Jan. 21, 2020

The levy election is Feb. 11

Get the facts!
Changes in state funding created a $10.3 million shortfall for VPS. To address this deficit, the district is asking voters to consider a three-year supplemental levy for education and operations.

The levy will collect $10 million in the first year to offset the shortfall. Estimated levy rates per $1,000 of assessed property value are:
  • 43 cents for 2021
  • 41 cents for 2022
  • 40 cents for 2023

If approved, VPS' total tax rate—including state taxes for education—would be the same rate as the 2017 rate before the state changed its funding model.

Learn more.

This levy would benefit all schools by maintaining current levels of programs and services including teacher positions, school nurses, counselors, safety officers and other classroom support positions.


Be prepared for emergency closures due to weather

School closures and/or delays are made as early in the morning as possible. A top priority in making the decision to close or delay schools is the safety of all students and employees. If schools are closed or dismissed early, after-school and evening activities also will be canceled. Community use of schools will be canceled only if schools are closed.

If no information regarding school closures is reported, schools are open and on regular schedules.

There are several ways to get school closure information:
  • Go to the VPS homepage at vansd.org.
  • Go to FlashAlert at http://flashalert.net/news.html?id=393 (from this link, anyone can subscribe to receive FlashAlert notifications via email)
  • Download the free Vancouver Public Schools mobile app to your smartphone or tablet.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our school closure posts.
  • Call the district’s snow/closure info line at 360-313-1401 or general information at 360-313-1000.
  • Check radio, television and newspaper websites.
  • Automated phone calls will be made to families if schools are closed early during the school day, or if the decision to close is made the night before.
Learn more.

Congratulations, January Excellence Award recipients

The following employees were selected for the January 2020 Excellence Award recognition. They were honored at the Jan. 14 school board meeting. Pictured from left:

  • Carrie Mason, nurse, McLoughlin Middle School and Skyview High School
  • Valerie Seeley, principal, Hudson’s Bay High School
  • Charles Swarts, theater manager, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
  • Shanna Baird, family-community resource coordinator, Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Alicia Flanigan, teacher, Ogden Elementary

The Excellence Award is given to five employees and/or small teams from October to May each school year. Nominations are open to staff, students, parents and community members. Nominees are selected for recognition by a committee of their peers.

Eighteen educators achieve prestigious certification

Pictured from left: John Rafanelli, Paula Holmgren, Sean Parkin, Tony Ho, Bernardo Rodriguez, Stephanie Klein, Mark Phelan, Katie Lewis, Kurt Schmidt, Jessica Hensick, Steven Jones, Raquel Lahti, Isaiah Wyckoff and Jessica McCurdy. Not pictured: Courtney Clark, Amanda Clow, Stephanie Seibel-Barrow and Annie Spiegelberg.

Educators from around the district recently achieved National Board certification in 2020 to formalize that they have met the highest standards in their profession. Obtaining certification requires up to 400 hours of additional work, including passing a content knowledge exam, submitting for review samples of student work and the candidate’s feedback, filming lessons for evaluation and compiling a portfolio of self-reflection pieces. Congratulations to VPS’ class of 2020 National Board–certified educators!

Read more.

#TeamVPS: Benefits team

Pictured from left: Nancy Scott, Nicole Dornan and Teri Musa-Jones

Helping more than 3,000 employees manage their health insurance plans and other benefits is a complex job. Luckily for Vancouver Public Schools employees, Nicole Dornan, Teri Musa-Jones and Nancy Scott are dedicated, determined professionals.

In a typical year, up to 20% of employees make changes to their medical, dental, vision and other plans. However, all Washington state school employees are moving to new plans in 2020. To make the transition seamless, the benefits team dedicated themselves to being thoroughly trained.

Read more.

Bay junior wins state-level app challenge

Christopher (Gomer) Gilbert, a junior at Hudson’s Bay High School, won first place in the 2019 Congressional STEM App Challenge for Southwest Washington’s 3rd District. Gilbert will be invited to showcase his app, Jump Quest, at the United States Capitol during the annual #HouseOfCode festival held in the spring.

Sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Congressional STEM App Challenge encourages middle and high school students to learn to code and pursue careers in computer science. Winning apps are chosen by participating representatives from each congressional district. Benjamin Brewer is Gilbert’s teacher.

Read more.

Thank you, board of directors!

Pictured left to right: Tracie Barrows, Wendy Smith, Mark Stoker, Kyle Sproul and Kathy Decker

January is National School Board Recognition month, This is the 25th year of this annual observance, which was initiated by the National School Boards Association.

Accountable to the communities they represent, board members are locally elected citizens who have stepped forward to serve for the betterment of their community. Volunteering their time after work or in lieu of family or personal time, these dedicated individuals navigate a social and economic landscape that is constantly evolving. 

Next time you see our VPS school board members, tell them thank you!

Learn more about our board of directors.


Recap of the Jan. 14 school board meeting

The board of directors approved the following at its Jan. 14 meeting:
Bid award number 2019-059 for the Fir Grove replacement school.

Public invited to forums about new elementary schools

Public meetings are scheduled at several district elementary schools to give the community an opportunity to provide input on the construction of two new elementary schools. One was originally planned to be built at NE 25th Ave. and NE 88th Street. The other school—Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Arts Elementary School—is tentatively planned to be built next to the Operations Center of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library. The new elementary schools were among the list of schools to be built, replaced and upgraded with funding from the February 2017 bond measure.

VPS administrators are recommending that one of the elementary schools, planned to be built at NE 25th Avenue south of 88th Street, be considered for a future bond measure. Flat enrollment and rising marketplace costs have caused district staff to re-examine the rationale for building the school on NE 25th Ave. at this time. Operational budget constraints also are an important consideration.

Information about the recommendation will be provided at each of the following forums.

  • Jan. 27, 6-7 p.m. – Anderson Elementary School, 2215 NE 104th St.
  • Jan. 29, 6-7 p.m. – Hough Elementary School, 1900 Daniels St.
  • Jan. 30, 6-7 p.m. – Hazel Dell Elementary School, 511 NE Anderson Rd.
  • Feb. 5, 6-7 p.m. – Harney Elementary, 3212 E Evergreen Blvd.
  • Feb. 6, 6-7 p.m. – Eisenhower Elementary School, 9201 NW 9th Ave.
Read more.

2020-21 district calendar

The 2020-21 school year calendar was approved by the board of directors at the Dec. 10 school board meeting. Please note: Early release days and times have not been finalized.

Sept. 1: First day of school
Sept. 7: Labor Day, no school
Oct. 9: In-service day, no school
Oct. 14: Parent conferences, 2-hour early release–all schools
Oct. 15: Parent conferences, no school–elementary only
Oct. 15: Parent conferences, 2-hour early release–middle and high school only
Oct. 16: Parent conferences, no school–all schools
Nov. 11: Veterans Day, no school
Nov. 25-27: Thanksgiving break, no school
Dec. 21-Jan. 1: Winter break, no school
Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no school
Jan. 29: Semester break, no school–all schools**
Feb. 15: Presidents Day, no school
April 5-9: Spring break, no school
April 15: Parent conferences, 2-hour early release–all schools
April 16: Parent conferences, 2-hour early release–elementary only
April 16: Parent conferences, no school–middle and high school only
May 31: Memorial Day, no school
June 15: Two-hour early release**
June 16: Last day of school, two-hour early release**

** If schools are closed due to weather, the calendar may change. Snow make-up days in priority order are June 17, 18, 21 and Jan. 29.

Featured tweet:

Bay basketball welcomes Washington Elementary

See #VPSAmazing tweets from our staff

Featured video:

New iTech Prep brings everyone together

Students at Vancouver iTech Preparatory have their own building, for the first time in school history. Watch as students arrive for the very first time.

Congratulations, retiree


Michael Conner, a swing lead custodian in maintenance, will retire Feb. 28 with 14 years of service.


Dates to know

Jan. 24 – Semester break, no school

Jan. 27 – 40 minute early release, all schools

Feb. 3 – 40 minute early release, all schools

Feb. 13 – 40 minute early release, all schools

Feb. 17 – Presidents Day, no school

Feb. 24 – 40 minute early release, all schools

Get more calendar information.

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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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