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Friends Meeting

The Friends of the Library group is trying something new. The Public Awareness Team is looking for additional volunteers to help with the following:  newsletter, website, publicity, social media and community outreach. There will be an informational meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 18th at 11 am in the small community room of the library to discuss what the needs are, what skills we’re looking for, etc.  There is probably a little something for everyone.

Please consider attending this meeting even if it’s just to hear what this team does, but especially if you have any interest in becoming involved in the Friends and their efforts in supporting the library.

Thought for the Week

“There is nothing weak and unmanly about clean hands and faces. A man who is strong and tough never needs to show it in his dress. Toughness is a quality of mind, like bravery or honesty or ambition.”

E.R. Brathwaite, in To Sir with Love.

Rediscover Ridgefield

Visit Kennedy Farm for face painting, a bounce house, and Kona ice, then go to Seven Wells Estates for free nibbles and wine by Simply Thyme and Windy Hills Winery.

Rally, the Ridgefield Raptors mascot will give away baseball tickets at both locations. It’s all free, and takes place from 1 to 4 pm today.

Kennedy Farm is at 4132 South Kennedy Drive and Seven Wells Estates is at 1604 South 47th Place, both in Ridgefield. Information: 888-208-0506 or

Update on the Library Building Fund

We now have some cost figures on remodeling the library building of about $360 per square foot.

With the generous donations of the Community Center building by the Community Center Group, an anonymous donor who matched a million dollars worth of donations, pledges by the Fort Vancouver Regional Library, a huge donation by the Firstenburg family, funds raised by the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, and large and small donations from the Ridgefield Community, we have raised about $3.3 million dollars so far.

This is not enough to build the library. We all know we need a larger library. With the growth in Ridgefield our existing space is not large enough. It’s time to buckle down and think of ways to raise more money.


District’s Surplus Sale Set for Friday, June 21


Thought for the Week

What are you giving room in your mind?

Are you dumping just any old thing into it?

If you use it as a garbage container, you will live a garbage can existence.

~ Von Hesse


District’s Early Learning Center Offers New Options

Based on feedback from the well-attended Early Learning Center Information Night on Wednesday, May 29th, the Early Learning Center is pleased to offer some new options.

  • Preschool only:  T/Th, M/W/F, M-F (8:30-12:30) $30/day
  • Preschool with childcare:  T/Th, M/W/F, M-F (7:00-6:00) $51/day

The before/after school age care (grades K-4) has the option to choose the days your family needs; however, the days you choose will be your reserved space, and we won’t be able to make frequent changes to those days.

Please note:  Space is limited and a large number of families have already enrolled.  For an application packet, visit the Early Learning Center webpage at  Submit completed applications with payment to The Early Learning Center, RACC, 510 Pioneer Street, Ridgefield, WA 98642.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email the Early Learning Center at


District’s CAPS Program Highlighted in

Ridgefield High School’s CAPS program was highlighted this past week in an article regarding real life leaning in  Ridgefield High School CAPS students, Emma Haynie and Jordan Nash, appear in a photo at the beginning of the article.

The Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) campus at Innovation Ridge is part of the nationally recognized CAPS Network comprised of more than 100 school districts.  The innovative high school program provides students the opportunity to be fully immersed in professional culture using industry standard tools.  Students are mentored by actual employers who partner with the program.

CAPS at Innovation Ridge launched its inaugural semester this year.  Spearheaded by Superintendent Nathan McCann, the program’s vision became a reality through the efforts of Ridgefield High School Principal, Christen Palmer, Director of CCTE and Federal Programs, Tiffany Gould, and Ridgefield High School teachers, Andrea Reinertson, Steve Rinard and Kara Breuer.

“We held the students to a high standard, expecting them to act, dress, and communicate like professionals, and they have truly risen to the occasion,” said Reinertson.  “To witness the way they have transformed from every day students in the classroom to those who get a shout out in Forbes is fulfilling every teacher’s dream!”

“Having the opportunity to work alongside the CAPS teachers and students as they have followed their passions has been a highlight of my career,” said Gould.  “I am inspired by the students in the health sciences, engineering, and business, marketing and entrepreneurship strands that have demonstrated their commitment to their learning and career goals every day.”

 Click here to read the article on

WIN Time Gives Students a Winning Start

The students all left class and walked downstairs.  “Where are you guys heading?” Principal Todd Graves asked.

“Outside!” they said.  “We’re going to the basketball courts to practice a play that we’re doing for WIN time, the plot line for Scaredy Squirrel.”  When they got to the courts, they broke up into groups.  Each group did a skit on a different part of the book Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt.  Students played squirrels, killer bees, narrators, and even trees as they worked through the story’s exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action.

In other classrooms, students worked together to solve math puzzles projected on the screen, conducted experiments, or read aloud from novels.  The classes were all part of WIN time, an innovative program that allows students at Sunset Ridge to find new ways to achieve academically.

Students in Anja Felton’s WIN Time class work on a problem together.

WIN stands for What I Need.  Every student at Sunset Ridge participates in the WIN time program three times a year.  It creates focus on the areas where each student could see improvement or seek more challenges, based on standardized assessments.

The WIN time session assigns each student to a particular subject area.  The students leave their regular classrooms and go to spend a period in a WIN time classroom with other students from their grade.  Each student is challenged to achieve at his or her own level.

WIN provides a wide range of academic support, including informational comprehension, literature, numbers and operations, algebraic thinking, and more.  They even have an eighth-grade math class—for sixth grade students.

The program changes a little each session as the teachers determine what is working best for their students.  Graves said the results have been overwhelmingly positive.  “When we asked students for feedback, ‘Did WIN help me target an area that I needed specific help in?’ almost 100% of the students said yes.”

The students on the basketball court are having a great time creating their skits.  Some of them stand on top of the concrete bases, pretending to be up in trees.  Graves watches with a smile.  “I think of all the things we’ve done here at Sunset Ridge, one of the things I’m most proud of for our kids is WIN time,” Graves said.  “It’s a pretty cool thing to watch.”

Brianne Irons’ WIN Time class gathers on the basketball court.


Students in Brianne Irons’ WIN Time class prepare their skit on “Scaredy Ssquirrel.”


Sunset Ridge Students Present Innovative Ideas Around City Growth

More and more people are moving to the city of Ridgefield.  But how do we maintain the things we love most about Ridgefield as we grow?   The fifth and sixth graders at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School completed a unit asking them to tackle that difficult question—and they came up with some pretty creative ideas.

The fifth grade group projects addressed three different areas:  business, parks and recreation, and preservation.  Each student group selected a specific issue within those areas.  They did extensive research to learn more, including calls and meetings with area experts.  The students projected possible solutions.  Then they created detailed presentations for Growth Expo night, many featuring reports, models, polls, and handouts.

Principal Todd Graves explained that Project Based Learning (PBL) is an important part of the Sunset Ridge curriculum.  Each year, students answer a question that impacts the community.  “We identify something local, that has an impact on the community, and give a few different topics for the kids to explore.  Then we turn them loose.  What they do is amazing,” Graves said.

PBL teaches students to use the four C’s—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity—to assess and address the issues.  “Those are major skills our kids will absolutely need to have as they leave and go into the work force,” Graves explained.

The thorough assessment of the issues helped the students become extremely knowledgeable about their topics.  During the fifth grade Growth Expo night, one student explained how a hotel could generate new city revenue through taxes.  Another offered cost effective ways to mediate drainage issues on sports fields in Abrams Park.  The sixth grade presentation is coming up soon; their PBL Showcase will be on June 6 from 4:30 to 6:15 in the commons area at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.

Some of the students have been invited to present their findings to the Ridgefield Parks Board.  “That’s exactly the kind of interaction we want to see,” Graves said.  “If you do things like that, the kids will realize their voice actually matters.”

Michael Chandler presents a plan to create a permanent farmers’ market in Ridgefield.


Students created this detailed model of a proposed Blue Heron Water Park.


A model for a community pool created by a student in Minecraft.

Thought for the Week

“What was Paradise?

but  a garden,

an orchard of trees

and birds, full of

pleasure, and nothing

there but delights.”

William Lawson

I hope  you have time to work in your garden this week and enjoy our beautiful weather.

Ridgefield School District Receives WSPRA Communications Awards

Ridgefield School District was recognized by the Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) at its annual conference held earlier this month for outstanding work in public school communications throughout the 2018-19 school year.

Ridgefield’s communications team is led by Carolyn Enos, the district’s communications specialist and includes Kimber Webb and Marie Bouvier.

“I am extremely proud of the work our communications team continues to produce,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann.  “They work hard to keep our stakeholders informed and celebrate the many successes of our students and staff.”

The district received the following awards for school districts in the state with enrollment less than 10,000 students:

Award of Excellence:  2018-2019 Annual Report

Special recognition to Kimber Webb for graphic design, Marie Bouvier for feature writing for Ridgefield Schools:  Proud Past, Prosperous Present, Promising Future, and Carolyn Enos for editing and feature writing for Where Are They Now? Spudder Grad Success Stories

Awards of Merit: 

Calendar category:  2018-19 Parent Guide & Calendar

Special recognition to Kimber Webb for graphic design and Carolyn Enos for writing and editing

Social Media category:  Weekly Construction Updates

Special recognition to Carolyn Enos writing and editing

Video category:  Growing Together, the 2018-2019 School Year

Special recognition to Shannon Korta and Mack Stromme of LSW architects for video production and Carolyn Enos for writing and editing

Congratulations to all WSPRA communications award recipients for their outstanding work this year!

Bgi Paddle Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Big Paddle! Events take place at the Ridgefield waterfront at the foot of Mill Street, and there’s also the Farmers’ Market and other fun events at Overlook Park.

At the waterfront enjoy an interpretive paddle on a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard in the morning, or a Recreational Paddle in the afternoon. On land, explore vendors at Paddler’s Village, live music all day, a Hookum Brewing Co. beer garden, a self-guided waterfront hike into the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, and an all ages obstacle course. There will also be a Kayak Polo demonstration and scrimmage by the Portland Kayak Polo club, and a Kayak Carnival featuring land-based games using paddling gear.

In downtown Ridgefield experience Ridgefield First Saturdays at Overlook Park with the Ridgefield Farmer’s Market, a Follow-the-Fish trail, live music, a wine garden with Windy Hills Winery, face painting, and Big Games. Big Games will include frisbee checkers, giant Jenga, cornhole, and sidewalk chalk. Friends of the Ridgefield Community Library will be hosting a used book sale.

Registration is required for the Interpretive and Recreational paddles, so they may be filled by now. Rentals are available, but you must reserve ahead of time, contact Alder Creek Kayak.

Trolley rides between Overlook Park and the Waterfront will be available.

District to Open Early Learning Center This Fall

The Ridgefield School District will be opening an Early Learning Center in the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center this fall!  The center will provide full and half day opportunities for children ages 3-5.  In addition, before and after school care will be available for students through 4th grade.  Space is limited.

Registration is now open.  For a registration packet, click here:  For more information about the program, email the Early Learning Center at

Spanish Class Holds Mexican Heritage Celebration

The tables were loaded with delicious Mexican food.  Nopales (cactus), arroz con leche (rice pudding), fresh tortilla chips with six kinds of salsa, conchas (sweet bread shaped like shells), Takis (spicy corn chips), rico coco cookies, Vasito tamarind candy, and Jarritos (fruit flavored soda) made a colorful display the students could hardly wait to dig into.

The teacher, Jennifer Zora, flipped tortillas by hand at the griddle.  “A true Mexicana turns her tortillas without a spatula.  My fingerprints are almost gone!” she laughed.

Jair Guitron carefully stirred the arroz con leche that his friend, Julian Galant, brought.  “This is delicious!” he told his classmates.  “You will like it.”  The students filed through to fill their plates, then sat down together.  Conversation was lively, in English and in Spanish, as music videos played.

The Mexican Heritage Celebration was the end of their class unit on Mexico.  By the end of the semester, the students will have toured through many Spanish speaking regions:  South America, Central America, Mexico, Spain, and the Caribbean.

The students use workbooks with a wide range of activities, from practicing vocabulary to writing entire paragraphs in Spanish.  Their progress has been fast since the semester began, and when they pair off to start doing skits together, you can hear their comfort speaking the new language.

This is the first year the Ridgefield School District has offered Spanish classes in addition to French classes at the middle school level.  For the students, learning the second most spoken language in the world is a clear benefit.

Zora teaches Spanish at the middle school and the high school.  “Teaching seventh and eighth graders is something special,” she said.  “At that age, they are like sponges; they pick it up so quickly.”   She smiled as she watched the students practicing their skits.  “They’re doing so well, we might have to change our Spanish I classes at the high school to be more advanced.”

Jennifer Zora heats tortillas for her students during the Mexican Heritage class celebration.