July 8, 2020

Options for a possible return to school

The preferred option for school this fall, as indicated by parents and staff members in a recent survey, is to return to school in-person with the required safety precautions. Guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction sets an expectation for schools to reopen for “traditional” in-person learning, following physical distancing protocol as much as possible along with other health and safety practices.

If a full return to in-person school isn’t possible due to state and/or local health department restrictions, students will attend school on an alternating schedule of in-person instruction one week followed by remote instruction the next week. A rotating schedule will reduce the number of students in schools by half so that physical distancing requirements can be met.

Read more.

Statement on racial inequity and injustice

Vancouver Public Schools stands with our community as we share and respond to the profound shock, anger and sadness resulting from the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and so many more Black people in our country. Those senseless deaths show how police brutality and systemic racism continue to plague our society.

Black lives matter to us.

This is our moral imperative—to end the inequity, injustice, persecution and racism. Silence from our institutions is not an acceptable response, and neither is inaction. Educators have an elevated level of responsibility to be leaders in this change.

Read more.

Inclusion preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds

A new preschool program will open this fall at Ogden Elementary School. The free, half-day program is an inclusion model, connecting children with disabilities to their peers without disabilities. Teachers will intentionally promote active engagement and social interaction among peers. The goal is for all students to achieve kindergarten-readiness skills in the most natural and inclusive setting.

Applications will be accepted through July 10.

Learn more and apply.

Meals and support are available during the summer

Families can find free food at several locations during the summer. Learn more about supports for families.

From the superintendent


A pause for gratitude

Amidst all the change of the past several months, nothing about the closure of schools and transition to remote learning has been simple. It is complex work.

At the same time, all of us are facing multiple responsibilities in our lives. The challenges often seem insurmountable. And as we move through phases, we meet a new set of uncertainties.

But I want to take a moment to pause, reflect and acknowledge the incredible efforts I’ve witnessed over the past few months.

Read more. 

Camara Banfield appointed to board of directors

Camara Banfield has been appointed to fill the vacant position on the Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors. The board interviewed 13 candidates and voted unanimously for Banfield to fill the vacant seat left by board director Mark Stoker, who resigned June 1.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve our school district and I look forward to adding yet another new perspective,” said Banfield. “I am passionate about making a positive impact for our students with the assistance of our ever-growing diverse community and the other directors of the board.” 

Read more.

Students, families to receive additional community services

Children at eight Vancouver elementary schools will benefit from expanded or additional services in the coming years. An agreement among Vancouver Public Schools and 13 local organizations to establish full-service community schools recently received a boost in the form of a nearly $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Read more.

Knowledge Bowl team advances to nationals

A team from Columbia River High School advanced to the national Knowledge Bowl competition!

How particle physics could preserve marine ecosystems

As large plastic items degrade, smaller pieces can break off. So-called microplastics also have been added to some health and beauty products for exfoliation. Small enough to pass through filtration systems, microplastics can end up in bodies of water and harm marine life.

Seven students from Skyview High School’s Science, Math and Technology magnet program have developed a proposal for tackling this problem, and they now have a chance to earn an opportunity to take the next step.

Read more.

Band director is quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator Award

Band Director Tim Heichelheim has been nominated for a Grammy Music Educator Award for the second consecutive year, earning legacy candidate status.

Read more.

Take a virtual tour of King Elementary

Construction at the new King Elementary School is coming along well, and the school's principal and project lead gave us a tour! The building will be ready for use in the fall, depending on the state's COVID-19 reopening plan.

Closing ceremony for Truman Elementary 

Because the planned in-person ceremony to say goodbye to the old Harry S. Truman Elementary School building was cancelled due to COVID-19, we've produced a virtual sendoff, featuring current and former staff members, photos, and a whole lot of memories.

Recap of the June 23 and 16 school board meeting

The board of directors approved the following at its June 23 special meeting:

Award bid number 2020-028 for fuel station replacement project at the district’s sransportation complex

The board of directors approved the following at its June 16 meeting:

An agreement with LSW Architects, P.C. Vancouver, WA, for architectural and engineering services for the 25th Avenue elementary school

An amendment to a master agreement with Parametrix Inc., Tacoma, WA, for construction management services

Lease agreement number 2020-036 for elementary staff iPads

Purchase agreement number 2020-041 for K-2 iPad carts

Purchasing agreement number 2020-044 for furniture for the professional development team

Purchase agreement number 2019-033 for carpet at McLoughlin Middle School and Marshall and Truman Elementary schools

A ground lease for VITA Elementary School with the City of Vancouver

Read more about meeting agenda items.

Featured tweet:

Family-Community Resource Centers' staff mobilize to provide basic needs to families!

See #VPSAmazing tweets from our staff

Featured video:

Celebrating 8th-grade graduation

On June 19, middle schools put on special drive-through events for 8th graders to pick up their certificates. We stopped by Discovery and Gaiser Middle School as students and staff said "goodbye."

New #TeamVPS members


Welcome to the following new-to-the-district educators!

  • Lily Avila, dual language teacher at Roosevelt Elementary
  • Matthew Kauffman, principal at Ogden Elementary
  • Sindy Boland, special education–learning support at Gaiser Middle School
  • Maria Calderilla Ledezma, dual language teacher at Harney Elementary
  • Valerie Chavez, special education teacher at Alki Middle School
  • Sara Croasdaile, special education teacher at Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Eva Darling, Spanish teacher at Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Monica Figura, special education teacher at Ogden Elementary
  • Cassidy Forest, psychologist in special services department
  • April Hartman, special education teacher at Alki Middle School
  • Jessalyn Hopmann, special education teacher at Washington Elementary
  • Alison Lebenbaum, speech language pathologist in special services department
  • Jessica Lumba, physical therapist in special services department
  • Erica Manary, nurse at Gaiser Middle School
  • David Marcu, counselor at Jefferson Middle School
  • Karley Miskimens, speech language pathologist in special services department
  • David Morales Brooks, dual language teacher at King Elementary
  • Lauren Perrier, speech language pathologist in special services department
  • Keitha Preudhomme, nurse in special services department and at Columbia River High School and Fruit Valley Community Learning Center

Congratulations, retirees

The following retirements were approved at the June 16 school board meeting.

Debra Beaulieu, a certified occupational therapy assistant, will retire Aug. 31 with 26 years of service.

Sue Ellen Hayler, a physical therapist at Lake Shore Elementary, retired June 19 with 27.2 years of service.

Cindy Keepers, a teacher at Salmon Creek Elementary, will retire June 30 with 23.8 years of service.

Starla Manchester, human resources director for workforce development, will retire Dec. 31, with 30 years of service.

Stephanie McCorkel, a speech/language pathologist, will retire Aug. 31 with 16.3 years of service.

Betty Ann Thomas, a teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, will retire Aug. 31 with 32 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

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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