Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
VPS statement on VAESP declaration that the district withdrew from tentative agreement - 01/16/19

VPS learned last night from a media inquiry that Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals’ leadership reported to its members that the district withdrew from the tentative agreement reached through mediation on Dec. 21, 2018. 

The district absolutely has not withdrawn from the tentative agreement. 

That agreement improves total hourly wages from 2017-18 to 2018-19 by 10.2 percent on average and 2 percent on average in 2019-20, for a total improvement of 12.2 percent on average over two years. 

The total cost of the wage improvement is $2.4 million in 2018-19 and $600,000 in 2019-20 for an overall cost increase of $3 million per year by 2019-20. 

The district is requesting immediate assistance from the state-appointed mediator to understand why VAESP would report otherwise and, if necessary, to work through any misunderstanding of what was agreed to through mediated bargaining.

Vancouver Public Schools plans for budget cuts in 2019-20 - 01/08/19

Vancouver Public Schools forecasts a budget shortfall for 2019-20 of at least $11.44 million. The shortfall is due to the state-legislated cap on local education and operation levies (ESSSB 6362) as well as a recent contract settlement with the Vancouver Education Association and a tentative agreement with the Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals.

Total contractual obligations will cost $20.5 million for VEA and $3 million for VAESP. Negotiations with the Service Employees International Union will begin this spring. Based on current projections, district revenue sources will be insufficient to cover the full cost of those contracts.

At today’s meeting, the VPS Board of Directors approved a resolution authorizing Superintendent Steve Webb to study the need for a reduced education program in 2019-20 and to recommend necessary budget cuts.

“Effective immediately, VPS will enact belt-tightening measures to soften the effects of budget reductions next school year,” said Webb. “We will freeze hiring for positions that are non-mission critical and reduce non-personnel expenses (e.g., materials, supplies, travel and operating costs). These measures will generate approximately $1.5 million in projected cost savings that can be applied to the 2019-20 budget.”

In addition, the district will use $2.25 million from its ending fund balance, or financial reserve, to help address the shortfall. But without further legislative changes and/or more state funding, VPS will need to make budget cuts, including workforce reductions, to balance revenue and expenses in 2019-20.

At the board’s direction, Webb will lead a process to review enrollment projections, staffing allocations, ending fund balance, state appropriations and other information. Employee associations, district advisory groups and other stakeholders will have opportunities to provide input during the process. Webb will provide budget recommendations to the board by no later than March 31.

“It’s unfortunate that VPS has been put in this fiscal position by the public policy legislated through ESSSB 6362,” said Rosemary Fryer, VPS board president. “If we don’t have a legislative solution to the ‘McCleary fix’, many school districts across the state will face similar consequences—deep cuts in programs and services to balance budgets into the future.”

Truman Elementary to celebrate groundbreaking for new school - 01/08/19

After nearly 50 years, Truman Elementary School will celebrate a milestone with the honorary kickoff of construction on a new two-story building. Community members are invited to the school’s upcoming groundbreaking ceremony. This event is open to the public and no RSVP is required.
 
When: Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
 
Where: 4505 Northeast 42nd Ave., Vancouver, WA 98661
 
The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on the playground.

The new building is funded through a bond measure that voters approved in 2017. Bond dollars, which fund construction, are paying to rebuild or upgrade all 37 schools in the district.
 
Construction on Truman Elementary is slated to begin later in January 2019, with the new building projected to open in fall 2020.

Details on the design of the new school and subscriptions to the district’s e-newsletter with construction updates are available at http://vansd.org/project-school-truman

Time to apply for specialized programs and schools - 01/07/19

Students who want to participate in a specialized program during the 2019-2020 school year should apply for enrollment starting Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Full-day magnet programs and half-day programs of choice empower students to explore their interests and gain knowledge and skills needed for their future careers. Options include: 

  • Careers in Education (grades 10-12)
  • Vancouver Flex Academy (grades 9-12)
  • Welding/Fabrication Technology (grades 10-12)
  • Culinary Arts (grades 10-12)
  • International Baccalaureate (grades 9-12)
  • Medical Arts (grades 9-12)
  • Vancouver iTech Preparatory (grades 6-12)
  • Fort Vancouver Center for International Studies (grades 9-12, no application required)
  • Architecture, Construction and Environmental Services (Bay ACES) (grades 9-12)
  • Science, Math and Technology Magnet (Skyview SMTM) (grades 9-12)
  • Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (grades 6-12)

Students currently in fifth through 11th grades should apply for all programs that match their interests. Applications should be submitted at https://vancouver.schoolmint.net. 

Parents and prospective students can learn more about the programs by attending open houses or contacting a program coordinator. They also can attend a fair on Tuesday, Jan. 8, to speak with program coordinators and get help applying for programs. The fair will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Roosevelt Elementary School gym at 2921 Falk Rd.

Visit https://vansd.org/choices for program descriptions, open house dates and application deadlines.