Thought for the Week


If you ever think that just one vote in a sea of millions cannot make much of a difference, consider some of the closest elections in U.S. history.

In 2000, Al Gore narrowly lost the Electoral College vote to George W. Bush. The election came down to a recount in Florida, where Bush had won the popular vote by such a small margin that it triggered an automatic recount and a Supreme Court case (Bush v. Gore). In the end, Bush won Florida by 0.009 percent of the votes cast in the state, or 537 votes. Had 600 more pro-Gore voters gone to the polls in Florida that November, there may have been an entirely different president from 2000–2008.

More recently, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by securing a close Electoral College win. Although the election did not come down to a handful of votes in one state, Trump’s votes in the Electoral College decided a tight race. Clinton had won the national popular vote by nearly three million votes, but the concentration of Trump voters in key districts in “swing” states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan helped seal enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. Most states have a “winner take all” system where the popular vote winner gets the state’s electoral votes. There are also local and state elections to consider. While presidential or other national elections usually get a significant voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a much smaller group of voters.

~ Information from National Geographic Society

Hallowe’en in Downtown Ridgefield

Fall is here! And folks are busy working on what holiday events will look like for downtown Ridgefield. The first one is Halloween.

Due to COVID guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, Halloween will look a little different this year. The guidelines do not allow Halloween Hall at Abrams. And, since trick-or-treating is a high risk activity, the City is not promoting that activity in the downtown area.

But, have no fear, there will be a fright night downtown! Ridgefield Art Association will create a “Halloween Town” with decorations on City Hall, on benches, in the parks including the Overlook Park stage and vacant lots, etc. The decorations will be up from Wednesday/Thursday (10/28 or 29) and taken down on Sunday, 11/1.

That’s not all! The City is creating a drive-by scavenger hunt that will ask participants to answer questions about the Halloween decorations in order to receive a Halloween goody bag.

Want to join in the fun? You can decorate your downtown business, help someone else decorate a storefront downtown, or volunteer to help RAA with the decorating.

It can and will be a Happy Halloween – even if the activities are a little different.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – October 23, 2020




October 23, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

By now, many of you have already had a chance to meet with your child’s teacher during our early release conference times.  I know Amanda and I enjoyed spending time visiting with our boys’ teachers.  Conferencing through Zoom was valuable.  We didn’t have to wait in lines, no headache with parking…maybe we have stumbled across another first that is worth considering moving forward.

Speaking of November, flu season is here.  Hopefully, you have either already received your flu shot or scheduled a time to get it.  We all must do our part this year to help reduce the flu.  The CDC has an excellent article titled, “Similarities and Difference between Flu and COVID-19” that I recommend you read.

Earlier this week, the District hosted a virtual Hybrid Community Night.  The purpose of this meeting was to share with our community everything the District has done in preparation for our eventual return to in-person instruction.  If you could not join us for this event, no worries, you can watch the recording by clicking here.  We were able to answer a few questions during the event, but due to time constraints, we didn’t get to everything.  You can access the full FAQ here.

This week, I ran across an article titled “Parents’ Guide to Managing Stress While Remote Learning” by Jenna Mendelson, Ph.D., HSP-P that I wish to share with you.  Jenna has some practical advice for reducing family stress.  I would encourage you to hone in on how you can help your child manage their stress.

Thank you for continuing to share amazing photos of your children learning through Ridgefield Remote.  One of the elements I miss is seeing all the smiling children in their classrooms.  Until we return to in-person learning, these uplifting photos will have to do.  Please keep them coming (  If you captured your child all dressed up for Unity Day, I’d love for you to share the photo(s).

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

New Grants Available

The graphic above announces the “go-live” information about the most recent CARES Act business relief grant program for Clark County companies and nonprofits. The application period opened Wednesday the 21st, at 9:00 a.m. The CREDC will amplify this opportunity through social media and partner channels. Grants will consist of up to $30,000 for each business or nonprofit (of up to 100 employees) to support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts..

District Announces Winners in Bullying Prevention Month Poster Contest

Ridgefield School District is proud to announce the winners of its Bullying Prevention poster contest in commemoration of National Bullying Prevention Month.  The nationwide movement raises awareness against bullying and encourages kindness, acceptance and inclusion throughout the month of October.

Congratulations to each of our winners!


First Place:  Easton Quast, Grade 3, South Ridge Elementary

Runner Up: Anna Benedick, Grade 4, Union Ridge Elementary


First Place: Jael Benedick, Grade 6, Sunset Ridge Intermediate

Runner Up: Ella Wood, Grade 7, View Ridge Middle School

GRADE 9-12

First Place:  Kennadi Jones, Grade 9, Ridgefield High School

Runner Up: Aubrey Sigman, Grade 9, Ridgefield High School

Grades K-4 winners will receive a gift card to Kazoodles Toy Store and an iQ Credit Union piggy bank.  Grades 5-8 winners will receive a gift card to Kazoodles Toy Store and and an iQ Credit Union beanie.  Grades 9-12 winners will receive an Amazon gift card and an iQ Credit Union winter hat.

All poster entries will be on display at the Ridgefield Administrative Civic Center (RACC) through the end of November.  Many thanks to all students who participated.

Winners will receive these prizes courtesy of iQ Credit Union.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to sponsor, iQ Credit Union, and to the Ridgefield Art Association for their support of the poster contest.

Union Ridge Elementary’s 3rd Annual Socktober Sock Drive is On

The students in Stephanie Brown’s class at Union Ridge’s RISE Special Education program are organizing the annual Socktober sock drive again this year.  Socktober is a nationwide movement to collect socks for homeless shelters, and the students are doing their best to collect as many pairs of socks as they can.  This will be their 3rd annual Socktober sock drive.

Many of the students in the RISE (Reaching Independence through Structured Education) program are on the autism spectrum, and participating in the sock drive helps them to not only understand the concepts surrounding homelessness but shows them that anyone and everyone can make a difference by doing something to help others.

If you’d like to drop off new pairs of socks for the Socktober sock drive, please donate them at the Ridgefield Family Resource Center during regular donation hours:  Mondays, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Wednesdays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and Thursdays 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm.

Special drive-through collections for Socktober are also scheduled from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm on October 23rd and 27th near Building B at Union Ridge Elementary where specially-marked bins will be set up for safe contactless drop-off of socks.  On Friday, October 23rd around 12:45 pm, Rally the Raptor will make an appearance to personally deliver Adidas socks (100 pairs) especially for Socktober.

Bombas, an apparel brand famous for its comfort-focused socks and whose mission is to help those in need, will also be participating in Socktober this year.  Their donation of socks, scheduled to arrive in November, will be allocated to the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and the Council for the Homeless in Vancouver.

Socks are one of the most requested but least often donated items at homeless shelters.  This simple item can make a huge difference in the lives of individuals and families in need.  Let’s all do what we can to keep hearts and feet warm this winter.  Socktober runs through the month of October.

Thought for the Week

You Can Make Your Voice Heard

If you are not yet 18, or are not a U.S. citizen, you can still participate in the election process. You may not be able to walk into a voting booth, but there are things you can do to get involved:

Be informed! Read up on political issues (both local and national) and figure out where you stand.

Get out and talk to people. Even if you cannot vote, you can still voice opinions on social media, in your school or local newspaper, or other public forums. You never know who might be listening.

Volunteer. If you support a particular candidate, you can work on their campaign by participating in phone banks, doing door-to-door outreach, writing postcards, or volunteering at campaign headquarters. Your work can help get candidates elected, even if you are not able to vote yourself.

Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights.

Information from National Geographic Society

Five gallon jugs

I have several clean, white five gallon buckets with good handles and lids to give away. They’re great for a number of uses around the house and garden, and too good to throw in the trash. Let me know how many you want and I’ll leave them on the front porch for pickup


Make a Diffeence

Nikkki Paulson and her daughter

Nikki Paulson was planning to attend the Portland women’s march, but with Covid cases surging, she was a bit nervous about that.

A couple days ago, her daughter came into her sewing room as she was making the sash for her costume. Her daughter got very excited and wanted her own sash. So Nikki decided to stick around town, make her daughter a sash, recruit her partner and son and do a little family march thru town this morning. They made a stop at the RACC ballot box to drop their ballots, then walked thru town, down to the waterfront then back to their house.

They got a few honks and lots of waves. Her daughter thought it was so fun!

Nikki says she’s been doing her best to model public service for her children, and this was one more way. Since Covid started, she’s made and donated over 1800 masks to local healthcare and essential workers as well as the Navajo Nation and Warm Springs reservation. She’s also written over 300 postcards to voters and they’ve helped with stamps.

Now that’s a worthwhile political statement!

Book Sale Canceled

Just got a notice that the library’s used book sale, scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, has been canceled due to the possibility of inclement weather. Books don’t handle rain very well…

The sale will be rescheduled.

Reminder – Library Used Book Sale is Tomorrow

NOTE – Sale will be canceled if it’s raining

Superintendent’s Update to Families – October 16, 2020




October 16, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Mindset is a powerful tool, a potent tool.  For most of us, when we learned to ride a bicycle, it was filled with numerous attempts, skinned knees, and maybe even a hurt elbow.  I know it was for me.  Yet that didn’t stop us from persevering and finding success.  I see this same resiliency in my boys.  As a parent, I’m comforted when they embrace and eventually overcome the struggle in any one area of their lives.  Resiliency is forged, ready to serve them in other areas of their lives, including all the firsts they encounter this year.  Their first, and hopefully only, pandemic.  Their first time completing school from home through Zoom.  Their first time wearing masks in a grocery store.  There is a lesson here.  Let’s use the power of a positive mindset and celebrate our new world of firsts.

A recent first for the District occurred earlier this week.  We honored our students and employee of the month recipients at our board meeting like we have done many times before.  However, due to COVID, we needed to limit the audience to immediate families only.  So we used Zoom to broadcast the ceremony.  We heard from multiple families that the Zoom broadcast allowed family members from all over the country to join in.  Wow!  Viewers from all over the country celebrated with Ridgefield.  I think we have found a new tradition moving forward.  A practice that without COVID, we may not have discovered.

Next week, for all but Ridgefield High School, we will be holding parent/teacher conferences via Zoom for the first time.  If you have not already scheduled a time to visit with your teacher(s), please do so early next week.  Let’s use a positive mindset while approaching this new first.

Clark County Public Health released the newest weekly rate on Tuesday, 100.1 per 100,000.  Using the existing guidance, this keeps schools in our area still waiting.  As I type this, I feel it worth mentioning that a growing body of science suggests schools are not super-spreaders (The Atlantic).  There are also growing concerns regarding children’s unintended consequences resulting from school closures (EdSource) (World Medical and Health Policy).  The District remains committed to bringing students back to in-person instruction in a safe and sensible manner that follows public health guidance.

Since I am focusing on the power of a positive mindset this week, I wanted to share a module put together by Jeff Utecht Consulting Inc. that focuses on Growth Mindset.  I hope you enjoy this resource as much as I have.

I want to thank everyone that answered our call for candid Ridgefield Remote student photos.  Thank you!  There were far too many submissions to share them all, but here are a handful to celebrate Ridgefield Remote learning.  Please keep those photos coming (

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

4th Annual Turkey Trot Set for Thanksgiving Day, November 26th

The 4th Annual (Virtual) Turkey Trot is set for Thanksgiving Day, November 26th.  To register for this fun, family-friendly 5K/10K Run/Walk, visit .  Proceeds support the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation.


Ballots are on the Way

Clark County Elections Office has prepared 318,158 ballots for voters. This morning, 309,111 ballots were delivered to the Portland USPS Distribution Center. An additional 9,047 ballots have been mailed directly from the Elections Office.

If you don’t receive your ballot by Wednesday, Oct. 21, please call 564-397-2345.

If you are concerned about the delivery of your voted ballot to the Elections Office, please consider voting early. You can then check the status of your ballot at If there are any issues with your ballot there will be more time for the elections office to assist you in resolving those issues so your ballot can be counted.

There are three ballot drop boxes convenient for Ridgefield residents:

Pioneer Street exit, east of I-5 at the end of North 1st Circle; in the middle of the cul-de-sac

RACC – 510 Pioneer St, Ridgefield, WA 98642; (walk-up only)

WSU entrance road from NE Salmon Creek Avenue, turn right at the first street into the south parking lot

If you prefer finding a box near your work, the locations of others can be found here:…

What’s Happening at the New Ridgefield Community Library?

In the last 3 weeks, the former Ridgefield Community Center building has changed in undeniable ways! Perhaps now you can imagine how much bigger and better the new Ridgefield Community Library will be.

The exterior “skin” of the building has been removed including siding, windows, and doors. Approximately 50% of the roof structure has also been removed in anticipation of raising the roof to make the new library open and airy.

Supporting the new roof will be new steel vertical supports that will hold a new large glulam beam in the center of the building running north and south. This beam will support the east and west roof trusses. The west roof trusses will be reused; the east trusses will be new.

The contractor spokesman—Ryan—from Union Corner Construction, explained their next steps. Through the end of October, their focus will be on the plumbing and electrical infrastructure. This means that all the pipes and cables will be run to their end points. The outlets, switches, lights, toilets, sinks, and other bits are not installed until after insulation and sheetrock installation.

The window contractor is also expected to install windows towards the end of the month.

We have all worked a very long time for this new, bigger, and better Ridgefield library. The evidence of our collective vision (and fortitude to see it through) is now incontrovertible. It’s happening, library lovers!