Superintendent’s Update to Families – May 27, 2020




May 27, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

We are experiencing fantastic weather, with the best still to come later this week.  I hope you can find some time to get out and enjoy the beauty our region offers.

As I shared last week, the prospects for a “traditional” start to the school year remain uncertain. At this point, there are far more questions than answers.  I understand how frustrating this is, and I share in that frustration.  Please know, the District continues to work toward a solution, within the guidance from CDC, state, and local public health professionals, and the forthcoming recommendations from the OSPI Reopening Schools Committee.  There are many facets to consider, including classroom instruction, food service, transportation, childcare, cleaning/sanitizing, local labor groups, and extra-curricular activities.

Your ideas, opinions, and thoughts are another critical component in our efforts to reopen schools.  Please take a moment to complete this quick Parent survey (  In the weeks ahead, you will have the opportunity to provide additional feedback for the District to consider.

Ridgefield High School graduation planning is complete.  On June 5, graduates will begin the ceremony with an auto parade through town and conclude at RHS, where they will individually receive their diploma.

The ceremony will include three phases.  Each phase will begin at Union Ridge Elementary and follow a route along Pioneer Street and up South Hillhurst Road to the high school.  The phases will commence at 4:40pm, 5:40pm, and 6:40pm.  Please help support the Class of 2020 and cheer on our Seniors as they pass by in their decorated cars.  Go Spuds!

I’m very proud of our Ridgefield Family Resource Center (RFRC) team’s efforts as they continue to serve families during this pandemic.  If your family, or a family you know, could use some assistance, please visit the RFRC.  We are here to serve.  The resource center is open on Monday 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Wednesday from 12:00pm – 4:00pm and on Thursdays from 1:00pm – 6:30pm.  You can make an appointment outside of our regular hours by emailing

I have often stated since the closing of schools that grace is something we all need to extend to each other during these difficult times.  Our team, teachers, school board members, administrators, and support staff are committed to serving each child to ensure success and unlimited possibilities.  Your active involvement is crucial toward that end.  I offer my heartfelt thanks for all the support and goodwill that you have extended to the District.

Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Proposed Curriculum Materials for Music Available for Public Review

​The public is invited to review curriculum materials being considered for adoption by the Ridgefield School District to teach music in Grades 5-12 starting in the 2020-21 school year.  Music First is a curriculum published by Wise Music (copyright 2019).

Review of the curriculum is online only from Thursday, May 21st through Thursday, June 4th.  To request online access, please email Heidi Smith at  Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – May 20, 2020




May 20, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

We are now less than one month from the official end of our school year, June 19.  I am proud of our community and the work we have done to “flatten the curve.”  The task has not been easy, and it has not come without considerable sacrifice.  Once again, I extend my appreciation to each of you for the grace and patience you have demonstrated as we transitioned to our distance learning model.

More specifically, I wish to thank the members of the Class of 2020 for their sacrifices.  Their RHS careers came to a screeching halt three months early.  Our seniors missed experiencing a number of “lasts;” their last game and performance, last lunch at school with friends, last prom, and many more.  Fortunately, we can do something to give them a memorable send-off.  On June 5, as part of our graduation ceremony, seniors and their families will drive through Ridgefield in an auto parade.  I invite you to join me in safely celebrating their accomplishments and commemorating the conclusion of their K-12 experience.  Look for final parade route details on June 1.

Just as we are focusing on the conclusion of the current school year, we are also looking ahead to next year.  Rest assured, the District is working hard, planning and preparing for another school year with the realities of COVID – more on some of these plans to come later in this letter.  What we know for sure, learning will continue.  I encourage each of you to continue to engage in every learning opportunity that our staff are making available.

We are pleased to share that our remote WiFi Hot Spots are being accessed by families.  We plan to continue this service to support our Continuity of Learning Plan.  As with all our programs, we will continue to monitor use, potentially adjusting the locations to reach more families.  If you are looking for connectivity a little closer to home, below is a link to free and low-cost Internet Plans from NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance).

We supported our Continuity of Learning Plan with the distribution of more than 750 Chromebooks to students.  A reliable device is essential to participation in any distance learning model.  In a previous ThoughtExchange, we heard from respondents that flexibility in learning (time, place, and pace) is a benefit of our new remote learning world.

As we look to the 2020-2021 school year, we are reviewing our district technology model to support a more flexible learning environment.  Specifically, the district is exploring the move to a 1:1 Chromebook take home model.  What might this look like?  Our second through 12th grade students will be provided a district Chromebook in the fall for use at home and in school, rather than keeping all the Chromebooks on charging carts in classrooms.  This will allow student learning to continue beyond the “regular” school day, times, and locations.

The opening of the 2020-2021 school year will be much different than any we have experienced before.  There is so much that is still unknown.  What I can tell you is currently, I do not believe a “traditional” start will be possible.  A reopening schools task force is expected to have recommendations by mid-June.  We continue to work closely with our fellow districts, colleagues at OSPI, and members of the public health community.  I will keep you updated as we know more.

With all that said, summer may provide a window where we can offer more in-person opportunities for students.  To the greatest extent possible, we will operate our summer programming.  This includes running summer camps through Community Education, sports camps, and preparations for the fall sports season.  I share this with the caveat that we will always adhere to the “Safe Start” orders in place at the time.

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent


Instructional Materials Committee Seeks Parent Members

Ridgefield School District is currently seeking parents to serve on the Instructional Materials Committee.  All parents are invited to take part in the district’s process to review curriculum materials proposed for use in Ridgefield schools.

The Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) is composed of teachers, district administrators and parents.  It is responsible for reviewing all curriculum materials proposed for adoption in teaching grades K-12.  Review and approval by the IMC is required before any proposed curriculum is presented to the school board for adoption approval.

IMC members are typically called upon two to three times a year to review materials and attend meetings.  Occasionally, the IMC will convene to address a question or a challenge with regard to curriculum materials currently in use.  In such cases, the IMC conducts an orderly review of the materials in question and provides recommendations to the school board for appropriate action.

Parent seats on the committee are now available.  If you are interested in serving on the Instructional Materials Committee, please contact Heidi Smith via email at

Proposed Art Curriculum Available for Public Review

​The public is invited to review curriculum materials being considered for adoption by the Ridgefield School District to teach art in Grades K-12 starting in the 2020-21 school year.  Davis Art  is a curriculum published by Davis Publications (copyright 2019).

Review of the curriculum is online only from Tuesday, May 19th through Tuesday, June 2nd.  To request online access, please email Heidi Smith at  Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Ridgefield Family Resource Center Grateful for Community’s Outpouring of Support

When the COVID-19 epidemic hit in mid-March, it presented huge challenges for the Ridgefield Family Resource Center (RFRC).  “We had to rethink and restructure how we do things and how we get resources,” said Chris Poppert, RFRC director.  “It was not until March 13th when our lives changed, did I really experience the depth that the RFRC has in this community.”

From humble beginnings nearly five years ago, the RFRC (in partnership with Compassion 360) has been committed to serving Ridgefield families in need.  Its important work continues thanks to the numerous partnerships and connections it has established in the community over the years.

Since the outbreak, the community has rallied to figure out alternatives and additional support, and in recent days, Poppert has seen an amazing outpouring of support from organizations and individual citizens wanting to help.

The Ridgefield United Methodist Church organized a food drive that not only benefitted the RFRC but also the local food bank, Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

The Ridgefield Education Association, partnering with Rosauers Supermarkets, organized an opportunity for the community to purchase gift cards at the checkout stands to benefit RFRC’s students and their families.  Thanks to the generosity of the Ridgefield community, an astounding $10,575 in gift cards was donated.  Jeff Phillipps, Rosauers’ President and CEO, added another $2,625 in gift cards.  Now other Rosauers locations are doing the same for their communities.  RFRC is grateful to REA’s Alan Adams and Rosauers’ Ridgefield Store Manager, Eric Dean who were instrumental in making this happen.

Donations and grants continue to come in.  To date, the RFRC has received monetary donations totalling over $33,000.  The RFRC is thankful to the following donors for their support:  Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation, Ridgefield Neighbors Green Bag Food Project, The Ridge Sunset Ridge/View Ridge Association, The Vancouver Methodist Foundation, and members of the Ridgefield United Methodist Church.

Community members interested in donating to the RFRC can also reach out to its community partners, Compassion 360 or Neighbors Helping Neighbors.  To learn more, visit their websites at and .

“We are so appreciative of the support,” said Poppert.  “The RFRC could not provide the support and resources to our students/families/staff if it wasn’t for the community.  Now my hope is that families will reach out to the RFRC for support.”

Friday Meal Service at Union Ridge and South Ridge Will Provide Weekend Meals Starting May 22

The following changes to the meal service schedule will take place as we approach the Memorial Day weekend:

  • Union Ridge will no longer offer meal service on weekends effective Saturday, May 23rd.
  • The meal pickup on Friday, May 22nd, will be including weekend meals for Saturday, May 23rd, Sunday, May 24th and Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day holiday) at South Ridge Elementary and Union Ridge Elementary during the normal pickup times.
  • For the remainder of the school year, Friday meal service at South Ridge and Union Ridge for May 29th, June 5th and June 12th will include weekend meals for Saturday and Sunday.
  • No meal service will be available at satellite meal pickup sites on Memorial Day.

Ridgefield School District is committed to providing free meal service to all children ages 0-18 through the last day of school, Friday, June 19th.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – May 13, 2020




May 13, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

This past weekend was beautiful.  I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine while honoring all the moms in our community.  As I look out the window, it seems our more typical spring weather has returned.  I’m looking forward to enjoying the warm summer afternoons.

Last night the School Board spent significant time considering the vast array of unknowns and potential obstacles we face as we look forward to the 2020-2021 school year. I mentioned last week that the Governor has established a path for our return…Safe Start.  I am grateful for the state guidance as it, along with the extensive work being done internally here in the District, will aid us in decision-making.

As we mentioned in our most recent ThoughtExchange, the District wants to use the COVID closure to positively shape the future of education in Ridgefield.  Last week we asked you to share with us the best aspects of the Continuity of Learning Plan.  Below is the word cloud that summarizes the 145 individual Thoughts that were shared with us.

Earlier this week we launched additional temporary WiFi hotspot locations to expand connectivity options for our families.  Additional WiFi Hotspots in the region can be located using the Washington State Drive-In WiFi Hotspots Location Finder from the Washington State Department of Commerce.  The Ridgefield Community Center is identified on this site.

If you are looking for connectivity a little closer to home, below is a link to free and low-cost Internet Plans from NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance)

More than 28,000 meals have been served by our Food Service partner, Chartwells since the COVID-19 closure.  We have been monitoring meal service daily to make adjustments as needed to maximize our resources.  Based on the data collected, we are going to be making some changes to our weekend meal service.  Beginning May 23, we will no longer be hosting drive-up or in-person meal service sites on Saturdays and Sundays.  Rather, we will be providing weekend meals during Friday meal service.  We believe this will expand the number of meals we serve, as we average nearly 250 more children on Fridays than the weekend combined.

Thank you for your continued support.  Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Proposed Curriculum Materials Available for Public Review in Ridgefield School District

​The public is invited to review curriculum materials being considered for adoption by the Ridgefield School District to teach Physical Education in Grades K-9 starting in the 2020-21 school year.  The curriculum is published by SPARK (copyright 2017).

Review of the curriculum is available online only from Monday, May 11 through Friday, May 22.  For online access, please email Heidi Smith at  Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.

RHS Thespians Awarded Bronze Level Honors in State Competition

Members of the Ridgefield High School Thespians have achieved Bronze level Honor Status at this year’s Washington State Thespian Festival.  Out of the state’s 100 Thespian Troupes, RHS’ Troupe 8635 is now among the 16 Thespian Troupes in Washington who have earned the prestigious status of Honor Troupe.

“The Thespians worked really hard this year to gain this status for our school and our troupe,” said teacher Kaitlyn Etter and Ridgefield School District’s Theatre Arts Director.  She attributed the success to the students’ extraordinary efforts.

The application process required documentation of the troupe’s community service, support of other Thespian troupes, Theatre advocacy and quality of the high school’s Theatre program.  Even as the COVID-19 epidemic interrupted the process, Thespian Officers (Katelyn Brown, Peter Schafer, Kaitlyn St John, Clara Lewandowski, Sebastian Rojas-Rincon, and Jason Gasca) worked together to submit a video presentation and all documentation virtually.

“They have represented Ridgefield extremely well, and I’m incredibly proud of them,” said Etter.  “Way to go Spuds!”

Hotspot Internet Access for Students Will Be Available Sooner Than Anticipated

Internet hotspots provided by the district will be available to students starting Monday, May 11th — a day earlier than previously anticipated.  In addition, the duration of each hotspot location will increase by three additional hours for a total of six hours per day (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday-Friday).

Look for the KWRL bus at the following internet hotspot access locations:

  • Cowlitz Crossing (gas station/convenience store at ilani), 31801 NW 31st Avenue, Ridgefield 98642
  • Rosauers Supermarket, 101 S. 47th Avenue, Ridgefield 98642
  • Mountain View Christian Academy, 2810 NE 259th Street, Ridgefield 98642
  • Whipple Creek Seventh Day Adventist Church, 302 NW 179th Street, Ridgefield 98642
  • Pioneer Vista Apartments, 16501 NE 15th Avenue, Ridgefield 98642

Students should connect to the RidgefieldSD network using the Wi-Fi password spudders (lowercase).

Superintendent’s Update to Families – May 6, 2020




May 6, 2020


Dear Ridgefield Families,

Let me begin this update with a flurry of thank yous!  Today is National Nurses Day (marking the start of National Nurses Week) and the perfect time to give a well-deserved shout-out to our school nurses and every nurse in the Ridgefield community.  Please help me send a special thank you to all the nurses in our community that continue to serve during this trying time.  Post your appreciation and tag it #RidgefieldResilient.

Amazing stories of celebration and student learning continue to make their way to the District.  I am so impressed with everyone’s dedication and effort to move forward in this new remote learning world.  I want to take a moment to thank all of our educators this week – National Teacher Appreciation Week.  Thank you for your continued exemplary service during this stressful time.  And thank you also to every student and family member who has taken time this week to celebrate the educators making a difference in their lives.

As the weather continues to warm, it reinforces how much I look forward to re-engaging with students, staff, and community members in person.  A pathway to that end is now in place.  As you know, Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” order articulates a phased approach to opening Washington State back up.  You can learn more by reading the Governor’s “Safe Start” order.

High school graduation is a monumental culminating point for both students and their families.  A moment in time where we honor our senior students.  The District has weighed many factors (some of which are listed below) to reach our final graduation decision.  Ridgefield High School will hold a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 5.  You can find an overview of graduation in RHS Principal Christen Palmer’s letter to Spudder families.

  • A survey of senior students and their parents revealed that many seniors and parents still want graduation to be on June 5.
  • We cannot guarantee a traditional in-person graduation later in the summer
    • Admittedly, the Governor’s phase-in approach will allow for groups of greater than 50 in Phase 4, but he has not provided specific dates for subsequent phases to begin.  Instead, we will advance from stage to stage based on the state’s dashboard data.
  • Given that graduation has been scheduled all year for June 5, we are confident that all students can participate on that day.  The longer we would go into the summer means that we might begin losing students who will be going into the military, moving, working elsewhere, etc. from being able to attend.

From the beginning, the District has been committed to supporting our students with technology.  With that in mind, Chromebooks for students that are still in need can be picked up Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm at the RACC.  This is a check-out process and takes a little longer, so please be patient.  You will need to return the Chromebook by 4 pm on June 19 to the RACC.  Additionally, our shipment of hot spots has arrived.  We will provide hotspot internet access starting Tuesday, May 12 from 9:00 am – noon at five different locations.  Look for the KWRL bus.

  • Cowlitz Crossing (gas station/convenience store at ilani)
  • Rosauers Supermarket
  • Mt. View Christian Academy
  • Whipple Creek 7th Day Adventist Church
  • Pioneer Vista Apartments

Later this week, the District will launch another ThoughtExchange.  We invite you to participate.  While we understand the trials and tribulations associated with our new remote learning world, we also believe there are hidden benefits.  This week we are asking you to think about and share the best aspect of our new remote learning.  We want to take this opportunity to think about how we might be able to shape the educational experience for our students, staff, parents, and community in the future.

Finally, I wish to send a heartfelt “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms in the Ridgefield School District.  Celebrating this Mother’s Day will be different, but no less special.  I look forward to dropping a gift off at my parent’s house for my mom and spending some quality time this Sunday, watching our boys celebrate Amanda.

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.



Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

CAPS Network to Host a National Virtual Career Week

Over 20 national business leaders from NASA, John Deere, Disney, Boston Scientific and many more will support authentic, profession-based learning for high school students during the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) weeklong virtual career fair that kicks off on May 11th.  Ridgefield’s own Zenia Bringhurst will share her experiences at Boston Scientific.  She has been an amazing business partner supporting our Innovation Ridge CAPS students in pursuit of their career goals.

During a typical school year, high school students from across the United States enrolled in CAPS courses have the unique opportunity to learn about careers through direct interaction with professionals.  Due to COVID 19, visiting professional mentors and working with local clients on projects has come to a near halt.  All students across the CAPS national network will have the opportunity to engage small business owners, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and community leaders through virtual career presentations.  Each business leader will speak for approximately 40 minutes about their experiences in their respective professional industries.

Pulitzer nominated author and serial entrepreneur, Clifton Taulbert, will present a closing keynote entitled: “Discover Your Abundant Talent” on May 14 at 1:00pm. “The future matters as does the generation that represents our future,” shares Taulbert. “What better time than now to understand that challenges bring forth the opportunity to dream and reach beyond our present reality and to engage technology in the people connecting process.”

CAPS Network Virtual Career Week will take place May 11-14 and is open to all CAPS affiliated school districts. More information on the event can be found at the CAPS Network website: Virtual Career Week Registration

About the CAPS Network:

The CAPS Network is a set of affiliated, nationally recognized, innovative high school programs. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs. More information about CAPS Network can be found at

More information about Innovation Ridge CAPS can be found at

New Student Registration for 2020-21 School Year Goes Online Starting Today

Starting Friday, May 1st, Ridgefield School District implements an online registration system for new students enrolling for the 2020-21 school year.  The new system replaces an outmoded, paper-based registration process.  Now parents can complete forms, upload documents and submit student registration(s) — all online.

Before beginning the online registration process, it’s recommended that the following documents be readily available for each student.  Parents may scan and upload these document(s) or take a photo of documents using their phone and upload them as pictures:

  • Student’s state-issued birth certificate
  • Two proofs of residency documents
  • Transcript from previously attended school (if in grades 9-12)
  • Medically-verified immunization records
  • Legal documents pertaining to child custody (if applicable)
  • Special programs documentation (HiCap/Gifted, IEP)
  • Foster Parents (School Notification Letter and Agency’s Contact information)

If there is a need to stop in the middle of online registration, parents can save their work as long as they enter an email address.  The system will email them a link to their unsubmitted form so that they can pick up where they left off and continue with the submission process.

To access online registration, please use the following link:

Kindergarten Registration

Incoming kindergarten students should be five years of age before September 1st to enter kindergarten.  Note:  The Kindergarten Parent Information Night events previously scheduled for Thursday, May 7th at both Union Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Elementary have been cancelled due to COVID-19 social distancing rules mandated by the state.  Instead, both schools will provide kindergarten information to new families via email and will also post the information to their school websites.

Early Learning Center Registration

Parents planning to enroll their students in the Ridgefield Early Learning Center should contact Erika Muir at 360-619-1300 to inquire about availability in the program before registering online.

Information and Assistance

For more information, visit the Student Enrollment page.  For assistance with the online registration process, please contact the schools directly.  Although school offices are now closed, building secretaries are currently monitoring voicemail and email messages for their buildings.

Union Ridge Elementary School (Grades K-4)  360-750-7600,

South Ridge Elementary School (Grades K-4):  360-619-1500,

Sunset Ridge Intermediate School (Grades 5-6):  360-619-1420,

View Ridge Middle School (Grades 7-8):  360-619-1400,

Ridgefield High School (Grades 9-12):  360-619-1320,

Superintendent’s Update to Families – April 29, 2020




April 29, 2020


Dear Ridgefield Families,

As we see signs of light at the end of the tunnel, I am reminded of the special community we have here in Ridgefield.  Whether through direct communication with families or during our weekly principal meetings, I hear story after story about the great work our teaching staff is doing in challenging conditions.  Similarly, teachers and administrators are sharing success stories of their own, highlighting examples of outstanding student work products.  I am deeply indebted to everyone for their efforts; thank you!

Though this has been a difficult time, I remain comforted by the fact that we will all come together again.  That is why we must continue to ensure that our children remain actively engaged in the instruction our teachers are providing throughout these final seven weeks.  This will ensure that our students are well-prepared for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Last night, the District honored our April employee and students of the month recipients remotely.  While it is not nearly the same as celebrating in person, we treasured the opportunity to celebrate outstanding contributions to our schools.  Please join me in congratulating our employee of the month, Kody Eastham (Maintenance department) and the following students of the month:

  • Meghan Miller (Early Learning Center)
  • Jaden Mitchell (South Ridge)
  • Amelia Meade (Union Ridge)
  • Kylee Clarke-Henderson (Sunset Ridge)
  • Nolan Meek (View Ridge)
  • Zackery Wells (Ridgefield High School)

Last week our ThoughtExchange focused on the challenges you are experiencing with the District’s “Continuity of Learning” Plan.  As we have come to expect, participation was phenomenal.  We had 329 participants, 283 unique Thoughts with 4491 ratings.  Attached is the Word Cloud.  Please know that we will be using your feedback to help fine-tune our plan moving forward.

A couple of pieces of feedback we received that we are taking action on immediately include connectivity and a need for additional instructional devices.

The District has received its order of hotspots. Once our tech departments make the appropriate adjustments to them we will be placing the hotspots throughout the district to assist with connectivity issues experienced by some of our students.

The District will once again distribute Chromebooks only this time it’s on a check-out (loaner) basis. Parents/Guardians or students over the age of 18 will be required to sign the Ridgefield Chromebook Checkout agreement (click here ). You may use the Chromebook during the entirety of the school closure. You will then return the Chromebook to the district office no later than 4:00 PM on Friday, June 19th, 2020. The distribution will take place at the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC, 510 Pioneer St.) on Friday, May 1st. Distribution will be as follows:

9:00 am – 11:00 am                Grades 9-12

11:00 am – 1:00 pm                Grades 5-8

1:00 pm – 3:00pm                  Grades K-4

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.



Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent