Principal’s corner 2020-21

Principal Lori Rotherham

Principal’s corner 2020-212020-08-22T12:10:17-07:00
Jim Gray, principal

Having been an educator for 27 years, and a student for most of my life before that, I am accustomed to the rhythm of a school year. Fall is always a time of excitement, anticipation, and new beginnings.  And, despite our circumstances, this is still true.

I know we will be facing some challenges, and school and learning may look different for us this year. However, I have faith in our students, parents, community and staff. I know we will support one another, be patient with each other and ourselves. And I know we will continue to find joy in the arts.

Our mission and traditions will continue to be at the center of all our work.  This includes our yearly theme, and classroom lessons and activities connected to it.  Our amazing theme team has revised this year’s theme to better fit with this year’s circumstances and mode of learning.  The theme is:

The Artist’s Journey: How We Got to Now and How to Keep Going. (An Interdisciplinary Surprise)

The Aesthetic Principle is: Motivation: Where do you find your Energy?

I look forward to hearing you play your instruments, watching you dance and act, seeing your artwork, reading your poems, and, most of all, seeing you interact with one another in our amazing community. Whether virtual, or in-person it is a privilege to be part of this focused learning community where arts are at the center.

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”

Joseph Campbell

2020-21: Principal’s letters to parents

September 1, 20202020-08-25T13:00:56-07:00

VSAA | The Coming Week for Students and Parents

Welcome Back! We are excited to welcome you back to school today, September 1st, 2020

Our Schedule this week is here:

Please note, period 8 is advocacy. (It may appear as period 9 on your schedule)

We will be holding a Virtual Curriculum Night on September 3rd. Students will complete a schedule document with Zoom links during advocacy class. Click here to access the link in the electronic document


Message from the Principal

We, the VSAA teachers, administrators, counselors, and staff, are eagerly awaiting the beginning of school. While we may begin virtually, it is our intention to do verything we can to maintain our sense of community, artistry, and the palpable joy that can usually be felt when we walk through the doors of our school. To that end, we will have advocacy, concerts, performances, and clubs and activities, though they will be virtual, at least for now. We will have theme activities, and ASB is planning virtual spirit days and other ways to keep us engaged and connected.

Please be flexible, patient with us and yourself, and let us know your needs and suggestions. We will also continue with our academic support. This will include teacher office hours and enrichment. We have also added some communication tools, including drop in Zooms with administrators and office staff. It is our hope that our students will find joy in the arts, connection in our community, and confidence in themselves as we all rise to meet this challenging time.


We are providing hard copy planners for students to organize their work. However, you may find it helpful to use the electronic schedule template, and insert the Zoom Links for
your classes.

Click here to access the link in the electronic document

Optional Planning Template click here in electronic document

Optional Weekly Planning Template

For the month of September, we will have an open Zoom for students or parents to drop in each Wednesday, between 11 and 1. Either the principal, associate, or both will be available
for student or parent questions and/or concerns. Please use the following link below. We will utilize the waiting room feature in Zoom when questions or concerns are confidential.
If you log onto the zoom and are in the waiting room for a period of time, it is likely the result of this. We will make every effort to limit time in the waiting room.

Click this link in the electronic document to zoom with VSAA admin

We will also have a main office Zoom available all day the first 2 weeks of school so that you can see a friendly face and ask a question or get help.

Click this link to visit the main office zoom in the electronic document
You can also call the school at (360) 313-4600 for immediate assistance during school hours.
Other helpful links:
There’s a new Tech Hub with information for parents and students:


August 12, 20202020-08-22T12:12:58-07:00

VSAA Students and Families:

Welcome back for the 2020-21 school year! School will begin on Tuesday, September 1st. I know last spring presented some challenges, and the end of our school year was not quite the joyful celebration we are accustomed to. Therefore, as you can imagine, we are very excited to begin a new school year. While we may not all be together in person yet, we look forward to the opportunity as soon as it is an option.

  • VSAA is welcoming several new staff members:
  • Tiffany Morrisey will officially join us this year as a middle school science and math teacher. She served as Kelsey Hudson’s long-term sub last year.
  • Victor Johnson is also back. He will be teaching middle school and high school social studies. Victor was Jody Adams’ long-term sub and then took over for Jason Welch during his deployment.
  • Sheyla Mattos will be teaching 3 periods of dance. Sheyla previously worked at VSAA, is the parent of an alumnus, and also teaches elementary creative movement.

To help get all of our students off to a positive start to the year, we are offering online orientations for all students and their parents on August 20, 21, or 24. Please sign up for a date and time here. During this orientation, we will share our plans for remote learning as well as in-person classes when they resume, some tips to staying on track, and answer questions you may have. We will send you a Zoom link prior to the orientation.

We are holding a translated orientation with our Spanish-speaking families on August 20th from 4:00-5:00 PM. You will receive a link and information from Stephanie Ongtooguk, our translator.

We are holding a translated orientation with our Russian-speaking families on August 21st from 4:00-5:00 PM. You will receive a link and information from Viktoriya Krasovskaya, our translator.

In addition, we will be doing our schedule pickup differently. Please see below for specific details on our socially-distanced plan (please remember to wear a mask and limit 1 adult to accompany any student):

• All students in GRADES 6-11 should sign up for a 10 minute appointment on either August 25th or 26th during which they will get their school photo taken, turn in any materials still in their possession from last year, pick up a yearbook from last year if one was ordered, receive a planner and class schedule, and any additional materials available. We are using the conference time tool for this as well.

• NEW STUDENTS should also sign up for a “device swap” or “device pickup” appointment on August 21st. At this time, students new to the district will pick up their Chromebook. Students who attended a VPS elementary or middle school will turn in their iPad and receive a Chromebook.

• In addition, new students should sign up for a device/technology virtual orientation on August 31st.

• SENIORS should sign up for an appointment on August 24th. We will not be doing photos for seniors on this day, but will work with seniors on an alternative to our whimsical senior photos in the near future.

Click here for the link to sign up for orientation, schedule pickup, device swap/pickup and device orientation.

Below is the URL for our webpage, as well as the URL for our Remote Learning portal.
(This is currently being updated to reflect the 2020-21 school year)
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Parents should sign up for a Canvas account here.
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Click here for the free and reduced lunch application form. We encourage all families to complete these forms, as we want all students who are eligible to access nutritious school meals. In addition, students on free and reduced lunch are eligible for programs such as the College Bound Scholarship, etc. Completed forms should be returned to VSAA, either at schedule pickup, or any weekday during school hours.

Click here for the Youth Opportunity Pass application. This pass offers access to C-Tran and City of Vancouver recreational facilities. Completed forms can be emailed to or or can be returned on schedule pickup day or any day thereafter during school hours.

“The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” Malcom Gladwell

Lori Rotherham

VSAA Bell Schedule
3101 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98663 • (360) 313-4600 • Attendance / Information Line (360) 313-1472 • Fax (360) 313-4601

Questions or comments?

Lori Rotherham, principal

“You can go in thinking, I’m a painter, I’m a dancer, I’m a string player, but then take all the classes and find something completely different that you love. You have all these chances to explore and express yourself.” 

—Steven Goforth, VSAA class of 2011

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