FYI From the Superintendent

  • Vashon Schools Foundation Supports VISD with "GIVE BIG"

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 5/1/2018 3:00:00 PM

    On May 9 th  the Vashon Schools’ Foundation (VSF) will take part in the very last Give Big event hosted by the Seattle Foundation. Every year this event has been a huge part of VSF’s annual fundraising activities and I’m writing to encourage you to help VSF make this last Give Big the best Give Big ever.  The Foundation has secured $55,000 in matching funds to match your donation through May 9 th .

    HERE'S HOW TO GIVE BIG:

    1. GiveBig is May 9th. Go to givebigseattle.org and search for "Vashon Schools".

    2. Pre-schedule your gift at givebigseattle.org.

    3. Go anytime to vashonschoolsfoundation.org and click on the DONATE button.

    4. Mail your donation to: Vashon Schools' Foundation P.O. Box 481, Vashon, WA 98070

    ALL Spring 2018 donations will qualify for a match with our $55,000 matching gift

    The Vashon Schools’ Foundation was born in 2010 when the country was in a deep recession and the school district was facing a $500,000 budget shortfall and 7 teachers were facing layoff notices.  The District was in crisis. In response, our Island community - current and past school families, local businesses and a broad range of individual donors - connected with the dire challenges faced by our school district. 

    Close to $450,000 were raised in that first year. All 7 teacher positions were saved and VSF funds helped to sustain smaller class sizes and a better education for our students. It was an incredible achievement.

    Since 2010, Vashon Schools’ Foundation has raised over $2 million to help fund our three schools and provides  a stable and high quality teaching force with the programs and materials they need to teach, and our students need to thrive. 

    Vashon Schools’ Foundation works in direct partnership with the School District to respond to the needs of all three schools; Chautauqua, McMurray and Vashon High. VSF raises funds, leverages resources, and acts as a catalyst to involve our entire community in our kids’ education.

    But the School District needs VSF funding support as much now as ever before.   Here’s why:

    Since 2010 our nation’s economy and prosperity have rebounded. During this same time the scope of the Foundation has grown and expanded to meet a broad array of social and academic needs within our District. However, Washington State funding for schools  still only funds the basics despite economic turn-around

    We live in a time when our students need to know more and have the capacity to do and process more than ever before.  So please Give Big on May 9 th , or visit vashonschoolsfoundation.organd give today. 

    Best regards,

     

                                 

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

    Give Big

    Comments (-1)
  • VSF Family Feast and So Many Festivities This Friday!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 4/30/2018 12:00:00 PM

    Dear Families and Colleagues,

    Join us for a Family Feast and Festivities on Friday, May 4th.  There is so much going on!

    Our new permanent Neighborcare Student Clinic space is open, and our public open house is on May 4th, 3 – 5 p.m, at Vashon High School.  Please come and visit the clinic, meet our providers, and see our wonderful space.  The clinic provides professional, ready access to our students and families.

    Dedication of our Washington State Arts Commission public art “Ways of Knowing”, by Bob Leverich, Evergreen State University professor and artist, May 4th, 4:00 p.m., VHS Theater.  This large Cascade Granite installation just west of the VHS entrance was provided through a $125,000 Commission grant.

    Family Feast! Sponsored by Vashon Schools Foundation – Chef Cyra and her team have constructed a meal in the theme of “Cinco de Mayo”, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.May 4th.  The menu is a “build your own taco”, including crispy pork carnitas, slow cooked black beans, queso, Mexican crema, guacamole, chips/salsa, roasted sweet potato and black bean salad, Mexican coleslaw, fruit platters, tres leches cake, and sparkling water - WOW!  Suggested donation for meal: $5/children and $10/adults. Pay with cash, check or credit card at the door.

    VHS Student Photography Show - Urban Photography at Vashon Center for the Arts, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.May 4th.  VHS photography students shot photos in downtown Seattle with Vashon Photographer, Ray Pfortner as part of the VISD/VCA Artists in the Schools Program.  Enjoy dinner and then see the show!

    Family Fun Night at the Vashon Pool, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.May 4th.  Vashon Seals is sponsoring a “Star Wars” themed fun night at the pool games, video and fun.  Enjoy dinner and then head for the pool!

    Hope to see you there! 

                                 

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

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Vashon Schools Foundation Family Feast May 4th…Festivities and more

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 4/25/2018 2:30:00 PM

    Dear Families and Colleagues,

    Join us for a Family Feast and Festivities on Friday, May 4th.  There is so much going on!

    Our new permanent Neighborcare Student Clinic space is open, and our public open house is on May 4th, 3 – 5 p.mat Vashon High School.  Please come and visit the clinic, meet our providers, and see our wonderful space.  The clinic provides professional, ready access to our students and families.

    Dedication of our Washington State Arts Commission public art, by Bob Leverich, Evergreen State University professor and artist, May 4th, 4:00 p.m., VHS Theater.  This large Cascade Granite installation just west of the VHS entrance was provided through a $125,000 Commission grant.

    Family Feast! Sponsored by Vashon Schools Foundation – Chef Cyra and her team have constructed a meal in the theme of “Cinco de Mayo”, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.,May 4th.  The menu is a “build your own taco”, including crispy pork carnitas, slow cooked black beans, queso, Mexican crema, guacamole, chips/salsa, roasted sweet potato and black bean salad, Mexican coleslaw, fruit platters, tres leches cake, and sparkling water - WOW!  Suggested donation for meal: $5/children and $10/adults. Pay with cash, check or credit card at the door.

    Family Fun Night at the Vashon Pool, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.May 4th.  Vashon Seals is sponsoring a “Star Wars” themed fun night at the pool including games, video and fun.  Enjoy dinner and then head for the pool!

    Hope to see you there! 

                                 

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

    Comments (-1)
  • News at our Neighborcare Student Health Center – 1,786 Student Visits and Counting!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 4/23/2018 12:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues,

    Great News at our Neighborcare Student Health Center!

    Over 357 students have made over 1,786 visits to our health center since we opened in September.  We have exceed all of our goals for participation this year, and we welcome new students and families each day desiring medical, dental, and mental health services.  Visit the new Neighborcare Student Clinic website for information about the providers, registration packets, and descriptions of services. 

    I am also pleased to introduce you to our new dentist,  Dr. John Cheng . All dental services will be provided at the Vashon High School clinic for the remainder of this school year. Reserved appointments are available to students at all schools by contacting, Stephanie Keller, our Health Center Manager at 206-548-7550.

    The new permanent clinic space opened April 1 st , and our public open house is on May 4 th , 3 – 5 p.m.  Please come and visit the clinic, meet our providers, and see our wonderful space.  The clinic provides professional, ready access to our students.

    A few notes about how services are accessed by Chautauqua and McMurray students:

    Chautauqua Elementary School students must be accompanied by a parent for all medical and dental visits to the high school clinic.  Reserved appointment times during the day, as well as before and after school for Chautauqua Elementary School students are available.  Mental health visits continue to be available at the Chautauqua campus.  

    McMurray Middle School students may walk across campus to VHS for medical, dental and mental health appointments with parent permission . 

    See you at the open house!

                                 

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

    Comments (-1)
  • Family Feast! VHS Musical! Student/Faculty Basketball! All…in one night!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 3/15/2018 4:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents, Colleagues and Friends,

    Next Friday night, March 23 rd , will be a culinary delight followed by two great shows at Vashon Island High School. 

    First is the Family Feast hosted by our Vashon Schools Foundation.  Our executive chef, Lisa Cyra, and her food service team have prepared a fantastic dinner menu including… 

    Thai coconut curry soup with Fresh Spinach, homemade bread & butter, kale Caesar salad, roasted sweet potato, quinoa & arugula salad, fresh fruit, triple chocolate fudge brownies & ice cream, and sparkling water 

    Dinner is served from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., VHS lunchroom, suggested donation is $5 for children and $10 for adults – donations at the door.  Dinner is followed by two events to choose from…. 

    VHS Student/Staff Basketball Game
    7:00 p.m.
    VHS Gymnasium

    This is the contest of the year, the prowess of our young and talented students up against the still slightly nimble, but strategically mature faculty.  Always a crowd pleaser…… and a junior class fundraiser.    

    The cost is a $5 per person ($10 per family) 
     
    As an added bonus, please enjoy the attached video produced by VHS students Maryfiona Rudolph & Mckenna Teachout.

    Senior vs. Staff Basketball Video



    Opening Night
    VHS’s Spring Musical, “ The 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
    7:30 p.m., VHS Theater

    An eclectic group of six sixth graders vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.  It’s a riotous ride!  Complete with audience participation (maybe you?),  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius, a fast-paced crowd pleaser and an instant favorite.  It is rated PG-13 with some sexually suggestive lyrics and some mild profanity.

    Hope to see you there! 

                                 

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

    Comments (-1)
  • Guidance for Student Walkouts

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 3/8/2018 7:00:00 PM

    Dear Vashon Families,

    Following the tragic shooting in a Florida high school on February 14, it has been reported that students around the country are planning walkouts on March 14th to protest school violence. Anticipating that this movement may come to Vashon schools, we want you to know how we will respond if students participate in a walkout. 

     

    Some of our students may want to exercise their First Amendment rights to express their views on this important topic. When students advocate for an issue they feel passionate about, it can be a powerful learning experience. We also recognize that some of our students may not want to participate in a walkout and would prefer to stay in class. Other students may not have formed an opinion of how to respond.  We want to ensure that all students feel safe and respected, no matter what they choose to do. 

     

    If a student walkout occurs, schools and classes will continue on their normal schedule.   Although we support students’ First Amendment rights, we encourage students to remain in class: first because of safety; second because state law requires such absences to be unexcused. If students do walk out, staff will be assigned as necessary to observe in an attempt to keep students safe on campus, however staff will not be assigned to provide supervision off-campus. 

     

    We hope that you will discuss this with your student(s), and encourage a safe, thoughtful decision.  As always, the safety of our students is our priority. 

     

    Thank you,

                            

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

    Comments (-1)
  • VHS Spring Band Concert Wednesday Night!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 3/6/2018 11:00:00 AM

    March 7 – VHS SPRING BAND CONCERT – The VHS Spring Band Concert will feature the culmination of work from the VHS Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble.  Free and open to all!  Wed., March 7 th , 7pm at the VHS Theater.

    March 28 – McMurray SPRING BAND CONCERT – The McMurray Spring Band Concert will feature the culmination of work from the 6 th  Grade Mustang Band, the 7 th/8 th  Grade Symphonic Band, and the Jazz Band.  Free and open to all! Wed., March 28th , 7pm at McMurray Middle School.

    Hope to see you there! 

                                 

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

    Comments (-1)
  • Annual School Effectiveness Survey

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 2/13/2018 3:00:00 PM

    Dear Parent/Guardian:

    In order for us to continue to improve as a school district and as a school, it is important for us to know how our parents/guardians regard the job we are doing in providing a quality education for all of our children. Your feedback is crucial for us to know what you consider our strengths and our opportunities for growth. The best way to gather this information is to survey our parents/guardians using a survey developed by the Center of Educational Effectiveness, a Bellevue, WA based research firm.

    To gather this information, we are asking that you take a few minutes to complete this very important confidential survey.  The survey will only take about 15-20 minutes to complete.

    The information that we receive will be reported back to us as a building profile. This profile will provide us with information to support our building school improvement plans. 

    We value your input as we strive to continue to improve our school. Thank you for your feedback.

    VISD Parent Survey

    Respectfully yours, 

     

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


    Estimados Padres de Familia/Tutores:

    Para que podamos continuar mejorando como distrito escolar y como escuela, es importante que sepamos qué piensan los padres de familia/tutores del trabajo que estamos haciendo al proporcionar educación de calidad para todos nuestros niños. Su opinión es crucial para que sepamos lo que ustedes consideran nuestros puntos fuertes y nuestras oportunidades de crecimiento. La mejor manera de reunir esta información es a través de entrevistar a nuestros padres de familia/tutores, utilizando una encuesta desarrollada por el Centro de Eficacia Educativa, una firma de investigación, de Bellevue, WA.

    Para reunir dicha información estamos pidiendo que se tome unos pocos minutos de su tiempo para contestar esta tan importante encuesta confidencial. La encuesta le tomará solo 15-20 minutos aproximadamente.

    La información que recibamos se nos reportará como un perfil de entidad. Dicho perfil nos proporcionará información de apoyo para nuestros planes de mejoramiento escolar.

    Valoramos su opinión y nos esforzamos para continuar mejorando nuestra escuela. Les agradecemos su opinión.

    Encuesta para padres 

    Atentamente,

    Michael Soltman 
    Superintendente de escuelas
    msoltman@vashonsd.org 
    206-463-8535

    Comments (-1)
  • Please Vote by Tuesday!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 2/12/2018 10:00:00 AM

    Dear Parents and Colleagues, 

    Ballots are due to the County by tomorrow, Tuesday, February 13th for the renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O).  This is a replacement of the levy, formerly known as the “M&O Levy,” approved in 2014.  Every 4 years our district proposes this levy to the voters.  The levy represents nearly 20% of a total operating budget or, for 2018, $4,283,536 of a total operating budget of $21,516,595. 

    While our Washington State Legislature is currently in session continuing to work on the State Supreme Court’s November ruling directing the Legislature to “fully fund” public education, Vashon and other district’s across the state remain dependent upon local levies to sustain current programs. Our district utilizes this local levy support in order to pay for: 

    • the actual costs of meeting special education students’ educational needs mandated by state and federal law,
    • the training and professional development of our faculty and staff
    • paraprofessionals, school secretaries, and counseling support
    • extracurricular programs, sports, and field trips
    • keeping schools and grounds safe, functional and clean
    • qualified substitute teachers; and
    • arts and music programs, AP courses, and enrichment programs all of which are important community priorities.

    Information about this levy renewal is available on our website.  We take our stewardship of your tax dollars very seriously and welcome your questions.  We are grateful to the Vashon community for its historic support of our schools and our EP&O levies so that we can continue to provide the best possible education for your students.  Please drop your ballot in the ballot box located next to the entrance of our King County Library, or mail it by February 13.

    Best Regards, 

                              

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

    Comments (-1)
  • Please help us recruit substitute employees!

    Posted by Jodi Burwell on 2/2/2018 2:00:00 PM
    Dear Parents and Community Members,
     
    We are struggling to hire substitute employees.  A small labor pool and low unemployment makes finding substitute teachers, custodians, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and bus drivers very difficult.
     
    If you have a teaching certificate and are interested in substitute teaching, or if you are interested in other substitute positions not requiring certification, please visit our employment section on the website, or contact Amy Sassara, our Director of Human Resources at 206-463-2121, for more information.
     
    If you are not currently a certified teacher, but have a Bachelor's degree and experience working with children, you may be eligible to apply to be an Emergency Certified Substitute Teacher - a relative straight-forward application process.
     
    Please consider joining our team and send friends and relatives our way!
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