Dear students, families and guardians,
At Vancouver Public Schools, we work hard everyday to ensure that our schools are inviting, respectful and safe learning environments for each student. We want all children and their families to know they are valued members of our culturally rich and diverse learning community.
To follow up previous communication on this topic, and in light of recent heightened concern about citizenship status among some people in our community, we want to share with you the following facts that support us in our commitment to providing safe and supportive schools.
- Free public education: All children are entitled to a free public K-12 education, regardless of their citizenship status. The school district does not ask about or know the citizenship status of its students or families and does not report it.
- Privacy rights and protocol: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects your child’s educational record, which means the district is prohibited from sharing information with third parties. Students are not questioned without legal cause and the awareness of their parents. If law enforcement officials enter a school, they are required to show credentials and provide a purpose for their presence. Once that has occurred, the school principal seeks direction from the district’s legal office.
- Limitations on Department of Homeland Security Enforcement Action: Detailed information from the DHS and the U.S. Department of Education is available on the district website.
How we can help
Teachers, counselors, principals and support staff can help reassure students and families about their concerns. If your child is experiencing anxiety and stress, please inform your principal. We have dedicated staff members who can help. We want all students to come to school and know that they are safe.
Vancouver Public Schools and its employees stand together to educate the children and youth of this community. We believe that a free and appropriate education is a right for all children. We teach and learn together, because through education all things are possible.
Steve Webb, superintendent