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New Walnut Grove Elementary School coming in 2020

  • Rendering of the new Walnut Grove

Among the many challenges associated with the 1950s-era building that is home to Walnut Grove Elementary School, most involve a lack of space. It’s at a premium in a school with approximately 750 students and 75 staff members.

Walnut Grove has three portable buildings to accommodate classes, and there’s little room for learning support or personalized learning experiences. Space also is insufficient for the school’s Family-Community Resource Center, and the gym isn’t large enough for the entire student population. Lunches and assemblies must be held in shifts.

That will change soon. The school will be entirely rebuilt with funds from a 2017 bond measure. The new school’s two-story design, developed with input from staff members, will be located on the same site, but slightly to the east of the current structure. The entrance will face west, and the playground will be located on the east side of the building.

Highlights of the design also include the following:

  • Secure courtyard
  • Bigger parking lot with expanded space for dropoff and pickup
  • Secure entrance
  • Large staircase that can be repurposed for presentations and learning activities
  • Commons area that can be used for student performances
  • Family-Community Resource Center located near the main entrance
  • Approximately 40 classrooms
  • Defined spaces for creative movement, music and art
  • Areas for projects and hands-on activities
  • Fitness space

Pending any unforeseen delays, construction on the new building will begin in fall 2019 and be completed by the end of 2020. The parking lot will be finished by the summer 2021.

Receive updates on construction and more news from around the district by subscribing to our e-newsletter.

Building Readers: October 2019 / Desarrollando la Lectura: Octubre 2019

Building Readers provides the guidance, steps to take, specific direction and concrete recommendations that parents need to help their kids learn to read, and to read more proficiently.

In this issue:

  • Engage your child in frequent conversations to build vocabulary
  • Suggest fun ways to read
  • Encourage your child to write to music

This monthly newsletter is available in English and in Spanish.

New to #TeamVPS

Seven teachers recently joined Vancouver Public Schools. Welcome to our newest certificated employees!

  • Sarah Cherry, special education teacher at Minnehaha Elementary
  • Ingrid Dahl, science teacher at Gaiser Middle School
  • Lacey Lavin, fifth-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary
  • Nicholas Legambi, special education teacher at Discovery Middle School
  • Claire Neely, math teacher at McLoughlin Middle School
  • Lisa Ventrella, dance/PE/visual art teacher at multiple schools
  • Carlee Walker, science teacher at Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies

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.

Elementary

  • 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

Secondary

  • 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.

Building Readers: September 2019

Building Readers provides the guidance, steps to take, specific direction and concrete recommendations that parents need to help their kids learn to read, and to read more proficiently.

In this issue:

  • Make library trips an enriching part of your family’s school year routine
  • Decode unfamiliar words like a detective
  • Spend quality time reading together

This monthly newsletter is available in English and in Spanish.

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.

Español

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.

Русский

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.

Chuukese

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

Swimming

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.