All-School Meeting and Screen Time!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 10/1-10/5

We’ve been fully embracing the Fall coziness, starting with a special Monday geared towards the new month of October with Fall-themed crafts and a giant pillow fort. People spent the day snuggled up inside the fort listening to spooky stories read by Justine! Likewise, we ended the week with a Netflix fireplace on the projector and chill games kind of morning on Friday.

Screen time was voted down again at All School Meeting, which came as a surprise to many of us who assumed it would be back after more people decided to turn up and vote at the Decision Making Meeting on Tuesday. We also voted on whether people should be allowed to leave and rejoin the Decision Making meeting. Arguments for this proposal were that people should be free to choose which proposals they show up for, and that when people are required to stay in the meeting, they are more disruptive. Arguments against the proposal were that all of the proposals brought to ASM are important and should be shown up for and that it will be disruptive for people to be walking in and out while we hold the meeting. This proposal actually ended up tying twice before it was ultimately voted down, and brought up some questions around how many times we would continue to vote on a proposal that ties.

We have our All School Decision-Making Meetings every Tuesday afternoon at 12:45. These are the meetings hosted by the Student Couch, a group of student volunteers who organize and workshop proposals to help streamline the meetings. Proposals at the Decision-Making meeting have all gone through the couch, but that doesn’t mean you have to submit a proposal to the couch. Anyone is free to call an All School Meeting to make a proposal or an announcement at any time.

While the sunny weather lasted, we spent our afternoons at the park and enjoyed running around in a big green field and climing trees. We also celebrated Nathan’s 11th birthday this week with double-chocolate minty cookies!

We were recently donated with a lot of playmobil toys and many more books. So we have been indulging ourselves with our new favorite toys and played so much!

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

VFS Staff

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Puppets and Democracy!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 9/24-9/28

We took advantage of this week’s unseasonably warm weather to head to the park several times and play outside. There were lots of indoor games and puzzles this week too. We also had a lot of fun with our new 3D pen, generously donated by Alex!

liam and isaac playing chessharuko and felix with horse puzzlekaden oli and henrik with 3d pen

On Adventure Monday, puppeteers Dan Luce & Tracy McFarland visited our school. It was amazing! We got to watch a show, learn about different puppets and how they are operated, and we got to try out dozens of puppets ourselves.

dan luce alligator suitkaden cole oli and adrian with the tree puppetsjoshua with pumpkin puppetfrances and ellery with yeti puppet

On Thursday, Leonard and Rachael brought another puppet-themed offering, inviting students to help them act out Beauty & the Beast and other stories in the Puppet Theatre!

frances lois and leonard with puppet theatreharuko with the tree puppets

In an All-School-Meeting that will surely go down in history, we voted to get rid of screen time completely. This means screen time is not happening at school until it is voted back in. People who made the decision to vote in favor of this proposal cited reasons such as: our internet bandwidth is not currently supporting how much internet is used at screen time, they just don’t like screen time, and they want to encourage students to attend the meeting and vote on proposals that matter to them. This should be an interesting experiment in our capacity to live without screen entertainment, and possibly a difficult lesson about our democratic process. At school, we are making space for conversations about everyone’s right to make proposals and vite on what they think is right. It would be a great discussion to bring up at home, too!

VFS Staff

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Express Yourself!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 9/17-9/21

jumping ropewade on the playground

The weather was perfect for our Adventure Monday this week at Laurelhurst park. We spent time playing together, bonding, and some took a trip to visit the duck pond.

ellery squirrelanaya and aurelia on laptops

In the beginning of Project Time on Tuesday, we tried out our first Cohorts meeting. As time goes by, we will get into the rhythm of checking in and setting goals with our cohort staff and peers.

oli dressed up with fortnight llamafrances khari and maia dressing upliam with blocks

We’ve been getting a lot out of our new dress-up clothes as well as costumes brought from home. As a community, we show up to school in so many different ways, and we have the freedom to express that in the things we wear as well as the ways we participate in school culture. Students seem to be more motivated than ever to come up with new project ideas and find momentum to follow through with these ideas too! We’re also starting to get a lot more use out of our vault this year. We’ve set it up as a recording & music studio, a spooky space for scary stories, and a quiet area for drama club to rehearse.

oli and gardner with fortnight llamalinnea josie and karin spinning yarnrobert anaya aurelia and joshua cooking

Some class highlights from this week were learning about magnets in Bill Nye Science, making Egg in the Basket at Beginning Cooking, spinning yarn in the All About Wool class, P.E. running on the track, and soccer club getting to take it to the park for the first time! At our All-School Meeting this week, we made it through several lengthy discussions and proposals. Perhaps most important of all, we voted to unban popcorn!! We also celebrated Mark’s 8th birthday with yummy rice crispy treats on Tuesday!

salena jack and trevor at the meetingrelaxing on the couches

Have a great weekend!

VFS Staff


Last week, we were treated to an amazing performance by Amy Conway’s new improv group, Magic & Wonder! This fantastical improvised show uses your child’s imagination to inspire a brand new fairy tale that will premiere right before their eyes! For those that enjoyed the show and want to see another one or those that would like to have the experience for the first time, the next shows will be:

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New Plans!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 9/10-9/14

We visited the Central Library in downtown for our first Adventure Monday and picked out a bunch of books for our Fall classes and personal projects. We’ve started the Fall Standing Plans, and we are starting to figure out our new schedule which is fully packed with so many interesting classes!

Rachael and the students in the Beginner Cooking class spent some time coming up with a plan for what they will learn to cook. Aurelia and Anaya have been teaching other students to use Scratch to program games and other interactive online activities. During “I ❤ Math hour,” Kathy supported students of all ages. Justine and David are co-teaching Spanish this term! The Forensic Files class, led by Drake, began to delve into the forensic sciences. Kids relaxed while they digested some big topics in Noppawan’s “Stories & Solidarity (and Tea Time!)” class. Justine and Maia hosted their first “Life After VFS” class! Students thought about their options for the future and what steps they might take to reach their goals. Topics discussed included college, standardized testing, jobs, resumes, Peace Corps, and more! Vincent & Heywood have started offering a Weekly Game Tournament. This week they offered Chess!

During Project Time on Tuesday, we helped students who hadn’t yet completed their Cohorts & Mentor Surveys. We are all working hard to form a support system that accommodates all of our diverse needs. Every Tuesday, we will have the All-School Meeting where we discuss proposals and vote to make decisions for our school, hosted by the “Student Couch” (our student council body). This week, we voted to try a one-week long trial of Clean-up time starting at 3 pm so that students who have to leave early can still participate in taking care of our school. For the week, we’ve been cleaning at 3pm, having last snack at 3:30, and having “Clean Up Your Own Mess” at 3:45.

gamesryans birthday treats

Ryan celebrated his 9th birthday! Yay! We ended the week with a special performance by Amy Conway’s improv troupe! The kids really enjoyed the show and they even got to join in!

horned lizards escapethe wizard


Have a great weekend!

VFS Staff

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First week of school!!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 9/4-9/7

Welcome to the first Weekly Update of the 2018-19 schoolyear!

We were all excited to come back to our new space and start our first full school year here! It’s a lot of fun seeing how our community changes and grows as we welcome new people and feel the culture constantly shifting.

lois ellery and noppawanvalues

We had lots of big conversations to start out the school year. In our Values meeting we learned that this year our top 5 values as a school are: Care, Community & Culture, Learning/Accomplishment, Freedom & Autonomy, and Evolution. We also discussed how the school can hold the students best using cohorts or mentor relationships. We’ve created a google form for students to fill out so that we know everyone’s preferences and we can do our best to meet their needs.

mark isaac and vincentgardner dragonhand and foot painting

Thanks to everyone who brought in smoothie supplies for helping us have our smoothie party! We ended our week with that and the Make It! Competition, where makers used whatever craft supplies they wanted to represent themselves as animals. It was awesome!

aurelia and ratoli and adrienanimal art champions

Have a great weekend!

VFS Staff

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Last Week of our 2017-18 School Year1

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 6/4 – 6/8

Thank you all for another wonderful school year! Our last week has been jam-packed full of pillow fighting, augmented reality art, parks, Harry Potter, Batman Trivia, a splash pad, spontaneous performances, Aurelia’s 11th birthday, a hike, picnics, arcade games, an inflatable tree, a potluck party, and more!!

Take a look at these photos for a peek into our magnificent last week of school!

Have a wonderful summer, we’ll see most of you next year, and good luck to those moving on to new adventures!

VFS Staff

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We’re almost there!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 5/29 – 6/1


This week we have been winding down our classes and projects to get ready for next week’s adventure week!

The Bill Nye Science class made potions and learned about chemical reaction. Room A Cooking made chocolate chip cookies! Leif taught an amazing Philosophy class special just for this week.

Home Ec. Class had a burger cooking competition and provided hot lunch at the same time!

Community Clean-Up Day went great! The space is looking good and we even got a visit from llamas at the park! Big, super, duper, special, amazing thank you to parents who were able to help us out cleaning. Also thanks to all the students who came and did an awesome job. We had a great turnout and were able to get our whole space into good shape. After clean up, some students dressed up super cutely in Heathers costume!

Martin will be graduating tomorrow. Congratulations to him!!!

Have a great weekend and see you next week for our last week of the schoolyear!

VFS Staff

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