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Published by the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

A guide to education on Vashon

ISLAND back-to-school CHILD 2011

Generously Sponsored by



Courtesy Photo

Chautauqua multi-age students display posters they made supporting safe walking and cycling routes to school. In May, Vashon Island School District, King County Department of Transportation and concerned parents worked together to apply for state “Safe Routes to School” funding



Vashon is a great place to raise kids. From our excellent schools to our many fine youth-oriented programs, children on Vashon are nurtured, challenged and supported by an Island community that clearly cares about them and their future success. At John L. Scott, where many of us are parents, we’re grateful both for the trust many of you have put in us and for the opportunity we have to give back to the community. It is particularly important to us to find ways to support our kids, as well as the schools and other organizations that help them to become fine adults. So please join us in supporting our Island’s young people. And take a moment to feel some pride. We’ve got great kids and a great community behind them. — The Vashon John L. Scott Family

This supplement, published by The Beachcomber, gives parents and other caregivers a comprehensive look at the Island’s educational resources. Though Vashon is small, we boast several educational options for families — from excellent public schools to highly regarded private ones. Vashon also has several preschools, a few after-school enrichment programs and many, many after-school clubs — for the budding dancer, musician, artist or explorer. As this supplement points out, Vashon residents walk their talk, supporting the public schools and the academic lives of our children with a handful of vibrant nonprofits. Each one helps our young people embark on a path toward a bright future. — The Beachcomber Staff



Publisher .................................................... Daralyn Anderson Editor ................................................................... Leslie Brown Section design and cover design ........................ Nance Scott Advertising ...................... Daralyn Anderson, Matthew Olds Island Child is published biannually by Sound Publishing Inc. No part of this publication may be reprinted without the permission of Sound Publishing. For additional copies, call (206) 463-9195 or e-mail ©2011 Sound Publishing Inc. Note: As of press time, the dates in the School Calendar on page 9 are set. Throughout the year, however, some may change. Confirm dates by calling the Vashon Island School District office at 463-2121 or visiting


3 | Vashon Island School District A note from the superintendent School district office directory School board members 4 | Chautauqua Elementary School 5 | McMurray Middle School 6 | Vashon Island High School 7 | Community support Partners in Education Vashon Scholarship Foundation PTSA Vashon Island Schools Foundation 9 | Calendar 10 | Educational alternatives FamilyLink StudentLink 11 | Private schools 12 | Kid Connections: Clubs, sports, drama and more Preschools, day cares and enrichment programs

Communication’s the key

Where to turn for information Vashon Island School District officials say that communicating with families and the community is a top priority. Finding information, however, can sometimes be challenging. Here’s a quick guide to where to go to get information you might need: The website — — is the hub of school news, events and public information. Here’s how it’s laid out: • The district homepage covers top news stories related to the district. There are also hotlink buttons that take you to well-visited pages, such as the district calendar, staff directory and lunch menus. • School pages provide school news, important dates, links to teacher websites, school calendars, sports information and newsletters. • Students and families’ pages have a section for commuting families, as well as a list of school supplies, bus routes, and applications/forms. • The academics pages describe the district’s plan for selecting and implementing curricula, professional development for teachers and state testing data. • District information pages contain the district’s vision and mission statement, annual budget and monthly leadership reports;. • Community pages link to community

On the cover

resources for learning, arts and recreation. • The school board pages provide current information about school board meetings and events. • The capital projects pages give up-to-date news about the school renovations and opportunities for public input and involvement. In addition to our website, we’ve also started a Facebook page this year: Vashon Island School District. Our plan is to post news as it happens with the goal of leading readers to our website for more detail. “Soundings” is a printed newsletter that we mail to every Island boxholder three times a year. It includes the superintendent’s state-ofthe-district update, feature stories about curriculum development and capital projects and features about interesting things happening in the classroom. Along with printed information, we also host events. In the fall, each school puts on open houses — a chance for parents to meet and talk with teachers, administrators and counselors. Additionally, Superintendent Michael Soltman and the school principals host “Let’s Talk” forums at each of the schools during the year. If you have questions or ideas about district communications, contact Anne Atwell at or 697-2183.

High school students make their way to class (photo by Madeleine Wolczko). Students enjoy lunch at Chautauqua (photo by Susan Riemer). Band students gather around band instructor Ken Quehrn (photo by Elizabeth Shepherd).

A letter to the community from Superintendent Michael Soltman

Our mission: To awaken curiosity As I begin my third year as Vashon’s superintendent, I am inspired by you, the people of this community. You are tireless in your commitment to education. During my tenure, you’ve passed two levies to fund operations, maintenance and technology, as well as a bond to build a new high school. And, as if that’s not enough, you’ve given close to a million dollars over two years to guarantee the kind of well-rounded education our community expects and stands for. Thanks to your donations and the hard work of the Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation, Vashon PTSA and Partners in Education or PIE, we can offer the kinds of classes and co-curricular activities that broaden horizons and ignite fires, giving every student the chance to reach his or her potential. Each child is different, with unique interests and talents. Our job at Vashon Island School District is to awaken their curiosity so that they can find their calling. Culinary arts might whet the appetite of the next great chef from the Pacific Northwest, and the Riptide could well be the impetus for that someday Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist. Every class is an opportunity to grow. However, just offering the class isn’t enough. We also need to tailor instruction so that each child is getting as much as he or she can from the class experience. That’s where our Professional Development Days come in. For two hours twice a month, teachers work in groups to review student work and modify lessons to ensure that students are absorbing and demonstrating what they are learning. We are also making some changes in the academic program to help students progress at their own pace and get help when they need it. For example, at McMurray Middle School we are piloting Khan Academy as a supplementary math curriculum. Khan Academy is a revolutionary online program that offers hundreds of short, easy-to-understand tutorials in

math, history and science for K-12. For more information on this visionary approach to learning, go to www. Khan Academy is just one of many things we are doing to improve our K-12 curriculum. Over the next year we will tell you about more developments in writing, science and math. We are embracing change and growing every day at Vashon Island School District. However, our progress would not be possible without your support and that of the Island businesses — a group of retailers and businesses that donated more than $100,000 in total to the school’s foundation this spring. As you shop for back to school, please remember to support these businesses, all of whom will have “Vashon Schools Partner” stickers in their windows. I would particularly like to thank our founding members: Island Lumber, Thriftway, Tempress (owned by Ray Aspiri), Integrus Architecture, The Hardware Store Restaurant, The Little House, Vashon Pharmacy and Sawbones. Finally, I would like to extend a warm welcome to 40 new students from off-Island who will bring our off-Island student community to around 200. We appreciate their contributions to our school culture and the resources they bring. Also please welcome our new Director of Special Services, Paula Cummings. She is a wonderful addition to our administrative team and brings many years of experience in special education. Here’s to another great school year!

Office Directory The school district offices are located in Chautauqua Elementary School at 9309 Cemetery Rd. S.W. The mailing address is P.O. Box 547, Vashon, WA 98070 District main number: 463-2121 Fax: 463-6262 Michael Soltman, superintendent, ext. 8123 Donna Donnelly, assistant to superintendent, ext. 8123 Paula Cummings, student services director, ext. 8120 Roxanne Lyons, curriculum director, ext. 8115 Amy Sassara, human services director, ext. 8111 Thomas Dargel, business manager, ext. 8106 Sarah Day, school nurse, 463-2882, ext. 245. Email addresses for employees in the school district follow a formula: the first initial of the person’s first name, followed by his or her last name, For example, Michael Soltman can be reached at

Vashon School Board of Directors

Dan Chasan, vice chair Position 1 463-2571

Bob Hennessey

Position 2 463-1931

Kathy Jones

Position 3 300-2441

Steve Ellison

Position 4 391-0313

Laura Wishik, chair

Position 5 463-6561


Chautauqua Elementary School At a Glance

Jody Metzger .......... Principal Yvette Butler .......... Counselor Phone ................... 463-2882 Fax ....................... 463-0937 Students ......................... 515 Teachers ..........................36 Support staff.....................27 Volunteers ..... More than 300

Jody Metzger Principal


Chautauqua Elementary has continued to be a school that combines class instruction to academic standards and beyond with a healthy dose of arts and experiential learning. Our students have demonstrated their compassion and connection to people in need this year through their support of Save the Children specifically for the children of Japan. They joined the school community to create paper cranes that were sent to Japan along with $1 for every crane donated by a philanthropic Island family. Also, our students had a successful Read to Feed fundraiser for Heifer International. We are proud of our students’ genuinely heartfelt response to global need. Our amazing connection with Island artisans continued to support student learning in the arts this year. Throughout the year when you walked through the halls of our elementary school, you saw beautiful and engaging student artwork everywhere. This artwork represented days of gently mentored travels down a path that few 5 to 11 year olds experience. You may have seen clay owls with all the form and character we project upon these noble birds. Mightily pounded copper bowls showed off their luster and texture in a nearby display case. Our kindergarten students created stunning clay flowers that were part of a First Friday display in town. These are but a few of the amazing wonders visitors may have enjoyed walking through the halls of our school this year. It’s not too late to enjoy this past year’s artwork. The mosaic sundial and artfully designed depictions of our growing seasons can be found in the school garden out back. CDs of our year’s musical project can still be purchased. Thanks to our teachers, support staff, enrichment instructors and Vashon Allied Arts (VAA), Chautauqua is a school that belongs to the children and has their mark everywhere you turn. Staff members continued their focus on increasing student reading and writing skills. We continued to implement the new writing curriculum, “Units of Study,” through lab days where teachers received additional training and were able to observe lesson demonstrations. Support from PTSA provided professional development for teachers to incorporate new reading resources for instruction in phonics and comprehension. We have been blessed to have a well-trained cadre of parent volun-

Susan Riemer/Staff Photo

Third-graders Duncan Barlow, Jack Zimmerman and Jaden Winn enjoy a moment at lunch together.


Leslie Brown/Staff Photo

Ethan McIntyre (left) works on a crane with Sept Sawangrak, an exchange student from Thailand. Students made the colorful paper cranes as part of a nationwide fundraising effort to support relief efforts in northern Japan.

teers and school staff who administered the DIBELS (a reading assessment) three times last year to keep baseline data for our Response to Intervention measurement. This data assisted the school staff in developing interventions to meet the varying needs of Chautauqua’s learners. Some interventions included one-on-one tutoring, small group intensive instruction and in-class interventions. The school couldn’t have accomplished some of the wonderful improvements in student reading skills without the help of its volunteers. We bade farewell to some of our highly valued and irreplaceable staff members as they moved on to retirement. Cherry Champagne, Sharon Boyer, Charlene Bain, Kate Packard and Cathy Lambert all left the Vashon School District, but not our hearts. We wish them well.

Looking ahead

Thanks to the efforts of our Schools Foundation and the community at large, Chautauqua begins a new year with the same excellent teaching and support staff. We will miss Stephanie Detwiler, who is taking her incredible teaching talents to McMurray Middle School. However, we are excited to have Shannon Browne join our fourth grade team this year. A new kindergarten teacher is being hired this month as well. The changes at Chautauqua remind us that schools are never stagnant but always in flux and that meeting those changes with well thought-out plans that support continued student success is our mission. Thanks to PIE grants and support from VAA, staff members continue to incorporate the arts into their programs to educate the whole child and connect children to the larger world. As Chautauqua moves into our second year of a new reading program, staff will continue to support that effective instructional method while further studying reading instructional practices. Staff collaboration and a school-wide focus to further extend Response to Intervention as a support for student success in the language arts is a major focus during this new school year while we continue to incorporate math and science upgrades to our curriculum. We will implement a new life-sciences curriculum

Leslie Brown/Staff Photo

Joleen McCauley, a multi-age teacher, talks to a student about a project.

that utilizes our campus for meaningful field experiments. Our school staff will continue their outstanding outreach in support of their students by meeting with families, communicating student progress and continuing to strengthen the ties between school and home. We will continue to work with our volunteers who support our school with hours of time and talent. They are an essential piece of a school that thrives. We look forward to a new year with our energetic and inquisitive children. It is with an added spring in our steps and renewed spirits that we also look forward to a year where family and community involvement is high and staff collaboration is abundant.

McMurray Middle School At a Glance

Greg Allison ............ Principal Gates Johnson ........ Executive Assistant Carolyn Zike .......... Counselor Phone ................... 463-9168 Fax ....................... 463-9707 Students ......................... 410 Teachers ..........................21 Support Staff ..................... 8 Volunteers ...... More than 150

Greg Allison Principal


As a learning community, McMurray Middle School prepares its students during the transition from elementary school to high school. We are committed to helping students achieve their fullest potential through dynamic instruction, challenge and unique learning activities during the significant sixth, seventh and eighth grades. We appreciate the diverse learning styles and abilities of middle school students and are responsive to their developmental and social characteristics. As a middle school, we recognize the intellectual, creative, social and emotional nature of young adolescents. We challenge each student to master essential academic skills; to acknowledge individual potential; to identify one’s strengths and challenges; and to explore one’s affective and creative possibilities while developing a sense of respect and responsibility to one’s self and peers. McMurray’s program is a blend of core academics, exploration and skill building that helps create a community of life-long, constant learners. Challenge, exploration and acceptance are all part of the McMurray program. These aspects are fostered by students and staff who work to establish a building climate of positive communication, collaboration and cooperation.


McMurray focused diligently on helping each student develop key literacy and critical thinking skills this past year, and we will continue with this emphasis during our 30-minute homeroom period. We made great gains in supporting and challenging each of our students toward academic excellence, particularly in reading and math. Our school climate was enhanced in many ways through our student mentors, student leadership, homeroom adviser, student-led conferences, classroom meetings and positive recognition programs. We strive to engage the community and our families. The last several years have seen a marked increase in volunteerism in the

Elizabeth Shepherd/Staff Photo

Seventh-grade band students, from left, Sara Rada, Salena Biro, Zach Carlton, Levi Starkweather and Mason Carter, surround band teacher Ken Quehrn.

school in a variety of settings, helping to make our school a special place for learning. Additionally, student-led conferences and online family and student access to our database system were implemented last year with great success. Our entire school participated in Challenge Day at the beginning of the year. This day focused on many homeroom teambuilding activities designed to build community, respect and involvement throughout the school. High percentages of our students participated in and excelled in the various activities McMurray offers. All of our sports teams received WIAA recognition as distinguished and outstanding scholar-athletes. We continued to collaborate with various partner groups, such as PTSA, Artists in the Schools and Vashon Youth & Family Services to support our students’ success. Reading and math assessment and intervention, prevention activities and student mentors were successful in helping students reach their potential. Eighth graders also took part in 10 different experiential learning programs during Exploratory Week in June with outstanding achievement.

Jeffrey Zheutlin Photo

Mykah Shiosaki was one of 50 middle-schoolers whose self-portraits were on view at the Heron’s Nest last spring.

Goals for 2011-12

Student literacy, critical thinking, an engaging and challenging curriculum and an expectation of excellence for all students continue as our highest priorities. A positive and respectful school climate promoting inclusion and student responsibility will be emphasized throughout the year in our homerooms and throughout the school. Positive relationships with students, home and the community through a variety of outreach and communications will continue to be a high priority.

Events and programs

File Photo

After completing a round, the Gear Masters, members of the McMurray Tech Club, earn a high-five from the referee at the regional robotics competition at Aviation High School last December.

McMurray students participate in a wide variety of activities such as Recreation Nights, Knowledge Bowl, Science Fair, sports teams, drama productions, band concerts, Student Council, yearbook production, History Day, student mentorship, Egypt Festival, Tech Club/Lego League, Math Olympiad, Math Counts, Math is Cool, Eighth Grade Exploratory Week and other service opportunities.


Vashon Island High School At a Glance

Susan Hanson.......... Principal Stephanie Spencer.... Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Laurie Martin...........Freshman and Junior Counselor Susan Haworth..... Sophomore and Senior Counselor MJ Hartwell Career Specialist Phone.....................463-9171 Fax.........................463-1944 Students..........................520 Faculty............................. 34 Support staff.....................10 Volunteers....................... 148


Susan Hanson Principal

Stephanie Spencer

Vashon Island High School students con- Ass’t Principal, tinue to exceed state averages in statewide Athletic Director mandated testing, SAT scores and graduation rates. VHS is recognized nationally as a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School and as a School of Distinction by Washington state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. We continue to participate in the University of Washington college-in-the-highschool program, offering Oceanography 101 and Geology 101 in alternating years. We also continue to offer Advanced Placement courses in calculus, English and government and politics. AP courses offer seniors the opportunity to earn college and high school credits consecutively, without leaving campus. VHS is proud of the collaboration between the Career and Technical Education Green’s Technology and Design course and the community that resulted in the installation of additional solar panels, the electric vehicle recharging station and the computerized kiosk that monitors the power generated by the solar panels. The first ever Challenge Day was held in April. Organized by Maya McTighe as her Youth Council Dream Project, the event brought 85 students together with with trained facilitators to learn to challenge preconceptions and fulfill their dreams. Maya was helped by community member Robin Blair. VHS welcomed the OWL (On With Life) parent volunteers this year. OWL volunteers assisted students with scholarship notebooks, college applications and refining their future goals.

Arts, theater and music

VHS fine arts students had an eventful year. Both band and Percussion Ensemble members were well represented at state competitions, with Dylan Greene earning a second place medal and the percussion ensemble placing fourth in state competition. Musicians qualifying for honor bands were Brook Courtesy Photo Benner, Kellan Faker-Boyle, Kendle Anna Rose Warren played Guinevere in “Camelot,” VHS’s musical production last year. Hargrove, Jonathan


Leslie Brown/Staff Photo

Martha Woodard, a humanities teacher, leads a discussion in her American Studies class.

Kim, Amanda Ohmert and Helen Pendergast. VHS visual artists impressed the Vashon community with the biannual Blue Heron Art Show. VHS drama students earned standing ovations for their work throughout the year. Theatre Arts I students all performed in an evening of short scenes and monologues. Theatre Arts II students presented “Mad Woman of Chaillot.” The Musical Theatre Production students wowed the community with a vibrant performance of Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot.” Drama students added a co-curricular performance with “Eat My Shorts 2,” a collection of clever, 10-minute one act plays to end the year.

Co-curricular events

VHS Amnesty/Interact Club hosted the first conversation between American students and Nobel Leslie Brown/Staff Photo Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma after she was released from 10 years of house arrest. Suu The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team placed second in the Nisqually League last year. Kyi answered questions posed by VHS students durBoys’ wrestling placed second in the Nisqually League and ing a phone interview. Teachers Mike Zecher and sent a team of athletes to state competition. Dom Stemer placed Harris Levinson advise the club. Co-presidents Emma Lodes and sixth, and Robert Easton placed seventh. Girls wrestling coach Brooke Kipling moderated the interview. Dave Chapman was named Nisqually League Coach of the Year. Other VHS co-curricular programs continued to be strong. The girls’ team placed fifth in the league. Madeline Wolczko, Cross country sent two runners to state competition — who has competed at state all four years of her high school Savannah Krug and Colin Andrus. The newly instituted career, placed second in state. Iris Spring placed seventh. Track Robotics Team qualified for state competition and earned the sent Colin Andrus to state competition. Inspirational Award for their work. The VHS Debate Team won the WIAA State Scholarship Award Girls’ soccer placed second in the Nisqually League and went for the fifth time in six years. on to take fourth place in the state competition. They also won At the spring recognition assembly, Kyle Bakker and the State Scholastic Championship for all 1A schools. The Pirate Madeline Wolczko were awarded the Mathews Inspirational Football team placed fourth in the Nisqually League and participated in state competition for the first time ever. Girls’ volleyball Award; Savannah Krug and Colin Andrus received the Bacchus Outstanding Athlete Award; Lily Katz and Dom Stemer received placed third in the Nisqually League and qualified for district the Army Reserve Scholar Athlete Award. playoffs. Pieces of Eight winners at graduation were Allie Hanson, Boys’ basketball placed second in the Nisqually League and Olivia Sayvetz, Sam Shugart, Kyle Bakker, Madeleine Wolczko, participated in state competition. Girls’ basketball qualified for Natalie Kerns, Dylan Greene and Savannah Krug. Tri-District competition.

Community Support PTSA works to New foundation provides a venue for community support $437,000 in donations and pledges. state and country to address public school enhance education The Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation, established in 2010, seeks to bridge the gap between funding provided by the state and what is required to maintain excellence in Vashon’s public schools. Washington’s funding of public education is significantly lower than most other states and has decreased dramatically since the beginning of the economic downturn. School foundations have sprung up across the

The Vashon PTSA’s goal is to help our community provide excellent resources for our students and families through extra programs that we fund. PTSA sponsors some excellent programs. Among them are Family Science Night, the Book Fair and Field Day at Chautauqua; the Tech Club, “Rec” Nights and the Book Fair at McMurray; teen forums at both McMurray and Vashon High School, and a career fair and film festival at the high school. PTSA also sponsors staff appreciation events, the Doors of Opportunity Award, the annual back-to-school drive and district-wide open house nights. Another important event, the PTSA-sponsored back-to-school social at Chautauqua, will be held Aug. 30 — a great opportunity for parents and students to meet their teacher and get comfortable with their new surroundings. The board this year is comprised of the following members: Erica Davidson, president; Jackie Merrill, vice president; Cindy Wilson, treasurer; Kathryn Yeoll, who will help Cindy with treasurer duties, and Mary Ann Beardsley, secretary. The PTSA’s membership chair is Kebbie Bedard. To join the Vashon PTSA, visit www.vashonptsa. org, where you will find prices for membership, activities and ways to volunteer. PTSA meeting are held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at Movie Magic. The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 20.

funding gaps. Indeed, many note, foundations are the new norm. In its first two years, Vashon’s foundation has led fundraising campaigns that have brought in significant support to the district. In 2010, the district received approximately $430,000 in fundraising dollars from the foundation. In 2011, the foundation’s community campaign, which ended June 30, raised

The foundation leaves all program decisions and identification of funding needs to the district and the school board. The foundation, governed by a 12-member board, is a nonprofit; all donations are tax deductible. For more information, visit its website at or email the foundation at

PIE and scholarship fund: two other ways to help kids

The Chautauqua library purchased 100 new books after it received a $1,500 grant from PIE in February. Above, reading from some of the new books are, from left, Moses Apolo-Garnica, Cleo Hudson, Alivia Pinczes, Gavin Victor, Jahmiah Hoogen, Michael Salvo and the library dog Jake.

Great Stuff for Kids! Cedarsong Nature School’s

Forest Kindergarten for 3-6 year olds an outdoor preschool program where children learn through direct experience with nature.

Vashon Partners in Education, or PIE, is an all-volunteer organization that strengthens the learning environment at Vashon’s public schools by funding creative programs and innovative educational materials. Every year, with funds donated by the community, it hands out dozens of grants — supporting everything from a robotics club to artists in schools to literacy projects. In the fall, PIE holds its annual phone-a-thon. Expect a call from this vital group between October 4 and 6. Contact president Janet Baron at 463-2221 or visit www. for more information. The Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation supports Vashon High School graduates who seek support in their posthigh school educational efforts. Supported by Vashon organizations, businesses and individuals, the foundation in June handed out $120,000 in scholarships to 94 graduates. To learn more about VCSF, contact Barbara Gustafson, this year’s president, at 463-1638.

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ISLAND vashonCHILD 2011


“We are for difference: For respecting difference, for allowing difference, for encouraging difference, until difference no longer makes a difference.” ~ Johetta B. Cole.

Our goal is to provide expert professional knowledge, local and countywide resources, referrals and support for families and youth with disabilities on Vashon.

For more information check out our website or call 206-249-6288

Your generous donation goes entirely to help Vashon families with their school supplies. “I believe in the excellent quality and education our kids receive from Vashon Public Schools, and I’m proud to sponsor this year’s PTSA Back to School Drive“. Susan Lofland

Every Vashon Student Deserves to Thrive. Your tax deductable donation can be mailed to Vashon PTSA PO Box 2364, Vashon, WA 98070 or drop off donations at Vashon Thriftway, Vashon Pharmacy, Essentials 4 or The Little House. 8

Former President Vashon Island Community PTSA and Vashon Island School District Board of Directors, Vice President Vashon Youth and Family Services.

Proud to be working with


Susan Lofland, REALTOR® Associate Broker Phone/text 206-999-6470 susanlofland@johnlscott

2 1 0 2 1 1 20

Vashon Island

August 31

First day of school, full day of classes

September 14 15 21 28 29

Open house at Chautauqua Elementary School Professional Development Day, two-hour late start Open house at Vashon High School Open house at McMurray Middle School Professional Development Day, two-hour late start


January 3 5

School resumes after break Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 16 Martin Luther King Holiday, schools are closed 19 Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 23 to 27 Bus Ridership Week


2 Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 16 Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 20 to 24 Mid-winter Break

3-7 Bus Ridership Week 14 No school, teacher in-service day 19 to 21 Chautauqua conferences, no school CES 27 Professional Development Day, two-hour late start




3 11 17

Professional Development Day, two-hour late start Veteran’s Day, schools are closed Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 23 Half-day at all schools 24 & 25 Thanksgiving holiday

December 1

Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 15 Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 19 to 31 Winter Break Generously sponsored by the Vashon Island offices of


Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 22 Professional Development Day, two-hour late start for Chautauqua and Vashon High School 22 & 23 McMurray conferences, no school there 5

Professional Development Day, two-hour late start 9 to 13 Spring Break 23 to 27 Bus Ridership Week

May 10 24 28

Professional Development Day, two-hour late start Professional Development Day, two-hour late start Memorial Day holiday

June 15

Last day of school, half day for all students

Class of 2012

Educational alternatives at VISD FamilyLink At A Glance

Susan Hanson ......... Principal Julie Hanger ........... Executive Assistant Jim Gilmour & Nan Hammett ............................. Teachers Janet Chapman ....... Program Secretary Phone ..... 463-9171, ext. 503 Students ......................... 90

Julie Hanger Executive Assistant

FamilyLink, a Vashon Island School District program, is a community of homeschooling families, teachers and staff who are committed to providing quality education in a way that acknowledges the individual interests and learning styles of each student. FamilyLink teachers partner with parents to create learning plans for their students, develop teaching strategies and learning activities, find curriculum and access district services. In addition to teacher support, the program also offers enrichment classes, family-friendly activities and events, a resource library and computer lab, regular communication via the website and weekly Community Connection, the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and educational support through a curriculum stipend.

Highlights from 2010-11

FamilyLink enrollment reached a historical high of 76.35 FTE (full-time equivalent) students last year as more families made the choice to homeschool through this program. Elementary students studying Pacific Northwest native art and culture in Raven & Crow’s Potlatch class took a field trip to Tillicum Village on Blake Island via Argosy Cruises. More than 17 students, their parents and siblings accompanied teacher Jim

Gilmour and enrichment instructor Sooze Bloom deLeon Grossman on the November 2010 trip. FamilyLink and StudentLink hosted five Vashon authors and writers during a series of literary presentations for elementary, middle school and high school students and their parents. Students, parents and staff learned from Island “experts” in the fields of writing and literature, who spoke to their particular literary genre (poetry, historical fiction, journalism, children’s and young adult fiction and literature). Island Ecology was a four-week outdoor workshop that combined the nature immersion of Vashon Wilderness Program (VWP) with Courtesy Photo the hands-on science of Barbara FamilyLink students in Jenni Wilke’s “Just Stuff” consumer awareness class learned how to repurpose Gustafson. Cyndi O’Brien of VWP clothing. Above, students show off T-shirts they embellished with found objects. blended modern naturalist techniques with skills development late June 2011 by the Office of the Superintendent of Public and ecological knowledge. Barbara’s hands-on science focused Instruction (OSPI), as well as the new requirements enacted on basic ecological principles, while using field techniques to by the state Legislature. This will mean some changes to our survey plant and animal populations, determine soil types, program, but many elements will stay the same. We expect to quantify microhabitats and plan field experiments. Locations continue to offer consulting teacher services, enrichment classfor the workshops were Shinglemill Creek and Fern Cove Nature es and community-building activities and curricular support. Sanctuary, Island Center Forest, Mukai Pond and KVI Beach. FamilyLink is housed in two portables on the Vashon High School campus. These facilities provide the program with officPlans for 2011-12 es for consulting and administrative staff, a resource library, This coming school year, we will be implementing revisions small computer lab and classroom space. to the Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) rules adopted in

StudentLink At A Glance

Susan Hanson ......... Principal Julie HangerExecutive Assistant Nan Hammett ........... Teacher Janet Chapman ....... Program Secretary Phone ...... 463-9171, ext. 503 Students ...........................17

Nan Hammett Teacher

StudentLink, a Vashon Island School District program, is a self-directed, independent learning program serving students in grades 9 to 12. Students meet weekly for 45 minutes with the teacher to develop their individual learning plan, document 25 hours per week of independent learning and progress toward completion of their high school diploma. They may also choose to take a course at Vashon High School or attend Running Start. Students must complete a minimum of 20.5 credits (21.5 for 2013 graduates), pass the HSPE (High School Proficiency Exam) and complete a Five-Year Plan and Culminating Project to graduate. StudentLink students also participate in many traditional high school activities. They may take part in sports when eligible or perform in band and drama productions. StudentLink seniors are eligible to submit scholarship notebooks to the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation and walk in the VHS graduation ceremony.

Why independent learning

A majority of our students work and earn money. An independent learning program provides the flexibility of schedule


of computers. Creative writing may involve writing a novel. Many of the students participate in internships with Island mentors and businesses in their fields of interest. This can have a direct bearing on postsecondary plans. This year, StudentLink students interned with Island mentors in auto mechanics, merchandising, plumbing and political activism. Students work one-on-one with their teacher. They also benefit from individualized support from volunteers and community mentors. Volunteer Daphne Purpus tutored select students in math every Thursday morning. She plans to add Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to her schedule in the fall.

Highlights from 2010-11

Four StudentLink students participated in internships with Island businesses in order to explore proStudentLink students and teacher Nan Hammett, far right, gather at the June 2011 fessions they hope to pursue after graduation. One StudentLink graduation celebration. young woman is learning auto repair at Miles Auto. Her goal is to become a diesel mechanic. Another that allows students who need to work the ability to do so while student visited Washington D.C. where he helped coordinate pursuing their diploma. Coursework is tailored to the individual interests and learning and participated in the Backbone Campaign’s Movement for the People and Rally Summit. A student interested in becoming a style of the student. Students progress at their own pace: One student might move quickly through the material, another stu- plumber completed an internship with Prime Plumbing. Another dent may take more time to learn at his/her own rate. Students young woman learned merchandising and how to create crafts for sale at Good Merchandise. are active designers of their learning program. StudentLink graduated six seniors in June 2011. Students can be creative in how they pursue their graduation The StudentLink classroom is located in the K Building of the requirements. For example, the required social studies elective may include a study of the history of rock and roll or the history Vashon High School campus. Courtesy photo

Private Schools The Harbor School

Homestead School

15920 Vashon Hwy. S.W. Type of program: Independent school for students in fourth through eighth grades Contact: Head of School James Cardo at 5675955 or Openings: Now enrolling in all grades for 2010-11; contact the school for details. Since 1995, The Harbor School has helped young students maximize their potential by providing them with an outstanding, fully rounded educational experience. In a smaller environment, with relationships built with teachers over multiple years, a child’s strengths are nurtured and celebrated, engendering a noticeable self-awareness and confidence. The middle years are developmentally crucial, and The Harbor School helps an early adoCourtesy Photo lescent navigate the path to young adulthood Harbor School kids flash a V for Vashon en route to a field trip. with encouragement, self-discipline and wideacademic and extracurricular laurels. Alumni ranging experiences. Early on, students learn to D.C., New Orleans and Guadalajara, Mexico. have attended some of the top colleges in take responsibility for their own education. Assessment at The Harbor School is authenthe country, including Dartmouth, Brown, tic, in that work is evaluated fully by the A rigorous academic program features a Columbia, Duke and MIT. teacher and student. “Personal best” is the full schedule of traditional courses taught by hallmark of success, not an arbitrary “grade,” Foreign Language: Spanish is taught to all experts in their fields. Class sizes are always and a student’s voice is highly valued. The students. under 16 students, so personal attention is parents are involved closely, and the three-way guaranteed. Academics are student-centered, Student-teacher ratio: Nine to one; maxicommunication among student, parent and meaning that the students are coached and mum class size is 16. teacher is central to the model. guided through lessons that are discoveryFinancial Aid: Yes, need-based financial based, with the students researching, analyzing Finally, The Harbor School is an uplifting aid is available for those families who qualify. and demonstrating the facts. Knowledge and community. Its cornerstone values are evident Approximately 25 percent of Harbor School skills are practically based and actively applied. in all interactions, making the school a respect- students receive some financial aid. ful, compassionate haven. Personal growth is The Harbor School travels extensively Meals: Students bring their own. valued. to expand students’ awareness of their School Calendar: 2011-2012 school year world, exploring on-Island and in the Pacific Approximately 60 percent of the school’s calendar is posted online. Northwest regularly. They also have opportuni- alumni matriculate to Vashon High School, Website: ties to visit such destinations as Washington where they have been highly decorated with

Carpe Diem Primary School 10014 S.W. Bank Road

Type of program: Independent school for students in kindergarten through third grade. Contact: Director and teacher Janice Campbell at 375-8898 or Openings: Currently has a waiting list. The mission of Carpe Diem is to educate the whole child. The school’s two main goals are to teach and model good character and create an academic environment where students develop an attitude of healthy risk-taking to learn new skills and concepts. Setting personal goals for the development of good character qualities and core academic excellence are backbones in the school’s learning environment. At Carpe Diem, students and teachers see good character as a key to being a happy and successful person as well as a good peer leader. Carpe Diem teachers believe there is no ceiling to learning. They set high standards for student achievement and expect each

strive to create lifelong learners who continue to be curious about our world of nature, arts, science, literature and cultures. At Carpe Diem, students and teachers believe that the classroom exists beyond the walls of their school. Through wilderness activities and nature studies, students learn to appreciate the fragile beauty of nature and gain an understanding of the importance of their role as Earth stewards. Special needs students are accepted depending on qualifications of the applicant and the school’s ability to accommodate the need. Foreign Language: Spanish is taught to all students. Student-teacher ratio: 12 to one; two Courtesy Photo teachers for up to 24 students. Eli Gould and Xavier Gagnaire will be 3rd graders in the fall at Carpe Diem. Meals: Students bring their own. School Calendar: School starts in student to work to his or her personal best. September and ends in mid-June. Through experiential thematic units and Website: integrated studies, the school’s teachers

16245 Westside Hwy. S.W. Contact: 463-0822, Homestead School aims to “re-earth” education, as its directors put it, by integrating nature’s cycles with experiential and artsbased learning. Daily rhythm includes language arts, math, music, science, visual/performing arts and artisan crafts. Compassion-based communication is supported through activities and is foundational to Homestead’s mentoring practices. The programs, on seven diverse acres of farm and forest, blend “Eight Shields Mentoring” with Steiner-inspired curriculum. Children come together for singing, storytelling, gratitude, eating and playing and gather separately, based on developmental needs, for lessons and activities. Homestead integrates a peer-learning environment with support for each family’s own educational journey, through a Parent Council and curricular support for home-based learning. The community of families gathers for seasonal celebrations in rhythm with the wheel of the year. Homestead children, mentors and families collaborate to create a community culture rooted in compassion and connection. Lead mentors Shane Jewell and Dana Schuerholz will lead two programs: Owl Program (ages 8 to 12) and Hawk Program (ages 5 to 7). Weekly Schedule: Monday: Creative writing and Spanish. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: Homestead Core Programming. Friday: Headwaters Earth Stewardship Program. Mentor Team: Shane Jewell, Dana Schuerholz, Sharon Shaver, Sarah Wright, Mariafe Vilda, guest instructors Ratio: Eight to one. Schedule: See website. Special Needs: Yes Financial Aid: Yes Website:

Courtesy Photo

Writing instructor Sharon Shaver works with B Timken, a student at Homestead School.


Kid Connections: Music, sports, drama Camp Fire

Rock Riders 4-H Club

Camp Fire groups on Vashon do community service, go on campouts, make crafts and have fun together. One of the tenets of Camp Fire is to create the future leaders of tomorrow. Contact Jeannette Smith at 463-9164 for more information.

This horse group offers beginning horsemanship, performance and showing skills, pleasure and trail riding, Western games and projects. Call Marie Bradley at 463-2065.

Cub Scouts

Editor’s note: Vashon boasts a rich array of clubs and activities for kids. Below is a list of most of those programs.

Blue Heron Art Center From dance, musical theater and acting to painting, clay and photography, Vashon Allied Arts offers a rich array of arts opportunities with professional artist teachers. Scholarships are available for all classes. For more information and a complete schedule, visit, check out Island Arts or drop by the Blue Heron.

Boy Scout Troop #294 Boy Scout Troop #294 is the local unit of the national Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouting is a program of outdoor activities, group leadership opportunities and personal exploration of career, hobby and special interests designed to achieve strengthened character, personal fitness and good citizenship. Call Scoutmaster Peter Milovsoroff at 463-0096.

Swing Set Music and Movement for Kids

Cub Scouts meet regularly during the school year and have overnight camps during the summer. Call Chick Green at 255-9652.

Kids from 9 months to 4 years celebrate music through singing, playing instruments and dancing. Classes include live guitar, violin and piano music. Call Kim Thal at 463-0062.

Explorer Program


Teens 15 to 18 interested in the fire service and emergency medicine are welcome to join Explorers, a learning-for-life program. Packed with skill-building activities, Explorers offers an opportunity to explore both industries while gaining hands-on experience. Explorers are required to obtain and maintain first aid and CPR certifications, attend weekly drills and participate in several events and activities. For more information, contact Vashon Island Fire & Rescue at 463-2405.

This acclaimed physical theater company offers several classes for kids, including acrobatics, young aerialists and gymbatics. See or call UMO at 408-8059.

Eyes of the Future

Vashon Dance Academy

In Eyes of the Future, Island youth and their families train puppies to be guide dogs for people who are blind. Call Char Phillips at 4635310.

Olympus Pony Club The Olympus Pony Club is a junior equestrian club for kids ages 7 and older. Horse-ownership is not necessary. Call Donna Baxter at 463-4632.

Rockbusters Rockbusters is a competitive wrestling team for kids ages 4 to 12. Call BJ Nelson at 719-0437.

Vashon Aquatic Club The club offers year-round, multi-level aquatic programs that emphasize personal achievement, team unity and competitive excellence for youth. See www.vashonaquatic for more information. The academy offers dance classes and a spring performance for ages 2 through adult. Call the academy at 463-1895.

Vashon Island Junior Crew Students in grades eight through 12 can participate in crew, which has two sessions each year and begins roughly when school starts and ends in May. For more information, or to register, see

Vashon Island Soccer Club The club runs a full soccer season annu-

Preschools, daycares and after-school programs The Barbie School: Preschool and kindergarten.

Contact Zoe Cheroke at 463-3135.

Cedarsong Nature School: Outdoor preschool. Visit

Chautauqua Early Childhood Program: Preschool

for children with developmental delays and their typically developing peers. Contact Gillian Callison at 463-2882, ext. 401. A Child’s Garden Montessori: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact Heather Baldwin at 753-9924 or www. Creative Preschool: Preschool. Contact the school at 463-2166 or see El Gato con Botas: Spanish language preschool. Contact Sarah Bunch at 473-0445 or see elgatopreschool. Home Away from Home: Daycare, preschool and after school program. Contact Vicki Dantche at 567-4396. Huckleberry Kids: Preschool. Contact Lori Lane Kimmel at 463-4825. Kids Are People Too: Preschool and extended care. Contact Danielle York at 463-2610. Klahanie Nursery School: Nursery school for infants and toddlers. Call the school at 491-9465 or see www.


ally, starting in August and remains active throughout the year with drop-in play and special events. For more information, see www.

Vashon Lacrosse Club Vashon Island fields teams for boys from third grade through high school and girls in grades six through eight and focuses on sportsmanship, conditioning, skills building and love of the game. For more information, see www.

Vashon Park District The park district offers many programs for youth, ranging from sports to ballet to babysitting classes. Call the park district office at 4639602 or see

Vashon Pirate Youth Football Children in grades two to eight are welcome to be a part of this program, which provides skill development in coordination, sportsmanship, discipline and leadership. Call Paul Wallrof at 567-4073 or see

Vashon Youth Baseball & Softball This club’s mission is to instill the lessons of teamwork, achievement, fair play and balance between competition and cooperation. The club is for kids between 5 and 12 years old. See for more information.

VYFS PlaySpace The PlaySpace offers a place for kids and their parents to connect and learn, as well as play groups for young children and their caregivers. See for more information.

Enrichment programs

La Petite Etoile

La Petite Etoile: French language preschool. Contact

La Petite Etoile, a French-immersion preschool located at Bethel Church, is expanding its offerings to include school-age children this year. After School French will meet from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays for children in grades one through five and older children by request. Bus service from Chautauqua will be available. Late Arrival French for Chautauqua students will meet from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on late arrival mornings. Students can take the bus from the La Petite Etoile to Chautauqua. Full Day French will meet from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on late arrival days for students with previous French experience. This French immersion program includes speaking, comprehension, reading and writing. For more information, call teacher Aristy Gill at (206) 304-4903 or see

Aristy Gill at (206) 304-4903 or see vashonfrenchschool. blog Little Tree Montessori: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact Teri Tipton at 463-9249 or see Love and Laughter Drop-in Preschool: Preschool and licensed daycare. Contact Jenny Mickelson at 5295124 or see Starbreak Adventure School: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact Kathy Zbryk or Dan Cullinan at 463-6277 or see Vashon-Maury Cooperative Preschool: Preschool. Contact the school at 463-2779 or see Vashon Kids School Age Childcare: Before and after school care for kids ages 5 to 12, as well as care during school breaks. Contact Dalinda Vivero at 930-2592 or The Beachcomber’s spring issue of Island Child, published in April 2011, contains more information about about day care and preschool programs. Drop by the office for a copy.

Vashon Wilderness Program The Vashon Wilderness Program offers nature programs for youth from age 4 through high school. Its mentoring approach blends modern naturalist knowledge with ancient wisdom, creating a safe place for children to explore and learn more about nature. School-year programs include Wind Gatherers for 4 to 6 year olds and Fire Tenders for 7 to 12 year olds, both on Fridays at Camp Sealth. FamilyLink and Chautauqua are both expected to offer programs this year as well. New this year will be a program for teens ages 14 to 17, including quarterly trips, a monthly program and a 10-day expedition. For more information, see or call 438-3525.

Education, Services and Great Stuff for Kids!

The Independent Choice

What is

The Harbor School?

For Vashon and West Seattle parents with kids in grades 4th - 8th.

Who want to meet their child’s academic Chris Anderson, local musician and former McMurray teacher with 30+ years experience, offers academic tutoring program with a music/performance recording component working with local, online, and homeschool students. Call or email us for more info: Play music, learn lots, and have fun (206) 498-8429 with your friends at Studio 115!


Serving Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Carpe Diem is a well-established primary school on Vashon Island. Small class size, challenging curriculum, character education, and lots of enrichment make Carpe Diem a great place to learn! 2011-12 Enrollment is FULL (wait list only). Now accepting applications for 2012-13.

Schedule your visit today!

Call 206.375.8898

Still Plenty o s ’ e er School Sta f Fun h T rts! Aft er at Vashon Park District Sign up now for Jr. Crew – rowers and novices age 13-18

Soccer Too – Openings Remain Flag Football Starts September 12 – for players in 1st to 6th grade

New! Island Dance Theatre–Starts September 9 – beginners to pointe

And, remember…

Vashon Pool is open through Labor Day Vashon Kayak Center is open 'til September 30

Thursday through Sunday

And, the Skate Park is open all year 'round

Wednesday through Sunday

Come on out and PLAY!

needs in an independent-minded, tight-knit learning community.

The Harbor School is a well-established

independent school for the middle years, now in our 17th year.

That provides  Deeply experienced and passionate teachers who are experts in their subjects.  A structured academic curriculum delivered in a cozy small-group setting.  An invitation to co-create learning activities to suit each student’s energy and enthusiasms.  Travel study and service—a unique adventure for the “in-between” years of early adolescence  A community accountable to each other to provide both challenge and support at a time of explosive intellectual, emotional, and physical development.  A campus with space for athletics, a vegetable and flower garden, science, art and computer labs, and a support staff of friends and mentors.

And produces independent, curious and creative self-starters, ready for high school and able to engage with the world, both inside and outside the classroom.

7:1 Student to Staff Ratio 30+ Days Travel Study Trips Per Year Excellent Academics

(70% of THS grads attending Vashon High School are on the Honor Roll)

Want More Learning? Call 206.567.5955 13

Vashon’s Kid Connections Kick off the soccer season with us!

Soccer Shoes from $24.95 in youth sizes and $34.95 in adult sizes Balls, Shin Guards, Shorts and more!

Adidas Warm-Ups • Sambas Located in Thriftway Plaza

M–F 10–6pm


• •

Sat. 10–5pm • Sun. 11–3pm

Tutoring & Academic Coaching Skills for Confidence Organization, Work Ethic, Attention Teaching Children How To Be Students Register Now for September Middle School Workshops!

Devon Atkins • 353-9227

Are You a Musician? I Thought So.


(206) 463-0552


Education, Services and Great Stuff for Kids!

Annie Roberts’


Cello & Piano Studio


Its already time to get your Back-to-School supplies!

Come check out our New Selection of Girls Clothing at a discount. We also have T-Shirts, Work Shirts, Socks, Sweatshirts, Overalls, Suspenders, Jockey Underwear, Caps, House Slippers, Inner Soles, and so much more! See our great selection of Books, Toys, Rocks, Sock Toy Makings, Games, and beyond! And don’t forget your shoes, boots and raingear! 206-463-3655



Summer Is A Good Time To Get Your Physical! Well Child Checks - Comprehensive exam covered by most insurance plans. Includes developmental screening, immunizations and sports form if needed.

Kim Farrell, MD

Michael P Kappelman, MD

Gary A. Koch, MD

M Stephanie Lee, PA-C

Laurel Kuehl, MD

Jeffery HansPeterson, MD

College Physicals - Full exam and college immunizations. Bring your college forms for completion at appointment.

Sports Physicals - A brief exam focused on completion of sports physical forms (not usually covered by insurance).

Adult Physicals - A comprehensive exam for adults including preventive care and screening for cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Call to Schedule Your Appointment Today


Vashon Health Center

10030 SW 210th Street • (206) 463-3671 • Fax (206) 463-3613


Start Your Search at:

Phone: 206/567-1600

Vashon Island is proud to sponsor this guide. We were ALL kids once!

Diane Stoffer Susan Lofland

Leslie Ferriel

J.R J.R.. Crawford

Ken Zaglin

Val Seath

Deb Cain

Jean Bosch Sophia de Groen

Crist Granum Len Wolff

Krista Dehnert

Phil McClure Nancy Sipple

Profile for Sound Publishing

Vashon Island Child - Vashon Island Child-Fall 2011

Vashon Island Child - Vashon Island Child-Fall 2011