In the construction zone: 28 schools on track for bond work

Construction and upgrades are in progress at 28 district schools.  Here’s a rundown of the projects.

Remodel and expansion projects

  • Columbia River High School: Final design phase of remodel and expansion; construction scheduled to begin winter 2020
  • Early Childhood Special Education assessment center: Will move to remodeled McLoughlin classroom pod; remodel scheduled to begin spring 2020
  • Eisenhower Elementary School: Construction of two new K-3 classroom additions underway
  • Felida Elementary School: Construction of five new K-3 classroom additions and remodeled restrooms underway
  • Franklin Elementary School: Going to bid for expansion of parking lot, classroom additions and elimination of portables; construction to begin November 2019
  • Fruit Valley Community Learning Center: Construction currently underway of four K-3 classroom additions
  • Harney Elementary School: Four new K-3 classroom additions completed; secure entry and Family-Community Resource Center renovation underway
  • Lieser School: Programs will move to remodeled Marshall building; remodel scheduled to begin spring 2020
  • Sacajawea Elementary School: Final design phase of remodel and expansion; project out to bid
  • Salmon Creek Elementary School: Two new K-3 classroom additions completed August 2019
  • Vancouver School of Arts and Academics: Final design phase of remodel and expansion; construction to begin spring 2020

New and replacement schools

  • Fir Grove: In final design phase of new replacement school; construction to begin January 2020
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School: New replacement school under construction; scheduled to open fall 2020
  • Marshall Elementary School: Construction underway; scheduled to open spring 2020
  • McLoughlin Middle School: Construction underway; scheduled to open spring 2020
  • Ogden Elementary School: New replacement school opened Aug. 27, 2019
  • Truman Elementary School: Under construction; scheduled to open fall 2020
  • Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Arts Elementary School: Final design phase of new school; construction to begin January 2020
  • Vancouver iTech Preparatory: New school under construction; scheduled to open January 2020
  • Walnut Grove Elementary School: Design phase of new replacement school is complete; construction to begin November 2019

Upgrades and improvements

  • Hazel Dell Elementary School: In design phase of Family-Community Resource Center renovation, roof replacement and HVAC upgrades
  • Hough Elementary School: Addition of HVAC/air conditioning and replacement of windows to begin spring 2020; currently in design phase of Family-Community Resource Center renovation and secure entry
  • Jason Lee Middle School: In final design phase of classroom and Family-Community Resource Center improvements and secure entry
  • Jefferson Middle School: Safety improvements in parking lot
  • Kiggins Bowl Stadium: In design phase for upgrades to stadium, concessions, restrooms and new turf currently; track feasibility study in progress
  • Lincoln Elementary School: Renovation of Family-Community Resource Center; secure entry, HVAC and exterior lighting improvements; scheduled for summer 2020
  • Minnehaha Elementary School: Addition of secure entry scheduled spring/summer 2020
  • Roosevelt Elementary School: Renovation of Family-Community Resource Center, secure entry; scheduled spring/summer 2020

All school construction and upgrade projects are paid for with funding from the bond measure passed by voters in February 2017.

View the full scope of bond construction and upgrade projects.

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.

Reading for fun is important!

Middle school student in the library reading a book.School is a place to learn to read and also to read to learn. Students begin learning letters and sounds and by the time they are through the primary grades they are reading longer passages and beginning to understand that reading is a skill they will need in all subject areas. Sometimes students begin to feel frustrated when they can’t keep up or the content begins to be challenging. Guess what helps with instructional reading skills and even improving test scores? Pleasure reading. Reading for fun! Reading without purpose, choosing their own material, and engaging with books that are not even assigned is all part of pleasure reading. And guess where students can access pleasure reading materials and also have an expert to help them find books they want to read? You guessed it! The school library. The school library is a safe place without any assessments or assignments where students are free to choose books that speak to them.

Reading Unbound by Michael Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm shares many research studies that show that students need exposure and opportunities for pleasure reading. “Pleasure reading is a more powerful predictor than even parental socioeconomic status and educational attainment” (Wilhelm). It is our job as teacher librarians to promote pleasure reading to all students and work to provide them with a diverse collection of materials to support them.This builds lifelong readers but also builds better students and lifelong learners.

Students reading a book in the library.

What does this look like in Vancouver Public Schools? As teacher librarians, we work hard to encourage students, inspire readers, and develop collections where students can see themselves and also learn about others. Teacher librarians, with help from our clerks, purchase and process materials that are new and exciting for our students, build displays and bulletin boards, do book talks, and talk with students about great reading choices that support reading just for fun. You can find literature clubs, Battle of the Books teams, student book reviews, special collections, and even book “tastings” at all different levels in our schools. And you will also find a teacher librarian, with a clerk by their side, smiling as they add new books this fall that they just know students will love. 

You can learn more about the benefits of pleasure reading here:

The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure

How Reading for Pleasure Helps Students Develop Academically

Reading for pleasure — a door to success

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Pleasure Reading


Free after-school dance program | Sesiones gratuitas de baile después de clases | Бесплатные уроки танцев после уроков

Free after-school dance program

Each session lasts eight weeks, so students receive eight hours of extracurricular dance education.

During the program, students hone their technical and creative skills as dancers. Students in the program are able to learn specific styles of dance such as ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop and even cultural dance styles like Mexican Folklorico. Not only do students get to explore the technique of dance, but they also have the opportunity to create dances with other students. Students are encouraged to collaborate while exploring and choreographing based on various stimuli. It is an amazing experience for students to work with students from other schools who share their love for dance.

At the end of the sessions, the students have a chance to show their families what they learned and perform to a real audience.

The program is open to students in grades 3-8. Classes are one hour once per week. Students should wear comfortable clothing that allows them to move freely. Special dance shoes are not necessary, but students may wear them if they wish.

Fall session dates

Wednesdays, Sept. 25, 2019–Nov. 13, 2019
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Winter session dates

Wednesdays, Jan. 29, 2020–March 18, 2020
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

To apply, all interested students and parents should submit an application and consent/medical form by Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Families will receive a confirmation email with further details about attendance, attire, etc.

Sesiones gratuitas de baile después de clases

Cada sesión dura ocho semanas , así que los estudiantes reciben ocho horas de educación extraescolar de danza.

Durante el programa, los estudiantes perfeccionan sus habilidades técnicas y creativas como bailarines. Los estudiantes en el programa pueden aprender estilos específicos de baile como ballet, jazz, moderno, hip hop e incluso estilos de baile cultural como el folklórico mexicano. No sólo exploran los estudiantes la técnica del baile, sino que también tienen la oportunidad de crear bailes con otros estudiantes. Se anima a los estudiantes a colaborar mientras exploran y realizan coreografías basadas en diversos estímulos. Es una experiencia increíble para los estudiantes trabajar con estudiantes de otras escuelas que comparten su amor por el baile.

Al final de las sesiones, los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de mostrar a sus familias lo que aprendieron y ante una audiencia real.

El programa está abierto a los estudiantes en los grados 3ero al 8vo. Las clases son de una hora, una vez a la semana. Los estudiantes deben usar ropa cómoda que les permita moverse libremente. No se necesitan zapatos especiales para bailar, pero los estudiantes pueden usarlos si lo desean.

Fechas de las sesiones de otoño

Miércoles, 25 de septiembre de 2019–13 de noviembre de 2019
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Fechas de la sesiones de invierno

Miércoles, 29 de enero de 2020–18 de marzo de 2020
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Para solicitar ingreso, todos los estudiantes y padres interesados, debe presentar una forma de solicitud y consentimiento/médico antes del viernes 20 de septiembre de 2019. Las familias recibirán un correo electrónico de confirmación con más detalles sobre la asistencia, vestimenta, etc.

Бесплатные уроки танцев после уроков

Каждый цикл занятий длится 8 недель, таким образом ученики получат восемь часов факультативных танцевальных занятий.

На этой программе учащиеся оттачивают свои танцевальные технические и творческие навыки. Участники программы смогут ознакомиться с различными стилями танцев, такими как балет, джаз, современный танец, хип-хоп и даже народные танцы, например мексиканские. Учащиеся не только изучают технику танца, но у них также будет возможность придумывать танцы с другими учениками. Учеников побуждают к совместной работе во время изучения и постановки различных движений в танце. Ученикам предоставляется удивительная возможность поработать вместе с учениками других школ, которые разделяют их любовь к танцу. В конце цикла ученики получат возможность показать своим семьям, чему они научились ,и выступить перед настоящими зрителями. На программу приглашаются учащиеся 3-8 классов. Классы проводятся в течение одного часа раз в неделю. Одежда для класса должна быть удобной и позволять ученикам свободно двигаться. Специальная обувь необязательна.

Даты осенних занятий

Среда, 25 сентября 2019 года – 13 ноября 2019 года

4:30-5:30 вечера

В школе: Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Даты зимних занятий

Среда, 29 января 2020 года – 18 марта 2020 года

4:30-5:30 вечера

В школе: Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Заинтересованные в этой программе могут подать Заявление и Согласие на оказание медицинской помощи к пятнице 20 сентября 2019 года. Семьи получат подтверждение и подробную информацию о посещаемости, форме одежды и т.д. по электронной почте.

Personnel changes announced for 2019-20

Positions originally identified as possible budget cuts preserved; associate principal moves

Thanks to the availability of $6.5 million in one-time state levy equalization assistance and the use of $3.81 million in one-time money from district reserves, Vancouver Public Schools will preserve many of the positions originally identified as possible cuts in the 2019-20 school year.

Among the positions restored are:

  • 21 teachers
  • 11.8 FTE counselors
  • 19 media clerks
  • 7 counseling clerks
  • 4 wing clerks at Skyview High School
  • 2 deans of students
  • 4 teachers on special assignment (instructional technology facilitators)
  • 1 teacher on special assignment (curriculum and instruction)
  • 3 maintenance grounds crew
  • 15 custodial positions

District personnel are working with union association leaders to notify recalled staff according to contract language.

Additional administrative changes announced

Several associate principal moves will take place for the 2019-20 school year. All personnel changes are subject to approval by the school board.

Tony Liberatore, associate principal at Columbia River High School, will move to Fort Vancouver High School. Liberatore is replacing John Schultz who is leaving the district.

Nick Davies, a teacher at Jesuit High School in Portland, will fill the associate position at Columbia River.

Luis Castro, currently associate principal at Gaiser Middle School, will move to Fort Vancouver High School as associate principal.

Allison Watson, associate principal at Fort Vancouver High School, will fill an associate principal role at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Watson is replacing Andrea Sperry who is leaving the district.

Mandie Arai-Green, currently a teacher and administrative intern at Ogden Elementary School, will become associate principal at Gaiser.

Scott Sartorius, current associate at Discovery Middle School, will be associate principal at Eisenhower and Lincoln elementary schools.

Katie Ronning, current associate principal at Felida Elementary School, will be associate principal at Discovery Middle School.

Mike Meskel, associate principal at Hudson’s Bay High School, will fill the associate position at Felida Elementary School.

Greg Roberts, currently associate principal at Eisenhower and Lincoln elementary schools, will be associate principal at Hudson’s Bay High School. Roberts is replacing Patrice Woods who is leaving the district.

Amber Beardmore, a teacher and administrative intern in the Camas School District, will be associate principal at Hudson’s Bay High School.

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.

Things to do this summer

Day camps around the Greater Portland–Vancouver metro area

Day camps offer students a chance to expand their horizons, meet new friends and try fun activities.

There are a number of day camp options in the Portland–Vancouver metro area.

Photo: Super sleuths day camp at the Jim Parsley Community Center

Register for summer day camps at the Jim Parsley Community Center.

Through the Foundation for VPS, the Jewish Business Network is supporting summer camps with scholarship vouchers to attend Boys and Girls summer programs or a camp offered at the Jim Parsley Community Center. Students 14 years of age or younger may apply.

More events

On June 8, the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will host free National Get Outdoors Day and Brigade Encampment events.

Library rewards summer reading

Sign up for the summer reading program in the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. The library also offers activities and special events.

Little kids, children, teens and adults can earn rewards while keeping their reading skills sharp with the free program.

Water Resources Center

The center offers several free educational activities, including Second Saturdays, Reading in the Wild and Science in the Park.

Intake center at Boys an Girls Club

All new Vancouver Public Schools students who are learning English as a second language may register for school at the intake center at Boys and Girls Club, 4040 Plomondon St., 98661.

The center will be open on the following dates:

  • Aug. 19, 21 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Aug. 20 and 22 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Interpreters will be available to help complete paperwork. Bring proof of immunization, proof of each child’s date of birth, proof of current address and emergency contact numbers and public assistance case number (if applicable).

Boys and Girls Clubs

Several clubs offer summer activities, but space is limited. Visit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington’s website for more information.

early entrance

Kindergarten Jump Start

Kindergarten Jump Start offers academic and developmental opportunities that build learning skills in incoming kindergarten students and familiarize them with their schools. This summer, the program will be offered on weekdays Aug. 5 through Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Anderson, Fruit Valley, Harney, Hazel Dell, King, Lincoln, Marshall, Minnehaha, Ogden, Roosevelt, Truman, Walnut Grove and Washington elementary schools. Jump Start will be offered from Aug. 12–16 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Chinook, Eisenhower, Felida, Franklin, Hough, Lake Shore, Sacajawea and Salmon Creek elementary schools.

There is no cost to participate. Transportation is not provided. Sign up in school offices before June 20 or on the first day of Jump Start at one of the above schools. Note: You must also register your child for kindergarten at this time. Please bring the required documentation.

Summer Meals

Graphic: School's Out! Power Up for Summer Fun!

The Summer Meals Program feeds kids and teens 18 years old and under. Sites are located at places such as schools, parks and community centers.

Boys and Girls clubs also provide summer meals. Membership in the clubs is not required for meals.

Kids ages birth to 18 also can get free meals during the summer thanks to Share

Cascadia Tech Academy

The Cascadia Tech Academy (formerly known as the Clark County Skills Center) is offering summer school classes to students who have completed eighth, ninth, 10th or 11th grade this school year. Students who have completed eighth, ninth, 10th or 11th grade during the 2018-19 school year can earn a 0.5 elective credit and, in some cases, academic credit. Get more information.

Photo: Kids swimming at the Jim Parsley Community Center


Jump in! The pools at the Jim Parsley Community Center and Propstra Aquatic Center are open for fun and lessons. Check the links above for schedules and fees, or call JPCC at 360-313-1060 or Propstra at 360-313-3625.

go ready, fcrc, back to school

Go Ready! Back-to-School-Readiness Festival

The first day of school is coming. Will you be ready? Gear up for the first day by attending Go Ready!, a free back-to-school-readiness festival for VPS students and their parents. The event will be held Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Hudson’s Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

Free sports physicals

Physicals are required for middle and high school students who plan on participating in intramural sports, band or cheer. Free sports physicals for Vancouver students will be held at two locations:

Non-district events and activities are not sponsored or endorsed by Vancouver Public Schools.

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