FYI From the Superintendent

  • Thriftway Supports Vashon Schools Foundation!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 9/15/2017 5:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents;

    We are grateful to Thriftway, a generous partner in our Vashon Schools Foundation 2017 fundraising campaign.  This month your purchases at Thriftway are matched by 1%  toward the Foundation's goal of $350,000.

    We are thankful that our donors have contributed $135,000 toward this goal to date. This year’s funding priorities include:

    • Further develop a culture and program of racial equity
    • Continue to develop STEM and applied science programs
    • Continue to implement programs fostering mental health, social skills, and suicide prevention
    • Support StudentLink programs for alternative learners
    • Update curriculum in science, calculus, algebra and reading
    • Support for students learning English as a second language

    Your donation by September 30th will support our public school students and ensure that their “beyond basic” learning experience continues. Make a donation today or consider a sustaining monthly gift that fits your budget.  Contribute online at vashonschoolsfoundation.org or mail your gift to Vashon Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 481, Vashon, WA 98070.  Your support makes such a difference to our students.

    Best regards,

       Michael Soltman                    

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535 

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  • “Making a Difference: An Evening of Inspiration” – Tonight! VHS Theater - $10

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 9/8/2017 12:50:00 PM

    Tonight, film-maker Peter Serko, and special musical guest, Jacob Bain, are presenting "Making a Difference: An Evening of Inspiration" at the VHS Theater. Tickets are $10 at the door.  All proceeds go to benefit Journeymen, a Vashon-based 501c3 providing youth rites of passage, long-term mentoring and community engagement opportunities to boys in our region.

     footnote

    Journeymen recently partnered with Vashon Island School District to bring CIRCLES to all three of our schools. CIRCLES is a no-cost, positive mentoring group for boys and young men featuring weekly in-school meet-ups and epic outdoor adventures.  CIRCLES are a comprehensive character development path for teen/preteen boys and young men featuring weekly, in-school meet-ups (in Groups) paired with fun, dynamic, and challenging group activities outside of the school setting.

    Participants will be supported in their journey to healthy adulthood through our proven effective group mentoring model, collaborative service opportunities, and transformative outdoor rites of passage experiences (ROPEs).

    CIRCLES are currently offered to self-identified male students at Vashon Island Schools at no cost to the school or students and will be expanding into greater Puget Sound throughout the next few years.

    Comments (-1)
  • New school meal payment guidelines

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 8/31/2017 10:30:00 PM

    Dear Parents,

    A new procedure has been developed clarifying food service meal payment guidelines.  Here is a summary of the guidelines for student meal accounts:

     

    1. Students must maintain a meal account balance sufficient to pre-pay for meals.    It is recommended that student meal account balances be maintained at no less than $20. Notices of low balances will be sent to parents/guardians via email two times per week during the school year when the meal account balance is $20.00 or less to allow time for a payment to be made before the funds in the student’s account are exhausted.
    2. Students/Parents/Guardians must pay for meals in advance and are encouraged to use a credit card through Skyward Family Access.  Payments in the form of cash, check or credit card may also be made in all school offices.  Checks are made payable to Vashon Island School District. Further details are available on our webpage at www.vashonsd.org.
    3. Students qualifying the federally funded free or reduced meal programs must maintain an account balance for charges for any a la carte or second entrée purchases beyond the standard meal provided.  Each school office has information about how to qualify for the free or reduced meal program.
    4. Milk is included with all purchased meals.  However, all students, including those qualifying for free or reduced lunch, must pay the a la carte fee for milk if a full meal is not purchased (home provided brown bag lunches and a la carte lunches).
    5. If a student is without meal money on a consistent basis, the administration will investigate the situation more closely and take further action as needed. If financial hardship exists, parents and families are encouraged to apply for free or reduced price lunches for their child.

    For additional important details, please review the entire procedure here.

     Michael Soltman                        

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535

    Comments (-1)
  • Ferry Commuting Guidelines

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 8/31/2017 10:30:00 AM

    Dear Parents and Commuting Students,

    We continue to work collaboratively with Washington State Ferries (WSF) to provide safe passage to Vashon for your students.  Recently WSF has developed information for parents regarding new ferry terminal drop-off procedures, fare and ticketing procedures, and "Guidelines for a Safe Commute".  The informational memo is here.

    It is also required that parents and students read and return the "Guidelines for a Safe Commute".  Please click here to go to the guideline form, read the guidelines, list your names and dates indicating that you have read and agree to the guidelines, and then click "send" to return the form to us.

    We look forward to seeing your student(s) on the ferry soon!

    Best regards,

    Michael Soltman                           

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535

    Comments (-1)
  • Capital Projects Update

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 8/29/2017 12:30:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues,

    Our facilities department has been busy at work this summer completing the first phase of projects covered under the bond proposal that passed last April. Here’s a birds-eye glimpse of work underway. For more details, please visit the Capital Projects Updates page of the district website or Click Here

     

    At Chautauqua Elementary we have defined the scope and parameters for an extension of the Kindergarten Playground. The new area will extend north from the existing playground and create more natural area for creative play. A small performance area defined by trees will include a small shade awning to enhance the sense of space.

     CES Playspace

    New lights have been installed in the covered playground behind the school. In the gym, sound panels have been hung that will tremendously improve acoustics--something direly needed as the space doubles as an auditorium for school-wide assemblies.

    At McMurray Middle School new carpet is being installed in classrooms throughout the school’s classrooms.  In the photo below carpet tiles are being installed. 

     McM Carpet

    The McMurray gym floor has been completely refinished, including new lines defining the courts.  This fall new lights will be installed.

     McM Gym Floor

    Our community committee and facilities team are busy touring high school stadiums as they investigate turf options for the Vashon Island High School track and field. Most recently, the group toured Mercer Island High School stadium as it undergoes a turf replacement of field turf with cork infill. The visit was particularly informative as the team was able to see all components of the field including the paved e-layer or pad, types of turf backing, and different combinations of turf blade. More field visits are planned with construction slated to begin in the spring or summer of 2018.

    The VHS Gymnasium has received a new coat of paint inside and out (photo below), new exterior doors and the gym floor will receive paint touch ups and a new seal coat. New bleacher seating caps have arrived with installation set to begin in late September. Roofing replacement is complete on both the gym and building F.

    VHS Gym

    Signage for the VHS entry has just received permit approval. Stay tuned for more on this…we are very excited!

    We are grateful for your support of the bond that is enabling completion of this important work. I will continue to keep you updated on progress both through this communication and on the Capital Projects Update (link!) web page.

    Warm Regards,

     Michael Soltman

    Michael Soltman

    Superintendent of Schools

    msoltman@vashonsd.org

    206-463-8535

     

     

     

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  • Save the date for the annual commuter picnic

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 6/29/2017 1:00:00 PM

    Dear Commuting Families,

    Once again we are scheduling a commuter picnic at Lincoln Park in Seattle to meet with our continuing and new commuting families.  It is scheduled for Thursday, August 31st, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at picnic site #3.  I'll have our principals with me to meet you and talk about the coming school year, and we usually get the ferry people to attend as well.  As usual, you'll bring your own meat course to BBQ, a beverage, plate/cup, and a side dish or dessert to share.  More details to follow.

    Southworth Commuters - I am open to scheduling a similar event over on Kitsap as well.  It could be an evening picnic, or a dessert event, or ???  If you have an idea and a location that you could pitch to me, we can begin to put a plan together.  It would be great to start a tradition with Kitsap families this year.

    Best to you for a great summer,          

       Michael Soltman                          

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535

    Comments (-1)
  • Neighborcare Clinic

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 6/22/2017 1:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues,

    I am pleased to announce that, during the 2017-2018 school year, Neighborcare Health will open a school-based health center at Vashon Island High School, thanks to a grant through King County Best Starts for Kids. Currently, Neighborcare Health operates twelve K-12 school-based health centers in the Seattle Public School District.

    The school-based health center will provide a full-range of comprehensive health care, in alignment with national guidelines, as well as Washington State law. Students will have access to primary care medical services, mental health counseling, dental care and health education beginning September 2017. The center will be based in a yet-to-be-determined location at VHS, but open to all students enrolled in the Vashon Island School District and open throughout the school year before, during and after school Monday through Friday.  Further, mental health services will be available on the Chautauqua and McMurray campuses as well.

    A grant from Best Starts for Kids, along with patient insurance coverage, will cover all school-based health center operations including construction of the new school-based health center.  With the exception of utilities, VISD carries no expense to maintain the clinic.  The school health center will serve all students without regard to ability to pay, however, insurance plans will be billed if patients are insured.

    We have prepared a document that provides answers to frequently asked questions. To see that document, CLICK HERE.

    To view a Neighborcare Health brochure about school-based health centers, CLICK HERE.

    We are delighted that this school-based health clinic will be available for our students and families.  Neighborcare has become a trusted partner in our community providing quality medical care with the highest degree of professionalism and patient-centered care.  Join me in welcoming Neighborcare to our schools in September 2017.

    Respectfully yours,                 

      Michael Soltman                          

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535

    Comments (-1)
  • Washington State Seal of Biliteracy

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 6/16/2017 3:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues,

    This past year, VISD launched The Washington State Seal of Biliteracy program for grades 9 through 12. The program recognizes students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. In April of this year, 19 students, grades 9-12, took the assessment exam; all 19 qualified for competency-based credits and 18 earned the Seal of Biliteracy.

    Of special commendation, all of the VHS Spanish IV students participated in the testing and each earned the Seal of Biliteracy—an incredible accomplishment and testament to the teachers in our World Languages program.

    During the 2017-2018 school year the biliteracy program will expand to grades 7 through 12. Any student may participate including students from homes that speak a language other than English, those who study a language independently or students that take formal language classes at school. ELL program teachers, school counselors, and world languages teachers will reach out to all eligible students that we can identify.

    Dr. Stephanie Spencer, Director of Teaching and Learning, responsible for launching the program, had this to say, "We are so pleased to offer this opportunity in our district and to encourage our students to pursue biliteracy. The program, which supports our district-wide equity work, provides access to any student no matter the pathway followed to attain biliteracy: native or home language, independent study and/or formal coursework through our schools. We are very proud of the students who participated in the inaugural year of our program and we look forward to honoring many more students in the coming years."

    Here is a link to more information about his program:

    http://www.k12.wa.us/WorldLanguages/SealofBiliteracy.aspx

    Here are some of the amazing students that participated in the program and the language in which they demonstrated proficiency:

    Students

    1st Row: Kayla R., 12th, Spanish; Alden H.-S., 11th, Spanish; Eleanor H., 12th, Spanish; Isaac H., 12th, Spanish; Eva A., 12th, Spanish; Calder S., 11th, Spanish

    2nd Row: Julian W.-D., 11th, Spanish; Solrun H., 10th, German; Josephine S., 11th, Spanish; Paolo P., 10th, Spanish; Jane O., 12th, Spanish; Linnet C., 12th, German and Spanish; Esther L., 12th, Spanish; Giovanna M., 12th, Spanish; Carson N., 12th, Spanish; Reynaldo R., 11th, Spanish

    Back: Mr. Harris Levinson
    Absent: Selena M., 12th, Spanish; Ruby S., 12th, American Sign Language

    Respectfully yours,                 

      Michael Soltman                         

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535

    Comments (-1)
  • Graduation Streamed Live!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 6/15/2017 9:15:00 AM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues,

    This Saturday, June 17, 2017 beginning at 5:30pm, the Riptide Broadcast program will stream the 2017 VHS Commencement, providing live coverage for those who cannot attend.  The ceremony can be viewed live or after the fact at: visdtv.org.  This streaming event will be the program’s most ambitious undertaking to date--utilizing five cameras, drone footage, and a live video-editing station on site. 

    The broadcast epitomizes the mission of Vashon Island High School’s Certified Technical Education (CTE) program in its partnership between VHS Riptide Broadcast students and community members who have expertise in video and audio production. CTE students have benefited from the mentorship of industry professionals including Marc Brown of Run Studios, Martin Feveyear of Jupiter Studios, audio engineer Bob Moses, Larry Meyer of LDM Worldwide, Simon Clark of Stageworks, and Debra Heesch of Debra Heesch Presents

    “Working with dedicated volunteers who are industry pros has been really valuable,” said VISD Director of Technology and Executive Producer of the broadcast, John Stanton.

    The VHS Riptide Broadcast crew includes McKenna Anderson, Brennan Barrett,Maya Gould, Jesse Harrold, Tayo Sjoberg-Jamison, Alex Lee, Omar Peck, Solrun Heuschert and Lars Cain.

    The VHS Broadcast Program, launched this past year, has produced a range of live broadcasts during the 2017-18 school year including sporting events and speeches by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal. The first year of the program has been documented in a video:  The First Year:  Birthing the VHS Broadcast Program (https://youtu.be/wB9fGv1c2e4).

    Respectfully yours,

     

     Michael Soltman

    Michael Soltman
    Superintendent of Schools
    msoltman@vashonsd.org
    206-463-8535

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Special VIHS Graduation News

    Posted by Jodi Burwell at 6/13/2017 12:15:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues,

    At 6pm this Saturday, the Vashon Island High School class of 2017 will don caps and gowns and receive their diplomas. Among them will be a very special graduate, 92-year-old Mary Matsuda.

    On May 15th 1942, five months after Pearl Harbor, junior VHS student Mary Matsuda was moved from Vashon Island and her family’s large strawberry farm to an internment camp. She lived there for three years, later joined the war effort, entered the Cadet Nurse Corps and went on to continue her nursing career at Providence Hospital and Group Health in Seattle. In her family’s attempt to demonstrate their loyalty, they destroyed every piece of family history and memorabilia. She went on to recreate that lost family history and document her experience as a Japanese-American during World War II, by authoring books.

    So, 74 years after what should have been her graduation date, Ms. Matsuda will finally receive her diploma (she has met all necessary requirements).

    For more information about Ms. Matsuda’s life, please click on these links:

    http://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/news/japanese-family-farm-reflects-a-troubled-time-in-our-history/

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/carrying-the-pain-for-70-years-japanese-americans-internment/

    Beginning at 5:30PM this Saturday, graduation ceremonies will be broadcast live by the VHS Riptide Broadcast team. You can tune in, or watch the event after the fact, at: http://tv.vashonsd.org

    Respectfully yours,

     Michael Soltman

    Michael Soltman

    Superintendent of Schools

    msoltman@vashonsd.org

    206-463-8535

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