A Comment from Elizabeth Madrigal

“In the early days of this health crisis I am feeling both shell-shocked and a sense of wonder. Looking out my window, the sun is shining, the flower buds are swelling and everything seems the same. But it isn’t, is it? Yesterday our neighbor and his young son brought over a 17” trout the latter had caught two hours before. This sweet boy stood on our porch, blond and purple hair blowing in the wind, and eyes bright with a fisherman’s pride. He was holding the fish horizontally, so we could all wonder at its beauty.

“He’d also caught two even bigger fish, but he thought this one was the right size for my husband and me. (Actually, I will be freezing half!) His dad had already gutted and cleaned it. This may be local fisherman etiquette. It is hard to be sure. All our neighbors are such good folks. So what has changed? I could not give him a hug, and that makes me feel unbelievably and incredibly sad.

“Yes, these times are hard but much good can come out of it. Families will slow down enough to become closer. We’ll never take a hug for granted. Children will be grateful to go to school. Friendships we value will deepen. We will forget to check political party affiliations as a condition of friendship. Yes, after all the suffering has ended, some good will come out of it.”       Written by Elizabeth Madrigal

Ridgefield School District Teams Up with Local CTE Programs to Donate PPE Supplies

Health care teams across the country are in dire need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they struggle to keep up with the escalating surge of COVID-19 patients in need of treatment.

When Washougal School District’s CTE Director, Margaret Rice, put out the call to her CTE peers in Clark County to help with PPE donations, Ridgefield School District and Vancouver Public Schools were the first to respond.

In the following news release from Washougal School District, see how Ridgefield’s CTE Director, Tiffany Gould, and CTE Director Mark Wreath in Vancouver Public Schools pooled all available PPE equipment in their Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes to help Washougal get the ball rolling in supporting local medical centers in the Legacy Health system.

Thanks to Rene Carroll from Washougal School District Communications who shared the following story:

Area CTE Programs Donated Protective Equipment

For immediate release – March 23, 2020

Washougal, WA — In times of great need, we often find ways to help in unexpected places.  Margaret Rice, Washougal School District Career and Technical Director, heard about the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals, and she knew just where to look.

“I know I have boxes of gloves, masks and eye protection sitting in my classrooms not being used that could be of assistance to them,” said Rice.  “Our medical professionals are on the front lines working hard to help the sick, while trying to stay well themselves with supplies of PPE dwindling.”  These items are used when instructing students in Health Sciences and other Career and Technical Education classes. Some of these classes include: Medical Detectives, Medical Careers & Terminology, BioMedical Anatomy & Physiology, and even Woods Technology and Visual Arts.

After receiving the green light from WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton and Business Manager Kris Grindy, both stating that “it seems like the right thing to do during this crisis,” Rice reached out to Rene Del Donno, Legacy Health Logistics and Materials Manager at Salmon Creek Medical Center who has been working with the Emergency Operations Center to address this challenge.  He confirmed that the situation is dire.

A list of needed items and donation delivery was coordinated with Rice by Tamara Uppendahl, Legacy Health VP of Philanthropy Services.  According to Uppendahl, needed items included Nitrile gloves, isolation gowns, isolation masks, N95 masks, P95 masks and dust masks.

The next step for Rice was contacting her regional CTE peers to see if they were willing and able to donate their programs’ PPE to these medical centers.  “It was just a ‘Hey, this is what I am going to do, would you like to be a part of it,’” Rice said.  “I received an almost immediate positive response.”

A shareable spreadsheet was created to log the inventory each district was willing to donate.  CTE Directors Mark Wreath, Vancouver Public School and Tiffany Gould, Ridgefield School District have been the first to step up to help.

Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent, immediately reached out to Rice to extend his appreciation for making this donation possible.   McCann said, “I’m very proud to see our school districts coming together to support the amazing health care professionals in Clark County.  Together, we will get through this and come out stronger.”

The first wave of supplies was delivered on Friday, March 20 by Rice, Wreath and Gould.  “Between our three districts alone, we were able to contribute 166 pairs of protective eyewear, 141 boxes of Nitrile gloves, 1930 masks of various types, 13 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 2 boxes of tech wipes” said Rice.

“The response from our teachers was amazing,” said Gould. “Every teacher that was contacted had supplies ready within hours.  Additional teachers have since offered to donate materials and we are now working on another donation.”

Thanks to the efforts of CTE Directors Margaret Rice (at left), Tiffany Gould and Mark Wreath, much-needed PPE was donated for use at local medical centers in the Legacy Health system.

Liam Contino, Development Coordinator for Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement, was at the receiving center and shared that his job has changed through all of this. “Usually we are planning fundraising events and direct mail appeals, but with the need of supplies and increase in donations coming in, they needed people to be here to accept them,” he said.  “We are so grateful that these supplies arrived.”

To expand the reach of this idea, Wreath, who is also the Southwest lead for WACTA (Washington Association for Career & Technical Administrators) the state CTE administrators’ organization, encouraged that this message be sent out statewide suggesting other school districts consider making similar donations locally.

“I am grateful for the strong partnerships that we have built in our community,” said Templeton. “During these times of great need, these partnerships are critical for as we work together to make sure our community is healthy and safe.  Although there are significant challenges as we face this virus, there are also significant opportunities for us to shine together and ‘lean in’ to the service of others.”

“Our businesses and communities are so supportive of the Career and Technical Education programs in our respective districts,” said Wreath.  “So it is a privilege to be able to give back in a small way during this time of tremendous need.”

Gould adds with a smile, “We have to lean on each other, while keeping our social distance because the way we’re getting through this is together.”

If you have PPE supplies that could help our local medical professionals, contact the Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at giving@lhs.org or call 503-415-4700 for more information.

Rosauers Supports Family Resource Center

Rosauers is offering gift cards to shoppers to be distributed through RSD’s Family Resource Center. Last week Ridgefield shoppers donated 49 gift cards to support families in our community – that’s over $1,200 in groceries for those who need them. Ask at the checkout and they can help.

It’s great to see so many people pulling together during this emergency.

Update on the Library

All Fort Vancouver Regional Library District libraries are closed until further notice, but digital services are still available with your library card. If you have books checked out, please hold onto them until the library reopens.

Book returns are closed. The library will not send overdue notices or bill for lost charges and your items on hold will still be waiting for you when the library reopens. Check out some of the things you can do from home at https://www.fvrl.org/resources-at-home.

Mason Bees

Spring is bursting out all over! Soon our local pollinators will be flying around transferring pollen. Did you know that without bees and other pollinating insects we would have no food? Honey bees are declining because of two mites that infect them so we need to do everything we can to support our bee population.

You can help by putting up nests for native bees. One is the mason bee, shown below.

Mason bee

Mason bees come out earlier than honey bees and they do not sting. They look for narrow crevices to lay their eggs. It’s fascinating to read their story. I have a sheet describing the bees and how to take care of them. Email me at kathywinters179@gmail.com and I’ll send you a copy.

Empty bees nests ready for this year’s occupants

This is one way to store the tubes. Wood blocks also work.

Coronavirus Update March 24, 2020 from Superintendent Nathan McCann

 

 

 

March 24, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I know this is an incredibly stressful time.  Like you, I closely follow the news on the novel coronavirus spread, and so much of the news is scary.  Given that, this update will focus on our #RidgefieldResilient efforts.

We have served nearly 1500 meals during the closure so far, including 288 today.  Words cannot adequately express my deep appreciation for the work of our Chartwells food services team.  I am pleased to announce that meal service for children 0-18 will continue during our spring break (March 30 – April 3).  Look for more information soon.

Another example of #RidgefieldResilient is the effort to distribute Chromebooks to our students lacking technology devices at home.  The distribution will begin later this week, with more details to come.  If you still have a need and haven’t yet signed up, please email chromebooks@ridgefieldsd.org with your child(ren)’s name and grade level.

Additionally, we are exploring options to bring open-access WiFi hotspots to areas throughout the District, beginning the week of April 6.  As specific details become available, I will share them with you.

Daycare for students who are in kindergarten through fourth grade and are the children of first responders and health care professionals will begin in Monday, April 6.  This program will be at the RACC, and the hours of operation are tentatively set from 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Our Ridgefield Family Resource Center continues to be a vital support for families throughout the District.  Much thanks to the team (including a dedicated group of volunteers) who make this happen daily.

While the need is great and the timing would dictate now, the School Board is committed to keeping our focus where it needs to be, fighting the spread of coronavirus and serving our students and families during this difficult time.  Therefore, tonight it is anticipated the Board will take action on a resolution postponing the bond election until August.

Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

 

Imagine Language & Literacy Learning Tool for Grades K-6 is Live

Imagine Language & Literacy is now available to all K-6 students in the Ridgefield School District.  Your child should be able to access their account using the following link:

Imagine Learning and Literacy Log-In Instructions

If you have questions or need further support, please contact ImagineLearningHelp@ridgefieldsd.org

Satellite Food Service Drop-Off Locations Are Available to ALL Students Age 0-18

Please know that the district’s satellite food service drop-off locations implemented yesterday are available to ALL students age 0-18.  Here are the locations and times:

Route 1

Stop 1: Clark County Fire and Rescue – 911 N. 65th Avenue, 10:30 – 11:00 am

Stop 2: Mountain View Christian – 2810 NE 259th Street, 11:10 – 11:40 am

 

Route 2

Stop 1: ilani – 1 Cowlitz Way – South lot (near Cowlitz Crossing), 10:30 – 11:00 am

Stop 2: LDS Church parking lot – 21720 NE 29th Ave, 11:10 – 11:40 am

 

Route 3

Stop 1: Clark County Sheriff’s Office – 505 NW 179th Street, 10:30 – 11:00 am

Stop 2: Pioneer Vista Apartments – 16501 NE 15th Street (front of main office), 11:10–11:40 am

 

Please note, curbside meal pick-up will continue at South Ridge Elementary and Union Ridge Elementary from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm from March 16-27 and April 6-24.  Children must be present.

Don’t Return Books

Please hang on to the books you have checked out from the library until further notice. All due dates have been extended until the pandemic is under control. If you have books on hold they will be waiting for you when the library reopens.

Some of the little libraries have been closed during this challenging time since there is no way to control what they have been exposed to.

RHS Student, Grace Melbuer, Named Youth Recipient of 2020 General George C. Marshall Leadership Award

Ridgefield High School senior, Grace Melbuer, is this year’s youth recipient of this year’s General George C. Marshall Leadership Award, according to an announcement from The Historic Trust.  The Marshall Leadership Award is awarded in both the adult and youth categories and recognizes a person’s leadership potential, commitment to public service, and strength of character.   The youth award recognizes a Clark County high school senior who has demonstrated leadership, stood for social justice and motivates others to become involved.

Photo credit: The Historic Trust

Chase Smith, Game Design/Computer Science teacher at Heritage High School in the Evergreen School District is the 2020 Marshall Leadership Award adult recipient.  The adult award recognizes an up-and-coming leader in Clark County, 35 years old or younger, who has a commitment to public service.

The public Marshall Award Ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  A private luncheon will be scheduled in late spring 2020 to honor the recipients.  Congratulations!

Satellite Food Service Locations

Beginning today, Thursday March 19, Ridgefield School District will expand food service to include satellite drop-off locations.  See below for locations and times.  Please note, curbside meal pick-up will continue at South Ridge Elementary and Union Ridge Elementary from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Route 1

Stop 1: Clark County Fire and Rescue – 911 N. 65th Ave                     10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Stop 2: Mountain View Christian – 2810 NE 259th Street                      11:10 – 11:40 a.m.

 

Route 2

Stop 1: ilani – 1 Cowlitz Way – South lot (near Cowlitz Crossing)         10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Stop 2: LDS Church parking lot – 21720 NE 29th Ave                            11:10 – 11:40 a.m.

 

Route 3

Stop 1: Clark County Sheriff’s Office  – 505 NW 179th Street                 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Stop 2: Pioneer Vista Apartments (in front of the main office)                 11:10 – 11:40 a.m.

 

Update on Imagine Language & Literacy Learning Tool for K-6 Students

Ridgefield School District is excited to be able to provide the Imagine Language & Literacy learning tool to all of our K-6 students.  We are currently working with Imagine Learning to get our student accounts up and ready to use as soon as possible.  This may take a couple of days.  Please know that we will send all the information on how to log-in as soon as we have it.

March 17th Update to Families from Superintendent Nathan McCann

March 17, 2020

 

Greetings Ridgefield Families,

Here is the latest news, information, and updates.  Starting yesterday, the Ridgefield School District implemented a student meal service for all students ages 0-18 at Union Ridge and South Ridge.  On the first day, we served 41 students, and today we served 94 students.  As we see the need increasing, we will continue to look for ways to expand our service model.  Stay tuned for more information.

The District is proud to share with you today that one of our learning partners, Imagine Learning, is providing a license for all K-6 students in the District.  Imagine Learning is an online language and literacy tool, tailored to each child’s individual learning needs. More information is attached to this letter.

The District understands the educational impact that comes with a six-week school closure.  With that in mind, we are in the process of preparing practice and resource packets to help families as we all work collectively to support our children.

Many of the resources today are online, requiring computer devices and broadband connectivity. We know this presents an obstacle for some of our families.  The District has student Chromebooks scheduled for replacement after the academic year.  With schools closed, the technology department is working hard to ready these devices for distribution to students through our Ridgefield Family Resource Center. Please email Chris Poppert at christine.poppert@ridgefieldsd.org to get your name on the list if your child lacks a device. We will let you know as soon as they are available for distribution.

I encourage families in need of internet access to read the following link, highlighting Comcast’s efforts to provide Xfinity WiFi: https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/technology/comcast-free-hotspots-waives-late-fees-coronavirus/283-98060649-cad0-4893-b634-c291bc70182b

COVID-19 and the actions we are taking to fight the virus are unprecedented in my lifetime. However, tough times have a way of bringing out the best in people.  In Ridgefield, we spend a lot of time talking about the three R’s, Responsible, Respectful, Resilient.  Although the efforts the District has made to combat the virus has disrupted our daily routines, I see example after example of resiliency in action.  The District is known for our PursuingPremier hashtag.  While we pull together during this national crisis, the District will conclude social media posts with #RidgefieldResilient.  I encourage each of you to join the District and use this hashtag to share inspiring stories of resilience that you observe.

Stay healthy and thank you for your continued support of our schools and community.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Optional Online Resources Available for Student Learning at Home

Scholastic Learn at Home

Scholastic has put together some free resources for students that parents can access at home.  It’s on the Scholastic Learn at Home website.  This free resource provides all students with 20 days’ worth of journeys that span the content areas that will keep students academically active during school closures.  The site will be updated weekly until all 20 days of content is available.

The site supports students with approximately three hours of learning opportunities per day, including projects, articles and stories, virtual field trips, reading and geography challenges and more.  These daily learning opportunities were carefully curated by Scholastic editors to reduce the burden on teachers and families needing to create meaningful learning experiences.

The Scholastic Learn at Home website does not require a username or password and is open freely to all, on any device.  It is designed to limit the need for printing and allow students to learn independently or with their families.

This is an optional resource available to all families.  Visit www.scholastic.com/learnathome to get started.

Internet Essentials (affordable internet at home for eligible households)

Since 2011, Internet Essentials from Comcast has connected more than 8 million low-income Americans to the digital world through low-cost, high-speed Internet at home.  They partner with local communities to pass on the importance of being connected and provide low-cost Internet service, computers and free training to safely unlock its potential.

Families eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI may qualify for Internet Essentials.  If you know of a family who can benefit from this service, please share this information with them.

Learn more at:  https://www.internetessentials.com/

Beaches Restaurant Brings “Green Eggs and Ham” to Ridgefield First Graders

Since 1996, Beaches restaurant has been helping first graders answer the question, “Do you like green eggs and ham?” by letting them try the real thing.  Beaches cooks the special breakfast for thousands of students and parents across Clark County as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day.

The special event is a longstanding tradition for Beaches.  In addition to cooking and delivering the delicious breakfast to schools, the restaurant also donates a Cat in the Hat style hat for each student.  The event started 25 years ago when one school needed help encouraging parents to get involved.  Beaches volunteered to provide breakfast, reading, prizes, and costumes.  The event has grown bigger every year, and this year, they served more than 7,000 students and parents across Clark County.

Community volunteers help serve real-life green eggs and ham to Ridgefield first graders. Photo credit: Mike Lee

Special volunteers come to South Ridge and Union Ridge Elementary Schools each year to help with the event.  The Mayor and members of City Council are there to hand out hats and help serve food.  And at each event, someone reads the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham, to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ March birthday.

So how did the green eggs and ham go over with the students?  They were excited to get them—but a little less excited to eat them.  Just like the character in the book, they were hesitant to try the colorful eggs.  But with a little encouragement from parents and teachers, many students got brave and tried them.

The first graders were surprised to find that green eggs tasted just like regular eggs.  Soon there were rows of children wearing tall striped hats, chewing happily on a very unusual (but still familiar tasting) breakfast.  Much like the characters in the book, they learned that you have to try things first to find out whether you like them or not.   And more than one student said, “I do, I like them, Sam-I-am!”

Wearing their “Cat In the Hat” hats, students line up for delicious green eggs and ham courtesy of Beaches Restaurant. Photo credit: Mike Lee

 

The students get to listen to “Green Eggs and Ham” as part of the event. Photo credit: Mike Lee