Many of our parents and graduates describe the Vashon Island public school system as having the attributes of a private school education. We offer high quality academic programs and a wide range of opportunities in the arts, sports, music, and travel both in the classroom and through co-curricular clubs and activities. Our schools reflect the commitment of our faculty and staff, the participation and dedication of our parents and families, and the contributions of our vibrant community partner organizations.
Our mission, “to equip every student to engage, thrive, and contribute within an ever-changing world,” guides our commitment to the success of every student. Our joy is to know every student as an individual and to provide each student with the tools and learning opportunities they need to prepare for college or a career, and ultimately to lead productive lives as citizens.
The culture within each of our three public schools is built upon a deep compassion and caring for one another. Our teachers and staff are renowned for their experience, qualifications and commitment. They work together both within departments and across grade levels to ensure continuity of curriculum and support for students.
Our public schools thrive because of our community of support. Our curriculum is greatly enhanced by contributions of funding from Vashon Partners in Education, Vashon PTSA, and Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation, among others. Thanks to partnerships with Vashon Youth and Family Services and Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse, our learning community has access to education and resources directed towards mental and physical health.We look forward to extending you a warm welcome.
Our objectives for our learners:
3. Every student demonstrates a commitment to contribute by participating in projects that are meaningful to the student and to the community.
Welcome everyone to a brand new school year here on Vashon Island!
What inspires you?
“We are all some kid’s hope for a bright future.” I first heard these words three years ago from Becky Berg, superintendent of Marysville schools. I was inspired by these words then and even more so now that I am the new superintendent of Vashon Island School District. I am extremely humbled and greatly appreciate the trust you have placed in me to lead our wonderful district.
On September 4th, students will be arriving and sharing in the excitement of seeing each other and the promise of a new year. The first day of school is one of my favorite days of the year. For some students, they have spent most of the summer with their friends. For others, this is the first time seeing their friends and there is much to share. The buzz and excitement is in our schools, our students, and with our staff as well.
Prior to being named superintendent in Vashon, I was Hockinson School District’s Assistant Superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Preceding my work at the district office, I held several administration positions as well as had the honor of being a school counselor for nine years and a 4th grade teacher for three years. My heart has always been in this work. From the beginning, I wanted to make school a place where students couldn’t wait to get to in the morning and didn’t want to leave in the afternoon.
My family moved from Vancouver to the island in June to share this adventure with me. My wife, Kelli, who inspires me daily, is a teacher-librarian recently hired at Evergreen High School in the Highline school district. I’m lucky that my two boys, Hank and Gus, will be attending McMurray this year as an 8th and a 6th grader respectively. We also have a German Shorthaired Pointer named Indie who is in love with the Burton trails. Over the past two months, we have been exploring the island by foot, bike, bus, car, and kayak. We love adventure and the feeling of living in a small community. Vashon Island has so much that we haven’t yet seen and we count ourselves lucky to be here.
I would like to thank Michael Soltman, prior superintendent, for the capable and passionate leadership before me. Under his leadership, VISD has grown both in it’s work to improve student learning as well as providing a place where where everyone belongs. While much has been accomplished, I look forward to working with the VISD school board, staff, and the community to support our work, advocate for students, and further advance Vashon Island School District’s mission and vision of “equipping every student to engage, thrive, and contribute in an ever-changing world.”
As we move further in the month of August, our teachers are busily preparing their classrooms and curriculum. We are very fortunate to welcome several new outstanding teachers to all three buildings and I’m excited for our Vashon community to meet them. Equally important, our facilities and custodial crews have spent the summer months preparing our buildings and grounds. The community may have also noticed that we are completing several new bond projects including new furniture and painting at Chautauqua, new windows and locker rooms at McMurray, and a new artificial turf field and track at the high school. I would like to say “thank you” again to our community for supporting our 2017 bond.
This year, parents and the community will see continued engagement in our racial equity work, student security and safety, as well as a focus on improving our instructional practices. I am very thankful for the passion and commitment demonstrated by our school board and all of our staff to make VISD a place where everyone feels like they belong. I am also very thankful for the community partners we have who invest in our schools through generous donations of time and money to the Vashon Schools Foundation and Vashon PTSA. Through these donations, we have been able to purchase new K-5 English Language Arts curriculum, expand our work in racial equity, and improve our work providing STEM experiences to students. In addition to these partnerships, I would also like to recognize and thank Vashon Youth and Family Services, Neighborcare, Vashon Center for the Arts, Vashon Partners In Education, Vashon Parks District, DOVE, Vashon Island Rotary, and the businesses in our community. All of these organizations enhance and support the many programs that support our students.
Above all, I am thankful for your continued support and confidence in our wonderful district. I look forward to listening and learning more about our students, families, and community. This is an exciting time and an opportunity for new learning for everyone. I’m inspired by what I have experienced in these first few months on Vashon and can’t wait for the students to arrive. My sincerest wishes to every student for the best year ever as they return to our schools.
Dr. Slade McSheehy, Superintendent
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM VISD Board Meeting