Fred Meyer/Kroger gives back Thank you to Fred Meyer/Kroger, which recently donated $8,458 to Vancouver Public Schools.
Mac Pioneers win most medals at Math Olympiad On May 4, teams from McLoughlin Middle School competed in the Southwest Washington Middle School Math Olympiad. The students flexed their math muscles on a long problem and short quizzes in number sense, measurement, geometry, probability and statistics, and algebraic thinking.
McLoughlin’s Math Team, coached by Sarah Burgardt, took home more medals than any other school in the competition. The eighth-grade team won two medals; the sixth- and seventh-grade teams both nabbed a medal and a ribbon.
Skyview places 18th in national math contest Skyview has some of the best high school mathematicians in the U.S., as demonstrated by their finish in the 2013 Collaborative Problem-Solving Contest (CPSC). CPSC presents schools with 15 unique, intricate problems to be solved over the course of a week. Under the guidance of coach Mahenrika Malixi, students worked together using brainstorming, collaboration, research, and technology to solve the problems.
Vancouver high school seniors named Washington Scholars and Washington Scholar Alternates Four Vancouver Public Schools seniors have been named the recipients of some of the state’s highest academic honors. Anna Deleo, Fort Vancouver High School; Sarah Hall, Hudson’s Bay High School; and Brynne Silvey, Skyview High School, have been named Washington Scholars. Emma Cunningham, Skyview High School, has been named a Washington Scholar Alternate. The Washington Scholars Program recognizes four graduating high school seniors from each of the state’s 49 legislative districts based on academic achievement, community service, and leadership.
VPS middle school students sweep the competition at regional MESA Day More than 81 students from Gaiser, McLoughlin, and Jason Lee middle schools were among the many teams that competed in the Southwest Washington Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Day in March.
The regional MESA competition asked students to engineer prosthetic arms that would perform various tasks related to distance, accuracy, object relocation, and dexterity. In addition, they designed displays that explained the science behind their devices and presented their findings to a panel of judges. At the end of the day, Jason Lee’s The A.M.E.S.A.I.N.G.s, consisting of Tyler Bacon, James Hess, and Sam Sparkman, was named the first-place middle school team. In second place was another team from Jason Lee, The Twinkies, with Emma Holm, Aurora Lauser, Noah Sweeney, and Sativa Sweeney. Both teams are coached by Jason Lee teachers Susan Lindenmeyer and Suzie Womack. McLoughlin Middle School’s the Hands-On Mac Tech Ninjas, with Livia Anderson, Yesenia Ceron-Nava, Sydney Fox-Middleton, and Tracy Tran, claimed third place. The team is under the direction of teachers Cyndy Hagin and Brigham Williams.
As the top middle school team, The A.M.E.S.A.I.N.G.s will head to the statewide MESA Day competition later this month.
Winners of the Math Olympiad also were crowned at MESA Day. The Math Olympiad Middle School Competition was won by the team of Austin Bryant, Trevor Bryant, David Kang, Utsav Kapoor, and Jacob Mabey, from McLoughlin Middle School. The team, coached by Hagin, earned a perfect score.
Science Olympiad team places at Washington State Tournament Congratulations to Columbia River High School’s Science Olympiad Gold Team, which placed seventh at the 2013 Science Olympiad Washington State Tournament in April. Gold team members, advised by teacher Kelly Cameron, earned the following awards:
• Isabelle Crary and Meera Gregerson, first in Forensics
• Renata Kalnin and Matthew Leong, second in Water Quality
• Carrie Stump and Galen Bishop, second in Robot Arm
• Ericka Young, Charissa Lau, and Matthew Leong, third in Experimental Design
• Charissa Lau and Ian Manix, third in Elastic Launch Glider
Previously, Columbia River’s Gold Team took fifth place in the C Division of the Southwest Washington regional tournament in March. The school’s Purple and White teams nabbed seventh and ninth places, respectively. In addition, the team from Jason Lee Middle School took fourth place in the B Division at the regional competition.
Columbia River students honored at science and humanities symposium Three students from Columbia River High School, with guidance from teacher Kelly Cameron, recently bested more than 70 other high school students from across the state and placed in the top five at the 2013 Washington Junior Science & Humanities Symposium. Isabelle Crary was named the second-place oral presenter, and Haley Case and Rachel Yonemura were named finalists and top five oral presenters.,p>
The competition provides high school students who have conducted original research in science, technology, engineering, or math with a forum to present their work to a panel of judges and an audience of students, teachers, parents, and professional scientists.
Early Learner Initiative gets a boost Congratulations to the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools! FVPS recently received a $10,000 grant from the KeyBank Foundation, a nonprofit that assists organizations that foster economic self-sufficiency. The grant will help FVPS’ Early Learner Initiative, which supports Read and Play Story Time and Jump Start, early education programs designed to reach pre-kindergarten students and their families.
The Early Learner Initiative also received a $12,500 grant from the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, a public charity that helps support nonprofit organizations and provide benefits to the community. In addition, the Community Foundation awarded FVPS a $9,000 grant for Basic Needs Programs and a $6,000 grant for Parent Academies, which offer English language learner classes, Love and Logic courses, and early learning parent support.
Communications Office receives four awards Key members of the team behind the district’s videos, publications, and website took home several awards from the Washington School Public Relations Association this month. Television Production Supervisor Nick Voll and Video Specialist Ian Southworth received a Merit Award for their work producing the “In the Know” video series. Voll and Southworth, along with Skyview High School teacher Nate Macon, also nabbed a Merit Award for the “Science” series. Both productions can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/VanSDTV.
Communications Director Kris Sork, Communications Specialist Pat Mattison Nuzzo, and Graphics Technician Sara Neal collected a Merit Award for the Report to the Community, the district’s newsletter on activities and teacher, staff, and student accomplishments. Sork also was honored with an Excellence in Writing Award for her piece titled “Making the world a better place,” published in the October 2012 Report to the Community. Click here to read past issues of the report.
VSAA and Columbia River earn national rankings Two schools in Vancouver School District made the U.S. News Best High Schools 2013 rankings. Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (VSAA) received a gold medal, and Columbia River High School received a silver medal.
U.S. News evaluated more than 21,000 public high schools in the nation. Academic indicators included a college readiness index, writing proficiency, reading proficiency, and student/teacher ratios. Measurements included student performance on state exit exams and internationally available exams on college-level course work (e.g. AP and IB exams).
VSAA was ranked number 10 in the state and number 357 in the nation. Columbia River was ranked number 40 in the state and number 1,390 in the nation. Of the 587 high schools in Washington state, 10 schools received gold medals and 45 received silver medals for 2013. Read the full report.
VPS is the only school district in the region to earn nominations. And the competition is stiff--the district is competing against commercial television stations in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
Science stars Skyview High School physics teacher Nate Macon. The show is produced three to four times a year by the district producers Nick Voll and Ian Southworth.
Family-Community Resource Centers receive 2013 Public Health Community Award Vancouver Public Schools’ Family-Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) were recently selected for a Clark County Public Health 2013 Community Award. The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their significant contributions and commitment to promoting and protecting the health of the community. The winners were recognized by the Clark County Board of Health on April 24.
There are currently 11 FCRCs at the district’s high-poverty elementary and middle schools. The schools serve as hubs for community partners serving youth, families, and communities. Partners promote learning readiness; consistent school attendance; and student engagement with school, family, and community. Their work supports academic success and physical, social, and emotional health.
FCRC coordinators pictured above: Ryan Scott, McLoughlin Middle School; Staci Boehlke, Fruit Valley; Pat Roe, King Elementary School; Jennifer Blechschmidt, FCRC Supervisor; Lori Weedman, Peter S. Ogden Elementary School; Elizabeth Huntington, Roosevelt Elementary School; Brittany Gadbury, Minnehaha Elementary School
It's cool to be green Sacajawea Elementary School has been recognized as a 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. Sacajawea is the only school from Vancouver or Clark County, and one of only five Washington schools and 64 schools nationwide, to receive the honor. Green Ribbon schools are honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education.
A few highlights of Sacajawea’s efforts include:
• A partnership with Clark Public Utilities and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to install an outdoor classroom and solar panel array, which will reduce the school’s overall energy use and teach students about the positive impact of renewable energy.
• The installation of an energy-monitoring kiosk to allow students to track the school’s energy generation in real time. The kiosk will build on a past effort that used classroom energy monitors and lessons on energy conservation to reduce energy use by 11.7 percent.
• A biannual mileage club that encourages students to run during recess.
• The school and PTA’s Walking School Bus, which provides 10 percent of the student body with up to one mile of supervised outdoor walking daily.
• The school’s maintenance team, which actively participates in the EPA IAQ Tools for Schools program to improve air quality. Sacajawea has also achieved EPA IPM Star certification.
• The emphasis on environmental education as a central part of the academic curriculum and work with community partners to make environmental lessons come to life. As one example, second- and fourth-graders participate in a stream-monitoring program, working with community volunteers to conduct water-quality tests and examine macro-invertebrate species.
Anne Galvas is Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year Anne Galvas was named the 2013 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year! The announcement was made at an awards ceremony in Olympia on Friday, April 19. The state winner is chosen from eight regional award recipients. Galvas is the homeless liaison and coordinator for the Homeless Outreach Promoting Education (HOPE) program for Vancouver Public Schools.
“Galvas’ work in Vancouver is a lifeline to the students who need her,” said State Superintendent Randy Dorn. “After working with at-risk students for six years, she cares deeply for families in crisis and shares her expertise with teachers and staff across the district. All of this year’s regional finalists demonstrate a dedication to their work, which truly benefits the kids of this state.”
Since Galvas took this position seven years ago, the number of students she serves has increased from 95 a year to 650 a year. In addition to working with families of generational poverty, she is encountering families caught by the economic downturn who are experiencing the predicament of homelessness for the first time. Galvas seeks both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure that students are enrolled and participating fully in their schools. She visits families, finds shelter, and arranges transportation. She tracks school records and makes sure students have food, clothing and school supplies. By collaborating with school staff and community members, providing training, and writing grants, she harnesses all possible resources to support homeless youth.
Spotlight your schools! Promote your school’s special events, unique classroom activities, and staff and student accomplishments. It’s easy.