Ridgefield Community Education Offers Winter Classes

Check out Ridgefield Community Education’s list of winter classes offered in December and January.  You can also find this schedule on the district website at www.ridgefieldsd.org.  Go to the Community Education page and click on the Happy Holidays button.

View Ridge STEM Class Builds and Races Dragsters

In Tylor Hankins’ eighth grade STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class, students are troubleshooting their dragsters.  “It’s still going in circles.”  “I think it’s too heavy in the front.”  “This part keeps the wheel from moving.”  The big race is only a few days away, but there are lots of problems left to solve.

Hankins’ class worked in teams to design and build their own dragsters.  The challenge:  to be the fastest car to make it 20 feet down the hallway.  Bonus points if the team could get it to stop within one foot of the finish line.  The students built driverless cars using VEX robotics parts from dozens of bins:  metal brackets and bars, sprockets and gears, wheels, motors, and more.  Working in the programming language RobotC, they programmed the driverless cars to run the short course.

Because all the cars were unique designs, they all had different results—some intended, and some not intended.  Hankins moved from group to group, helping them pinpoint the issues and find the best solution.  As they tried different solutions—changing the programming, shortening the frame, reconfiguring the gears and wheels—they went back out to the hallway for test runs.  One went a short distance before crashing into the wall.  Another didn’t go at all.  And it was back to the drawing board.

“This project has a lot of problem solving, a lot of variables, and a lot of failure,” Hankins said.  “But when there are problems, they can figure it out.  This is the first real robot that they’ve built.  So it’s a learning process.”  Their next projects will be making BattleBots (robots that compete with each other) and a factory work cell (a mini-factory that can manufacture blocks with specific features).  The dragster project gives students the mechanical and programming skills they’ll need for future builds.

The diversity of dragster design means the students will have an interesting race day, with four wheeled cars vs. six wheeled cars, long dragsters vs. compact ones.  “It’s a fun project,” Hankins said.  He watched as another group’s dragster sped down the hallway and cruised just over a foot past the finish line.

The students checked the distance.  “Is it a foot?  It’s more than a foot.”  They look disappointed.

Hankins smiled.  “You’re close, guys, really close.  You’ve almost got it.”  The students picked up the racer and headed back into the Fabrication Lab, excitedly discussing ways to solve the problem, ready to try again.

Ally Ravelli, Carlie Madsen, and Quincy Woltersdorf show their dragster.

 

The Fabrication Lab is filled with bins of parts and tools for use in robotics projects.

 

Students test race their dragsters on the 20-foot hallway track.

Creating a More Inclusive Classroom with Co-Teaching

When teachers Megan Suarez and Dana Swensson attended a training on co-teaching, they were so excited they couldn’t wait to get back to their classrooms to implement it.  Suarez is a special education teacher and Swensson teaches a traditional third grade class at South Ridge Elementary School.  The co-teaching model allows them to teach all of their students together, in a unified classroom without barriers.  No matter what level a student is academically, they get to spend time with peers and achieve at their own level.  And they have seen immediate results:  student math scores have improved, and the class has become more inclusive overall.

Suarez and Swensson grouped students with similar skill sets together.  Then they created teaching stations in different areas of the room.  Each group circulates through the same teaching stations.  At one station, students work as a group on a list of problems; at another, they use laptops and headphones to do independent math games.  Swensson teaches multiplication to one group at the whiteboard, and Suarez helps other students use colored squares as a visual way to solve problems.  Every student goes through every station—and each station can be customized to that student’s level of learning.

There is a very wide range of abilities in the classroom, but the activities run seamlessly.  Suarez explained, “I’ll typically start each group with the same problem.  If they struggle a little bit, I can either re-teach or work on the fundamental skills.  If they do fine or notice some mathematical challenges, then I can go a little deeper.  I can really tailor to each group.”

Teacher Dana Swensson works with students on multiplication at one station.

 

Megan Suarez works with a group of students using colored squares to visualize multiplication.

 

Another group of students plays a math game on laptops.

Another group of students plays a math game on laptops.For many years, students who required specialists in learning disabilities, in advanced learning, or in English as a second language were separated from their classmates, pulled out of class for focused learning time.  Often it put them further behind, because they were missing the day-to-day instruction that other students received.

Now with co-teaching, all students get to spend time learning together in the classroom.  Students who need help still receive specialized learning time during WIN (What I Need) time each week, but the majority of their day is spent with a group of students in their grade level.  “Now I only work with them for a very small percent of the day,” Suarez said, “to help build some of the basic skills that they’re missing.”

With two teachers in the classroom, students get more focused attention for each lesson.  “It’s not exactly one-on-one.  But the small groups allow more time to meet the needs of the kids,” Swensson explained.  While they had only a partial year of co-teaching last year, classroom and standardized test scores improved.  “We noticed once we started this teaching model that they got the best scores they’ve ever had.”

Swensson and Suarez enjoy working together, being able to support each other and plan together for their classes.  And they see benefits for their students as well.  “The kids like working with another teacher,” Swensson said.  “And they enjoy getting to work in a group, getting to collaborate.  Students aren’t excluded; they get to be included with their peers.  It allows them to be part of a more positive community.  They’re all a part of this together.”

Volunteers Needed for Walk & Knock Food Drive on Saturday, December 7th

Volunteer to help with Walk & Knock, Clark County’s annual food drive, on Saturday, December 7th.  All it takes is a half-day of your time but can make a huge difference for many.

Walk & Knock is one of the nation’s largest one-day food drives and takes place each year on the first Saturday of December in Clark County.  It solicits charitable donations of food for the Clark County Food Bank to help those in need across our community.

Last year, more than 283,000 pounds of food was donated county-wide (9-12 tons collected right here in Ridgefield).  The success of every Walk & Knock food drive is attributed to the many volunteers who selflessly donate their time each year.

The Ridgefield Lions Club is the major facilitator for Walk & Knock in the Ridgefield community.  If you’d like to help, please sign up as either a driver or walker on their website by clicking HERE .

All volunteers are to meet at the Sunset Ridge Intermediate School/View Ridge Middle School campus at 3215 S. Hillhurst Road, on Saturday, December 7th at 8:15 am.  Volunteer help is needed from 8:15 am to 12:30 pm.  Lions will provide coffee/hot chocolate/donuts to start the day and provide a light lunch around noon.

Volunteer drivers follow a specified route, assisted by walkers who pick up donations.  Vehicles return to the school campus to unload donations.  Most drivers finish their route by noon.

Volunteer walkers go door-to-door to collect the food bags, placing them in the vehicles.  It is ideal to have two walkers per car for the collection of food.

Other ways volunteers can help:

Sorters help unload the food bags from the vehicles, sort the food and pack them into food boxes.  Loaders carry the packed food boxes to waiting semi-trailers bound for the food bank.

If you are not available to volunteer on December 7th, you can fill a grocery bag with non-perishable food or personal hygiene items and leave it on your doorstep by 9:00 am that morning or make a monetary donation on Walk & Knock’s website at http://walkandknock.org.   100% of all donations stay right here in Clark County!

To learn more about the Walk & Knock food drive, visit their website or call 877-995-6625.

SOCKtober Sock Drive Update

Stephanie Brown’s RISE class at Union Ridge Elementary held a SOCKtober Sock Drive in early November to collect socks for the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and the Council for the Homeless.  Last year, they collected 2,000 pairs; this year, the goal was set at 3,000.  With the help of a grant from sock company, Bombas, they came very close to reaching it.

With assistance from student leaders in Mrs. Morris’ and Mrs. Couch’s class 1,694 pairs of socks were collected.  Combined with Bombas’ donation of 1,000 pairs, SOCKtober brought in a grand total of 2,694 pairs of socks.  Half of the donations will be donated to the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and the other half will go to the Council for the Homeless.

Stephanie Brown, Special Education Teacher, is proud of the students in the program and grateful for the donations.  “We can’t wait to do it again next year!” she said.

 

Stephanie Brown and her students celebrate another successful SOCKtober Sock Drive.

Oregon Coast Aquarium Brings Flippers, Fur and Fun to South Ridge Elementary

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is hours away from South Ridge Elementary School—but the coast felt a lot closer when Aquarium staff came to visit.  They brought a fun program, “Flippers, Fur, and Fun”, to entertain and educate students on marine mammals.

Excited students could hardly sit still as videos of animals at the Aquarium played on the big screen.  They started learning with photos of animals that live at the Oregon Coast Aquarium:  Pacific harbor seal, Boots and Pinky, and a California sea lion named Max.

 

The Oregon Coast Aquarium van traveled from Newport to share fun facts on marine mammals.

 

Students learned the “Seal Shimmy”, a dance like the Hokey Pokey for marine mammals.

 

Both types of animals are marine mammals, which means they live a lot of their lives in the water, but they are warm blooded, breathe air, and have hair or fur.  Other types of marine mammals include polar bears, sea otters, and whales.

But how do you tell harbor seals and California sea lions apart?  They needed two volunteers to help.  Two students, Jonah and Reese, offered to help demonstrate the differences.  They were escorted behind a screen to get ready for their part in the show.

The other students spent some time doing the Seal Shimmy (a dance similar to the Hokey Pokey, but with flippers, whiskers, and blubber going in and out).   And they tried to figure out ways that marine mammals are able to live in the ocean.  (Fur protects them from the sun, flippers help them swim, blubber keeps them warm, and whiskers help them navigate in the water.)  The kids even practiced using their arms as flippers, swaying back and forth as if they were swimming.  Then it was time for Jonah and Reese to come back onstage.

Kids laughed with delight when they saw Jonah and Reese in costume—one as a Pacific harbor seal and one as a California sea lion.  Each student took a turn coming forward to show the characteristics that distinguish each animal.  Then they learned how those animals are cared for at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

The learning included some hands-on time, where students could see how they measured up to life-sized inflatable seals and sea lions.  And they got the chance to examine animal biofacts:  seal and sea lion pelts, skulls, and bones.

With so many opportunities to learn and explore, the Aquarium brought the shore right to South Ridge’s door.  And when the show was over, they packed everything back into their sea blue van, ready to drive to the next group of students.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is located in Newport, Oregon.  For more information or to plan a visit, check their website at aquarium.org

 

Two students volunteered to wear costumes as part of the “Flippers, Fur and Fun” show.

 

Tables of biofacts display a large sea lion skull and a harbor seal pelt.

 

Empty Bowl Event Set for Saturday, December 7th

Annual Ridgefield Children’s Holiday Bazaar

Ridgefield School Assemblies Honor Veterans

Veterans Day is a time to remember the service of military veterans.  The schools in the Ridgefield School District all held Veterans Day assemblies to honor our veterans and those still serving.

At Union Ridge Elementary, the presentation of the colors was led by the Ridgefield American Legion.  Each grade completed an activity to celebrate Veterans Day.   The kindergarten and first grade classes performed songs.  The second grade class gave visiting veterans handmade thank you cards shaped like military dog tags.  The third grade class made a video sharing the poems they sent to troops, along with candy the students donated from their own trick or treating.  The fourth grade class sent handmade cards and letters to veterans.

The Ridgefield American Legion presented the colors at the Union Ridge Elementary Veterans Day assembly.

 

At Union Ridge, students gave handmade cards to veterans in attendance at the event.

At South Ridge Elementary, leadership students, Natalie Green, Tyson Miller and Marshall Casper gave presentations that provided a brief history and significance of Veterans Day.  Although a prepared slideshow could not be shown at the assembly as planned, students and staff were able to view it in their classrooms.

The Lewis and Clark Young Marines presented the colors at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  A trio of students sang the national anthem.  The poem In Flanders Fields was read, and students gave information about each branch of the armed forces.  Two students read an original poem for Veterans Day.  A video was played to honor veterans and to show photos of students’ family members who were veterans.  Veterans in attendance were asked to introduce themselves and to offer advice to the students.  They were given handmade thank you cards and asked to sign a tribute wall.

The Lewis and Clark Young Marines presented the colors at the Sunset Ridge assembly.

 

Sunset Ridge: Veterans sign the tribute wall banner at the school’s assembly.

View Ridge Middle School had presentation of the colors by the Lewis and Clark Young Marines.  The band played the national anthem, and the seventh grade choir sang “In Flanders Field”.  The Missing Man Table ceremony, a symbolic single place setting at a table, was performed in memory of fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members.  A tribute video showed students sharing their thoughts on Veterans Day and photos of students’ family members who had served.

The View Ridge seventh grade choir sang “In Flanders Field”

 

Members of the View Ridge band played the national anthem.

Ridgefield High School featured presentation of the colors by the Army.  The choir performed the national anthem and “America the Beautiful”, and the band played a medley of armed forces songs.  The keynote speaker, Sgt. DeAngelo McDonald, gave a warm tribute to his “brothers and sisters who are no longer with me, the brothers and sisters who are still with me, and the future brothers and sisters who will be with me” in service.  A video was played remembering our soldiers.

The Army presented the colors at the Ridgefield High School Veterans Day assembly.

 

Sgt. DeAngelo McDonald was the high school assembly’s keynote speaker.

These moving ceremonies reminded us to thank the veterans we know and to honor those who have passed.  Many thanks to the students and teachers who helped mark this special day.

 

Ridgefield High School Students Selected for Local, State Band Honors

Eight students from Ridgefield High School were recently honored for their accomplishments in music.

Congratulations to freshman, Olivia DesRochers; sophomore, Caleb Coine; junior, Natalie Smith; and seniors, Sydney Dean, Samantha Fenton, Spencer Hess, Eli Holter, and Emma Schmidt.  All were selected for the North County Honor Band.  In January, the students will perform in the Honor Band’s annual concert at Hockinson High School.  The concert is open to the public and is free.

The North County Honor Band is made up of middle school and high school students from Hockinson, Prairie, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, La Center, Woodland, Camas and Washougal high schools.   Applicants are chosen based on their musical accomplishments and band director’s recommendation.

Students selected for the opportunity receive a quality band experience that challenges them as musicians of a high-level honor group, performing with their peers from other school districts and working with esteemed guest conductors.

Two of the students also received top honors in being selected to participate in a 2020 Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) All-State performing group.  Samantha Fenton was selected for the Concert Band, and Emma Schmidt was selected for the Wind Symphony.  They will join other outstanding student musicians from other high school bands, orchestras, choirs and percussion ensembles when they perform at the 2020 WMEA Honor Groups Concerts February 12-16 in Yakima.  WMEA All-State student musicians are selected through an audition process and earn the opportunity to perform in these prestigious concerts under the direction of world-renowned conductors.

Many who have participated in All-State performing groups are inspired and motivated by the experience.  Well-known Washingtonians who have had the opportunity to take part in WMEA All-State groups include David Horsey, Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Andrea Peterson, 2008 National Teacher of the Year, and Kenny G., jazz saxophonist.

Congratulations to all of these talented RHS students for their outstanding musical achievements!

Students Learn About Dia de los Muertos

Gavin Clarke’s second grade class at South Ridge Elementary School sat quietly at their desks, waiting for their special guest.  When Rebeca Jaramillo came in, their eyes widened.  Her hair was decorated with beautiful flowers, and she wore a colorfully embroidered long skirt.  She carried a guitar.  This was going to be interesting!

“What do you know about the Day of the Dead?” Jaramillo asked.  Many students raised their hands to give answers:  It is celebrated once a year.  It is a day to celebrate the person who is dead that you really loved.  You put things the person likes around their picture.  “Yes!  That is all true!” she said.

Jaramillo and her son, Miguel, explained that the Day of the Dead is a special day to remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed away.  Small altars or shrines in homes have photos of loved ones, as well as items representing the four elements:  wind, water, earth, and fire.

“The earth is flowers,” she said, “especially the cempasuchil, a Mexican flower.”  The wind is represented by paper pennants that flutter in the air.  Fire is represented by a candle.  “And water, it is usually something to drink, like tea or juice or hot chocolate.  Maybe you don’t know,” she said, “but chocolate is from Mexico.”  A few kids gasp.  “Mexico brings chocolate to the world!”

Jaramillo asked for questions, and one student asked, “Why do you wear flowers in your hair?”

Jaramillo smiled.  “These flowers and clothes are all bright colors because I am very happy!  I want my family to see me and find me.  In Mexico, you go to the cemetery, and you don’t feel scared.  It is always clean, a lot of flowers, music, food; it is a big party.  You should not be scared!  Because this is your family, your loved ones.”

Jaramillo pulled out her guitar; her son Miguel had a keyboard.  With help from the class, they sang the song Remember Me from the movie Coco.  They passed out coloring sheets.  And there was one last surprise:  Mexican candy.  Soon the students were eating and laughing and sharing with each other, enjoying a party, like the Mexican celebrations for the Day of the Dead.

Jaramillo’s other son, Sebastian, is in Clarke’s class.  Clarke invited parents to school to celebrate their cultural events with his class.  “My class has students from many different backgrounds that represent the future of Ridgefield,” he said.  “I hope that those under-represented communities feel welcomed to share their culture with the students, and I hope the students learn to respect many different cultures in their experience here.”

Rebeca Jaramillo and her son, Miguel, teach students about Dia de los Muertos.

 

Display shows types of items placed on home altars to remember departed loved ones.

Dear Veterans …

A long line of students and teachers trooped down the sidewalk on Pioneer Street.  On this beautiful, sunny day, they weren’t headed to the fire station or the park.  Instead, the entire fourth grade class from Union Ridge Elementary was going to the special mailbox in front of Bob’s Automotive, bringing handmade cards and letters for service members.

The mailbox is a project by the American Veterans Car Club and club member Bob Ford, owner of Bob’s Automotive.  Ford served in the Coast Guard and Navy for 16 years, so he and other members of the club remember well how much it meant to receive mail while they were deployed; they wanted to find a way to collect letters from the public to send to the military.

When Ford’s daughter found the 1964 U.S. mailbox in Oregon, it seemed like the project was meant to be.  The car club had the mailbox specially painted.  While it used to be used for all kinds of mail, now the mailbox is only for letters to active duty military and veterans.  No stamp is required; club members read and forward the letters.

The students were excited about the project, and not just because they could leave school to walk downtown.  They had spent a lot of time drawing, coloring, and writing on their cards.  Many of them were wearing patriotic colors or red white and blue face paint.  “I like knowing that one of the soldiers will get it and read it,” one said.  “They’re heroes.”

Ford was happy to see how many students were streaming past.  “I wish I could take photos of every one of them!”  He snapped pictures as the students took turns dropping their letters in the mailbox.  “I was surprised when Mr. Fransen came down here and asked if the students could write letters to the military for Veterans Day.  I said, ‘Of course!’”

Class after class lined up to drop cards in the mailbox.  Students waiting in line waved their letters at passing cars, who honked in support.  A police car blipped its siren, and the kids cheered.  Ford thanked as many students as he could.  “Thank you so much!  It will mean a lot to them, I guarantee it!”

“Dear Veterans,” one card read.  “You are the reason we have freedom.  You are special in all ways.  Thank you for your hard work.”  Another read, “Dear Veterans, I was pumped with excitement to thank you for your service!”  Soon, the heartfelt letters and cards from Ridgefield students will be making their way to military members and veterans all over the world.

The mailbox is available to the public year-round.  Please bring cards and letters for members of the military to the mailbox in front of Bob’s Automotive at 327 Pioneer Street, Ridgefield, WA.

The special mailbox in front of Bob’s Automotive is for letters to members of the military.

 

A long line of Union Ridge Elementary fourth graders wait to deposit their cards and letters.

 

Students created cards and letters, poems and art to send to service members.

 

 

Kelsey Anchors-Goodman Named Softball Coach for Ridgefield School District

The Ridgefield School District has selected Kelsey Anchors-Goodman as Softball Coach for Ridgefield High School.  Anchors-Goodman comes to Ridgefield from North Valley High School in Grants Pass, Oregon where she was assistant coach for softball and girls’ basketball and an instructor in PE, health and strength/conditioning.  Last year, she coached baseball there as well, making history as Oregon’s first female coach of a boys’ baseball team.

“I am really excited to have the opportunity to continue building a program in Ridgefield that is on the rise, along with contributing to the success that this program has achieved over the last few years,” said Anchors-Goodman.

Kelsey Anchors-Goodman

The daughter of the late RHS softball coach, Dusty Anchors and Lori Anchors, Anchors-Goodman is the youngest of four children.  She started playing T-Ball at the age of 4 and competitive softball at the age of 7.  She attended Olympic High School in Bremerton, setting school records in softball and was all-Olympic League her last two years, as well as all-state in her senior season.

Anchors-Goodman attended Oklahoma State University on a softball scholarship and holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotions and Education with an emphasis in Exercise Science.  She was the university’s top defensive softball centerfielder all four years and was on the team when it advanced to the Women’s College World Series in 2011.  Anchors-Goodman earned her teaching certificate at St. Martin’s University in Lacey in 2015 and worked as a substitute teacher and PE instructor at Central Kitsap Middle School prior to joining the staff at North Valley High School.

“The Ridgefield Athletic Department is beyond excited to announce Kelsey Anchors-Goodman as our new softball coach,” said Brynan Shipley, Ridgefield School District’s athletic director.  “Kelsey has a great deal of knowledge and experience in the sport.  Her impressive resume set her apart in the selection process, and her vision for the program is shared by many.  The fact that she is Coach Anchors’ daughter only makes it that much more special.  We are excited about the future of Ridgefield softball!”

In her free time, Anchors-Goodman loves to spend time with family and friends, playing competitive slow-pitch, being outdoors and traveling.

Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Receives Generous Grant from the Price Foundation

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation (RPSF) has received a generous grant of $7,500 from the Price Foundation to support high school students in the Ridgefield School District who would like to attend a technical program, trade school, or community college, and are financially unable to do so according to a press release.  This scholarship will fund three high school seniors at $2,500 each.

The RPSF supports Ridgefield High School students planning to continue their education through a variety of scholarship opportunities. To date, RPSF has awarded scholarships to 58 students, totaling $48,500. One of RPSF’s goals is to continue to diversify its scholarship portfolio to provide greater opportunities for more students. The Price Foundation’s gift will not only increase the amount of funds available, but will also add another opportunity for students seeking education opportunities outside traditional four-year institutions. Last year, RPSF launched the Sierra Maldonado Memorial Scholarship, which also funds scholarships for Ridgefield students entering technical and trade school programs.

It is the RPSF’s dedication to non-traditional education opportunities that initially attracted the Price Foundation’s attention. RPSF’s President, Jeff Vigue, states, “We applied for a grant from the Price Foundation because their goals aligned with ours perfectly. We are extremely excited to offer three more scholarships this year because of this new synergistic relationship.”

Information about the scholarship will be posted at www.ridgefieldpsf.org by January 1, 2020, along with the application for interested students.

The Price Foundation is located in Clark County with a mission to improve education, health and historic preservation in Clark and Cowlitz County.

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is a privately funded, non-profit organization, established in 2009. Our mission is to advance programs and activities that support whole student development for which public resources are insufficient or unavailable.

To learn more about the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation or attend an event hosted by the Foundation, please go to www.ridgefieldpsf.org.

Ridgefield School District Honors November Employee and Students of the Month

On November 12, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the November Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

Employee of the Month

Gena Anderson, Head Secretary at South Ridge Elementary School, was selected as Employee of the Month.  She is not only the head secretary, but she also serves as chief question answerer, queen of the budget, and primary greeter of all guests to South Ridge.  Gena is always the first person to notice something that needs to be solved, and just takes care of it.  She never complains and still manages to make sure the school is running smoothly.  Over the course of her career in the Ridgefield School District, Gena has served as para-professional in special education, a one-on-one para for a particular student, and now as head secretary at South Ridge.  South Ridge would not be the same without Gena.  She loves all 554 of our students like they were her own, and the staff like family.

Students of the Month

Emmalinn Penner was selected as Student of the Month for the Early Learning Center.  Emmalinn is always ready to help her friends.  She is the first to help sad friends when they separate from their families.  Anytime anyone (including the teacher), needs anything, she always volunteers to help.  She helps friends follow the rules by stepping up and redirecting them, explaining why we can’t do something instead of telling the teacher what they did.  Emmalinn is an amazing example of a star student.

Adam Castillo, a first grader, is November’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  Adam arrives at school each day with a smile, ready to learn.  He is always eager to participate in any learning task, even when it is challenging, always trying his best.  Adam is learning to print his name in both capital and lowercase letters and is motivated to learn the letters of the alphabet.  He is focused on meeting his unique learning goals both inside and outside of the classroom.  South Ridge Elementary is very proud of Adam and his success at school!

Isabelle Tucker, a second grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Isabelle is a great example of our Ridgefield agreements.  Respect:  Isabelle respects all her peers and teachers by helping others, following directions and doing what is right.  Resilient:  Isabelle is always willing to try new things even if she knows they are going to be hard for her.  She always has a great attitude towards learning and never gives up on things that are difficult.  Responsible:  Isabelle keeps herself accountable in getting her work done and stays focused when needed, making sure she is a good role model for her classmates and peers.  There are great things in the future for this young lady!  Great job Isabelle!

Cadence (Cadie) Clark, a sixth grader, was selected at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  Cadie is a perfect example of a responsible, respectful and resilient student.  She is kind and caring to everyone she meets and works hard to make those around her feel important.  Cadie is an engaged and curious learner in the classroom.  She asks questions, wonders about possibilities and works collaboratively with all of her classmates.  She takes great pride in her work, inside and outside of the classroom and always turns in outstanding work.  Her hard work and consistent kindness are just a few of the characteristics that make Cadie Clark an outstanding role model for all of sixth grade!

Sarah Proctor, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  Sarah is a bright, upbeat, and mature student.  She not only contributes to all discussions, but she is an active participant working with partners and within groups.  She brings a positive vibe to her classes, making other students around her better students.  Sarah advocates for herself by asking questions and is more than willing to help others around her.  She is an avid reader, always looking for something new.  Eager to learn and ready for the next challenge, Sarah Proctor exemplifies respectfulness, responsibility and resilience!

Selecting one student out of 942 students at Ridgefield High School for Student of the Month is a difficult task.  While there are many students who exemplify this honor, senior Diego Morales stands out.  He is helpful and hard-working, and in addition, an all-around exemplary student.  Teachers describe Diego as “one of the most kind-hearted and appreciative students”, “a class act”, and “kind to everyone, every single day.”  He is the personification of resilience–a student who has overcome personal challenges with the help of family and friends.  Diego is involved in wrestling and choir.  His post-secondary plans include pursuing an apprenticeship program in the trades.

Special thanks to the local office of James Schmeling at Allstate Insurance Company, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and Ridgefield Boosters for sponsoring the district’s recognition program this school year.