the following at its April 14 meeting:

Purchasing agreement number 2020-018 for electric school buses

Purchasing agreement number 2020-17 for front engine school buses

Purchasing agreement number 2020-16 for rear engine school buses

Purchasing agreement number 2020-019 for Type A school buses

Read more about meeting agenda items.

The board of directors approved the following at its March 10 meeting:

Award bid number 2020-010 for hazardous materials abatement at McLoughlin Middle School

• Change order with Robinson Construction for Vancouver iTech Preparatory School

Purchasing agreement number 2020-001 for ITS equipment and licenses

Featured tweet:

Thank you to the village!

See #VPSAmazing tweets from our staff

Featured video:

Teachers' learning continues into remote learning realm

In today's Quick Look, hear from district staff on how teachers are getting trained on the technology they're using to connect with students. Plus, 7 VPS elementaries earned a major honor from the state!

Congratulations, retirees

The following retirements were approved at the April 14 school board meeting.

Michele Beck, a paraeducator at Skyview High School, will retire June 19 with 12.8 years of service. 

Lorraine Blose, a teacher at Lake Shore Elementary, will retire June 19 with 20.2 years of service.

Cynthia Chapman, a parka-educator at Marshall Elementary, will retire 24 years of service. 

Anna Douglas, a paraeducator at Anderson Elementary, will retire June 19 with 9.6 years of service.

Layne Manning, director of curriculum and instruction, will retire June 30 with 28.6 years of service.

Lisa Miller, a teacher at Truman Elementary, will retire June 19 with 29 years of service.

Carol Pemberton, transportation supervisor, will retire June 30 with 31.3 years of service. 

Diane Quall, a teacher at Truman Elementary, will retire June 19 with 24.4 years of service.

Nyla Skinner, a paraeducator at Hazel Dell Elementary, retired March 27 with 25.7 years of service.

Diane Stixrud, a teacher at Hazel Dell Elementary, will retire June 19 with 21.5 years of service.


The following retirements were approved at the March 10 school board meeting:

Kathryn Bishop-Smith, a teacher at Eisenhower Elementary, will retire June 10 with 8.2 years of service.

Nancy Faulk, a teacher at Skyview High School, will retire June 10 with 34.6 years of service.

Patricia Hernandez, attendance clerk at Fort Vancouver High School, will retire Aug. 31 with 23 years of service.

Chris Olsen, executive director of teaching and learning, will retire June 30 with 30.9 years of service.

Jana Pusc, a teacher at Gaiser Middle School, will retire June 10 with 30.3 years of service.

Russell Pusc, a teacher at Gaiser Middle School, will retire June 10 with 31 years of service.

Launa Schriock, an administrative assistant in facilities planning, will retire Sept. 30 with 34.7 years of service.

Lisa Veysey, a bus driver, will retire Aug. 31, with 14.5 years of service.

Thank you to retirees for your years of service!

Listen to audio recordings of board meetings.
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Copyright © 2020 Vancouver Public Schools. All rights reserved.

Our address is:
2901 Falk Rd., Vancouver, WA 98661
P.O. Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668

Superintendent: Dr. Steve Webb
Board of Directors: Tracie Barrows, Kathy Decker, Wendy Smith, Kyle Sproul, Mark Stoker

Vancouver School District is an Equal Opportunity District in education programs, activities, services, and employment. The district does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, age, families with children, honorably discharged veteran or military status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal. The district provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups. The district complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Older Worker Protection Act, and all other state, federal, and local equal opportunity laws. You may also contact any of the following people by writing to them at Vancouver School District, PO Box 8937, Vancouver, Washington 98668-8937 or by calling 360-313-1000: ADA–Kathy Everidge; Title VII, 504–Tamara Shoup; IDEA–Daniel Bettis; Affirmative Action–Kathy Everidge; Title IX Elementary–Debra Hale; Title IX Secondary–Chris Olsen; Athletic Equity–Jim Gray. This notification can be provided in the appropriate language for communities of national origin and minority persons with limited English language skills by contacting 360-313-1250.


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