Ridgefield High School Producing “It’s a Wonderful Life” Radio Play

“The show must go on!” has been a saying in theater for many years, and drama students at Ridgefield High School are proving the statement is true.  They’re taking their next theater production completely online with a plan to livestream It’s A Wonderful Life:  A Live Radio Play in December.

The radio play is an adaptation of the classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life.  When idealistic George Bailey wishes he had never been born, his guardian angel helps him realize how many lives he has impacted.  Author Joe Landry restages the Christmas story with the excitement of a live 1940’s radio broadcast.  Kaitlyn Etter, drama teacher at Ridgefield High School, is excited about the production.  “The story is so wonderful and hopeful—something we can all use right about now.”

The play’s original poster was designed by Ridgefield High School art student Patricia Catacutan.

Switching gears from stage production to online production has created a lot of changes for Etter and her students, from Zoom rehearsals to the technical hurdles of livestreaming.  “The students are excited about overcoming the challenges and getting creative!  The production is taking a lot of inventiveness, initiative, and enthusiasm on the part of our students and department.  One step at a time, but one of my favorite things about theatre is how it teaches us to adapt and think creatively.”

It’s a full-scale production, with a large cast and crew.  There are 21 students in the cast of actors, including lead actors Peter Schafer, Cameron McGravey, Sophia Miller, Avari Harrison, Anna Vande Krol, Dallin Casper, and Elle Lutz.  Many of them will be playing multiple characters in the show.

RHS Theatre students rehearse on Zoom for the December production.

There are 22 students serving on the technical crew, including lead crew members Kaitlyn St. John, Jay Stengele, Ani Gallman, Donnie St. John, LeeAnne Krause, and Caige Sothern. Art and history teacher Aziza Mansuri is also assisting with the show.  The crew will help solve the challenges involved in taking the production online and creating a radio-style atmosphere.  Part of the fun will be creating original, live Foley effects (the sound effects that bring a production to life, like footsteps and doors closing) in real time with the production.

Etter and her students are looking forward to the streaming event.  “We are excited to bring joy, hope, and some fun 1940’s style Americana right into people’s homes!”

It’s A Wonderful Life:  A Live Radio Play will be streaming December 12th and 13th.  Information on the production will be on Ridgefield High School social media accounts and website.  On Instagram, follow @ridgefield.theatre and on Facebook, follow Ridgefield PAC.  There will also be online updates for the play and other events at  http://spudderactivities.weebly.com/theatre.html

Superintendent’s Update to Families – November 24, 2020

 

 

 

November 24, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Happy Thanksgiving!  This year’s holiday will be very different from past years, just as this school year has been very different.  The large gathering of friends and family will have to wait for future holidays.  We will be wearing masks and socially distancing ourselves during a time typically filled with hugs and warm conversations, but we will get through this and be better for it in the end.

Though it has been a challenging year, I know I still have much to be grateful for, and I suspect you feel the same way.  In difficult times like these, taking the time to express gratitude is perhaps even more critical.  We have a great deal going on right now, and a kind word of appreciation can make all the difference.  But did you know that giving thanks can make you happier too?  In one study, participants who wrote down the positive things that happened to them each day demonstrated a more optimistic outlook at the end of the 10-week trial.   The positive impacts didn’t stop there.  By the end of the study, those same individuals were exercising more and had fewer visits to the doctor.  You can read more about the power of gratitude here.

I enjoyed reading all the Thoughts shared last week in our Gratitude Exchange.  The District shared the Exchange results with the individuals specifically named to help brighten their day.  Thank you again to all those that participated.

As you already know, this is a short week as all Ridgefield School District schools will be closed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for Thanksgiving Break.  I wish each of you a safe, restful break.

Thank you also for continuing to share amazing photos of your children learning through Ridgefield Remote.  Until we can return to hybrid learning, these photos help connect us. If you happen to snap a great family photo during the Thanksgiving Break, please share it with us (student.photos@ridgefieldsd.org).  I would love to see the different family traditions and celebrations this holiday season.  Below are several of the more recent images shared with the District.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Break, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann. Superintendent

Student Meal Pickup Schedule Will Change Starting Monday, November 30th

Effective Monday, November 30th the schedule for free grab-and-go student meals will change as follows:

 

Union Ridge Elementary School – Building B

11:45 am – 12:45 pm   NEW TIME

Monday-Friday

 

Sunset Ridge / View Ridge

South side of school at Bus Drop-Off Loop  NEW LOCATION

10:45 am – 12:15 pm  NEW TIME

Monday-Friday

Meals will continue to include breakfast and lunch for Ridgefield children up to 18 years of age.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – November 18, 2020

 

 

 

November 18, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I am writing to you today to share the latest news regarding our planned return to in-person instruction for our youngest learners.  The Ridgefield School District is delaying the start of in-person instruction for kindergarten until Tuesday, January 5, 2021.  This decision weighs heavily on me, as I am well aware of the social/emotional toll and academic struggles that remote learning has on many of our students and families.

Currently, we are experiencing precipitous growth in the 14-day COVID activity rate.  In fact, the ascending rates across our state led to Governor Jay Inslee mandating new community restrictions earlier this week to slow community spread.  While schools were not named in the order, the Ridgefield School District is delaying our return to in-person instruction until after winter break in hopes that COVID transmission rates will have stabilized.

As I have shared with you from the beginning of the pandemic, our plan for a return to in-person instruction has always been based on a safe and sensible approach.  While empirical evidence suggests that in-person school is safe and does not necessarily contribute to community spread, the unknowns associated with the current county conditions make delaying our return the sensible choice.

While I understand that January 5 may feel far away, we are fortunate to have Winter Break from December 19 – January 4.  Pausing our plan just a little provides valuable time for the new restrictions to mitigate the rise in community cases.

The COVID-19 Activity Level is not (nor has it ever been) the only metric public health and school districts use in referencing a potential return to in-person learning.  However, with the rapid increase over the past few weeks, this is an important metric in this decision at this time.

I am thankful for your continued patience and support of the Ridgefield School District. Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Ridgefield Lions Club Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale Starts November 27th

 

The Ridgefield Lion Club will be offering fresh-cut Christmas trees for sale starting at 9:00 am on Friday, November 27th at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC).  Noble and Grand Christmas trees start at $45.  Festive wreaths will also be available.  All proceeds benefit the Ridgefield community.  Sale ends December 6th.  For the daily schedule, visit their website https://www.ridgefieldlions.org/ .

Superintendent’s Update to Families – November 13, 2020

 

 

 

November 13, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Are you the superstitious type?  I have never been one to believe in superstitions, but with today being Friday the 13th and the way 2020 has been going, well, I just might need to rethink things.  After all, it couldn’t hurt if we all found a penny or a four-leaf clover.

November is a time of thanks and gratitude.  Over the past several months, I have asked for your insight and input on various topics through various surveys.  This week, I would like to use our ThoughtExchange platform in a very different way.  This week I would like to see if we can do a Gratitude Exchange.  I am inviting each of you to take a few moments and share a success or celebration from this year (survey link).  Feel free to share shout-outs to those that are making a real difference for you and your family.  Let’s all celebrate and feel good together as we continue to demonstrate #RidgefieldResilient.  The full link to the survey is:  https://my.thoughtexchange.com/#374476586

Thank you for continuing to share amazing photos of your children learning through Ridgefield Remote.  Until we can return to hybrid learning, these photos help connect us. Please keep them coming (student.photos@ridgefieldsd.org).  Below are several of the more recent images shared with the District.

It is not too late…you have until Monday, November 16th to sign-up for the 4th Annual Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Turkey Trot (link here).  This year the event will take place virtually.  It is a great chance to get in a bit of exercise before your Thanksgiving meal.

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Ridgefield Students Honor Veterans

Veterans Day is a time to honor the service of all military veterans.  This year, instead of Veterans Day assemblies, the schools took their events online, with photos, videos, and presentations.  Classes used the online events to spark discussion about military service and remembrance.

Each school created its own unique Veterans Day program to distribute to the students.  Many elements of the programs were created by students, including moving interviews with family members in the military, artwork, research projects, and patriotic music.

Union Ridge Elementary created a video showing the military family members of students.  Some families had many generations of military service.  Students also created original artwork to display at Seasons Coffee Shop, where an entire wall was covered with drawings to thank veterans for their military service.

South Ridge Elementary designed a slideshow to educate students on the meaning of Veterans Day.  It included lessons on Veterans Day, the colors in the American flag, and citizenship.  And it tied the lessons back to their character trait lesson for October, which was resilience.  They also included photos of family members in military service.

On display at Seasons Coffee Shop: letters of thanks to veterans from Union Ridge students.

 

South Ridge Elementary created a slideshow to teach students about Veterans Day.

Sunset Ridge Intermediate School and View Ridge Middle School leadership students worked together to create an interactive presentation for an online assembly.  They started with student presentations, including patriotic music and reports on Veterans Day and the flag.  Holding the event online allowed for very personal Veterans Day tributes, with some students interviewing family members about their military service.   There was also a video of students leading the Missing Man Table ceremony to honor fallen veterans, and another video with photos of family members in the military.

Ridgefield High School’s ASB students created a slideshow of photos.  They thanked veterans for their service and included photos of family members of students who had served in the military.

These moving presentations were a reminder 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.

Sunset Ridge Intermediate and View Ridge Middle School created an interactive presentation.

RHS’ ASB students created a slideshow featuring family members of students who are veterans.

Ridgefield School District Honors November Employee and Students of the Month

On November 10, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the November Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

Employee of the Month

Ridgefield School District is proud to recognize Tiffany Gould, Director of Federal Programs and Career College and Technical Education (CCTE).  Tiffany is an exceptional and valued member of the Ridgefield School District Office.  She is collaborative, energetic, passionate and brilliant.  Her work supports all of our students from pre-K to Grade 12.  Tiffany manages the district’s federal programs; specifically, Title I, Learning Assistance Program (LAP), Highly Capable Program, and the English Language Learner (ELL) Program.  In addition, she oversees our incredible CCTE Program at View Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School.

Tiffany Gould

Although paperwork and reporting occupy much of her duties, Tiffany is focused on what is best for students, especially those in need, for whom she is a tireless advocate.  This was most evident in recent months when schools closed due to COVID-19, prompting the District to transition to remote learning.  In this unprecedented circumstance, Tiffany made sure that the district’s most vulnerable students would be able to access the resources necessary for them to continue learning.  This was no small feat.  Within a tight timeframe, she was able to work together with parents, building administrators, the Ridgefield Classified Association, Chartwells Food Service, and KWRL Transportation to get Learning Support Center classrooms up and running for these students at both Union Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Elementary schools.  The students’ increased attendance, learning and participation in the program is a tribute to Tiffany’s leadership.  The success of the program would not have been possible without her dedication and hard work.  We are proud to recognize Tiffany Gould for the well-deserved honor of Employee of the Month for November.

Students of the Month

Oscar Arguello was selected as November’s Student of the Month at the Early Learning Center.  Oscar has consistently demonstrated the three R’s.  He is Respectful, Resilient and Responsible.  Oscar comes to class every day with a smile on his face and a desire to learn.  He is dedicated to being the best version of himself and puts a great amount of effort into everything he does.  Oscar is supportive and collaborative with his peers, which makes him a great role model in the classroom.  He is a positive influence on others and is always willing to lend a helping hand to a classmate.  He has a sense of humor that is both amicable and engaging.  It brings him a great deal of joy to help someone smile.  Oscar, you are a wonderful student, and you absolutely deserve to be the Hash Brown Student of the Month!

Ronin Mitchell, a fourth grader, was selected at South Ridge Elementary.  Ronin is a hard worker.  He consistently shows up ready and willing to work, always with a smile on his face.  He gives his best effort regardless of how challenging the task is, and he never gives up!  He is kind to his friends and to people he has just met.  Ronin always has a great attitude.  He is cheerful, positive, and one of the biggest cheerleaders for other students.  Ronin is a friend to all.  He cares about his classmates and his community and consistently demonstrates respect.  He is a wonderful example for his peers.  Ronin is responsible.  He can always be counted on to follow directions, take care of himself and help others do the same.  Lastly, Ronin is resilient.  When things get difficult, Ronin gives it his best.  He doesn’t lose heart or give up.  He asks for help when he needs it and offers it when he can give it.  It is an absolute joy to know him, to work with him and to watch him grow as a person.

Ronin Mitchell

Romy Anderson, a second grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Romy was chosen as Student of the Month because she is a hard worker who contributes to the classroom community daily.  Romy’s willingness to share details important to her, such as how she spent her weekend or birthday cards she made for her sister, all add up to what we all need right now—connection.  During this very unique time in education, Romy brightens her Zoom classroom with a smile or a song at the start of class each day.  She enhances the day for her teacher and classmates.  “Her energy is contagious,” her teacher says, “and she hopes it will continue to spread through the class.”

Romy Anderson

Isabelle Walker, a sixth grader, was selected at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  She has great enthusiasm for school, works hard in class, and comes on time every day.  She is very respectful and kind to others.  Isabelle greets every day with a smile and brings her infectious, positive energy to every class.  She always gives her best effort, no matter how difficult.  Isabelle is resilient!  In Band, she is switching instruments this year and is already almost caught up with the other returning band members.  She used to be uncomfortable playing in front of others but now does very well presenting and demonstrating in front of other students.  Sunset Ridge Intermediate is proud to recognize Isabelle Walker as Student of the Month for November.

Isabelle Walker

Julieann Cyphers, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  Julieann is a very hardworking, conscientious student who puts in a great deal of effort into her work.  She comes to Zoom class on time after completing all her work during student support.  She works well with everyone in small groups and does a great job contributing to class discussions.  Julieann is resilient!  She does not let anything stand in her way when it comes to completing assignments and making it to her Zoom classes.  Her work is always detailed and thorough, and she is a delight to have in class.  She is kind and courteous and strives to do her best in all things.

Julieann Cyphers

The task of choosing one Student of the Month out of 983 students at Ridgefield High School is always a difficult one.  Many of our students show the three R’s of Respect, Responsibility and Resiliency.  Many come to class daily bringing their ‘A’ game even during this difficult time of virtual learning.  Many are involved in extracurricular activities and have admirable goals after high school.  Senior Kaela Kikawa is one of those students, and it is for those reasons and more that she has been chosen as Ridgefield High School’s Student of the Month for November.  Kaela is described as a “motivated, high achieving and hardworking student.”  She is involved in cross country, track, iTuna, NHS and HOSA and has plans to attend college through the ROTC program.  She plans to go on to medical school, specializing in surgery or anesthesiology.  Outside of school, Kaela is involved in martial arts and is currently working toward earning her black belt.

Kaela Kikawa

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.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – November 6, 2020

 

 

 

November 6, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I would like to start this week’s letter with a heartfelt thank you to every Ridgefield School District family.  As a District, we have strived for increased parental feedback.  I enjoy the opportunity to visit with and meet as many families as possible.  However, it seems that this year, most of that feedback is being gathered via electronic surveys due to in-person restrictions.  While not nearly the same interpersonal connection, the information is no less valuable.  I want to let you know where we currently are with two of our surveys.

Recently we asked all secondary students to take part in a survey to identify what they needed to feel supported at school.  We have shared those results with building principals.  They are currently analyzing site-based information and working with staff to identify areas of improvement.  Earlier this year, we asked all families to complete a questionnaire related to social/emotional barriers.  School counselors and Connection Center mentors have been working tirelessly to connect with students and families.  Also, we have partnered with Kevin Ashworth, LPC, Clinical Director of NW Anxiety Pediatrics, to lead an informational night title, “How to Spot Anxiety in Your Child and What You Can Do About It.”  I encourage you to set time aside on Monday, November 9th, at 5:00 to join this engaging discussion.

Next Wednesday, November 11th, all District schools will be closed in honor of Veteran’s Day.  The Ridgefield School District would like to thank all our Veterans, including my dad and Ridgefield resident Gene McCann, who served our country for 20 years in the United States Navy.  Thank you, Dad!

The Columbian shared an interesting Clark County Public Health data table in today’s (November 6, 2020) paper.  In short, the data is indicating that a leading cause of community spread is coming from private social gatherings of 2-10 individuals.  The longer we battle COVID-19, the more susceptible we all are to relax our adherence to COVID mitigation strategies…especially amongst friends.  Please remember to continue using social distancing practices and wear your masks.  Together we can do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

 

 

 

Union Ridge Elementary Takes Read-A-Thon Online

How do you lead a school fundraiser when all the kids are remote learning from home?  With a little creativity and a lot of online organization!  For its annual Read-A-Thon, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at Union Ridge Elementary had to think outside the box, changing their usual classroom and school-based fundraising to activities that could be done online or at home.  They ended up creating a lot of fun for hundreds of kids.

The Read-A-Thon is the largest annual fundraiser for Union Ridge, with 100% of the proceeds going to fund school activities and teacher grants.  And the PTO also wanted to encourage students to take a break from online learning to enjoy a good book.  So, they spent some time figuring out creative ways to make the Read-A-Thon happen.  They ended up with several Read-A-Thon activities:  a reading Bingo card that could be completed at home, videos of local celebrities reading children’s books, and photo contests on Facebook.

Colton Zirkle had fun reading for the Read-A-Thon Bingo game. Photo credit: Amber Zirkle

First grader Alina McMillan read a book outdoors with the Halloween decorations. She and her twin sister, Jaelynn, loved participating in the Read-A-Thon. Photo credit: Jill McMillan

Students still raised money with pledges for reading—but the PTO used an online site for donations instead of cash and checks.  Every student who raised $10 or more received a prize.  Corporate donors provided prizes for top winners—an Apple iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire from iQ Credit Union, a Nintendo Switch Lite from MAJ Commercial Real Estate, and a gift card from Vinnie’s Pizza.  Students raised an impressive total of $8400, with Rylee Roth, Grayson Ashenfelter, Madeline Sullens, and Robert Kenck taking top honors.

The Bingo card activity gave students some creative ways to read to fulfill their pledges, like reading to a pet or stuffed animal, reading in the bathtub, or reading in your pajamas.  They completed as many options as they could before emailing their Bingo cards to the PTO.  Winners were randomly selected and included Avery Smith, Austin Freeman, Lola Dipzinski, and Eli Stone.  Several prizes were also awarded through a Facebook contest for pictures of kids reading in the unusual places suggested on the reading Bingo cards.

The Read-A-Thon Bingo card gave students lots of fun ideas for reading.

Instead of the in-person book readings they held in previous years, the PTO asked local celebrities to submit videos of themselves reading books.  Every week, the PTO posted new videos on Facebook and on their webpage.  Two favorites were Rally, the mascot for the Ridgefield Raptors West Coast League baseball team, reading Mice at Bat from the stadium seats, and Ridgefield Police Department Officer Tyler King reading If You Give a Moose a Muffin from the driver’s seat of a police car.

Students could also participate in a door decorating contest.  They picked a book theme, then decorated a door or window at home.  Naomi Heim, Eli Stone, and Madeline Sullens came up with the clever winning designs.

Naomi Heim decorated her family’s front door with a Harry Potter theme: Platform 9 3/4. Photo credit: Jamie Heim

The final Read-A-Thon event was on November 3, with reading related activities in virtual classrooms.  And just for fun, the school also announced a Spirit Day to celebrate, with kids in pajamas and crazy hairstyles for their online classes.  Principal Angie Gaub was grateful for the PTO’s extra efforts to hold the Read-A-Thon.  “It encourages literacy, and it’s a lot of fun for the kids to participate!”

PTO Co-President Heidi Rashoff was proud of how well the students, families, and teachers adapted to the changes in the event.  “It has been so exciting to be able to continue to do fundraisers and events from home for the kids!” she said.  Hopefully the students at Union Ridge Elementary will be inspired by all of the fun Read-A-Thon activities and find a lifelong love of reading.

Parent Night on Monday, November 9 to Focus on Anxiety in Children

On Monday, November 9 at 5:00 pm, Ridgefield School District will host a Zoom webinar featuring Kevin Ashworth, LPC, Clinical Director of NW Anxiety Pediatrics who will be presenting information for parents titled “How to Spot Anxiety in Your Child and What You Can Do About It”.

The 45-minute presentation will be followed by a 20-minute Question and Answer session.  All parents are encouraged to attend.

Please use the following information to connect to the webinar via Zoom:

When:  Nov 9, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic:  “How to Spot Anxiety In Your Child and What You Can Do About It” Presented by NW Anxiety Pediatrics

Click the link below to join the presentation webinar:  

https://ridgefieldsd.zoom.us/j/85465918823?pwd=VmV1Mk1tUVUxOGk3ZjRkejdZd1BZUT09

Passcode: 181917

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +12532158782,,85465918823#,,,,,,0#,,181917#  or +16699006833,,85465918823#,,,,,,0#,,181917#

Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 253 215 8782  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 876 9923  or +1 301 715 8592

Clinical Director, Kevin Ashworth, LPC, speaks often at schools, medical clinics, and scientific conferences.  He regularly provides trainings for mental health providers, school counselors and other community organizations on CBT, anxiety disorders, OCD and parenting anxious kids.

Friendship Fiesta Lunch Events Celebrate Kindness at South Ridge Elementary

At South Ridge Elementary School, students in Karen Moses’ fourth-grade class meet for a special lunch once a month.  “Friendship Fiesta” happens on the first Friday of each month during the school year–in remote learning mode.  Even though the students are spread out all over Ridgefield, they have fun dressing up, sharing lunch over Zoom, and learning what it takes to be a good person.

As they eat together, Moses teaches her students about the value of friendship and kindness.  Their discussions center around ways they can make a difference for the people around them.

Fourth grader Sidney Krause enjoys lunch while connecting remotely via Zoom with her classmates and teacher, Karen Moses, on October 2nd during Friendship Fiesta.

Last year, Moses’ students connected with a group of seniors at Highgate Senior Living Center.  The students and seniors enjoyed four lunchtime fiesta visits together in person.  Each visit built stronger friendships and bridged generations.  The students learned much from the lifetime experience of their senior friends, and the seniors enjoyed being with the kids.

That was prior to the coronavirus pandemic.  Now, COVID-19 restrictions make personal connections like these a challenge for the students to safely engage with community members.

“This has been the hard part, since there are safety restrictions,” said Moses.  “We are looking for other ways to make an impact in our community.”  This year, her students had hoped to make posters for kids’ hospital rooms at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, but due to COVID-19 precautionary measures, they were unable to do so.

The students are not giving up, however.  Their next Friendship Fiesta is this Friday, November 6th, and not only are they looking forward to connecting with their classmates via Zoom to have lunch, they plan to come up with safe, alternative ideas that will allow them to continue doing more kindness projects in the community.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – October 30, 2020

 

 

 

October 30, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Earlier this week, Education Service District #112 shared a joint press release on behalf of nine Clark County School Districts, including Ridgefield. You can read that press release here. In short, the press release indicates that Clark County School Districts have been working with Clark County Public Health to determine the feasibility of bringing back our kindergarten learners for in-person instruction.

We are living in unprecedented times, with many competing challenges. Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is a public health priority; however, merely shutting things down to limit spread can have unintended consequences that impact public health. As I have recently shared with you, COVID school closures impact our students’ social/emotional health. The toll it is taking on our students, especially our youngest learners, is concerning.

Ridgefield has worked closely with eight of our neighboring school districts and Clark County Public Health. Together, we have decided to expand in-person services to kindergarten students. Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health Director, and county health officer states, “Bringing small groups of kindergarten students in to classrooms for in-person education is a cautious and incremental approach that fits within state health department guidance.”

The Ridgefield School District is committed to bringing our kindergarten students back for in-person instruction and doing so safely and sensibly.  In-person education for kindergarteners will begin on Monday, November 30. This is the first day of the second trimester for elementary schools.

Shortly, the District will send out a kindergarten-specific Trimester Two learning mode survey. This survey will include details on the learning day and allow families to select the learning mode that best suits their needs. As promised, families will continue to have the option to remain in Ridgefield Remote.

Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day.  If you have not already done so, I encourage you to vote.  Your voice matters; make it heard!  If you are curious, tracking your ballot is easy here in Washington.  Click on this link to follow your ballot’s progress to “accepted” status at the Clark County Elections Office.  For your convenience, the RACC has a secure, official Clark County ballot dropbox.

Not that we need 2020 to last any longer than necessary, but daylight savings ends this coming Sunday, November 1.  Please don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour before you head to bed.

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Artwork by Union Ridge Elementary Students Brighten Community Venues

At the Liberty Theatre/Seasons Coffee Shop in downtown Ridgefield, a wall displays some delightful artwork created by first-graders in Brigid Taylor’s class at Union Ridge Elementary.  The art focuses on a lesson about bats, and reading the kids’ perspectives about these remarkable creatures is sure to bring a smile to anyone stopping in to have a look.

The idea came to Taylor before the school year started, when remote learning prevented her students from seeing their work displayed in their classroom.  A conversation with Earleen Griswold, Seasons Coffee owner, sparked the idea of creating a display in the coffee shop for the entire community to enjoy.  Now children can see their work, says Taylor, who also believes it strengthens a sense of community that is very much needed in these times.

“We hoped it would catch on, and it has,” said Taylor, noting that her co-workers, friends in other communities and in neighboring school districts also love the idea.

Other teachers at Union Ridge Elementary are also displaying their students’ artwork in Ridgefield.  You can view artwork from Andrea McCain’s kindergarten class at Rosauers Supermarket.  Kristen Sullens has her kindergarteners’ artwork on display in the window at Ridgefield Hardware.  And at Zebrun’s Starliner, check out the artwork created by first-graders in Kirsten Long’s class.

“Children’s art brings out the best in all of us,” said Taylor.  “It is pure, simple and reflects the best of what children see in the world and I think what we inspire to see in ourselves.”

It’s been a fun project for Taylor and great for the customers at Seasons.  She learned that it has really brightened the day for a lot of people.  “Children have a tendency to do that; make days brighter,” she said.

Students Invited to Enter Superintendent’s 2020 Holiday Greeting Card Contest

The Superintendent’s 2020 Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest is now underway!  All Ridgefield School District students are invited to participate in creating artwork for the district’s 2020 holiday greeting card.

This year’s theme is “Healthy Happy Holidays.”  The winner will receive a $50 cash award, and three semi-finalists will each earn $25 cash awards.  In addition to the cash prize, winners will receive a set of greeting cards with their artwork.

Click HERE for Contest Rules, Parental Permission Form and Holiday Greeting Card Art Label.  All entries must be received in school offices by the end of the school day on Thursday, November 5th.

All artwork entries must be submitted on 5.5” x 8.5” cards.  Please leave a small ¼” – ½” border around the card.  The design can extend to the edges of the card, but lettering should stay within this border.  For your convenience, blank cards and Contest Rules are available at the RACC (510 Pioneer Street).

Ridgefield School District is grateful to the Ridgefield Art Association for their generous sponsorship and support of this event, now in its seventh year!