Highly Capable Program

Referrals for testing for participation in the Ridgefield School District’s Highly Capable Program for the 2020-21 school year are currently being accepted. Anyone may refer a student including parents, teachers, other students, and members of the community. Highly Capable Program services are designed to address the needs of highly capable students in grades K-12. Your school has copies of the “K-12 Highly Capable Program Overview” explaining the program goals, identification process, service model and the schedule for testing. 

Referral forms are available online at http://www.ridgefieldsd.org/o/district/page/highly-capable-program–2. Click on Nomination Form to download this form.  

Students in Kindergarten through 6th grade will be tested in February or March for possible placement in the 2020-21 school year. Once your student has been scheduled, the date will not be re-scheduled except for a true family emergency or illness. Referrals must be returned to the Ridgefield School District no later than February 2, 2018 to:

Roger Fisher

Highly Capable Program Coordinator, Ridgefield School District


School Bond Forum Today

The Ridgefield School District is hosting their last of four School Bond Community Forums. This final forum will be Wednesday, January 22 @ 5pm in the Vocational Education Building at Ridgefield High School.
It will be attended by the school superintendent, Dr. Nathan McCann. He will be accompanied by school board members, district administration, and the current RHS woods/medals teacher, Mr. Shipp.
The forum will be centered on the need for a new Vocational Education Center @ Ridgefield High School which is one of the components of the current school bond. This school bond is up for a vote on February 11, 2020.

Lions Club Casino Night at ilani


Join the Ridgefield Lions Club in the ilani Cowlitz Ballroom for a private evening of fun, friends, and prizes on Saturday, February 15. This is a “friend raiser” and membership drive.

While you are there, find out a little more about the many ways the Ridgefield Lions help the community of Ridgefield and SW Washington and how you can be a part of the most active service organization in Ridgefield.

$25 entry includes: appetizers, two drinks, “Lions bucks” for playing, ilani dealers, a private room and the chance to win great prizes! Please RSVP to secure your spot at this fun annual event! Everyone who RSVP’s will get an extra raffle ticket. Sandy, sandyschill33@gmail.com or Jen, theduckmom@gmail.com.

Union Ridge Elementary Students Create Arcade Games from Recycled Materials

The classroom is filled with arcade games.  But there are no video screens or digital beeps, just the voices of kids having a lot of fun.  Every arcade game has been handmade by a second-grade student.  And they did it all from recycled materials.

Sara Eastham’s second grade class participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge, inspired by the short documentary Caine’s Arcade.  A nine-year-old boy, Caine Monroy, spent the summer designing and building an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s auto parts store in Los Angeles.  A filmmaker made a documentary about the arcade that went viral.

The film led to the Global Cardboard Challenge, where students all over the world create new things using cardboard, recycled materials, and imagination.  Eastham’s class uses the challenge as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) project, teaching the students to be creative, think outside the box, and independently solve problems.

Students and their families spent three weeks creating arcade games from boxes and bottles, paper towel tubes and milk cartons, old toys and twine.  The results were amazingly creative, with a wide variety of game types.  Students made skeeball and bowling lanes, claw machines and mazes.  One student made a wooden catapult to launch plastic frogs onto targets.

Students watch a ball roll through a maze of tubes and boxes.

“The students had to plan, engineer, create rules, and decorate their projects,” Eastham said.  “Presenting the games (other students play the games) gives them a sense of accomplishment and gives them ideas on how to improve or create another.  And they had a blast!”

They were definitely having a great time testing each other’s games.  Cheers went up by the frog catapult as a student got a high score.  Then more excitement by the skeeball.  “This is the most fun I’ve had at school!” one student said.  “I can’t wait to make another game!”

To watch the great documentary and learn more about Caine’s Arcade, visit http://cainesarcade.com/


Kekoa Warner shows his shark skeeball game.


Ella Lasee demonstrates her frog catapult game.


Noah Jemmott built a ball toss game.




Flat Stanley Leaves Ridgefield to Travel America

South Ridge Elementary School librarian Emily Crawford gave her first grade class a special assignment:  the Flat Stanley project.  Flat Stanley is a series of books about Stanley Lambchop, a boy who is squashed flat by a bulletin board, then goes on many adventures.  He slides under doors, flies like a kite, and is mailed to far-off destinations.  Crawford’s students got to send their own Flat Stanleys off on new adventures.

The first graders colored several paper Flat Stanleys and mailed them off to friends and relatives.  Then those people took photos of Flat Stanley in all kinds of places.  Just from the one WIN (What I Need) Time class, Flat Stanley travelled to twelve states.  He went to a ranch, to a zoo, and to a vineyard.  He flew a plane in Alaska, worked on a television show, and attended an NFL game.  Crawford compiled all 27 of the Flat Stanley adventures into a Flat Stanley book for the students.

Librarian Emily Crawford’s WIN (What I Need) Time class made their own Flat Stanley book.


Flat Stanley had many fun adventures thanks to students’ friends and family.

The students started the project by reading Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures:  The Japanese Ninja Surprise.  Crawford used the book to get her students interested in reading. “I liked that I got to read!” Ammon Neil exclaimed.  They did a literature circle study where they discussed the book, developed questions together, and made a glossary of words that were new to them.

The students enjoyed the book and the project.  They were excited to show which page was theirs and where Flat Stanley went.  Harper Bruno held the book close to her and said, “My favorite part was that we got to make the books.”

Flat Stanley Adventures:  Volume 1 by Ms. Crawford’s First Grade WIN Class now has a place in the South Ridge library, and each student received their own copy.  Now they can read about all of the amazing places Flat Stanley could go.  Maybe they’ll go there themselves someday—but probably not in an envelope.

Teegan Thompson proudly shares her Flat Stanley pages.

Thought for the Week

The forecast may have been for snow, but no one told my daffodils or peonies!

Meaningful Movies – How We Grow

Meaningful Movies will sponsor a free showing of a coming-of-age story of a community re-learning how to work together and growing stronger in the process. Inspired by the drive and dedication of the next generation of agricultural leaders in the Roaring Fork Valley, the community explores how to overcome pressing issues of land access, income inequality, and a short growing season. Come discuss how these issues apply to our rapidly growing area and find out from local farmers the challenges they face.

It’s at the Old Liberty Theater this Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00. Doors open at 6:30 so you can enjoy a goodie and/or drink from Seasons Coffee Shop before the show.

Pika Power at Union Ridge Elementary

Ask a fourth grader about what they have been studying, and you might not expect to hear, “The pika!”  What is a pika?  These students will be glad you asked.  They know more than most people about these cute animals.  And they were excited to learn more about pikas from Amanda Greenvoss with Cascades Pika Watch.  Greenvoss came to speak to students at Union Ridge Elementary about her work with pikas—and how the students could help.

Pikas are small mammals “about the size of a baked potato,” Greenvoss told the students.  At first glance, they resemble a mouse, but they are actually related to rabbits.  Greenvoss showed the students a picture of a pika’s face in profile.  “Cover their ears, and their face looks more like a rabbit.  They just have shorter ears.”

Pikas usually live in cold, rocky, mountainous terrain, but surprisingly, there is a large group of pikas that inhabit the Columbia Gorge.  “These pikas are weird,” Greenvoss said.  There’s no real explanation for where this group of pikas came from, why they chose to live so much closer to sea level, or even how they survive when their bodies are adapted for a very different environment.  But not only are they surviving in the Columbia Gorge, they are thriving.  They even survived the destruction of a large part of their habitat in the Eagle Creek fire of 2017, hiding deep in their underground burrows.

Because this group of pikas is such an anomaly, it makes for great research.  Greenvoss explained that the Cascades Pika Watch has many “citizen scientist” volunteers who help locate and map pika populations in Oregon.  They can watch and listen for pikas as they hike trails, and they also monitor a group of sites in and around the Columbia River Gorge.  With so many more eyes watching for pikas, biologists get better data to study them.  Greenvoss explained that there are many families that have joined the Cascades Pika Watch; with just one training, they can turn their family hikes into a way to help scientific research.

Many of the students hoped their families would join in the volunteer group.  They have spent many hours researching pikas and are big fans of the cute animals.  The walls of the hallways near their classroom are decorated with poster after poster about pikas, with drawings and detailed information about the pika’s preferred environment, characteristics, and behavior, as well as how they have been impacted by climate change.

Teacher Kim Stenbak started the pika research project at Union Ridge Elementary.  Inspired by a teaching outline by ESD 112 (Educational Service District 112), an agency that serves schools throughout the region, she realized this was a great way to get students involved in learning, not just about the pika, but also about the environment and how humans have affected their survival.  She hopes that in the future, these students will be active in educating others about the pika and helping preserve their environment.

Interested in joining the Cascades Pika Watch citizen scientists to watch and listen for pikas?  Sign up at oregonzoo.org/pikawatch .

Amanda Greenvoss and students discuss climate change’s impact on the pika’s environment.


Students made posters about the pika, with drawings and detailed information.

Bring your Sweetheart a Valentine

Want to impress your sweetheart? Buy tickets for the gala prime rib dinner and wine tasting at Gouger Winery on Valentines, Friday, February 14.

Tickets are selling fast for this festive candlelit dinner, and you don’t want to miss out. It’s a chance to dress up and enjoy a romantic dinner while raising money for the new Ridgefield library. Seating is limited, and there are only a few tickets left.

Call 360-887-2160 to reserve a space. It’s only $75 per person and for that you get a rose wine tasting, prime rib dinner or cheese tortellini with salad, a decadent desert and a glass of wine.

Early Learning Center Hosts Ridgefield Little Spudders Events

The first of four Ridgefield Little Spudders events for preschoolers and their parents is set for Thursday, February 27th at the Ridgefield Early Learning Center.  Parents are invited to enjoy an enriching hour of songs, stories, activities, snack, and social play with their child and take home helpful tools and resources they can use to continue the learning at home.  This is a free event, sponsored by the Ridgefield School District.  Three more Ridgefield Little Spudders events are set for March 19th, April 16th and May 21st.

Ridgefield School District Honors January Employee and Students of the Month

On January 14, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the January Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

Employee of the Month

A familiar sight at South Ridge Elementary School is seeing Lee Ann Young helping a student prepare for the rigors of class work and providing guidance in facing life’s challenges.  Lee Ann has worked tirelessly for decades to offer the highest quality education a student, parent, or school district could ask for.

Lee Ann Young

During her last year educating, Lee Ann remains the ever-present sentry.  She arrives early in the morning and stays far past her contract hours to organize for her students the information that drives her teaching.  She is always gathering information, tailoring it to meet the needs of her students.  In the classroom, Lee Ann creates a metered environment, providing her students with fair, predictable rewards to keep them focused on their own success.  As a respected colleague to other teachers, she offers constant support and ideas.  It is just who she is.  The community of Ridgefield is fortunate to have such an exemplary educator serving its students.  Ridgefield School District is proud to select Lee Ann Young as January’s Employee of the Month.


Students of the Month

Lincoln Stevens is January’s Student of the Month at the Early Learning Center.  Lincoln has a great work ethic in the classroom.  He always tries his best and participates in class.  He’s a great leader!  Lincoln also has a kind and respectful attitude and is always willing to help others.  He includes everyone in his play, often seeking out peers who may have challenges in initiating play.  The Early Learning Center is so very proud of Lincoln.  He’s a wonderful example of our Hashbrown pride!

Lincoln Stevens

Emma Sekidde, a fourth grader, is January’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  Emma is an amazing young lady.  She comes every day with the drive to do her best.  Emma is a wonderful friend and cares deeply about her classmates.  She is quick to volunteer and do what is right, no matter what!  Emma is an excellent example to younger Roadrunners about what it means to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.  At the beginning of the school year, during our first assembly, she organized a group of fourth graders to hand out tokens to students who were demonstrating respectful and responsible assembly behavior.  South Ridge Elementary is very thankful to have Emma as part of the Roadrunner family!

Emma Sekidde

Jaxxsun Schmidt, a third grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary due to significant growth this year, not only in his overall academic skills but also for his participation level and connection in class.  His support team in school celebrates the adversity that he has overcome as a student and in life.  We are so proud of his recent accomplishments in class.  Jaxxsun has a contagious smile, a positive spirit and extra hugs to share.  He is a good friend to others and a shining example of what Union Ridge believes of their students—that ALL students can learn and succeed.  Jaxxsun Schmidt is a champion of inspiration.  We congratulate him for this recognition.

Jaxxsun Schmidt

Alexandra (Ally) Nebeker, a sixth grader, was selected at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  Ally is so deserving of the Student of the Month award.  She works hard every single day in school and pushes herself to do her best and to be her best at all times.  She always offers help to other students or asks what other work she can do to further her knowledge and skills, demonstrating how self-motivated she is.  Ally is cheerful and friendly to all staff and to her peers.  She is always following classroom and school expectations, completing all of her work and participating in discussions and work with her classmates.  She does these things on her own without any needed direction.  Ally is a name you can leave for a substitute teacher if they ever need help in the classroom.  She is the epitome of the 3R’s at Sunset Ridge.  She is respectful, responsible and resilient.  Always.  Every day.  For these reasons and so many more, Sunset Ridge Intermediate is proud to select Alexandra Nebeker as January’s Student of the Month.

Alexandra Nebeker

Kaylee Kirkelie, an eighth grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  Kaylee is a wonderful student who always gives great effort and does her best work.  She comes to class each day ready to learn.  She is persistent, asks great questions, and takes charge of her own learning.  She is a helpful, supportive classmate and always contributes positively to our learning environment.  Kaylee is friendly and easy to work with, helps others and always has a smile ready!  She cares about her learning and grades and will ask questions when needed.  We love having her in class!

Kaylee Kirkelie

The Ridgefield High School Student of the Month for January 2020 is freshman Emily Trost.  In her less-than-four months’ time at RHS, Emily has been nominated by four different teachers in three different months.  She has made an immediate and substantial impact on the staff and students at RHS, standing out among the many exceptional students we have.  Says one of her teachers, “Emily is a very responsible student and brings out the best in her classmates.”  Another teacher describes her as “an absolute pleasure to have in class and a natural born leader.”  Emily brings her best to class every day, is welcoming to others, is respectful and thoughtful and shows “wisdom and maturity beyond her years.”  In addition to earning straight A’s, Emily is involved in theater and French Club and has completed her bronze award in Girl Scouts.  Her interests include theater, math and numbers.  Emily hopes to pursue a career in accounting or in the travel industry after graduation.

Emily Trost

Special thanks to the local office of James Schmeling at Allstate Insurance Company, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and the Ridgefield Boosters for sponsoring the district’s recognition program this school year.

Main Street Program

Thursday, January 16, at 8:30 am is the 2020 Kick-Off of monthly community meetings for the Main Street Program. Guest speaker is Brent Grening, CEO of Port of Ridgefield who will bring us up to date on what’s happening at the Port.

The meeting is free and at the Sportsman’s. Breakfast service is available, and as always complimentary coffee and tea are served.

Thought for the Week


Take a passel of friends and family. Add a lot of love, laughter and caring. Mix well.

Stir in a few hard times to help you appreciate the good times.

Shake well to distribute all ingredients evenly.

Season with memories and traditional events. Expose to sun, wind, rain and snow by hiking, camping, kayaking, singing and loving.

Add new memories as needed.

This recipe stretches to serve as many as needed. Keep it in a warm place in your heart and you will never go hungry.

“He’s my Brother”

District’s Parent Organizations Schedule Open Forum Town Halls on 2020 School Bond

Come and join the district’s parent organizations as they host open forum town hall meetings to address myths vs. facts surrounding Ridgefield School District’s 2020 School Bond.

The town hall meetings are scheduled on January 13, 15, 16 and 27 (early evening around 6:00 pm) at various Ridgefield schools.  All community members are invited to attend.

Presented by The Ridgefield Boosters, The Ridge, South Ridge PTA and Union Ridge PTO.

Library Needs your Help

Representatives from City Council will meet with legislators soon to discuss getting funding for several projects in the Ridgefield area. One of them is funding for a new library.

Having support letters from citizens would show our support of the library, so I’m asking you to write a letter to our legislators (Senator Ann Rivers and Representatives Brandon Vick and Larry Hoff) giving your reasons that we need a new library.

If you want to write a letter (or three – all the same) please take it to City Hall before this Friday the 10th so it can be included in the packet to the legislators.

Below is the portion of the City’s request that asks for library funds. This will give you some idea of what to write.

“Fort Vancouver Regional Library needs $1,000,000 to expand the existing Ridgefield Community Library. The 2055 square foot space that has housed the library since 1994 does not come close to meeting the needs for one of the fastest growing communities in the state. A 2014 study found that at least 10,000 square feet is necessary for the needs of the community. Over $3 million has been raised from the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, the Library Foundation and FVRL. There are still funds necessary to complete construction and provide the technology and materials for a new facility. We join the request for funds to finalize funds for this incredibly important community asset.”

Please give your reasons for wanting a new libary and be sure to ask for the $1,000,000.