Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Apply for magnet programs and programs of choice beginning Jan. 11 - 01/04/17

Students who are currently in fifth through 12th grades have the opportunity to participate in a variety of magnet programs and programs of choice next school year. Magnet programs are full-day programs that feature a unique theme as a focus for the curriculum across all content areas; programs of choice are half-day programs that provide a concentrated focus in a particular area. These programs are designed to help students explore their interests and gain the knowledge and skills needed for college and careers. Current fifth- through 11th-graders may apply for any of the programs that serve the grade they will be in the following year. Enrollment will begin with the 2017-18 school year.

Enrollment in magnet programs and programs of choice is free, but students must apply for to be considered. Applications should be submitted online between Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 8 a.m. and the deadline for each program noted below. Admission is based on qualifications, not order in which the application is received. Applications will not be reviewed until after the deadline.

Students who live within district boundaries will be given priority over students from other districts. Transportation is provided for in-district students.

Acceptance letters will be mailed on Friday, March 10. Students who are not accepted to a program may be placed on a waiting list.

Parents and prospective students can learn more about the following programs by attending an open house or getting more information via one of the ways outlined below.

International Baccalaureate at Columbia River High School (grades 9-12)
International Baccalaureate is a worldwide honors program with an internationally designed curriculum stressing the importance of expertise in all academic areas and helping students develop critical thinking and research skills that will facilitate their success both in college and within the larger global society. Students must have completed Algebra I with an A or B grade by the end of eighth grade in order to be accepted.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th St.

Application deadline: Monday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m.
For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/ib, talk to a school counselor, email river.ib@vansd.org or call 360-313-3900.

Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (grades 6-12)
VSAA offers an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the arts--visual arts, dance, literary arts, moving image arts, music and theatre--and rigorous academics.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at VSAA, 3101 Main St.

Application deadline: Monday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/vsaa or http://arts.vansd.org, talk to a school counselor, email vsaa.arts@vansd.org or call 360-313-4600.

Vancouver iTech Preparatory (grades 6-12)
This school features a project-based comprehensive program for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. The middle school is located at the Jim Parsley Community Center, and the high school is located at the Clark College Building on the Washington State University Vancouver campus.

Open houses: Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Parsley Community Center, 4100 Plomondon Street. Guardian/student must attend one open house in order to submit an application.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/itech or http://itech.vansd.org or email itech@vansd.org. Interested parents and students also may contact iTech Prep's middle school counselor or program coordinator at 360-313-5200 or high school counselor or program coordinator at 360-992-6021.

Vancouver Flex Academy (grades 9-12)
Vancouver Flex Academy blends face-to-face instruction from teachers with online education on individual student laptops. Students attend five days a week. Instruction is divided between classes and independent online study with teacher support small group work.

Open house: Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. or Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Vancouver Flex Academy, 2901 General Anderson Avenue. Guardian/student must attend one open house in order to submit an application.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/flex or http://flex.vansd.org, talk to a school counselor, email vfa.flex@vansd.org or call 360-313-4350.

Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
The Center for International Studies will develop students' global competence by asking them to investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate their ideas and take action to make a difference in the community and the world.

No application is required. All students who attend Fort Vancouver High School participate in the program.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/cis, talk to a school counselor, email allison.darke@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

Medical Arts at Fort Vancouver High School (grades 9-12)
The Medical Arts magnet introduces students to the expanding field of health care, with a curriculum rooted in health, wellness, science, math, technology and medicine.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/medical, talk to a school counselor, email fort.medical@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

Culinary Arts at Fort Vancouver High School (grades 10-12)
Extensive hands-on opportunities in catering, restaurant management and food service offer Culinary Arts students real-world job experience while developing leadership and job skills.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/culinary, talk to a school counselor, email fort.culinary@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

Welding/Fabrication Technology at Fort Vancouver High School (grades 10-12)
The Welding/Fabrication Technology program is designed to provide students with the technical knowledge and skills to pursue machining, welding and related career fields.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/welding, talk to a school counselor, email fort.welding@vansd.org or call 360-313-4000.

Bay ACES (Architecture, Construction and Environmental Services) at Hudson's Bay High School (grades 9-12)
The ACES magnet offers a unique, hands-on experience for students who are interested in horticulture, natural resources, ecology, architecture and related fields.

Open house: Thursday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Hudson's Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/aces, talk to a school counselor, email bay.aces@vansd.org or call 360-313-4400.

Science, Mathematics, Technology at Skyview High School (grades 9-12)
The SMT program challenges students with rigorous science, math, and technology content to solve difficult problems using a hands-on approach.

Open house: Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Skyview High School, 1300 NW 139th St.

Application deadline: Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/smt or http://skyview.vansd.org/SMT/index.html, talk to a school counselor, email skyview.smt@vansd.org or call 360-313-4200.

Technology, language program and science class on display at tour of public schools - 01/04/17

Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Steve Webb will host the second patron tour of the 2016-2017 school year on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. The tour will provide an in-depth look at the award-winning Sarah J. Anderson Elementary and Gaiser Middle School.

At Anderson, which was named the state's only Innovative School of 2015 by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, visitors will tour a kindergarten classroom and see the Spanish/English dual language program. They'll also visit a fifth-grade classroom, where every student is using a take-home iPad to expand his or her learning.

Visitors will be treated to a video technology class at Gaiser Middle School, and discover how students there learn how to meet behavioral expectations. Also on the tour: an overview of the science offerings and environment-friendly practices that earned Gaiser the Green Ribbon School designation from the U.S. Department of Education in April 2016.

The free tour will begin and end at the Bates Center for Educational Leadership, 2921 Falk Rd. (next door to Roosevelt Elementary School). The tour starts at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. After visiting Anderson and Gaiser, guests have the option of enjoying a student musical performance and delicious lunch prepared by culinary arts students. Lunch is available for $5 per person.

Everyone is welcome, but space is limited. To sign up, call Sue Knable at 360-313-4720, email susan.knable@vansd.org or sign up online.

U.S. Department of Education highlights VPS for reducing student testing - 12/19/16

Vancouver Public Schools was noted in a White House briefing for its work to significantly reduce district assessments. The Dec. 7 release covered work-to-date about President Obama's Testing Action Plan, which "asked the U.S. Department of Education to work aggressively with states and school districts to make sure that tests students take are worthwhile; high-quality; time-limited; fair and transparent to students and families; and one of multiple sources used to understand how students, educators and schools are progressing."

VPS was profiled in a White House fact sheet, a U.S. Department of Education blog, and included in a speech by Secretary of Education John King, Jr. for efforts to reduce and improve assessments. In 2015, VPS convened a stakeholder group of teachers, specialists and other educators to evaluate district assessments. The 25-member assessment review team developed a list of priorities to evaluate assessment options. The team's focus--assessments for learning--ensured that time spent on testing would identify gaps in learning and thereby guide instruction.

Said VPS Superintendent Steve Webb of the district's assessment review, "We kept the focus on what we wanted students to learn. We also wanted students to be engaged in the assessment process and to take ownership of their learning and for teachers to have the information they need to meet the needs of our students. This purpose-driven approach drove the discussion and helped us make decisions in a timely manner."

The new assessment system was in place by the 2015-16 school year. Integral to the plan is the addition of job-related coaching sessions to support teachers and schools. Designed by school-based professional learning communities, the new formative assessments give teachers the ability to target instruction to meet student needs.

The VPS profile includes these markers of success:
* Average of 900 minutes back into the classroom across grades 3 -- 8
* 16 point increase in the on-time graduation rate to over 80 percent
* 200 percent increase in students of poverty enrolled in AP/IB coursework



For more information:

U.S. Department of Education Progress Blog: VPS profile
http://sites.ed.gov/progress/

White House report on Testing Action Plan
https://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/testing-action-plan-profiles.pdf

White House Fact Sheet
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/12/07/fact-sheet-white-house-announces-new-steps-create-better-fairer-and

Speech by Secretary of Education John King, Jr.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDo3YSd4snU&feature=youtu.be