Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Revised homework policy reflects learning needs of students - 04/20/17

Revisions to Vancouver Public Schools homework policy will help ensure that homework, when assigned, will support teaching and learning goals. The revisions are in response to current research, which shows that homework assignments given to children in primary grades offer few, if any, educational benefits.

Specific revisions to Regulation 6133 ( concerning homework aim to improve instruction and enhance achievement. Homework assignments should be a constructive tool for teaching and learning and be geared to the needs and abilities of students. In addition, homework assignments must be planned and purposeful, evaluated by the teacher and returned to students in a timely manner.

"VPS teachers are committed to educating the whole child and creating a healthy balance for children and their families," said Debra Hale, executive director of teaching and learning. "Learning happens when children are engaged in different interests, even play. We encourage families to spend their time together in creative, fun and interactive activities."

Guidelines for assigning homework
The frequency and duration of mandatory assignments:
1. Kindergarten through third grade -- Students should not be required to complete homework assignments. Encouragement should be provided to engage in family home learning activities such as reading to and with their child, outside play, puzzles and games, etc.
2. Fourth and fifth grade -- Homework assignments of two to four assignments a week, each lasting not more than 15 to 45 minutes, will take into account the student's developmental age, learning goals and program of studies
3. Sixth through eighth grade -- Three to five assignments a week, each lasting 45 to 75 minutes
4. Ninth through 12th grade -- Three to five assignments a week, each lasting 75 to 120 minutes
5. Students enrolled in special K-12 programs, including language immersion, Highly Capable, Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and College in the High School may have additional assignments in accordance with program goals and requirements.

The VPS board of directors approved the revised policy at the April 11, 2017, school board meeting.

Administrative changes announced for 2017-18 - 04/18/17

Vancouver Public Schools has announced several administrative changes for the 2017-18 school year. Personnel assignments are subject to final approval by the school board.

Chinook Elementary -- Principal Joe Lapidus is retiring at the end of the school year. Patrick Conners, current principal at Washington Elementary, will take over as principal at Chinook beginning August 2017.

Washington Elementary -- Kirsten Copeland, current associate principal at Hazel Dell and Minnehaha elementary schools, will be principal at Washington.

Hazel Dell and Minnehaha elementary schools -- Marjorie McCluer, currently associate principal at Discovery Middle School, will fill the half-time associate principal positions at Hazel Dell and Minnehaha elementary schools. A full-time associate position at Discovery Middle School for the 2017-18 school year has not yet been filled.

Truman Elementary School -- Lee Gunter, current counselor/administrative intern at Minnehaha Elementary, will become half-time associate principal at Truman Elementary.

Hudson's Bay High School -- Patrice Woods, current half-time associate principal and half-time teacher at Truman Elementary, will become associate principal at Hudson's Bay High School. Current Associate Principal Kevin Bryant will resign effective June 30 due to family considerations.

Sarah J. Anderson Elementary School -- Anna Supplee will be associate principal at Anderson. Currently she is a special education mentor teacher who has been completing her administrative internship at Truman Elementary School.

Fort Vancouver High School, Center for International Studies -- Alison Watson, current administrative intern and CIS coordinator will be associate principal at Fort Vancouver. Allison Darke, currently an associate principal at Fort, will move to her previous role as resource coordinator of CIS.

Skyview High School -- Associate Principal Becky Phillips is retiring at the end of the school year. Jeremy Tortora, currently an administrative intern and teacher at Skyview, will be associate principal.

Jim Parsley Administrative Office -- Daniel Bettis, current interim executive director of special services, will be appointed to the permanent position following the resignation of Brenda Martinek due to family circumstances. The principal position at Fir Grove/Vista and GATE, formerly held by Bettis, has not yet been filled for the 2017-18 school year.

Zach Desjarlais, manager of instructional technology
Zach Desjarlais, manager of instructional technology
Manager of instructional technology named NextGeneration Leader (Photo) - 04/12/17

Five K-12 technology leaders, including Zach Desjarlais from Vancouver Public Schools, were named 2017 NextGeneration Leaders on March 31. Desjarlais is the only honoree from Washington state or the West Coast.

As the district's manager of instructional technology, Desjarlais leads a team of more than a dozen IT facilitators. He also co-led a successful district-wide implementation of Canvas and advocated for greater use of Google Apps and cloud-based productivity tools by students and teachers. To advance professional development, he helms a Future-Ready Administrators team of principals. In addition, Desjarlais is working with the district's director of curriculum to develop a strategy for implementing new digital content and services--an effort which in 2016 led to the district receiving the Digital Curriculum Strategy Award from the Learning Counsel.

Prior to assuming his current role in 2015, Desjarlais was an instructional technology facilitator. His career with the district, which began in 2005, also includes serving as the dean of students at Hudson's Bay High School, teacher at Bay and Gaiser Middle School, Associated Student Body coordinator, College Access Program coordinator, assessment coordinator and paraeducator. Prior to his employment with VPS, he was a student-teacher in the district.

Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the nonprofit Office Moms and Dads.

Said Desjarlais, "Integrating the use of technology into the teaching and learning processes isn't about the tech at all. It is about preparing our kids for what is to come not what is or was. It is about fostering a deep level of flexibility and adaptability in our students to prepare them for their future.

"I am thankful to work with a team from VPS that cares so deeply about giving kids the brightest future possible!"

"Being a Next Generation Technology Leader is about the understanding of how digital resources support the learning needs of students," said VPS Chief Digital Officer Christina Iremonger. "Zach understands the complex nature and interconnectivity of instructional pedagogy and content-area knowledge and leverages his expertise in technology to support teachers in their work as they match their instructional strategies to individual student needs."

The Consortium for School Networking, a professional association for school system technology leaders, and EdScoop, a news site covering technology and digital learning, annually recognize the country's emerging K-12 leaders in technology through their NextGeneration Leaders Program. The 2017 leaders were honored at CoSN's 2017 annual conference in Chicago, Illinois, in early April.

Kindergarten registration begins April 11 - 04/11/17

Kindergarten registration for the 2017-18 school year will begin Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Any child who will be 5 years old on or before Aug. 31, 2017, is eligible to enter kindergarten this fall.

Parents can find out which school their child will attend by using the district's online boundary map at or calling the elementary education office at 360-313-1010 or communications office at 360-313-1230.

Parents should bring proof of their child's birth date, immunization records and emergency contact information to their neighborhood school to register their child.

School offices are open for kindergarten registration Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration can take up to one hour. Forms can be downloaded from and completed in advance, but hard copies must still be turned into the school office.

Full-day kindergarten will be offered at all elementary schools during the 2017-18 school year.

Visitation schedules

Registered students and their families will be invited to visit their elementary school, meet teachers and learn more about the kindergarten program. Visitations typically last about one hour. The following dates/times are subject to change. Parents should confirm with the school.

Sarah J. Anderson, 2215 NE 104th St., 360-313-1500: May 25, 4 p.m.

Chinook, 1900 NW Bliss Rd., 360-313-1600: June 1, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Eisenhower, 9201 NW 9th Ave., 360-313-1700: May 17, 10 a.m.

Felida, 2700 NW 119th St., 360-313-1750: May 25, 8:45 a.m.

Franklin, 5206 Franklin St., 360-313-1850: June 1, 9 a.m.

Fruit Valley, 3410 Fruit Valley Rd., 360-313-1900: May 24, 9:30 a.m.

Harney, 3212 E. Evergreen Blvd., 360-313-2000: June 6, 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Hazel Dell, 511 NE Anderson Rd., 360-313-2050: June 1, 5 p.m.

Hough, 1900 Daniels St., 360-313-2100: May 25, 9 a.m.

King, 4801 Idaho St., 360-313-2200: May 25, 9 a.m.

Lake Shore, 9300 NW 21st Ave., 360-313-2250: May 25, 1 p.m.

Lincoln, 4200 Daniels St., 360-313-2300: June 8, 5:30 p.m.

Marshall, 6400 MacArthur Blvd., 360-313-2400: June 1, 4 p.m.

Minnehaha, 2800 NE 54th St., 360-313-2500: May 18, 5:30 p.m.

Peter S. Ogden, 8100 NE 28th St., 360-313-2550: May 24, 9 a.m., and May 25, 6 p.m.

Roosevelt, 2921 Falk Rd., 360-313-2600: June 2, 9 a.m.

Sacajawea, 700 NE 112th St., 360-313-2750: June 6, 5 p.m.

Salmon Creek, 1601 NE 129th St., 360-313-2800: June 1, 5 p.m.

Truman, 4505 NE 42nd Ave., 360-313-2900: June 1, 4 p.m.

Walnut Grove, 6103 NE 72nd Ave., 360-313-3000: May 31, 4 p.m.

Washington, 2908 S St., 360-313-3050: May 25, 1:30 p.m.

Jump Start

Parents also are strongly encouraged to sign up their child for Kindergarten Jump Start, a free program for incoming kindergarteners that takes place a few weeks before the school year begins. Students participate in a variety of math, literacy and hands-on learning activities and receive opportunities to learn basic daily school routines and become familiar with school surroundings.

Jump Start will be offered at the following elementary schools:

July 31 through Aug. 18, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:
Anderson, Fruit Valley, Harney, Hazel Dell, Hough, King, Lincoln, Marshall, Minnehaha, Ogden, Roosevelt, Sacajawea, Truman, Walnut Grove and Washington elementary schools

Aug. 14-18, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:
Chinook, Eisenhower, Felida, Franklin, Lake Shore and Salmon Creek elementary schools

Parents should contact their child's school's office for a registration form. More Jump Start information can be found on the district's website: