Ridgefield School District Honors May Employee and Students of the Month

On May 8, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the May Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Margo Manke, teacher at South Ridge Elementary School.  Margo goes above and beyond to incorporate every aspect of our South Ridge Elementary Roadrunner’s mission statement in her teaching. She takes time to connect with staff and makes parents as well as volunteers feel welcome with her cheerful disposition.  She is always thinking of others first!  This is especially apparent with just how much she adores her students, and they feel just the same towards her!

Margo Manke

Margo challenges her student’s minds each and every day, and her students come to school excited and ready to learn! She makes challenging learning moments an enjoyable task by incorporating music and songs in her teaching and encouraging each one of her students to continue to give it their very best effort.  As they persevere and rise to the occasion, you can see the growth that each student has made as a reader, writer, mathematician, and scientist.

Knowing that all students have the right to learn in a safe, caring, and supportive school environment exemplified by problem-solving, critical thinking, self-discipline, responsibility, and respect, Margo makes every effort to create these kinds of opportunities for self-managing citizens and lifelong learners to emerge. We are so very proud to have her as part of our South Ridge Roadrunner’s Team.

Students of the Month

Brooklyn Browning, a third grader, is May’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Brooklyn.  They write, “Brooklyn deserves to be recognized as Student of the Month because she consistently demonstrates the 3Rs. She is respectful to all–a constant example of the “ripple effect” that a single person can have when they choose kindness. She is responsible for herself, her school work, and her learning. She is constantly seeking to learn and grow and knows what she needs to do when faced with a challenge–persevere! When she’s not feeling challenged, she SEEKS challenges to ensure that she’s always growing and learning. Additionally, Brooklyn strives to help others be responsible with caring, gentle reminders. Brooklyn is RESILIENT. Because she looks at every frustration or obstacle as an opportunity to learn, she is driven to overcome obstacles.”

Brooklyn Browning

Viggo Bowen, a sixth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  The Union Ridge Elementary teachers and staff are very proud of Viggo.  They write, “This year, Viggo joins the sixth grade class for all specialist classes as well as math.  He comes to math class and works on improving his math skills. Not only has his math skills improved, his social skills have really grown.  Viggo has made many new friends this year.  Here is what his friends say about him:   “I like how he can be silly and yet still work at the same time.”  “He is very lively and brightens up the room every time he comes in the door.”  “He’s funny and fun to hang out with.”  Viggo is also a great helper.  He works in both the lunchroom and the library. In the library, Viggo makes sure the book shelf markers are returned to the bin, puts books away, checks books in, and helps with recycling.  In the lunch room, Viggo helps direct students to drop off their dishes, and makes sure the table tops are clean. Viggo is a very hard worker and a great student and a wonderful member of Union Ridge Elementary School.

Viggo Bowen

Karis Garrison, an eighth grader, was selected from View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Karis.  They write, “Karis is an enthusiastic member of class always tries her hardest. She is persistent and committed to her learning.  She is an active participant in all class activities and encourages her classmates to do better. Karis is incredibly self-aware and mature. She holds herself and her peers to a higher standard, and always pushes herself to improve. She always has a smile on her face and is genuinely excited to learn and grow as a person. Karis is kind to everyone and has a great moral character.”

Karis Garrison

Michael Rapp, a senior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  The Ridgefield High School teachers and staff are very proud of Michael. They write, “Senior Michael Rapp has been chosen as the Ridgefield High School Student of the Month for May.  Michael is described by his teachers as a student who is “super courteous and who always does his best.”  One staff member says of Michael, he “may be the hardest working student I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year.  He diligently completes every assignment, contributes to class discussions, has an outstanding attitude, and is inspiring in his perseverance.”  Michael is involved in the production of the school yearbook working as a photo journalist and interviewing students and coaches for stories for the yearbook, and has been a member of the school’s art club and drama club.  Michael plans on attending the GATE program after high school to gain independent living skills and employment skills and hopes to work in photo journalism after high school.   We are proud to recognize Michael as Ridgefield High School’s Student of the Month.

Michael Rapp

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, the historic Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd.  This is the fourth year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district’s recognition program.

Capital Facilities Community Forum Wednesday, May 2nd

The Ridgefield School District’s Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) is hosting a Community Forum on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the RHS Commons.  The public is encouraged to attend and provide feedback.  For more information, please call 360-619-1301.      

Ridgefield School Board Approves Changes to School Boundaries and Start Times

On April 10, at the regular Board of Directors meeting, the Ridgefield School District school board approved the proposal to change the district’s elementary school boundaries and school start times to take effect in the 2018-2019 school year.

The proposal for these changes was submitted to the school board on February 27 by the Boundary & Start Time Committee, which was formed by the district in Fall 2017.  The committee was tasked to determine adjustments to boundaries and school start times necessary to serve the district’s continued rapid growth and opening of new schools.

The committee ran a deliberative and inclusive process.  In early March, the district shared the committee’s proposal with school staff, parents and the community.  View it on the district’s website at http://www.ridgefieldsd.org/article/41661?org=district.

New School Start Times

Effective school year 2018-19, school start times will be as follows:

9:05 – 3:35 South Ridge Elementary and Union Ridge Elementary (both K-4)

8:05 – 2:35 Sunset Ridge Intermediate (5-6) and View Ridge Middle School (7-8)

8:00 – 2:45 Ridgefield High School (9-12)

Boundary Shifts

The district’s current boundaries are impacted as follows:

Students residing in the carve-out in the Pioneer Canyon subdivision area previously in the South Ridge boundary area will return to the Union Ridge boundary area to adhere to neighborhood school attendance and to increase transportation efficiency.

The boundary between South Ridge and Union Ridge will shift northward to move newer developments from the Union Ridge boundary area into the South Ridge boundary area to balance out school attendance zones.  Without this adjustment, expanding enrollment from new subdivisions would add to the rapidly-expanding student enrollment at Union Ridge, already one of the state’s ten largest elementary schools.

The district realizes the challenges associated with boundary adjustments and the impact they have on students.  To prevent current third graders from moving to a new elementary school for their final year, the district will automatically approve boundary exceptions.  This will allow next year’s fourth grade students to remain in their current school if they so choose.

The district will also continue to allow all students to apply for in-district boundary exceptions.  To ensure operational efficiencies and create greater equity, the district will adhere to the expectation that student transportation is the responsibility of parents and guardians for all in-district boundary exceptions.

The district is grateful to the members of the Boundary & Start Time Committee for their time and dedicated efforts in their work during this process.

Proposed Curriculum Materials Available for Public Review in Ridgefield School District

The public is invited to review the following curriculum materials being considered by the Ridgefield School District for adoption at Ridgefield High School for the 2018-19 school year.

Literature and Composition: Reading, Writing, Thinking (2017) published by Bedford Freeman and Worth, which will be used in the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition class for Grade 12.

T’es branché? Level 2 (2019) published by EMC Publishing, which will be used to teach French 2 in Grades 10-12.

Sample textbooks and evaluation materials will be available for public review at the District Office located at 2724 S. Hillhurst Road in Ridgefield, Washington, April 13-27, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

Ridgefield School District Hosts Free Screening of Award-Winning Film “Screenagers”

 “Screenagers – Growing Up In the Digital Age” is a powerful documentary depicting the way millions of teens struggle with phones, games and technology in general.  The film offers solutions on how we can help kids navigate the digital world and provides practical tips for raising happy, healthy technologically empowered teens.

Ridgefield School District is sponsoring the film, which will be shown on Tuesday, May 8 from 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm at the Ridgefield High School Performing Arts Center, 2630 S. Hillhurst Road in Ridgefield.  Admission is free.

Watch the official Screenagers 2017 trailer and a Google Talk interview with Dr. Delaney Ruston, Stanford-trained physician, who wrote and directed the film.

Ridgefield School District Honors April Employee and Students of the Month

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

The Employee of the Month is Denise Krause.  Denise manages View Ridge Middle School, simply put.  She makes sure that all who enter our doors feel safe, supported and is successful.  She is a Spudder, born and raised, and serves View Ridge and our community with great pride.

Denise Krause

With the myriad of tasks asked of her, Denise is a source of tireless support to staff carrying out their day-to-day duties.  She ensures that they are set up for success, knows when to offer an extra hand or an ear to listen, and when necessary, deliver a kick in the tail.  Parents know they can rely on Denise for important information; she will go the extra mile to accommodate their needs.  Denise is flexible in unique circumstances and can come up with creative ways to meet families where they are.  She shines brightest in her work with kids.  While she is direct and to the point, students know she has their best interests at heart.  She has a particular soft spot for students who are experiencing hard times or are struggling to behave consistently.

Denise builds positive, empathetic relationships with our frequent visitors and is one of their leading advocates when it comes to improving their outcomes.  Finally, Denise represents the district and its families with the highest standards of integrity and character.  She follows through on commitments, honors confidentiality, and takes ownership of her work.

The View Ridge Middle School staff is proud to work with such a great and dedicated Spudder and proudly congratulates Denise Krause for April Employee of the Month honors.

Students of the Month

Dylan Benavidez, a fourth grader, is April’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  Teachers and staff are very proud of Dylan.  They write, “Dylan Benavidez is a wonderful young man.  We are incredibly proud and honored to be working with him this year.  From the first day, he has been a model student in the classroom.  He has the most amazing work ethic.  There hasn’t been a time where he gives up, no matter what is thrown at him.  It is also wonderful to see him work with his peers.  The patience this young man possesses is admirable, and he demonstrates caring and compassion for his classmates.  He never balks at his share of work and will tirelessly help his partners if they are having trouble.  When the going gets tough, he never quits and works until he gets through it.  Dylan is solid, steady, and a true representation of a South Ridge Roadrunner!”

Dylan Benavidez

Deven Hausinger-Barbo, a fourth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  The teachers and staff at Union Ridge are very proud of Deven.  They write, “Deven is a hard-working student who is patient and caring.  The ROCKS expectations come naturally to him.  He is always respectful and shows ownership.  He works hard to improve his community by being kind, and he is always safe.  Union Ridge is lucky to have Deven’s friendly face smiling throughout our building.  Deven is a great friend to his peers and a wonderful role model in class.  We are proud of Deven’s hard work and delighted to nominate him as Student of the Month.”

Deven Hausinger-Barbo

Maleah Heng, an eighth grader, is View Ridge Middle School’s Student of the Month.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Maleah.  They write, “Maleah is an amazing student and role model.  She is always full of enthusiasm when it comes to learning.  Her positive “can do” attitude makes her a valuable contributor to every classroom she is part of.  She passionately shares comments and insightful thoughts in classroom discussions.  Her excitement for learning shines through in her eagerness to help her peers reach understanding.  She is always open to challenges and never hesitates to ask questions and risk mistakes.  Maleah works meticulously on very task presented, setting an example for all her classmates.  She is often first to step forward with a new idea and frequently explores new ways to tackle concepts she has already mastered.  View Ridge is lucky to have Maleah, and we look forward to her future accomplishments!  Congratulations, Maleah, at being Student of the Month.”

Maleah Heng

Niyonzima Jean De Dieu, a sophomore, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  The Ridgefield High School teachers and staff are very proud of Niyonzima.  They write, “With great privilege, Ridgefield High School announces Niyonzima Jean De Dieu as our April Student of the Month.  Niyo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  When he was 12 years old, his village was attacked and Niyo, along with others, was captured by his attackers and held for two weeks.  He was freed by his government and sent to Kenya along with other refugees to live with a family.  During his two years in Kenya, Niyo filled out paperwork requesting placement for refugees, not knowing where in the world he might be placed, or if he would be placed.  During the two-week period in 2017 when the U.S. ban on refugees was lifted, Niyo was placed in Ridgefield and enrolled in RHS on March 2, 2017.  To say that Niyo demonstrates resiliency is an understatement.  But more than that, Niyo is a student who is a positive influence on our entire campus.  He gives his best at all times, has learned the English language in the one year and one month he’s been here (and is studying French at RHS just to make things more challenging!).  He is an incredibly hard-working student and is always willing to help others.  He is dedicated to his education and runs on the school’s cross country and track teams as well as sings in the advanced choir.”  One staff member said it best:  “We are lucky to have him at Ridgefield High School.”

Niyonzima Jean De Dieu

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, the historic Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd.  This is the fourth year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district’s recognition program.

Safety Night Event Advances District’s Efforts Toward Continued Safety in Ridgefield Schools

Ridgefield School District’s first ever Safety Night Open House on March 14 was a huge success!  We shared our commitment to school safety by providing many families with important information.  Not only did the event spark conversations, it allowed us to share the ongoing important work we continue doing to keep our students and staff safe.  We are grateful to everyone who attended!

For those who were unable to attend the Safety Night Open House, we created an Emergency + Safety webpage on the district website where all of Safety Night’s handouts are now readily available.  This webpage will continue to grow, so please check back often for additional resources.  The following links from the webpage provide a wealth of specific topics regarding safety in our schools:

What To Do In an Emergency

Building Safety

Social and Emotional Health

Parental Resources


School Safety Survey

We realize that school safety is a complex topic—one that cannot be covered in a single event.  To that end, we will be hosting future Safety Nights specific to topics of interest to you, which will delve deeper into specific subjects and encourage group discussions.

In order for us to gain a better understanding of your safety concerns, we invite you to fill out a short survey that will help us shape the agendas for future Safety Night events.  Simply click on the link below.  Thank you for your input and participation!


Ridgefield High School Students Win Top Awards in 2018 Regional High School Art Show

Three Ridgefield High School students earned prestigious art awards for their entries in the 2018 Southwest Washington Regional High School Art Show hosted by Educational Service District 112.  On Tuesday evening, March 20, they were recognized along with other student artists at a “Young Artists’ Reception” awards ceremony and gallery walk at ESD 112.

The annual contest, now in its 45th year, provides area art students with an opportunity to showcase their artwork and recognizes them for their artistic talent.  It is open to all high school students in Grades 9-12 in Southwest Washington.  Artwork entries are now on display at ESD 112 through April 2.

This year, two RHS student artists received Regional Art awards for earning high average scores in the art show.  Their entries will advance to the Annual State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Art Show in Olympia on May 18 to compete against entries from around Washington state.

Congratulations to the following RHS student artists for their winning entries in this year’s Regional High School Art Show!

  • Taelor Adderly, Grade 12, Regional Award for “When the Sun Sets”
  • Liam McAllister, Grade 11, Regional Award for “The Dead Are Not Expressionless”
  • Arina Blagikh, Grade 11, Honorable Mention Award for “Highlights of Life”

Taelor Adderly was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Central Washington University and a $3,000 scholarship from the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

“I am proud of these students for not only their artistic talents, but also their hard work and diligence with their pieces,” said Christen Palmer, Ridgefield High School Principal.  “Furthermore, I know behind each of these accomplishments was a tremendous amount of help and support from Ms. Tamara Hoodenpyl, our Visual Arts teacher.  Congratulations to Ms. Hoodenpyl and her students!”

“When the Sun Sets” by Taelor Adderly – Regional Award


“The Dead Are Not Expressionless” by Liam McAllister – Regional Award


“Highlights of Life” by Arina Blagikh – Honorable Mention Award

Foreign Language Proficiency Earns School Credits for RHS Students

Did you know that RHS students who successfully demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language in district-approved assessment tests can earn credits to meet the graduation requirement for World Language?  The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors approved Board Policy 2409 and procedure 2409P in February, which makes this possible.

Students will be able to earn up to four proficiency-based high school credits depending on the level of proficiency they demonstrate on world language assessments in the areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking.  In addition, students earning high assessment scores that meet a specific threshold will qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy to be placed on his/her high school diploma.

Student response has thus far exceeded district expectations.  In the short time since implementation in February, 18 students have already signed up for assessment testing—an impressive showing for its initial first year of being offered.

The assessments cover many different world languages.  However, the district will make every effort to provide assessments for any language requested.

Students interested in taking this assessment should contact Dani Taylor via email at danielle.taylor@ridgefieldsd.org or call 360-619-1318.  Testing will take place during the week of April 16, and there is a $30 assessment fee.   A lower fee is available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Ridgefield Youth Arts Month Events Showcase Talents of Ridgefield Students

Come celebrate the talents of Ridgefield’s students!  Both events are proudly presented as a part of Ridgefield Youth Arts Month.

Junie B. Jones – The Musical, is a musical theater production with performances scheduled on Friday-Saturday (March 23-24) at the Ridgefield High School Performing Arts Center.  With a cast comprised entirely of students from South Ridge and Union Ridge Elementary Schools, this delightful musical is sure to please and one not to be missed.  Advance tickets are now available through March 22 at ridge.revtrak.net and at the door on the day of the performances.

Be sure to view the exhibits of phenomenal artwork at the District Art Show on Tuesday, March 27 5:00-7:00 pm at Ridgefield High School.  Free admission.  The show features the creative talents of students from all four Ridgefield schools.  While there, check out the High School Student Art Sale.  Proceeds from the sale will go towards a trip to the Seattle Art Museum by RHS students in Advanced Art, Drawing & Painting Art, and the Art Club.  Students will tour museum exhibits, make art and music and have an opportunity to network with other teen artists.


Ridgefield School District To Implement Visitor Screening Process At All Schools

Starting Monday, April 9, Ridgefield School District plans to implement a screening process for all visitors entering its schools.  The Visitor Management System, from Raptor Technologies is designed to keep students and staff safe by screening all visitors requesting access to school areas where students are present.  Staff trainings occurred on March 8th.  The new process will be effective when school resumes after Spring Break.

All visitors will be required to check in at the school’s front office (in Building A for the elementary schools).   If they will be accessing areas where students are present, they will need to provide a valid ID in order to obtain a visitor’s badge.  Their ID will be scanned to check nationally registered sex offender databases for information that would indicate a potential threat to students or staff.  If the scan flags such data, the system will summon the building administrator and security officer to the front office to speak with the visitor.

Visitors whose ID scans are cleared will be given a visitors badge, which will serve as their pass to be in the building.  With the new screening process in place, parents who routinely walk their elementary school students to the classroom will need a visitor’s badge in order to do so.

A visitor’s badge will not be required if the duration of the visit takes place only in the school office.

Following are features of Raptor Technologies’ Visitor Management System:

  • Instantly screens each visitor against the registered sex offender databases in all 50 states
  • Checks visitors against custom databases set by each school for custody alerts or banned visitor information
  • Keeps accurate and reliable records for every visitor entering the schools each day
  • Creates reports for entire districts and/or individual schools
  • Allows users to instantly alert a customized list of school officials and first responders in emergency situations

The district will also implement Raptor Technologies’ K-12 Volunteer Management System in May/June to help streamline its process to recruit and manage its pool of volunteers.  The system will replace the current paper application process.  Implementation of this system will:

  • Automatically track the hours of every single volunteer in the school
  • Automatically submit volunteer application data for a complete background check
  • Keep vital volunteer information in one place for easy access
  • Create reports on volunteers quickly and easily
  • Make it easy for parents and community members to sign up to be volunteers and sign up for events

Raptor Technologies provides integrated school safety technologies to nearly 20,000 K-12 schools nationwide.  For more information, visit their website at www.raptortech.com.

Ridgefield School District Honors March Employee and Students of the Month

On March 13, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the March Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Jill Guccini.  Jill has been Ridgefield High School’s librarian for the past three years and is a tremendous asset to the teaching staff.  She has transformed the library into a place where students are welcome, engaged, and active.  In addition, she is helpful, personable, and friendly to all.  Jill works tirelessly to keep reading relevant and interesting for students.  She recently created a “March Madness” bracket for books (relating it to the NCAA basketball tournament).  As one member of the English Language Arts Department put it, “Jill is always available to all staff and so many students every day.  Just walking into the library at lunch says it all, but one week in particular, I saw her in action with my juniors as well.  She came into my room and gave a terrific presentation on research and then for two days, helped them research in the library.  She is so impressive!  Not sure how she does it all.”

Jill Guccini

The Ridgefield High School staff is grateful for all that Jill does for students.  It is with pride that they congratulate Jill Guccini as March’s Employee of the Month.

Students of the Month

Cash Hueneka, a second grader, is March’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  Cash loves coming to school and is eager to learn.  He comes into the classroom saying, “I love math.” He always raises his hand and is the first student to participate.  He is a super listener, follows school rules and is always willing to help others.  For these qualities, South Ridge proudly names Cash Hueneka as Student of the Month for March.

Cash Hueneka

Crosby Cody, a first grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Crosby is a positive role model for her classmates.  She always has a smile on her face and has a positive attitude for learning.  She works hard, asks questions, and always tries her best.  In addition, she is kind, gentle and always has room for a new friend, willingly reaching out to others and making them feel welcome as a member of the classroom.  The staff and students at Union Ridge are proud to congratulate Crosby Cody for March Student of the Month honors.

Crosby Cody

Elizabeth Farley, an eighth grader, is View Ridge Middle School’s Student of the Month.  Elizabeth is a wonderful student to have in class.  She completes every assignment with excellence.  Her written work shows enthusiasm, effort and strong understanding of content.  Elizabeth challenges herself to go above and beyond in the classroom, participating in discussions and asking questions for clarification and a better understanding.  She works well in any group to which she is assigned and is a great lab partner.  In addition, she is a leader in her lab group.  Elizabeth is an outstanding role model and is a positive influence in the classroom.  View Ridge Middle School is pleased to recognize Elizabeth Farley as March Student of the Month.

Elizabeth Farley

Leah Dixon, a senior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  Leah has been nominated by five different staff members this school year.  As an independent student, she works to pay all of her living expenses.  Despite her difficult path, she comes to school every day with a “can-do” attitude, a warm smile and a huge heart.  One staff member says it best:  “Leah is beating the odds.  She is a picture of resilience and responsibility.  She is dedicated to completing her education while supporting herself (financially).  There are multiple times when she could have taken a short cut, but she’s stayed the course.”  Another staff member added, “Leah is an amazing student!  She comes to class every morning excited and ready to do work.” Leah is truly deserving of the honor as Ridgefield High School’s Student of the Month for March.

Leah Dixon

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, the historic Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd.  This is the fourth year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district’s recognition program.

Black History Month Provides Rich Learning Experience for Ridgefield Students

February was Black History Month, and in classrooms throughout the month, Ridgefield School District students received a multitude of instructional activities that teachers incorporated into content lessons that explored African-American experiences, culture and contributions that made an impact on the nation’s history.

At Union Ridge Elementary School, kindergartners learned the value in being different in The Crayon Box That Talked a story by Shane Derolf.  First-graders read about notable African-Americans and learned to play “Mancala”, a game with African origins.  Second- and third-graders focused on the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges, African-American athletes who competed in the Olympics, and African-American women who changed history in spite of great odds from Chelsea Clinton’s book, She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.  Fourth-graders read paired-texts about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ruby Bridges.  Fifth-graders focused on famous African-American scientists, studied Martin Luther King, Jr. poetry and read articles about Black History Month.  Sixth-graders viewed a video on black history.  In music class, students learned to sing the African spiritual, “This Little Light of Mine” and songs related to the story, Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winters.

A display at Union Ridge Elementary honors notable African-Americans during Black History Month.


Artwork inspired from the book “The Crayon Box That Talked” by Mrs. Andrea McCain’s kindergarten class.

At South Ridge Elementary School, kindergartners learned about civil rights by listening to talks by community members.  First-graders read about Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman.  Third-graders studied the Civil Rights movement and read What Color Is My World: The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld.  Fourth-graders learned about segregation, slavery, the Underground Railroad, equality in American schools, the Civil Rights movement and peaceful protests.  They also wrote letters to Dr. King informing him of how things are different today.  Fifth-graders studied the March on Washington and read the novel March: Book One by John Lewis, then wrote narratives from a first-person perspective of a march participant.  They also researched influential African-Americans.  Sixth-graders wrote argumentative essays on different events of the Civil Rights movement.

In art classes, South Ridge’s students viewed the works of notable African-American artists such as The Migration Series No. 57 by Jacob Lawrence, The Banjo Lesson by Henry Tanner, She-Ba by Romare Bearden, and Hope Street: Church Mothers by Marie Johnson-Calloway.  In addition, they read The Great Migration: An American Story by Jacob Lawrence.  Students in K-3 learned about the life of famous abstract female artist, Alma Thomas, and students in grades 4-6 learned about Jean-Michel Basquiat, a famous graffiti artist.

At View Ridge Middle School, a themed display highlighting Black History Month was set up in the library.  English classes presented book talks about diverse authors, and students learned about the Coretta Scott King Award.  French students here and in the high school learned about French culture, history, authors, musicians and artists in francophone countries in Africa such as Burkina Faso and Cameroon.  STEM classes viewed and discussed the movie, Hidden Figures.  Students in history classes read Stolen Into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northrup, Free Black Man by Dennis and Judith Fradin and learned about abolitionists and civil rights leaders.  Math classes researched famous African-American mathematicians, and science classes focused on the life and contributions of Henrietta Lacks to HeLa cell research and gene-mapping while also learning about the contributions of other African-American women in science, engineering and technology.

Themed displays at View Ridge Middle School.

At Ridgefield High School, teacher-librarian, Jill Guccini, presented information on diversity in books.  Digital Photography students studied photos from the Civil Rights movements and their impact on society.  Students in U.S. History class created a virtual museum of the “Roaring Twenties”, connecting the influence of African-Americans on the culture and studied the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.   Theater students acted out poems celebrating black history and culture.  English classes researched African-American leaders and presented the information in class.   In Special Education, students read and discussed articles about African-American musicians that included Billie Holiday, Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.   In Physical Education, students learned about African-American athletes in a unit about breaking race barriers.

Face mugs created by Ridgefield High School art students depicting the unique style of African face jugs originated by African slave artists.

RHS art students researched stories, struggles, and successes of inspiring African-Americans of their choosing and created a piece of art around them.  Students in Introduction to Art classes learned about the history of African face jugs, a distinctive pottery style transported to America by African slave artists.  Students created face mugs in the unique style inspired by these face jugs and wrote a reflection of their artwork, citing cultural connections and differences across time and location.

K-5 English Language Arts Curriculum Materials Available for Public Review

The public is invited to review proposed English Language Arts curriculum materials, ReadyGen (2016) published by Pearson, which has been selected for classroom use in Grades K-5 in the Ridgefield School District starting in the 2018-19 school year.

Sample textbooks and evaluation materials will be available for public review at the District Office located at 2724 S. Hillhurst Road in Ridgefield, Washington, March 12-23, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

Ridgefield Youth Arts Month Offers Theater Production Class for Kids

Watch a children’s book come to life in a play that is entirely produced by Ridgefield students!   In “Ridgefield Arts Experience”, a Ridgefield Youth Arts class, students in Grades 3-8 learn everything that goes into a musical production.  Not only will they be performing in the play, they will also learn to create the scenery, costumes and music soundtracks.  The play is based on the children’s book “The Fish Who Could Fly:  A Tale of Discovery” by Leonard W. Lambert.  Students will perform the play at 7:00 pm towards the end of class.

The class is on Thursday, March 15th 3:00-7:30 pm in the Union Ridge Commons.  A light dinner will be provided, and copies of the book will be available for purchase.  The class is co-sponsored by Ridgefield School District, FVRL Ridgefield Library and Opus School of Music.  Register today at ridge.revtrak.net.

Meet author Leonard W. Lambert and other authors at Ridgefield Youth Arts Night at Barnes & Noble’s Fourth Plain location in Vancouver, on Friday, March 16th from 5-9 pm.  Lambert will give a talk about the book and will be available to sign copies.