Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Levy ballot deadline nears - 02/03/16
Voters have just one more week to submit ballots for the Vancouver Public Schools' levy election. The educational maintenance and operations (M & O) levy is not a new tax. It will replace the levy expiring this year.

Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off at the Elections Drop Box by Feb. 9. The Drop Box is located on 14th Street between Franklin and Esther streets. On election day only, ballots also may be dropped off at some area schools. A list of school locations accepting ballots will be posted on Monday, Feb. 8, on the Clark County Elections website at https://www.clark.wa.gov/elections.

The replacement M & O levy will continue basic programs and services for three years--2017, 2018 and 2019. The district is requesting authorization of $46.2 million for collection in 2017, $47.3 million in 2018, and $48.4 million in 2019. The current levy amount (for 2016) is $45.2 million. Levy amounts are limited by a state-set "levy lid." Vancouver Public Schools is below that lid.

Projected replacement levy rates (per $1,000 of assessed property value) are $3.04 for 2017, $3.02 for 2018, and $3 for 2019. The current estimated levy rate for 2016 is $3.06.

More information is available on the Vancouver Public Schools website: www.vansd.org.
Vancouver Public Schools takes Wi-Fi on the road - 01/28/16
VPS students in sixth through 12th grades have gained managed access to the Internet while traveling on school buses. The district recently installed a Wi-Fi network on buses as part of strategic efforts to improve Internet access and capacity and create equity for students who do not have Internet at home.

Approximately 160 bus routes were upgraded. This gives opportunities to extend the school day to some 5,000 secondary students who ride a bus regularly and have district-issued one-to-one devices. The actual number of students using the network most likely is higher, to include those students and staff members who travel for athletic competitions and extracurricular activities.

Safety and security also is improved because the network allows remote, real-time access to cameras already installed on buses.

The Wi-Fi network is paid for by the district's technology levy, which also will fund one-to-one devices for all students in grades three through 12 by 2019. As of the 2015-16 school year, sixth- through 12th-graders and teachers are using devices. The Vancouver community approved the levy in 2013.

VPS also implemented a Wi-Fi network on its mobile Family-Community Resource Center, or FCRC. The mobile FCRC's network will be available to students, families and community members within roughly a 100-foot range.

Staffed by a full-time coordinator, the mobile FCRC roves around the district to provide resources and supplies for families who require assistance with housing, food, clothing, school supplies and other unmet needs that can be barriers to learning.

Planning is underway to determine where the mobile FCRC will stop. The plans include availability in neighborhoods; at community centers and events; in parks; and at the Lieser Campus, located at 301 S. Lieser Rd., Vancouver, WA 98664. Locations will be announced via Twitter by @VPS_FCRC.
Apply for Vancouver Public Schools' secondary magnet programs and programs of choice beginning Jan. 12 - 01/08/16
Secondary students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of magnet programs, full-day programs that feature a unique theme as a focus for the curriculum across all content areas, and programs of choice, 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 2016-17 school year.

Enrollment in magnet programs and programs of choice is free, but students must apply for admission. Recommendations or counselor approval also may be required.

Applications should be submitted at www.vansd.org/choices between Monday, Jan. 12, at 4 p.m. PST and the deadline for each program noted below. Admission is based on qualifications, not the 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 to/from their home school to the magnet site.

Acceptance letters will be mailed on Friday, March 11. 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. Once in the program, they must study a world language, in addition to meeting other academic requirements.

Application deadline: Monday, Feb. 8., at 4 p.m. PST

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th St.

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.

Application and recommendations deadline: Monday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m. PST.

Open house: Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at VSAA, 3101 Main St.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/vsaa or 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.

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

Open houses: Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Parsley Community Center, 4100 Plomondon St. Interested parents and students must attend one open house in order to submit an application.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/itech or 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 online education on individual student laptops with student-created schedules, face-to-face instruction from teachers and small group work.

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

Open house: Thursday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. or Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Vancouver Flex Academy, 2901 General Anderson Ave.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/flex or 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: Thursday, Jan. 28, 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.

Application and recommendations deadline: Friday, March 4, at 4 p.m. PST

Open house: Thursday, Jan. 28, 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/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 experiences while developing leadership and job skills.

Application and counselor approval deadline: Friday, March 4, at 4 p.m. PST

Open house: Thursday, Jan. 28, 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/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.

Application and counselor approval deadline: Friday, March 4, at 4 p.m. PST

Open house: Thursday, Jan. 28, 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/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.

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

Open house: Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Hudson's Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

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 problems using a hands-on approach.

Application and recommendation deadline: Friday, March 4, at 4 p.m. PST

Open house: Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Skyview High School, 1300 NW 139th St.

For more information about this program, visit http://vansd.org/choices/smt or http://skyview.vansd.org/SMT, talk to a school counselor, email skyview.smt@vansd.org or call 360-313-4200.
Vancouver Public Schools announces snow makeup day - 01/07/16
As a result of Vancouver Public Schools' weather-related closure on Jan. 4, the following changes are in effect for the current school year:

* June 16 has been designated as a makeup day and now is the last day of school, barring additional weather-related closures. All students and staff members should report to school on that day.

* There will be no early release on Tuesday, June 14, as originally scheduled.

* There will be a two-hour early release on both Wednesday, June 15, and Thursday, June 16.

Graduation dates will not be affected.

Other possible snow makeup days for the current school year are, in priority order, Friday, June 17; Monday, June 20; and Friday, Jan. 29.

The state of Washington requires districts to hold no less than 180 days of school per school year.