About Amanda Richter, Communications staff

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So far Amanda Richter, Communications staff has created 95 blog entries.

Welcome to #TeamVPS

In the past few months, we welcomed the following brand-new certificated employees to the district. These new staff members will perform a variety of crucial roles related to teaching, counseling, administration and special services.


  • Kimberley Astle, fifth-grade teacher, Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Sara Bergthold, special education teacher, Hough Elementary
  • Kelsey Bristow, behavior specialist, Ogden Elementary
  • Mary Brown, special education teacher, Hough Elementary
  • Jacquelyn Buechel, special education teacher, Hough Elementary
  • Sarah Cherry, special education teacher, Minnehaha Elementary
  • Camille Duez, special education teacher, Lincoln Elementary
  • Pamela D’Zurilla, special education teacher, Sacajawea Elementary
  • Isaiah Ephraim, fourth-grade teacher, Minnehaha Elementary
  • Jordyn Geenty, fourth-grade teacher, Eisenhower Elementary
  • Erica Godell, second-grade teacher, Felida Elementary
  • Lacey Lavin, fifth-grade teacher, Walnut Grove Elementary
  • Marian Lindner, early childhood special education teacher, Hough Elementary
  • Garrett Noah, fourth-grade teacher, Minnehaha Elementary
  • Madison Shaw, fourth-grade teacher, Walnut Grove Elementary


  • William Ashlock, math teacher, Fort Vancouver High School
  • Amber Beardmore, associate principal, Hudson’s Bay High School
  • Jeffrey Causey, counselor, Discovery Middle School
  • Luisa Childers, Spanish teacher, McLoughlin Middle School
  • Ingrid Dahl, Science teacher, Gaiser Middle School
  • Nick Davies, associate principal, Columbia River High School
  • Morgan Deklyen, English teacher, Discovery Middle School
  • Mara Friedland, art teacher, Discovery Middle School
  • Brierly Harris, English/social studies teacher, McLoughlin Middle School
  • Andrew Johnson, math teacher, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
  • Maria Kidder, science teacher, Skyview High School
  • Nicholas Legambi, special education teacher, Discovery Middle School
  • Jesus Marcial Garcia, board-certified behavior analyst, Hudson’s Bay High School High School
  • Morgan Money, career/technical education guidance counselor/International Baccalaureate coordinator, Columbia River High School
  • Jacob Mumford, special education teacher, Discovery Middle School
  • Claire Neely, math teacher, McLoughlin Middle School
  • Katie North, special education teacher, Skyview High School
  • Michael Patten, English teacher, Hudson’s Bay High School
  • Gregory Peavey, career/technical education teacher, Hudson’s Bay High School
  • Katherine Pedersen, special education teacher, Alki Middle School
  • Sheri Schneider, English learners lead, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Savanah Sirois, career/technical education teacher, Vancouver Flex Academy
  • Jamie Smith, career/technical education teacher, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Christopher Stekhuizen, science teacher, Discovery Middle School
  • Jackson Stellfox, science teacher, McLoughlin Middle School
  • Xin Tu, Mandarin Chinese teacher, Jason Lee Middle School
  • Lisa Ventrella, dance/PE/visual art teacher, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
  • Carlee Walker, science teacher, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Lisa Zeta, Spanish teacher, Discovery Middle School

Special services

  • Leayh Abel, psychologist
  • Madison Donnelly, special education teacher
  • Shauna Guinn, psychologist
  • Naomi Kotkins, speech language pathologist
  • Adam Lemucchi, board-certified behavior analyst
  • Connor McCroskey, special services manager
  • Lisa Mellman, speech language pathologist
  • Maria Meza, speech language pathologist
  • Nadia Noid, occupational therapist
  • Alexis Sales-Paragola, psychologist
  • Katrice Thabet-Chapin, psychologist

Vaccine exemption change

As of July 28, 2019, Washington state law removed the personal and philosophical exemption to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Medical and religious exemptions are not affected by the new law.

  • Parents who have claimed a personal or philosophical exemption for their children must provide updated immunization information to their child’s school on or before Aug. 27, the first day of school.
  • Parents who wish to claim a medical or religious exemption must get the paperwork from their child’s doctor.

Children without two doses of MMR vaccine, laboratory evidence of immunity, or a medical or religious exemption will be excluded from school if they do not provide updated immunization status within 30 days from the start of school.

More information about the new law is available from the Washington State Department of Health.

No Monday early releases in June | Español | Русский | Chuukese

There are no more Monday early releases for the reminder of the 2018-19 school year. Students will get out of school at the standard time on June 3, 10 and 17.

There are two-hour early releases on June 18 and 19, the last two days of school.


Queremos recordarles que los estudiantes ya no saldrán temprano los lunes por lo que resta del año escolar. Los estudiantes saldrán de la escuela a la hora de salida regular los días lunes, 3, 10 y 17 de junio.

El martes, 18 y miércoles, 19 de junio, que son los dos últimos días de clases, saldrán dos horas más temprano.


Напоминаем вам, что сегодня 3-го июня, а также в понедельник 10 и 17 июня, занятия в школах будут заканчиваться в 2:50 дня. В последние два дня учёбы в школе, 18 и 19 июня, занятия будут заканчиваться на 2 часа раньше.


Sia mochen áchema ngonuk pwe esapw chiwen sárekái sukkun nón ekkei Sárifan poputá seni ikenái tori nesópwonón ei ierin sukkun. Meinisin chóón sukkun repwe ne fiti néúr ewe kunókun sárin sukkun iteiten ráán nón Suun 3, 10 me 17.

Nón ekkewe sáingonón ráánin sukkun, ren Suun 18 me 19, sukkun epwe sárekái (wón 2 awa).

Iká e wor kapas eis, kose mochen kékkéri ei 360-771-5343.

Programs accepting more applications for next school year

Four programs are accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year:

June 3 deadline

June 7 deadline

Dec. 31 deadline

Final VPS budget recommendations will preserve direct services to students

After taking public input into consideration, VPS officials will recommend on May 28 that the school board address an $8 million budget shortfall for 2019-20 in ways that preserve direct services to students. But a district advisory group is concerned that the use of one-time money from the state and the district’s financial reserve will result in another large shortfall for 2020-21.

VPS initially projected a total budget shortfall of $16.8 million for next year. Approximately $2.3 million was due to a forecasted decline in student enrollment. District officials said that they would adjust staffing to cover that part of the deficit. A one-time appropriation of $6.5 million in state levy equalization assistance further reduced the shortfall to $8 million.

Over the past few weeks, VPS conducted an online budget survey with more than 1,800 respondents, solicited written correspondence to the superintendent and the board of directors, listened to constituents testifying at board meetings and met with a district advisory group composed of parents and business and community leaders. Based on that input, a preliminary/recommended list of $8 million in potential budget reductions was revised to include mainly cuts from central administrative services and a drawdown of the district’s financial reserves.

The VPS management task force, a longstanding district advisory group chaired by John McDonagh, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and associate publisher and owner of the Vancouver Business Journal, concluded that the final budget recommendations are consistent with the community survey results. Survey respondents showed a strong preference for minimizing the impact of budget reductions on direct services to students.

But the district advisory group noted that VPS is relying on $6.5 million in one-time state levy equalization assistance and $3.75 million in one-time district money from the ending fund balance to close the funding gap.

“The task force supports the final budget recommendations, but we are concerned that the use of $10.25 million in one-time money only pushes much of this problem down the road for a year,” said McDonagh. “We advise the superintendent and his team to identify a sustainable revenue source, including a possible supplemental levy measure, to meet the district’s financial needs in 2020-21 and beyond.”

The final budget recommendations include the following:

  • One-time use of ending fund balance, or financial reserves ($3.75 million)
  • 10 centrally budgeted teachers on special assignment ($1,266,667)
  • 5% reduction in central office/support services budgets ($1.2 million)
  • 15% reduction in central office administrative positions ($800,000)
  • 5 central office professional-technical positions ($450,000)
  • 50% reduction in travel for professional development ($400,000)
  • 1 grounds maintenance position ($75,000)
  • 1 wing clerk position ($58,608)

The superintendent and his team will present the final budget recommendations to the board on May 28 at a work session scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Bates Center for Educational Leadership, 2921 Falk Rd.

Related: District receives clean audit report

Girls Lead the Way Summer Robotics Camp

The Girls Lead the Way Summer Robotics Camp provides opportunities to program robots and work with other students on fun, technical projects.

  • When: Aug. 5-9, 2019
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Where: McLoughlin Middle School
  • Cost: Free

Students who will enter sixth through eighth grades in fall 2019 may apply. All campers will receive:

  • Camp T-shirt
  • At least one project to take home
  • A week filled with fun, making new friends and learning

Download the application and return it by June 14.

Questions? Contact teacher Cyndy Hagin.

Survey will gather community’s input for 2019-20 budget reductions

Vancouver Public Schools has a projected budget shortfall next year that will necessitate reductions in staff and support. The overall deficit has been lessened thanks to a one-time addition of $6.5 million from the recently released state’s consensus budget. At this point, the district is anticipating an $8 million shortfall.

The district is asking for input from district families, staff and community members to prioritize the reductions. Participants will be asked to suggest preliminary/recommended reductions from a potential list identified over the past three months.

Survey timeline

  • The survey will be open May 6-14.
  • Results of the survey will be released May 20.
  • District advisory committee discussion will take place May 23.
  • Final budget recommendations, reflecting the survey results, will be made at the May 28 school board meeting.

Если Вы хотите, чтобы Вам прочитали этот документ, пожалуйста, позвоните по телефону: (360) 936-9574 или (360) 771-5548

Si desea que le lean este documento en español, favor llamar al: Señora Estefanía, 360-771-5479.

Iká pwe ke mochen epwe wor emén epwe ánea ngonuk masowen ei taropwe nón fóósun fénúomw ren ómw kopwe weweiti, en mei tongeni kéri Juanita Yasu, 360-771-5343.

New elementary school naming

In May 2019, students, staff members, families and community members suggested potential names for a new elementary school.

The final name will be announced in June.

Projected to open in fall 2021 behind the site of the current headquarters of the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries, the project-based learning school for approximately 500 students will focus on arts and innovation. Construction is funded through a bond measure that voters approved in 2017.

Young historians advance to national contest

Vancouver students demonstrated their knowledge of the past at the 2019 Portland regional History Bee competition held at Columbia River High School in late March. Fifteen Vancouver students qualified for the National History Bee after battling through four rounds of history questions. Seven also qualified for the U.S. Geography Olympiad.

Eighth-grade division

  • Dylan Kopitzke, Alki Middle School: qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Ian Levitre, Alki Middle School: qualifier for Bee
  • Padraic O’Shea, Jefferson Middle School: qualifier for Bee and Olympiad

Seventh-grade division

  • Joshua Wuethrich, Alki Middle School: finalist and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Shaylin Murphy, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics: qualifier for Bee

Sixth-grade division

  • Maxwell Houston, Vancouver iTech Preparatory: finalist and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Ethan Martillo, Jason Lee Middle School: qualifier for Bee

Fifth-grade-and-younger division

  • Aaron Barron Pintor, Walnut Grove Elementary School: champion and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Owen Sawyer, Harney Elementary: runner-up and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Jonathan Kunz, Lake Shore Elementary: finalist and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Jace Hastings, Felida Elementary: finalist and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Alexander Hardin, Walnut Grove Elementary: finalist and qualifier for Bee and Olympiad
  • Greg Blau, Lake Shore Elementary: qualifier for Bee
  • Jerod Zhao, Felida Elementary: qualifier for Bee
  • Reagan Fieweger, Felida Elementary: qualifier for Bee

Columbia River teacher Dave Douglas is the director of the regional competition.

The 2019 National History Bee and Olympiad will be held in Rosemont, Illinois, in June.

New technology coming fall 2019 | Español | Русский

As a result of feedback from students, parents and staff members and a review of different options, Vancouver Public Schools will provide Chromebooks instead of iPads to high school students starting fall 2019. We believe that these laptops, which use Google’s Chrome operating system, will better match the work products expected of students at the high school level.

Our goal is that by the 2020-21 school year, when an enhanced district network with more access points will be operational, students will have the option of using either Chromebooks or their own laptops. Schools also will continue to have some iPads available for students to use as needed for projects, and we will continue to provide iPads to students with specific needs that are best addressed by specific iOS applications.

Both students and parents again will be asked to sign an agreement on the safe, responsible use of technology. The same financial terms outlined in that agreement will apply for damaged or lost Chromebooks.

The cost of the Chromebooks is comparable to that of iPads and cases and will be met through the technology levy that voters authorized in February 2019. Those levy dollars can be used only for technology.

The move toward Chromebooks is an important step in our ongoing efforts to prepare students for college, trade schools, training programs and, ultimately, the workforce.

Iká pwe ke mochen epwe wor emén epwe ánea ngonuk masowen ei taropwe nón fóósun fénúomw ren ómw kopwe weweiti, en mei tongeni kéri Juanita Yasu, 360-771-5343.

Como resultado de los comentarios de estudiantes, padres y miembros del personal y una revisión de diferentes opciones, el Distrito Escolar “Vancouver Public Schools” proporcionará ordenadores portátiles, llamados “Chromebooks” en lugar de iPads a los estudiantes de la preparatoria a partir del otoño de 2019. Creemos que con estas computadoras portátiles, que utilizan el sistema operativo Chrome de Google, se podrán realizar mejor los productos de trabajo que se esperan de los estudiantes a nivel de la preparatoria.

Nuestro objetivo es que para el año escolar 2020-21, cuando una red mejorada del distrito con más puntos de acceso esté en operación, los estudiantes tendrán la opción de usar “Chromebooks” o sus propias computadoras portátiles. Las escuelas también continuarán teniendo algunos iPads disponibles para que los estudiantes los utilicen según sea necesario para los proyectos, y continuaremos proporcionando iPads a los estudiantes con necesidades específicas que se abordan mejor con aplicaciones iOS específicas.

Se les pedirá nuevamente a los estudiantes y padres que firmen un acuerdo sobre el uso seguro y responsable de la tecnología. Los mismos términos financieros descritos en ese acuerdo se aplicarán a los “Chromebooks” que sean dañados o perdidos.

El costo de los “Chromebooks” es comparable al de iPads y la cubierta protectora, y se cubrirá a través del impuesto a la tecnología que los votantes autorizaron en febrero de 2019. Estos dólares fiscales se pueden usar sólo para la tecnología.

El cambio al uso de “Chromebooks” es un paso importante en nuestros esfuerzos continuos para preparar a los estudiantes para la universidad, escuelas de comercio, programas de capacitación y, en última instancia, para la vida profesional.

Исходя из результатов опроса учащихся, родителей и сотрудников, а также после рассмотрения различных возможных вариантов Ванкуверские государственные школы, начиная с осени 2019 года, будут предоставлять учащимся старших школ лэптопы Chromebook вместо планшетов iPad. Мы считаем, что эти лэптопы, использующие операционную систему Google Chrome, лучше подойдут для выполнения работ на том уровне, который ожидается от учащихся в старшей школе.

Наша цель заключается в том, что, когда к 2020-21 учебному году в районе начнёт работать более мощная беспроводная сеть с большим количеством точек доступа, учащиеся смогут по своему выбору пользоваться лэптопами Chromebook или своими собственными лэптопами. Школы, по-прежнему, будут предоставлять ученикам планшеты iPad по мере необходимости для работы над проектами, кроме того, мы будем продолжать предоставлять планшеты iPad ученикам с особыми нуждами, поскольку специальные приложения iOS наилучшим образом соответствуют потребностям этих учеников.

Учеников и их родителей снова попросят подписать соглашение о безопасном и ответственном использовании компьютеров. Финансовые условия, описанные в этом соглашении, остаются прежними в отношении повреждённых или утерянных лэптопов Chromebook.

Цена Chromebook сопоставима с ценой iPad и футляров, и они будут приобретены за счёт налогов на компьютерные технологии, которые были одобрены избирателями в феврале 2019 года. Эти деньги могут быть истрачены только на компьютерные технологии.

Переход на Chromebook является важной ступенью в нашей постоянной работе над подготовкой учащихся к учёбе в колледже, профессионально-технических учебных заведениях, учебных программах и, в конечном итоге, к работе.