Each board member serves on one or more committees to examine topics before they are put before the board for a vote. Committees address policy issues and cover topics such as curriculum and facilities. What may appear to be quick acceptance or denial of a policy at the public board meeting often is proceeded by hours, weeks or even months of discussion and revisions at the committee level.
Annually, board members select a president and vice president. The president oversees meetings using parliamentary procedure. Meetings 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. When called to speak, go to the podium and state your name and address into the microphone. Comments are limited to three minutes. The board will not make decisions regarding those comments during the meeting.
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 • Debra Hale • 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 ombud • 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.