Individual board members serve as a committee of the whole. They hold monthly workshops to examine topics of interest including policy issues and topics such as curriculum and facilities. Board members also meet for monthly study sessions during which they review items that will be put forward for a vote at their monthly business meeting. The study sessions cover topics including budget, district performance scorecards and policies.
Annually, board members select a president and vice president. The president oversees meetings using parliamentary procedure. Workshops, work sessions and business meeting are open to the public and the media. Exceptions are executive sessions, which are limited by law to discussions that concern issues regarding legal matters, personnel or property, in which public disclosure would be damaging to individuals or the general welfare of the district.
Board members are elected by the public to serve four-year terms. To be eligible to fill any of the five board positions, a person must reside within the school district’s boundaries and be a registered voter. If a member leaves during a term, the board may choose a replacement to fill the position until the next general board election.
The board welcomes comments from parents, students, and community members. Comments may be submitted through the superintendent’s office by letter or by email.
Public comments regarding policy, finances or other responsibilities of the board are taken at a designated time during the board meeting. Sign-up sheets are available at the meeting for those who wish to address the board. Anyone who wants to address the board should sign up to speak prior to the start of the meeting or during the public comment portion of the meeting. When called to speak, go to the podium and state your name and address into the microphone. Comments are limited to three minutes; however, a person can sign up to speak and then yield their time to another speaker. The board will not make decisions regarding comments during the meeting.
State law requires that board meetings be open to the public, per RCW 28A.343.380. However, there is no legal requirement to provide an opportunity for public comments during a board meeting. There also is no legal requirement for board meetings to be videotaped and broadcast to the community. The VPS board and staff have chosen to provide this service for expanded community access and public awareness of the board’s business.
School board guidelines on public comment can be found in section X of policy 1400.
Concerns or issues regarding a specific school, teacher or student should always begin with district staff member(s) closest to the area of concern. The procedure is:
- Visit with the teacher or a guidance counselor.
- Visit with the principal (if a school-wide concern, this becomes step one).
- Contact one of the following district administrators:
- Elementary education • Kristie Lindholm • 360-313-1010
- Secondary education • Jim Gray • 360-313-1011
- Special education • Daniel Bettis • 360-313-1250
- Human resources • Kathy Everidge • 360-313-1080
- Nutrition services • Mari Ovens • 360-313-1190
- Transportation • Grace Elligott • 360-313-4800
- Safety • Dave Bennett • 360-313-1044
- Communications office • Pat Nuzzo • 360-313-1230
- Education ombuds • Rachel Cason • 360-313-1187
- In rare circumstances, the board may conduct hearings or appeals of administrative decisions. Most matters are expected to be resolved using the administrative structure described above.
VPS board of directors believes that schools, families and communities interact as partners to strengthen opportunities for students to learn and grow. Your input is valued and critical to our continued success. Citizens, patrons, partners and families are encouraged to get involved. Citizens wishing to express opinions on policy, finances or other responsibilities of the board which have not been placed on a regular agenda should use one or more of these alternatives:
Board members encourage citizen input. In general, anonymous information will not be acted upon.
Concerns will be communicated to the superintendent, who will direct the administrative work necessary to address the issue.