Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 25, 2020




September 25, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

We are just days away from October, which is the birthday month for both my boys.  October is always so much fun, with parties and fall-themed family outings.  I look forward to the annual trip to the pumpkin patch with Amanda, Jamison, and Declan.  I realize events will look a little different this year, but I refuse to let the memorable moments slip through my family’s hands.  Years from now, my boys won’t remember the social distancing requirements, the face coverings, the hand sanitizer stations, or the myriad other safety protocols in place.  Ok, they probably will remember, as the pandemic has left an indelible mark on everyone.  But, what I hope they will remember most is the time spent with family.  We will remain #RidgefieldResilient.

As I shared with you earlier this week, Clark County Public Health (CCPH) released the 14-day COVID activity level, 76.15 cases per 100,000 people.  This number puts our area in the “high” range, thereby delaying the transition to hybrid in-person learning.  CCPH recommends that COVID activity rates remain below 75 cases per 100,000 people for at least three consecutive weeks.  We will continue to coordinate with CCPH and communicate with you the District’s transition plan as we learn more.

The Learning Mode survey is now closed.  A quick apology: last night, an unintended email went out to ALL K-5 parents indicating they had not completed the survey.  A follow-up email went out immediately, attempting to clarify the mistake.  Please know that if you were one of the nearly 1,400 respondents that completed the survey, we have recorded your choice.  Thank you for your assistance.  For those who have not completed the survey, your student will be enrolled in Ridgefield Remote (our remote only) learning mode through the end of the first trimester (November 24) unless you email indicating your desire for hybrid learning by the end of today.

A staff member recently shared with me that, “…there is an order to things that we may not understand, but in hindsight, we see that things work out as they should.”  The Ridgefield School District is committed to moving forward with positivity, inspiration, and inclusiveness. Knowing that we will be stronger and closer as a community for the shared challenges, we triumphed when this is all over.  Stay safe and continue to remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Grant Program

The City of Ridgefield is offering a temporary emergency program to assist small, locally owned Ridgefield-based businesses to survive the COVID-19 crisis, to minimize disruption to workers and maintain availability of local goods and services in Ridgefield.

  • Application Deadline: October 31, 2020
  • Grant Amount: $1,000 to $3,000
  • Business must be a private for-profit business.
  • Business must have a physical storefront within Ridgefield’s city limits.
  • Eligible expenses must be incurred between March 1 and October 31, 2020.
  • Businesses must have 25 or fewer employees.

Additional eligibility requirements online at

Friends of Refuge Reach Goal

Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge reached their goal of $5,000 yesterday in the GiveMore24! event.

Thank you!

They not only reached their goal in record time, but beat last year’s achievement by $182.00. This is all thanks to members and volunteers, the generous match offered by the Hugh & Mair Lewis Charitable Fund, and every single one of you!

You don’t have to stop spreading the message and supporting the cause, because #GiveMore24! isn’t over yet. In case you want to get in on the action, it’s not too late: donate now.

24 Hours of Giving

Today is the annual Give More 24! event where donations to non-profits are raised. If you want your money to go directly to help furnish the Ridgefield Library, see the information below.

It’s easy to donate to the library building fund. Send checks to Friends of the Ridgefield Library, PO Box 534, Ridgefield 98642. Donations of $1000 or more will get recognition in the new library. Credit cards are also accepted. Call Cathy at 360-931-0343 to donate by credit card. Naming opportunities are available. What a nice gift this would be to a friend or family member who you want to recognize.

Have you peeked in the windows of the new library? Things are progressing nicely.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 22, 2020




September 22, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I am writing to you this afternoon to share the latest news from Clark County Public Health (CCPH), regarding COVID activity in the community and the associated impact on plans to transition to K-5 hybrid instruction.  As we have shared previously, CCPH recommends that COVID activity rates remain below 75 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive weeks post Labor Day.  The September 21st rate, released today, is 76.15 cases per 100,000 people.

What does this mean for the Ridgefield School District and our transition to the hybrid learning model?  In short, it means we wait.  We delay the transition to hybrid for AT LEAST three weeks.  We will continue to monitor the CCPH number weekly and continue to plan for the transition to the hybrid model.

I imagine this may be viewed as a setback for the 867 parents, or roughly three out of every four respondents, expressing a desire for their child(ren) to return to in-person learning via the hybrid model in our Learning Mode survey.  Please know that the District continues to look forward to the day we are able to bring students back for in-person instruction.  However, as we have said before, we will only do so in a safe and sensible manner.

The silver lining is that we have additional valuable time to continue communicating the many details related to the transition to hybrid learning.  It is still critical that ALL K-5 parents complete the Learning Mode survey (click here) so the district can appropriately place students and staff.  You are selecting the Learning Mode you wish to use (Ridgefield Remote / hybrid in-person) for the duration of the first trimester (until November 24).  As that date approaches, the District will survey all K-5 parents again to see which learning mode you wish to use for the second trimester (November 30 – March 4).

For those interested in additional information, I invite you to join the virtual School Board meeting tonight at 5:00 PM.  I will provide the school board an update on our current plans.  Please use this link to join the meeting (click here).

2020 continues to provide new and unforeseen challenges, yet I remain resolute that the Ridgefield community can and will overcome them all.  Stay safe and continue to remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent




District Launches Poster Contest to Raise Awareness for Bullying Prevention

October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month, is fast approaching, and to help raise awareness against bullying, Ridgefield School District is launching a poster contest open to all Ridgefield School District students in grades K-12.  Prizes will be awarded to a winner and runner up in each of three grade bands:  K-4, 5-8 and 9-12.

We are looking for artwork entries that will help raise awareness against bullying and encourage positive behavior such as inclusion, kindness and acceptance.  Entries can be submitted to the student’s school office, the District Office, or via email to  One entry per student please.  Entry deadline is Friday, October 16th.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, October 21st, which is Unity Day–the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month.  We encourage everyone to wear orange on that day to show that we are all united in support of bullying prevention.

National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.  The goal of the annual campaign is to unite communities around the world to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.  Since its founding, the campaign has grown into a worldwide effort with thousands of individuals participating in multiple activities throughout October.

Visit to learn more about National Bullying Prevention Month.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to iQ Credit Union for sponsoring this poster contest.


Allen Canyon Creek


Allen Canyon Creek has been dry for several weeks but has a little flow after last week’s rain.   Fish, including Coho, have been trapped in the few low places along the creek.  So, the first fall rains  have freed the trapped fish.  Allen Canyon Creek always runs very clear except for the most intense rainstorms.  It means clean gravels for fish to spawn in and for fry to hide.  This year, however, there is a new threat.  The dirt from the excavation on Mill street that will contain the future police station has been  dumped next to a ravine that flows a few hundred feet into Allen Canyon Creek.  Downstream from that is where we maintain a salmon incubator and where there are two pools with this year’s Coho fry.  I exchanged e-mails with the developer and contractor which led to the silt fence being installed.  It is  improperly installed  and not bedded.  We have heavy rain  predicted for tomorrow.  With the entire area being sloped and full of bare ground it could be very bad for a small creek.  Last week,  I reached out to lot of people in the state and then in the county to try to get something done.  But, nothing yet.  I’m dreading what will happen tomorrow.

By Paul Snoey 

Thought for the Week

Today’s Thought is a couple of definitions that tickled my funny bone:

KNOWLEDGE is knowing that a tomato is a fruit

WISDOM is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

Have a great week. Wasn’t it great to see the sun again?

Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 18, 2020




September 18, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Thank goodness for the rain and improvement in the air quality.  It seems to be providing a natural transition to fall.  The changing of the leaves, the cool fall weather, and watching college football with friends and family, reminds me why I love the fall.

The District is currently operating a remote learning environment with limited in-person opportunities for our most academically impacted students.  We continue to monitor COVID-19 activity rates via the Clark County Public Health (CCPH) website, along with weekly Zoom updates with our public health officials.  CCPH has published the rates for the last several weeks (see below).  Based on current guidance from CCPH, and assuming rates remain less than 75 cases per 100,000, we will begin the graduated transition to Stage I: hybrid learning (in-person instruction for Grades K-5 via an A/B model) on October 6th.  More specific information regarding the plan will be shared next week, should public health metrics remain within the appropriate range.  Please note, should next week’s number rise above 75 cases per 100,000, we will postpone the transition plan and monitor rates for an additional three weeks.

Recent COVID-19 activity levels (rate is calculated weekly):

  • August 17: 74.7 cases per 100,000 people
  • August 24: 71.6 cases per 100,000 people
  • August 31: 63.05 cases per 100,000 people
  • September 7: 64.07 cases per 100,000 people
  • September 14:  69.4 cases per 100,000 people

Early this summer we asked you to indicate your desire to take part in a fully remote learning experience, in place of in-person instruction.  While many of you submitted your registrations, a lot has changed.  We are asking parents of Kindergarten through fifth grade students to complete the instruction model registration process linked below. This registration process will ask you to indicate your intent to remain in Ridgefield Remote, or your desire to participate in the hybrid instructional model.  Your participation is critical as we continue planning.  Access the registration form here.

I am so excited to share that our Homework Help program is expanding.  Beginning next week we will be adding math support for our 3rd and 5th graders.  As I share this fantastic news, I also wish to thank one of our dedicated staff members for making this possible – Susan Arndt.  Mrs. Arndt is currently providing math support for our 7th and 8th graders, but has witnessed the value of this program first hand and wants to help more of our students.  What a terrific example of #RidgefieldResilient.  Thank you, Susan!

Also, thank you for participating in our Thought Exchange last week.  We had over 300 participants who shared 281 Thoughts and more than 5,000 ratings on Ridgefield Remote.  What a great turnout.  Overall, responses were very positive.  Below is a WordCloud that represents the collective feedback.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Thank You Fred Meyer and Boar’s Head

Boar’s Head Meats are now providing sandwiches in brown paper bags with a cellophane insert rather than the plastic clamshells we are used to. Think of the amount of plastic that could be saved each year if every vendor did this.

Thank you Boar’s Head and Fred Meyer for helping to mend our planet.

Zoom Session on County Home Rule Charter

Join the Ridgefield Community Group for a Zoom conference on Sept 26th at 5pm with Chuck Green to discuss Ridgefield centric data from the August primary and to learn about the County Home Rule Charter. Chuck is a Clark County Charter Review candidate from Ridgefield and is a wealth of knowledge about most things in Clark County politics. He serves on the Clark County Commission on Aging and the 3 Creeks Rotary. He has been the project manager for many transportation projects in our area and was the construction manager for the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Center. To join the discussion, use this zoom link:

Meeting ID: 892 7223 0087
Passcode: 177156
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,89272230087#,,,,,,0#,,177156# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,89272230087#,,,,,,0#,,177156# US (Houston)

Thought for the Week

“Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thought become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your destiny.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

Vaux Swifts Are Back

Each year the Vaux Swifts roost for several nights in a chimney on the house across the street from my house. The population this year is the largest one yet, possibly several hundred.  The birds seem to be retiring a bit early these past few days, possibly because the fog and smoke make it dark sooner.  They will be here for another few weeks and then continue their migration to South America.  The residents in the house are new so I wonder if they knew about these birds.  Several came out of the fireplace and into the living room. They had the front door open and were coaxing these birds to leave.  It was a little like Alfred Hitchcock’s movie

Report to the Community: Ridgefield Library Building Project.

Walls are down to the studs!

A little over ten percent of the renovation project is complete. You may not have seen much happening on the outside, but the demolition company, the Wrecking Crew, has been very busy on the inside of the building. The interior has been reduced to the studs. The north hip roof will come off soon to extend the west roof line up to the sidewalk. The east roof will be removed in its entirety to raise the inside space approximately two feet.

Getting ready for plumbing

In addition to the demolition work, the same company is preparing the site for the plumbers. They have cut the floor to allow for new plumbing in the areas that need underground drain lines. You may have noticed that Main Street was closed for a day or two just a while ago. A new two-inch water line was brought into the property. Plumbers were on site the day after Labor Day starting to put the new pipes in the ground.

With every building project—especially a remodel of an existing building— unexpected or confounding issues will arise. One concern from the beginning was the contaminated ground water from Park Dry Cleaners. This contaminated water exists but is down eight feet. Since there are no excavations over four feet, there is no worry of coming into contact with this area.

To date, all other issues arising from the remodel have been small and easily resolved. Delivering this project within the 270-day timeframe is something everyone is taking seriously. Activity was happening in the building during the Labor Day weekend and Labor Day. Library staff, Friends of the Ridgefield Community Library, and everyone who has helped this dream become a reality should be quite pleased with this remarkable progress!

Thanks to Tevis Laspa for this update.

Money is still needed to complete the library. It’s easy to donate to the library building fund. Send checks to Friends of the Ridgefield Library, PO Box 534, Ridgefield 98642. Donations of $1000 or more will get recognition in the new library. Credit cards are also accepted. Call Cathy at 360-931-0343 to donate by credit card. Naming opportunities are available. What a nice gift this would be to a friend or family member who you want to recognize.

Superintendent Nathan McCann’s September 11, 2020 Update to Families




September 11, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Yesterday marked the 181st day since K-12 students had received in-person instruction in our schools. A regular school year consists of 180 days. Think about that for a moment. Yesterday also marked the first transition toward our ultimate goal; a return to full in-person learning. Limited in-person instruction and support services began yesterday as we welcomed back a cadre of students with more intensive needs. I had the pleasure of visiting these classrooms and seeing our fantastic staff working with our joyful students. It filled my cup! It’s great to finally start seeing some normal school activities taking place in our classrooms.

Please know, the process will take some time. The school operational modes are as follows:

  1. Remote instruction for all students
  2. Remote instruction for most students, with certain higher-needs students (select special education, homeless, ELL, Title, LAP) receiving in-person instruction
  3. Hybrid model for grades K-5 in an A/B cohort model
  4. Hybrid model for all grades in an A/B cohort model
  5. Return to regular school operations, with necessary modifications to address any ongoing effects of COVID-19

We continue to monitor COVID-19 activity rates via the Clark County Public Health (CCPH) website and meet weekly with our local public health officials. We will move cautiously, always with our students’ and staff’s safety and well-being at the center of the decision.

I’m excited to share with you that the District continues to add resources and supports to Ridgefield Remote. Just yesterday, we launched our Homework Help Zoom support. We offer live homework support from 5:00 – 8:00 PM Monday – Thursday for most of the K-8 grade bands. We hope to expand this service to all grades soon. We also launched a Tech Hotline. If you are having difficulty with your Chromebook, please email: or call 360-619-1363.

Today marks the end of our second week of Ridgefield Remote. While admittedly different, I know my boys and our family are finding a groove, and each day, we get a little more comfortable with the distance model. I hope your family is finding your groove too.  I have heard from many of you how pleased you are with the start of the school year.  I am very proud of all of our teachers and staff who have worked diligently to make Ridgefield Remote come to life.  And I am grateful for all our students and parents for making the most of this new learning environment.  In our continuous Pursuit of Premier, I ask you to take a few minutes and participate in our newest Thought Exchange (click here) to share your experiences so far.

2020 continues to challenge us all. I encourage you to find a moment of hope and inspiration this weekend.  Share your strength and resolve with others in the community, and together we will remain #RidgfieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent