Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
VPS budget survey prioritizes use of financial reserves, cuts to central administration - 05/14/19

An online survey seeking community input on how to address a projected budget shortfall for Vancouver Public Schools in 2019-20 shows most respondents favoring the use of the district’s ending fund balance along with reductions in central administration and support services.

From a list of choices, survey respondents overwhelmingly chose these top four budget solutions:

  • One-time use of ending fund balance, or financial reserves ($3.75 million)
  • 5% reduction in central office/support services budgets ($1.2 million)
  • 15% reduction in central office administrative positions ($800,000)
  • 50% reduction in travel for professional development ($400,000)

The district received 1,836 completed surveys. An invitation to take the survey was sent to district employees, families and community members. The results are posted online at https://vansd.org.

In the survey, VPS requested that participants prioritize budget reductions to address the deficit. They were asked to select from a list of 15 possible solutions that add up to an $8 million funding gap.

“Clearly, survey respondents want to preserve direct services to students,” said Steve Webb, superintendent of VPS. “This feedback will help inform the final budget recommendations, which will be presented to the board on May 28 after review by a district advisory group.” Formal adoption of the budget will take place at the August 13 board meeting.

“Thanks to Senator Cleveland’s securing of $6.5 million in one-time levy equalization money for 2019-20, I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to present final recommendations to the board that minimize the impact on our classrooms and schools,” said Webb.

“Our challenge going forward will be to secure sustainable funding of more than $10 million for the 2020-21 school year to replace the $6.5 million of one-time state money (levy equalization) and $3.75 million of one-time local money (fund balance),” said Webb. “Otherwise, we'll be right back here a year from now, with fewer options to consider.”

Attached Media Files: Chart of budget priorities
District receives clean audit report - 05/14/19

Vancouver Public Schools received a clean audit report for the 13th consecutive year. The official audit released by the Washington State Auditor’s Office evaluates the integrity of district financial statements, internal controls and compliance with state and federal laws and grant funding requirements. There were no findings of deficiencies or management letters calling for significant improvement in any area.

“This report validates our diligence and responsible management of public tax dollars,” said Board President Rosemary Fryer. “We are grateful to this community for its continued trust in our public schools.”

The audit period was from Sept. 1, 2017, through Aug. 31, 2018.

Said Brett Blechschmidt, chief fiscal officer, “Thirteen consecutive years of clean audits can only happen when countless professionals throughout the district take seriously the responsibility of properly handling the public funds with which we are entrusted. Our community has repeatedly and overwhelmingly stepped up to support our students, so it is gratifying to reward that trust with yet another clean audit.”

Get an inside look at public schools - 05/09/19

Vancouver Public Schools invites the community to experience public schools firsthand on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. On the Visit VPS tour, guests will engage with staff and students, explore classrooms and programs and witness learning at Eisenhower and Hough elementary schools.

Highlights include:

  • A classroom for students with autism

  • Outdoor learning areas

  • Math and English lessons

  • Practices for staying calm and learning readiness

The tour will begin and end at the Bates Center for Educational Leadership, 2921 Falk Rd. The tour is from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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. Advance registration is required. Sign up online to reserve a spot.

Vancouver high schools rank among best in Washington - 05/08/19

U.S. News & World Report in its 2019 ranking placed five Vancouver high schools among the top 250 out of 656 schools that the organization evaluated in Washington state.

  • Vancouver iTech Preparatory is ranked 15th in Washington and 910th in the nation.

  • Vancouver School of Arts and Academics is ranked 25th in the state and 1,503rd in the nation.

  • Skyview High School is ranked 87th in Washington and 4,308th in the nation.

  • Columbia River High School is ranked 100th in the state and 4,877th in the nation.

  • Hudson’s Bay High School is ranked 220th in the state and 10,362nd in the nation.

To determine the nation’s best public high schools, U.S. News evaluated more than 23,000 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Rankings are awarded based on 2016–2017 school year data demonstrating college readiness, college-level curriculum, math and reading proficiency and performance, graduation rates and performance among underrepresented students.

Survey will gather community's input for 2019-20 budget reductions - 05/06/19

Vancouver Public Schools has a projected budget shortfall next year that will necessitate reductions in staff and support. The overall deficit has been lessened thanks to a one-time addition of $6.5 million in the recently released state’s consensus budget. At this point, the district is anticipating an $8 million shortfall.

The district is asking for input from district families, staff and community members to prioritize the reductions in a survey that opens today. Participants will be asked to suggest preliminary/recommended reductions from a potential list identified over the past three months.

Take the survey now.

Survey timeline

  • The survey will be open May 6-14.
  • Results of the survey will be released May 20.
  • District advisory committee discussion will take place May 23.
  • Final budget recommendations, reflecting the survey results, will be made at the May 28 school board meeting.

Global art project celebrates the everyday heroes of Vancouver high schools - 05/03/19

A public art installation created by and featuring photos of students from Skyview and Hudson’s Bay high schools and Vancouver School of Arts and Academics will be on display at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C Street, from May 14 to June 2.

The installation is part of a global art project called Inside Out Project. Inside Out gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement about what they stand for.  Students and other school community members featured in the photos were nominated by classmates and staff because they are considered everyday heroes—people who work to make the school community better through large and small actions. The large scale portraits, measuring 36 by 53 inches each, will be visible from Evergreen and C streets and from inside the library.

Skyview photography students have been creating these public installments since 2015, this is the first year they’ve partnered with other VPS schools.

Public invited to closing activities and groundbreaking - 05/02/19

The community is invited to say goodbye to two longtime Vancouver school buildings and celebrate the kickoff of construction on one of the schools at several upcoming events.

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School closing activity

When: Saturday, May 18

Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: 4801 Idaho St., Vancouver, WA 98661

The closing event will include a school carnival and memorabilia viewing in the media center. There is no formal program.

Groundbreaking for new Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary

When: Friday, June 14

Time: 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: 4801 Idaho St., Vancouver, WA 98661

This event celebrates the beginning of construction on the new Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary.

Ogden Elementary School closing activity

When: Thursday, June 6

Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: 8100 NE 28th St., Vancouver, WA 98662

Photos and memorabilia will be on display in the media center. There is no formal program.

The new schools are funded through a bond measure that voters approved in 2017. Construction already is underway on Ogden and should be completed in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The new school is located on the same campus, to the northeast of the current building. King staff and students will occupy the old Ogden school during the 2019-20 school year as their building is demolished to make room for construction of the new King Elementary. The new school will be built on roughly the same site and is projected to open in fall 2020.

Learn more about the projects at https://vansd.org/project-school-king and https://vansd.org/project-school-ogden.

Vancouver Public Schools seeks suggestions for new school name - 04/30/19

Now through May 15, Vancouver Public Schools is collecting potential names for a new elementary school. Everyone is welcome to submit up to three names. Those that meet the criteria outlined by the district’s policy on facility naming will be considered.

Visit the online form to make suggestions and see details. The final name will be announced in June.

Projected to open in fall 2021 behind the site of the current headquarters of the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries, the project-based learning school for approximately 500 students will focus on arts and innovation. Construction is funded through a bond measure that voters approved in 2017.

Statement about the 2019-20 state budget - 04/29/19

Statement on Legislative Session Outcomes
Dr. Steve Webb, Superintendent, Vancouver Public Schools
April 29, 2019

The state’s consensus budget and legislation to raise the levy lid for school districts were passed shortly before the midnight deadline on Sunday.

VPS needs time to evaluate the overall impact of the state’s budget before issuing public comments on its specific components.

We appreciate that legislators were receptive to our ongoing communication with them since last fall expressing our concerns about the projected budget shortfalls faced by VPS and most other districts in the state.

I especially want to thank Senator Annette Cleveland for her courageous advocacy and efforts to modify the regionalization factor for school districts in southwest Washington to improve the equity of the state’s new funding model.

In lieu of legislative support for increasing the regionalization funds, Senator Cleveland was able to secure a one-time appropriation for levy equalization assistance of $7 million each for Vancouver and Evergreen school districts in 2019-20.

Senator Cleveland is a champion for the students of southwest Washington.

The one-time LEA resources will reduce the scope of our projected budget shortfall and ease our transition to the state’s new funding model.