Purchasing

What we do

The purchasing department oversees the acquisition of goods and services to ensure district schools and departments have the necessary materials, supplies and equipment to prepare all students for college, careers and life. The purchasing department strives to accomplish its goals while exercising professional ethics and best business practices throughout the entire procurement process. Areas of responsibility include:

  • Purchasing: Acquire goods and services in support of district operational activities; develop, evaluate and execute invitations to bid, requests for proposals and quotations; and manage printing services
  • Contracting: Develop, execute, review and manage contracts for goods and services
  • Textbook management: Acquire, warehouse and inventory textbooks; replenish textbooks; deliver textbooks to schools; and monitor loss and damage to textbooks
  • Warehouse receiving and distribution: Manage inventory of commonly used supplies; central receiving, distribution and mail service; food cart distribution of community service equipment; and surplus book and equipment programs
Dave HurtPurchasing manager
Sandi MarshSecretary
Jeanette HatleyFiscal clerk
Diana BennettFiscal clerk

Purchasing guide

The purchasing department strives to ensure that all businesses have an equitable opportunity to compete for the district’s procurement opportunities. This guide seeks to encourage, direct and assist bidders in doing business with the district and also to help foster understanding of the district’s purchasing system and aid bidders in becoming more active participants.

The purchasing department is directly or indirectly responsible for the procurement of all materials, supplies, equipment and printing services for all schools and departments of the district.

  • Telephone quotations
  • Written/faxed quotations
  • Competitive sealed bids
  • Requests for proposals (RFPs)
  • Cooperative purchasing from existing government agency contracts

Sealed bids or RFPs: Washington state procurement laws require formal sealed bids or RFPs when expected costs exceed specific dollar amounts. Bids are advertised in The Columbian newspaper and, when appropriate, in the Seattle and Portland Daily Journal of Commerce publications. Bid/RFP packages are prepared and sent to the prospective bidders. Bid documents are available for download from the Washington Electronic Business Solutions resource center and the district’s purchasing webpage. Bid/RFP packages include complete instructions for submission of the bid, return instructions, special conditions and specifications, if applicable. Bidders must complete the requested information on the proposal forms and return them prior to the opening date and time. Bids must be received no later than the date, time and at the specified location stated in the bid. All bids received after closing time, whether delivered in person or mailed, will not be considered and will be returned unopened.

All bids will be opened in public at the time and place specified by the district. All bidders and other interested parties will be invited to attend; however, only the names of the bidders will be announced at the time of the opening. Once the bids are opened, participating bidders will be allowed to review any/all bids received. Upon completion of the bid opening, all bids will become the property of the district and, except for purposes of evaluation, will not be released or otherwise distributed until after the district completes the evaluation and issues its notice of intent to award per WAC 236-51-405. After the board of directors approves the bid award, all bids will become a matter of public record.

Sealed bids and RFPs are publicly opened at the time and date specified in the bid documents. Openings are held at the Vancouver Public Schools administrative services center, 2901 Falk Rd., Vancouver, WA 98661.

Questions regarding a bid should be addressed to the attention of the purchasing department, 360-313-1240.

Bids or RFPs are awarded to the most responsible, responsive bidder whose bid or proposal meets bid specifications, terms and conditions and provides the best overall offer to the district.

Responsive: The district will consider all the material submitted by the bidder, and other evidence it may obtain otherwise, to determine whether the bidder is in compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in this bid.

Responsible: In determining the responsibility of the bidder, the district may consider:

  • Ability, capacity and skill to perform the contract or provide the service required
  • Character, integrity, reputation, judgment and efficiency
  • Financial resources to perform the contract properly and within the times specified
  • Quality and timeliness of performance on previous contract with the district and other agencies, including, but not limited to, the effort necessarily expended by the district and other agencies in securing satisfactory performance and resolving claims
  • Compliance with federal, state and local laws and ordinances relating to public contracts
  • Other information having a bearing on the decision to award the contract

Vancouver Public Schools reserves the right to reject any/all bids; waive any informalities or technical defects in the bids; and, unless otherwise specified by the district, accept any item or groups of items in the bid as may be in the best interest of the district.

Vendors wanting to be added to Vancouver Public Schools’ bidder mailing list for commodities or services are required to file a completed bidder’s application with the purchasing office. Bidder’s application forms will be furnished upon written request. The initial written/email request should indicate the commodity or service area of interest. The volume of purchases in certain commodity areas may not be sufficient to maintain bidders’ lists.

After placement on a bidder’s mailing list, failure to respond to a quotation, sealed bid or RFP will be understood by the district to indicate a lack of interest and will compel the district to remove the bidder’s name from the mailing list. A submission of bid, or notice in writing that you are unable to bid on that particular transaction but wish to remain on the active bidder’s mailing list, will be considered a response.

The purchasing department team realizes it is essential to develop good relationships with vendors and suppliers, so our policy is to provide all vendors full, fair, prompt and courteous hearings. Every effort will be made to accommodate vendors who arrive unannounced, although appointments are preferred. Purchasing department personnel operate under substantial workloads, and prior appointments will help prevent conflicts with prior commitments or bid openings and ensure that full consideration will be given to any presentation or discussion.
Direct purchases of equipment, supplies and services by Vancouver Public Schools are not exempt from Washington state sales tax. The district sales tax rate is currently 8.4 percent of the total purchase and must include all shipping and handling charges.