Public Artwork Dedicated at South Ridge Elementary School

South Ridge Elementary School students and staff celebrated the dedication of public artwork in a presentation on November 2, organized by the school.

The artwork, entitled “Confluences” is a gateway feature created by Stuart Nakamura, a Washington artist who has designed work for a number of school districts in the state, including Federal Way Public Schools, Northshore School District, Richland School District, Seattle Public Schools and Bethel School District.

A committee made up of Ridgefield community members, teachers and school district administrators selected Nakamura from a roster of artists maintained by the Washington State Arts Commission.

The arts commission provided the funding for the art project from the “percent-for-art” funds from the state’s Art in Public Places program (AIPP).  When recent new school construction at the district’s two elementary schools (South Ridge Elementary and Union Ridge Elementary) was completed, both schools qualified to receive the state funds to have public artwork installed at each school site.

Alan Adams, art teacher at Union Ridge Elementary, is credited with applying for the public artwork funding at both schools.

“Confluences” is a pair of stainless steel sculptures depicting bird species relevant to the Ridgefield area, inspired by the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge according to Nakamura’s Artist Statement.  “The reeds represent the wetland flora found in the Refuge, and the birds (red-tailed hawk, killdeer, red-winged blackbird, and Norther flicker) are species found at the refuge and at the school.”

The Artist Statement continues:  “The title, “Confluences” comes from the notion that like the Columbia River and the dozen or more streams and rivers and all their flora and fauna that conjoin with the great river along its journey to the Pacific Ocean, the various communities served by South Ridge Elementary School merge together at this facility and become as one.”

Students supplied the words that are etched into the granite at the base of each sculpture.  The sculptures are placed directly across each other on both sides of the main entrance to South Ridge Elementary’s newest building in an east/west orientation, in contrast with the north/south direction of the entry way.

“The design has a pronounced visual lean,” according to the Artist Statement, “so when placed opposite each other, one leads to the classroom and the other leads towards the open fields to the south–signifying the confluences of approaching and departing students and staff during the school day.”

Ridgefield High School’s Steel Ridge Robotics Team Gears Up for New Season

Ridgefield High School’s Steel Ridge Robotics team is revving up for another busy and challenging year.  This will be the team’s second year of competition.

In its first year, Steel Ridge Robotics (Team #6343) scored well in numerous qualifying rounds in the Pacific Northwest District’s robotic events held last spring in Wilsonville and Lake Oswego.  The team also earned honors as “Highest Rookie Seed” and received the “Rookie Inspiration Award” during these events.

These wins advanced the team to the district championship in Cheney, Washington.  Had the team qualified in Cheney, it would have been among the 41 teams from the Pacific Northwest District to move on to compete in the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas.  An impressive first year in competition.

The robotics competitions are organized by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) a not-for-profit organization  based in Manchester, New Hampshire that designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in the STEM pathways (science, technology, engineering and math), while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

The competitions challenge high school students and their adult mentors to work together on a common real-life engineering problem—to design and build a robot in six weeks using a standard “kit of parts” and following a set of common rules.  The project culminates in robotic competition where teams drive their robot in a sophisticated field game designed to bring out the best in every participant.

Steel Ridge Robotics is coached by Jeff Brink, RHS physics and chemistry teacher.  Assistant coaches are Steve Rinard, RHS teacher in math, engineering and computer science; Chris Shipp, RHS Woods/Metals teacher in the school’s Career & Technical Education program; and John Harvey, RHS English teacher who has previous FIRST Robotics competition experience.

Team members have been busy in the current preseason.  They recently attended FIRST Fair’s annual robotic workshop in Gladstone, participated in an off-season robotic event called Peak Performance in Seattle and supported their all-girls team at the Girls Generation Robotics Tournament in Portland.  In December, the team will visit the Boeing facility in Gresham.

Steel Ridge Robotics robot drivers, Jake McCarthy (left) and Eli Holter (right) and drive team coach, Phillip Stryker (behind) at Peak Performance robotic event in Seattle.

Girls drive team (from left) Shelby Bruhn, Stella Blystone, Caroline Ceravolo, Emily Davis, Olivia Waldron, Molly Holbrook and Ayla Davis participate in the Girls Generation Robotics Tournament in Portland.

In early January, team members head to Skyview High School to work with Skyview’s robotic team, the Stormbots, at an event to kick off the robotic build season.  There, they will learn to do some prototyping, hone their skills in game play and learn strategy development.  More importantly, they will learn the rules and requirements of “Power Up” the new field game selected for this year’s competitions.

Steel Ridge Robotics’ team robot for the 2016-17 competitive season.

Starting January 6, the official start of the build season, the team will have six weeks to build their robot for competition.

“After the build is done, we switch to the competition season,” said Brink.  “That’s when the Drive Team begins practices and starts preparing for the robotics events.”

Competitions for the Pacific Northwest District will take place in Lake Oswego and Wilsonville this spring.  Qualifying in these events will advance teams to the District Championship in Portland where they will compete to qualify for a spot in the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston in April.

Steel Ridge Robotics is grateful to the expertise of their mentors for support and guidance in the following areas.  Chad Stryker, electrical hardware engineer at Tektronix, Inc. and Rich Recker, project manager at Autodesk, Inc. mentor the Controls team.  Kris Holter, machinist/fabricator at Applied Motion Systems, Inc. mentors the Mechanical team.  Rob Costa, systems analyst at Fidelity National Financial mentors the Programming team.  Finally, Donald Nelson, fabricator at Boeing, mentors both the Drive and Mechanical teams.

Team sponsors include the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Boeing, Holbrook Concrete Construction, Inc., Elkhart Plastics, Inc., the Kirkelie Family, Applied Motion Systems, Inc., and Autodesk, Inc.

If you are interested in sponsoring or mentoring the Steel Ridge Robotic team, please contact Jeff Brink at 360-619-1320 or

Good Luck, Steel Ridge Robotics!  Go Spudders!

Ridgefield Sixth Graders Shine in Certified Kind Classroom Challenge

Sixth graders at South Ridge Elementary School are excited.  Not only did they attend an advanced movie screening of the film “Wonder” this week at a local theater, but they also got a chance to interact afterwards with the cast and film crew via live streaming video.  The official release of the movie is scheduled for November 17.

The film is based on R.J. Palacio’s book, “Wonder,” a novel that tells a story of Auggie Pullman, a tough, sweet 10-year old boy born with distorted facial features and his struggle to be treated normally.  Told from Auggie’s point of view and from the perspective of others, the story describes how one community struggles with empathy, compassion and acceptance, teaching the reader these qualities as well.

The novel has inspired a “Choose Kind” movement across the country, spreading kindness in classrooms and communities nationwide.  Earlier this year, the entire sixth grade class at South Ridge Elementary registered to participate in the Certified Kind Classroom Challenge, which uses the novel to encourage students to learn about kindness and to “Choose Kind.”

The challenge, now in its third year, is sponsored by LionsGate Films, Gap Kids, Walden Media, Participant Media, and Random House Children’s Books.

“Students and staff have embraced Palacio’s feelings about the power of words,” said Cheryl Shaw, South Ridge Elementary School sixth grade teacher.  “So this year, we challenged all South Ridge sixth graders to make a difference and pledge to Choose Kind.”

To qualify for the certification, classrooms participate in any of three different activities that help students explore kindness in daily life.  Special prizes are awarded as incentives for the students.  South Ridge’s sixth grade classes chose to participate in all three activities.

What captured the attention of the campaign sponsors were the sixth graders’ entries for Activity #2, called “Precepts to Live By.”

This activity was inspired by a character in the novel, Auggie’s English teacher, Mr. Browne, who introduces his students to his personal precepts–kindness, hopefulness, the goodness of human beings, the strength of people’s hearts and the power of people’s wills.  This activity asked students to identify their own original principles to live by and the ways they “Choose Kind” on a daily basis.

The posters that the students created made quite an impression.  Examples of their work follows:

In early October, South Ridge Elementary School sixth grade teachers Cheryl Shaw and Linda Wear received the news that their classrooms were chosen as Activity #2 winners.  Their classrooms won 50 tickets to the advanced movie screening along with an option to purchase additional tickets, making it possible for all of South Ridge Elementary’s sixth graders to attend as well.

The classroom challenge continues.  The sixth graders are currently working on Activity #3 to “Fill a Jar with Kindness,” which asks students to fill a jar with a small object (like marbles) each time an Act of Kindness occurs in the classroom.

Submitting a photo of the filled jar qualify them for prizes as well.  Winners of this challenge will be announced in April 2018.

Register Today for 2017 Annual Turkey Trot

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is hosting its annual Turkey Trot 5K/10K Walk/Run on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2017.  Proceeds will benefit the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.

The race begins at 9:00 am and includes a 5K Family-Friendly Walk/Run and a 10K Run, both of which start and end at View Ridge Middle School in downtown Ridgefield.  Registration is $25 for adults, $20 for school district staff, and $15 for students.

Go to to register online.  To download a registration form containing event details, click here.  Registrations received by November 15th will include a T-shirt.

Non-perishable food items will be accepted during race packet pickup on Wednesday, November 22 and at registration prior to the race to benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.  Each food item donated will generate a raffle ticket entry for a drawing to win $100 worth of gift cards at local Ridgefield restaurants.

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is grateful for the support of the following organizations:  Northwest Funding Group, Inc. and Krippner (presenting sponsors); Opsahl Dawson, Certified Public Accountants and Ridgefield School District (supporting sponsors); and Jones Landscaping, Inc. (race sponsor).

Ridgefield Students Personalize Steel Beam for New School

A new school complex for the Ridgefield School District is currently under construction, and this week, students got a chance to leave their mark on the building that will soon be their brand new school.

Earlier this week, Alliance Industrial Group (AIG), a local steel fabricator in Ridgefield, delivered a steel beam to the district for students to sign.  School district officials came up with the idea months ago as a cool way for students to take part in the construction process of their new building.

The personalized steel beam will be installed in the 7-8 classroom wing of the district’s new Grades 5-8 schools complex scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

Union Ridge Elementary School students from Mindy Morris’ and Nani Mack’s fourth grade classes shared their thoughts on the beam signing:

“It meant a lot to me to sign the beam because it means you will be in that school forever.  It’s amazing to be part of the history of our new school.”  Caitlyn Hittle

“It felt good to sign the beam so I can remember that I am a part of this school.  Also, if you have a younger sibling, they can say my brothers or sisters wrote that.”  Wyatt Hemmelman

“Signing the beam was important because it makes me feel like I will always belong in this school.”  Riisa Berg

“To me, signing the beam meant I am never going to leave that school.  My body will leave, but my heart and soul will stay there forever.”  Drace-Ari Henning

“By signing the beam, it meant that my mark will be forever in that school and that school will forever be a part of me.”  Shaylynn Wright

“To sign the beam means to me that I can look back and see all of our fourth grade class was part of the first fifth grade in our new school.”  Ally Nebeker


Ridgefield School District Releases 2017-18 School Improvement Plans

Ridgefield School District officials concluded presentations of their 2017-18 School Improvement Plans at the regular Board of Directors meeting on October 10.

The School Improvement Plans (SIP’s) for each of the district’s four schools are based on the school district’s goals as specified in “Pursuing Premier,” the district’s planning blueprint.  Each school’s SIP maps out the strategies that will be used to achieve these goals and defines how successes will be measured.

The district goals specified in “Pursuing Premier” are as follows:

Goal #1:  Achieve high outcomes through quality instruction, personalized learning, and continuous improvement resulting in success for every student.

Goal #2:  Provide safe, inclusive, and supportive environments that nurture the well-being of the whole child.

Goal #3:  Provide collaboration and communication opportunities with families, staff, and the community resulting in strong partnerships.

Goal #4:  Close the disparity gaps by ensuring high expectations, removing barriers and providing opportunities for all students.

Annual development of School Improvement Plans is a State Board of Education requirement for every school in the state of Washington (WAC 180-16-220).

To see Ridgefield’s School Improvement Plans, click on any of the following links:

South Ridge Elementary School

Union Ridge Elementary School

View Ridge Middle School

Ridgefield High School

The SIP’s can also be accessed on the district’s website at by navigating to each school’s webpage and locating the SIP in Forms.

Students Invited to Enter Superintendent’s 2017 Holiday Greeting Card Contest

The Superintendent’s 2017 Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest is now underway!  All students are invited to participate in creating artwork for the district’s 2017 holiday greeting card.

This year’s theme is “Together for the Holidays.”

The winner and three semi-finalists will win cash prizes.  Additionally, the winning designs will be printed, bundled and made available for purchase.

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 Monday, October 30.

Community Education will once again host a free Holiday Card Workshop open to students of all ages.  All supplies will be provided — only creative inspiration is required!  Completed projects, with parental permission, will be collected for the contest.

Workshops will be held at South Ridge Library on Tuesday, October 24 (3:40 – 4:30 pm) and at Union Ridge Library on Wednesday, October 25 (2:40 – 3:30 pm).

The workshops are optional.  Although they are FREE, pre-registration is required.  Go to to reserve your spot.

The district is grateful to the Ridgefield Art Association for sponsoring this annual art contest.

2017 Turkey Trot Scheduled for November 23

Save the Date!

Why not do something good for yourself while helping others this Thanksgiving holiday?

This year’s Turkey Trot 5K family-friendly walk/run and 10K run is scheduled for Thursday, November 23.

The event starts and ends at View Ridge Middle School.  All proceeds will benefit the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.

For registration and more information, go to  Sign up today!


Ridgefield School District Honors October Employee and Students of the Month

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

The Employee of the Month is Nani Mack.  Mrs. Mack’s dedication to her students is limitless.  Her students know from the very first moment they step into her classroom, that they are loved, cherished, valued and appreciated.  Nani teaches with passion and humor, which the students love.  She uses her creativity to inspire them.  She has a natural ability to meet students where they are while also showing them what they will become.

Nani Mack

Nani is also a valued member of the Union Ridge staff.  She is the first to offer her assistance to our newest teachers during New Staff Induction and takes the time to share her knowledge with colleagues through Google classes she teaches each month.  Nani’s personalized approach to learning, quick smile and easy-going sense of humor make her a joy to work with.  We celebrate Nani Mack as Union Ridge Elementary’s Employee of the Month.

Students of the Month

Wyatt Bilek

Brady Winter

Cameron Jones

Cesar Rojas-Rincon










Wyatt Bilek, a kindergartner, is October’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  Wyatt started off the school year with an amazing attitude in the most positive way.  He is cheerful, kind, friendly and respectful and comes to school ready to learn.  He has proven himself to be an excellent role model for his new kindergarten classmates.  South Ridge Elementary is proud to name Wyatt Bilek as their Student of the Month for October.

Brady Winter, a sixth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Brady is kind-hearted and considerate of others.  In addition to being a hard-working student, he takes the time to coach other students to help them understand their assignments. On his own, Brady helps to check in Chromebooks in math class and regularly offers teachers his help in other ways.  The sixth grade team would love to have a classroom full of students just like Brady!  Union Ridge Elementary is proud to name Brady Winter as their October Student of the Month.

Cameron Jones, a seventh grader, was selected from View Ridge Middle School.  Cameron is an amazing young lady.  She is kind, responsible, and a go-getter.  Whenever help is needed for setting up, cleaning up or assisting her classmates, she works hard and tries her best.  Cameron says thank you after class every day and is a prime example of what a Student of the Month exemplifies.  View Ridge Middle School is proud to select Cameron Jones as their Student of the Month for October.

Cesar Rojas-Rincon, a senior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  Cesar is an excellent student.  His schedule includes an advanced Spanish language class, an online Advanced Placement class in Stats and Advanced Placement classes in Literature and Government.  In addition, he is a cross country runner and soccer player at RHS.  He excels in the classroom, carrying a 3.9+ GPA.  Teachers describe Cesar as a model student, polite, hardworking and one who strives for success, and focuses on education and learning.  He is “rocking AP Lit,” said one teacher, “setting the bar for everyone else.”  While RHS has many students worthy of Student of the Month honors, Cesar rose to the top to be the first student selected from Ridgefield High School for the 2017-18 school year.

Employee and Student of the Month honorees are recognized on October 10 at the regular Board of Directors meeting for Ridgefield School District.

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.


Ridgefield School Board Re-Adopts Pursuing Premier

The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors has approved the newest version of Pursuing Premier, the district’s goals and planning blueprint—a bold document that provides direction for the district’s pursuit in becoming Washington state’s premier school system.

“Pursuing Premier articulates the district’s goals and serves as our planning blueprint,” said Dr. Nathan McCann, the district’s superintendent.  “It is as much a commitment in the value and belief in our kids as it is a blueprint that guides our path for the future.”

First adopted by the school board in the 15-16 school year, Pursuing Premier outlines four focus areas that are critical to the district’s aspirations:

  • Quality instruction that ensures research-based instructional practices are implemented in every classroom;
  • Educational programs focused on supporting the growth and development of the whole child;
  • Learning environments that promote appropriate risk-taking and prepare all students for success in the 21st century;
  • Community partnerships that promote collaboration and enhanced communication and provide additional learning experiences for Ridgefield students.

The district will continue to adhere to the following four goals it identified since the document’s inception:

  • Goal #1: Achieve high outcomes through quality instruction, personalized learning, and continuous improvement resulting in success for every student;
  • Goal #2: Provide safe, inclusive, and supportive environments that nurture the well-being of the whole child;
  • Goal #3: Provide collaboration and communication opportunities with families, staff, and the community resulting in strong partnerships;
  • Goal #4: Close the disparity gaps by ensuring high expectations, removing barriers and providing opportunities for all students.

The major modification in the newly-adopted Pursuing Premier document specifies the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) based on student responses from the Healthy Youth Survey to provide a more precise measurement of outcomes for Goals #2 and #4.  It also clarifies the purpose of weekly collaboration time for certificated staff for Goal #3.

“Pursuing Premier outlines the district’s values, goals and direction and is instrumental in helping to establish guardrails,” said Chris Griffith, Assistant Superintendent.  “This ensures continuity across the district while still allowing individual sites the flexibility to address their needs.”

The document, in its entirety, can be found on the school district’s website at and clicking on the PDF link at the bottom of the page.

Ridgefield School District Seeks Name for New Intermediate School

 The Ridgefield School District needs your help in completing the name of its new intermediate school.  The school, which will serve Grades 5-6, will be part of the new 5-8 school complex now under construction.

The naming process will not affect the middle school.  As part of the new school complex, View Ridge Middle School will retain its name and will continue to serve Grades 7-8.

In keeping with the naming standard for existing Ridgefield schools, “Ridge” will be included in the name for the new intermediate school.

The proposed name for the new school is:   _____________ Ridge Intermediate School.  The search is now on to find the most appropriate “fill-in” that would best complete the school’s name.

Rendering of Ridgefield’s new school complex for Grades 5-8

We welcome all your ideas and suggestions!  For each nomination, please tell us how you came up with it and why you feel it would be a good fit in naming the new intermediate school.

Please email your nomination(s) to in District Communications by Monday, October 23.  All entries will be forwarded to Ridgefield School District’s Board for consideration.

We value your input in this process and appreciate your participation.  Thank you!

Ridgefield School Board to Accept Testimony on Property Transfer to City for Recreational Complex

Public hearing to be held October 18 regarding proposed transfer of real property to the City of Ridgefield for the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Citizens will have an opportunity this month to comment on the proposed transfer of real property of the Ridgefield School District No. 122 (“District”) to the City of Ridgefield (“City”) during a public meeting of the District’s Board of Directors.

The District has proposed transferring approximately 7.2 acres of land along South Hillhurst Road to the City for purposes of the planned Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (“RORC”). Slated to include turf recreational fields and other amenities, the RORC will be located adjacent to the District’s planned 5-8 Schools Complex, which is under construction. In exchange for the District parcel, the City plans to transfer to the District a 7.5-acre parcel that will be part of the site for the 5-8 Schools Complex.

In spring 2016, the District and the City signed a groundbreaking agreement calling for construction and joint operation of the RORC, which is expected to include six multi-use fields, trails, open spaces, a community building, playground, picnic shelters, and other amenities. The agreement is designed to leverage public dollars by creating a recreational destination for school and public use located next door to the District’s newest school building. The RORC will complement the 5-8 Schools Complex, which will house students in grades 5-8 and is part of the District’s 2017 bond program.

The agreement provides that the City will fund construction of the RORC facilities, estimated to be approximately $15-20 million, and that the District and the City will exchange parcels of real property along South Hillhurst Road to facilitate construction. The District property, located at 3215 S. Hillhurst Road, is part of Clark County parcel no. 21580800. The property is depicted on the following diagram.

The City property involved in the proposed exchange is Clark County parcel no. 986039417. The City previously acquired that parcel, located on the east side of the school site, under an option agreement with a developer.

Pursuant to RCW 39.33.020, the Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on the proposed transfer on October 18, 2017, at 10 a.m. at the District Office, which is located at 2724 S. Hillhurst Road, Ridgefield, Washington.

More information about the RORC, including conceptual renderings, is available online at More information about the District’s bond program is available online at–2.

Public Art Dedication Ceremony Set for Union Ridge Elementary

 Public artwork created for Union Ridge Elementary School will be dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, October 7 at 2:00 pm in Building B at the school Commons.  The art dedication is just one of the many events featured as part of the City of Ridgefield’s “BirdFest & Bluegrass 2017” event scheduled for this weekend.

The artwork for the school was designed by Garth Edwards, a Washington artist who has created work for a number of public commissions in the past, including the Seattle Children’s Theater.

A committee made up of community members, teachers and school district administrators selected Edwards to create the design for Union Ridge.  It collaborated with Edwards over the last year and a half to refine the design, and this past summer, the completed artwork was installed at the school.

“The birds and creatures you see in the Union Ridge piece appear in a lot of Garth Edwards’ work,” said Alan Adams, Union Ridge Elementary art teacher.  “The committee felt that his artistic style was a good fit for the Ridgefield community—playful, family-friendly and nature-oriented.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Funding for the art project came from “percent-for-art” funds from the state’s Art in Public Places program (AIPP) of the Washington State Arts Commission.  When recent new school construction at Union Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Elementary was completed, both schools qualified to receive state funds from the arts commission to fund public artwork at their schools.

Stuart Nakamura, another Washington artist, will be installing his work at South Ridge Elementary later this fall.  Both artists were selected from a roster of artists maintained by the Washington State Arts Commission.

Prior to Saturday’s dedication ceremony, Union Ridge will have student artwork on display starting at noon.  At 1:00 pm, the Audobon Society of Portland will present a Live Bird Show featuring Julio, a great horned owl, a raven and a turkey vulture.  In addition, ceramic owls created by Union Ridge students will be available for “adoption” in the school’s “Adopt an Owl” fundraiser to support their art program.

South Ridge Elementary School Selected for National Title I Distinguished School Award

South Ridge Elementary School has been selected for the 2017-18 National Title I, Part A Distinguished School Award.  The school district learned of the news last week from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

South Ridge earned the national designation for placing high on the list of U.S. schools for demonstrating a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized and multi-tiered systems of approach for student success, and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community.

In addition, it earned recognition in the state of Washington as a Distinguished School for its Title I, Part A program for its exceptional student performance in English Language Arts in Smarter Balanced Assessments based on student growth percentiles (SGP) and state average scores for two or more years.

According to OSPI’s Washington State Report Card, the percentage of third-grade students at South Ridge meeting standard in Smarter Balanced testing in English Language Arts exceeded the state average in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 by 22 percentage points or more.

“The award reflects South Ridge’s unwavering commitment to do whatever it takes to help its students excel,” said Tiffany Gould, Ridgefield School District’s Federal Programs Director.  “South Ridge maintained exceptional student performance even through the recent rapid enrollment growth it has experienced.”

Gould also attributed the school’s success to the strong partnerships that teachers and staff have with parents and the community.

Tiffany Gould

Since 1996, The National Title I, Part A Association has been selecting examples of superior Title I, Part A schools from each state for recognition through the National Title I, Part A Distinguished School Program.  In addition, each state recognizes individual Title I, Part A programs based on a combination of student academic success and creative and innovative programs that contribute to their success.

Superintendent Nathan McCann

Said Superintendent Nathan McCann, “I am proud of the hard work and dedication demonstrated by the South Ridge staff and students and am pleased that they are being recognized for their efforts in earning this exceptional national designation for their school.”

The school will receive a $10,000 award for the national recognition and $5,000 for its statewide recognition.  A team representing the school and school district will be recognized at the 2018 National Title I Conference in Philadelphia  in February.

Ridgefield School District Assures Valuable First Day Experience for New Students

In the Ridgefield School District, August 29 at first glance would have seemed like a typical first day of school at View Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School.

However, the only students making their way to class that day were seventh graders at the middle school and ninth graders at the high school.  The students knew that the day would be focused entirely on them, and they had the school and the staff all to themselves.

Each year, the first day of school at the district’s only middle school and high school is devoted to welcoming new students transitioning from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school.  Students brand new to the district are also included in the first-day experience at both schools.

Known as “Assurance Day” at View Ridge and “Spudder Frosh Camp” at Ridgefield High School, the day is designed to provide an opportunity for incoming students to get familiar with their new school, cycle through their classes, meet their peers and get to know their teachers and the school staff.  It provides fun, interactive activities throughout the day, and also gives students a chance to hook up with their future mentors–leadership students at both schools who help ease them into the middle school and high school experience.

Seventh graders at View Ridge on Assurance Day

The following day, the students join the rest of the student body at their respective schools when fellow classmates in the upper grades return for their first day of classes.

At Ridgefield High School, National Honor Society students were on hand ready to help the incoming freshmen navigate their way through their first day of high school.  Ninth-grader Ethan McQuivey commented on his experience.  “It feels like a new adventure that has already been guided in the right way.”

Freshmen (from left) Ethan McQuivey, Ari McCants and Clexious Mendoza during Spudder Frosh Camp.

“The enthusiasm and increased confidence we saw from our new students at the end of the day was a stark contrast from the nervousness they exhibited in the morning,” said Tony Smith, Principal at View Ridge Middle School.

For seventh graders, it was clear that Assurance Day was both valuable and meaningful.  Max Daniels said, “It helped because I knew where all my classes were.”  Wyatt Bartroff commented, “Having eighth graders help us out was great because they could tell us important things we needed to know.”

Said Madison Wilkins, “I was nervous about not being able to find things, but Assurance Day made it really easy,” and according to Jack Brown, “It was less crowded, so you could get around more easily.”

“I was really impressed with both our new students and especially our eighth grade Leadership students, who worked hard all day long helping our seventh graders learn the routines and expectations of our school,” said Principal Smith.  “I think every one of our new students already has a fellow student to go to if they need anything.”