Ridgefield School District Now Accepting Student Referrals for Highly Capable Program

The Ridgefield School District is now accepting student referrals for participation in its Highly Capable Program for the 2019-20 school year.  Anyone may refer a student, including parents, teachers, other students and community members.  All students in Grades K-12 are eligible.

Highly capable students perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience or background.  These students may demonstrate exceptionally high intellectual ability, memory, creativity, curiosity and leadership ability.

For more detailed information about the program, please refer to “K-12 Highly Capable Program Overview”.  It explains the program’s goals, identification process, service model and the schedule for testing.

If you are interested in referring your child for the identification process for the Highly Capable Program, please click here to access a Referral Form.  Completed forms must be submitted to the following address and received no later than February 1, 2019.  Due to time and testing constraints, forms received after this deadline will not be accepted:

Tiffany Gould

Director of CCTE and Federal Programs

Ridgefield School District

2724 S. Hillhurst Road

Ridgefield, WA  98642


To review the district’s Annual Notification of Referral for Highly Capable, please click here.  It is also posted on the Ridgefield School District’s website at www.ridgefieldsd.org in the Federal Programs Department and clicking on Highly Capable Program.

Ridgefield School District Honors December Employee and Students of the Month

On December 11, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the December Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Derell Couch, teacher at Union Ridge Elementary School.  Staff members describe Derell as caring, compassionate, hardworking and enthusiastic–always putting her students first.  She comes to school early, stays late and is constantly thinking of ways to make her teaching more effective.  She communicates well with her students and peers.  Her colleagues love collaborating with her.  She never shows bias and is able to give a different perspective in all situations.  Derell’s former students constantly visit or contact her long after they have graduated to thank her for her devotion and kindness and to express the profound impact she has had on their lives.  The staff at Union Ridge Elementary School is proud to name Derell Couch as December’s Employee of the Month.

 Students of the Month

Cameron Branch, a second grader, is December’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Cameron.  Cameron embodies the three R’s of South Ridge Elementary every day.  He shows true grit by remaining resilient in all of his scholastic pursuits.  If he is asked to try again, he will with a smile on his face.  Cameron proves how responsible he is every day by walking to and from specialists in a calm and quiet manner without being asked or reminded.  He has a kind gesture or thought to share at almost every moment.  His sense of wonder is hard to match.  He is a respectful member of the community who always tries to be helpful to students and teachers.

Troyce Gosney, a third grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  The Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Troyce.  They write, “Troyce always has a smile on his face.  He brightens any room he walks into, and his joy for learning is contagious.  He works extremely hard and never gives up or gets down on himself.  He is extraordinarily kind and is always there when someone needs to be cheered up.  Troyce is an amazing example of a Ridgefield student who is respectful, responsible, and resilient.”

Kimberly Diaz, a sixth grader, is December’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Kimberly.  They write, “Kimberly is extremely helpful to adults and students alike.  She is always kind and wants to be a friend to all.  She has a great attitude about everything that she does, and she is the first to jump up and do something if she sees that something needs to be done.  Kimberly demonstrates the three “R’s”.  She is always respectful, responsible and resilient.  She is a hard worker, and she strives to turn in quality work.  She is a pleasure to work with and to have in class.”


Aaliyah Vogan, an eighth grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Aaliyah.  They write, “Aaliyah Vogan is a strong student, role model and leader among her peers.  She works well with others in collaborative groups and is respectful and courteous, helping to create a positive learning environment.  Aaliyah consistently works hard and strives to do her best and challenges herself.  Aaliyah demonstrates progress based on self-reflection and feedback.  She is kind to everyone and is just a nice person to have around.”

Davin Tjia (pronounced Day-vin Cha), a junior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  One staff member describers Davin as an exceptional student who seizes every opportunity to learn.  Another says, “I’ve never had a student challenge himself like Davin does.”  In addition to Davin’s exceptional work ethic, he is also described as a student who “is kind and thoughtful to everyone” and is a “person who truly reflects the three R’s.”  Davin is a member of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), National Honor Society and Robotics and is taking five AP classes at RHS, including AP composition and U.S. History.  Davin participates in the Poetry Out Loud competition at RHS and made it to the RHS finals last school year.  What is so exceptionally impressive about Davin’s accomplishments is that English is his second language.  He moved to Ridgefield from Taiwan in January 2017.  In less than two years, Davin has learned English, has immersed himself in RHS activities and has shown himself to be beyond outstanding.  We are proud of the many students at Ridgefield High School who work hard every day and are honored to have Davin Tjia represent RHS as the December Student of the Month.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, James Schmeling of Allstate Insurance Company, whose local office is providing funding to support the district’s recognition program during this school year.

Ridgefield School District Announces Winning Design in Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest

Lily Cox, a seventh grader from View Ridge Middle School, is the first-place winner in the Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest for the Ridgefield School District.  Her artwork was selected by judges as the entry that best exemplifies “Holiday Magic,” this year’s contest theme.

Lily’s winning design will decorate the cover of the district’s holiday greeting card this year, which will be mailed out to school districts, public entities and private businesses on Ridgefield School District’s holiday mailing list.  As the first-place winner, Lily receives a $50 cash award.

Winning design by Lily Cox

Three artwork entries were also selected for Runners-Up honors.  These entries were submitted by Estelle Blystone, a junior from Ridgefield High School; Anna Chapin, a second grader from South Ridge Elementary School; and Liam McAllister, a senior from Ridgefield High School.  Each runner-up receives a $25 cash award for their winning design.

All four students will be recognized at the district’s regular school board meeting on Tuesday, December 11.

The Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest, now in its fifth year, was first launched by the Ridgefield School District in 2014, in partnership with the Ridgefield Art Association to promote student creativity and encourage student appreciation of the arts.


First place winner, Lily Cox, Grade 7, View Ridge Middle School


Runner-up, Anna Chapin, Grade 2, South Ridge Elementary School


Runner-up, Estelle Blystone, junior at Ridgefield High School


Runner-up, Liam McAllister, senior at Ridgefield High School

Ridgefield Fifth Graders Shine at Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament

A team of 13 fifth graders from Sunset Ridge Intermediate School placed among the top five competing schools in every scheduled event at the Eleventh Annual Elementary Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament at Clark College on November 17, 2018.  The students competed against students from 15 other schools from throughout Clark County.

The event, sponsored by Clark College and Southwest Washington Regional Science Olympiad, encourages science exploration for elementary school students in Grades 3-5 via competition structured in a fun tournament framework.

Teams competed in three building challenges (Gummy Bear Long Jump, Hold the Cold, and Toppling Towers) and two knowledge challenges (Physiology Fun: Sense-ational Senses and Weather or Not).

The Sunset Ridge Team placed second in the Toppling Towers building challenge and captured sixth and eighth place in the other two building challenges.  In the knowledge challenges, the team placed second in Physiology Fun: Sense-ational Senses and fourth in Weather or Not.

Linda Wear, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School teacher, tells her students that science is collaborative, not competitive.  “Although you cannot “win” at the Science Olympiad, you can do well in the individual events,” she said.

Ribbons were awarded to the teams who placed among the top five schools in each event, and Sunset Ridge was recognized for having the second highest small team scores in three of the five events.

“Our students made a spectacular showing that day,” said Wear.  “They and their families, who spent the entire morning with us, were excellent ambassadors for our new school.  In case it doesn’t show, I was very proud of them!”

Ridgefield Community Education Offers December/January Activities

Ridgefield Community Education is currently offering the following winter activities for students (see flyers below):

  • Name the Mascot Contest for Ridgefield Raptors (Grades K-12) – Entry deadline December 14th
  • Basketball Cheer Camp (Grades K-5) – Register online by December 12th at https://ridge.revtrak.net
  • Cheer Bootcamp (Grades 6-8) – Register online by December 24th at https://ridge.revtrak.net



Special Guest Helps Ridgefield First Graders with Pottery Project

“I need help please!” One of the first graders in Sara Marshall’s class at South Ridge Elementary School looked up from the clay on his desk. A parent volunteer came to help him trace the outline of his hand in the clay for a holiday pottery project.

Richard Moody, an artist and retired teacher, taught the class how to make special, handcrafted ornaments out of clay. He took a moment to show the kids how to make the shape of Santa’s face with their hands. “Hold your hand like this,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers together. “If you do it like this,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers spread apart, “Santa is going to have a weird beard.”  The kids chuckled, imagining Santa with a wild, crazy beard.

Each student cut out the shapes for Santa, Cinnamon Bear, and snowman ornaments. On another day, they will paint the projects, then Moody will fire the pieces in the kiln at South Ridge Elementary. The students will be able to take the finished ornaments home in time for the holidays.

Moody watched the students working on their ornaments, carefully tracing and cutting the shapes.  He smiled. “We’ll let them use the scraps when they’re done. We’ll see what they come up with.”  With so many creative second graders, the possibilities were endless—maybe even Santa with a weird beard.


Artist and retired teacher, Richard Moody, helps students make handcrafted ornaments from clay.


Ornaments are cut out and marked with student initials.


Finished ornaments ready to take home and display.

Ridgefield High School Students Named to 2019 All-Northwest Treble Choir

Two Ridgefield High School students have been named to participate in the 2019 All-Northwest Treble Choir.  RHS juniors, Cecelia Lerner and Bridget Donaldson, will join over 1,000 outstanding high school student musicians when they perform in a high school musical gala at the 2019 National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Northwest Division Conference, February 14-17, 2019 in Portland.

The event, managed by the Washington Music Educators Association, will feature performances by outstanding band, orchestra and choir students from schools in NAfME’s Northwest Division comprised of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.  Students selected for All-Northwest performing groups auditioned along with 4,600 other students for the opportunity to perform at NAfME’s 2019 Conference.

Cecelia Lerner


Bridget Donaldson

This will be Cecelia Lerner’s first performance in an All-Northwest Choir and the third for Bridget Donaldson.  Both students will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors.

Many professional musicians credit their All-Northwest experience as crucial in their decision to choose music as a career.  Well-known northwesterners who have participated in past years’ All-Northwest performing groups include trumpeters Doc Severinsen and Allen Vizzutti, The Seattle Post-Intelligence’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, David Horsey, 2007 National Teacher of the Year, Andrea Peterson, and jazz saxophonist, Kenny G.

Union Ridge Elementary’s Book Fair Largest in Pacific Northwest

The Scholastic Book Fair at Union Ridge Elementary School might look a lot like other book fairs. But thanks to parent involvement, it has been the top-selling book fair in the Pacific Northwest for the last few years. This year, sales reached $13,000 in just one week.

Scholastic Book Fairs get books in the hands of children, with parents buying books for kids. But the Scholastic Dollars program also gives schools credits based on how much the school sells. Those credits can be used to purchase books for libraries, classrooms, and other school use. For Union Ridge, that translates into thousands of dollars in books at no cost to the school.

PTO volunteer Amber Hughes takes a week off from work each year to plan and manage the book fair. She handles the ordering, the setup, the parent volunteer list, and more. Her experience gets amazing results.

“It helps that we are centrally located to the warehouse so we can restock easily,” she said. “And we make sure to stage the book fair the week of Thanksgiving Feast, so parents can come buy books with their kids.”

In addition, each student has multiple opportunities to attend the fair. “Every kid gets to walk through the Book Fair once with their class. And we make the book fair available during recess, lunch, and before and after school as well.”

This year, the school earned $6,000 in Scholastic Dollars. The dollars have already purchased $3,000 in classroom books, $2,000 in library books, and another $500 in books for underprivileged students. By donating their time, PTO volunteers are helping hundreds of kids learn the joy of reading.

The entrance to Union Ridge Elementary’s Book Fair is enchanting.


The Book Fair offers a wide range of books for each age range as well as posters and other fun items.


Ridgefield School District to Form Equity & Engagement Committee

In its commitment toward continuous improvement in meeting the needs of every student, the Ridgefield School District is in the process of forming an Equity & Engagement Committee whose goal will be to ensure a school environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all students.

The committee will be composed of volunteer members equitably represented from among the following stakeholder groups:  parents/guardians, staff members, students, community members, administrators and law enforcement.  The committee will meet at least three times during the 2018-19 school year.

As part of the process to form the committee, the district has developed a survey to seek public input from its stakeholders regarding equity and engagement in the district.  Feedback gathered from the following survey will provide valuable information that will help guide the Equity & Engagement Committee in its work.  We invite you to participate.

To access the survey, please click on the following link:  https://goo.gl/forms/TEkjyLhla4YytLLM2

If you are interested in serving as a member of the Equity & Engagement Committee, application information is available upon completion of the district survey.

Please submit district surveys and committee applications by 4:00 pm on Friday, December 14th.

Thank you for your participation.


Free Youth Heart Screening Set for Friday, November 30 at Ridgefield High School

In partnership with Providence Heart Institute (PHI), Ridgefield High School is offering all students in Grades 7-12 a free heart screening on Friday, November 30th at Ridgefield High School.  PHI’s program, called Play Smart, will be on campus from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm in the high school’s Presentation Room (Room 311).

To receive the free screening, students must complete a Consent Form and Questionnaire and bring them on the day of the event or submit them to the RHS Activities Office.  The forms are available here:  Consent Form and Questionnaire.  Additional permission slips will be available in the RHS Activities office.

RHS students will receive a pass to/from class for their screening time.  Denise Morgan, school nurse, will be walking a group of View Ridge students to RHS during 6th period.

The Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings Program has been extremely successful in screening over 25,780 youth and identifying 1,328 students (6% to date) for further follow-up treatment.  Young people with undiagnosed heart defects, especially athletes, are susceptible to sudden cardiac arrest.  Often, there are no advance signs or symptoms.  An electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) is usually necessary to reveal signs of heart irregularities, something not normally done in “well-child” checks or routine physical exams.

Play Smart heart-health screenings are free, painless and non-invasive.

For more information about the Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings Program, visit their website at www.playsmartgetscreened.org.


Ridgefield School District Bond Measure Set for February 12 Ballot

On Tuesday, November 27, Ridgefield School District’s board members voted in favor of putting a $77 million bond issue up for a vote on February 12, 2019.  If approved by the voters, the bond proceeds, along with approximately $15 million of state assistance money, will enable the district to construct a new K-4 elementary school; expand Ridgefield High School and renovate the vocational education building; construct covered play areas and upgrade HVAC systems at South Ridge and Union Ridge elementary schools; and make safety and security upgrades district-wide.

“We’re able to maximize what this bond can do because it does not necessitate the purchase of land,” said school board member, Joseph Vance.  “The proposed new K-4 elementary school will be built on property paid for by developers through the district’s collections of school impact fees.”

The comprehensive bond measure will replace temporary, less secure and inefficient portable classrooms with permanent classrooms.  Included in the bond are the following projects:

  • Reduce overcrowding by building a new K-4 elementary school
  • Fully renovate and modernize the vocational education building at Ridgefield High School
  • Expand Ridgefield High School by constructing new classroom wing
  • Add covered play at all elementary schools
  • Install new HVAC systems at elementary schools
  • Enhance safety and security at all facilities in the district

The district’s Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) developed the 2019 Bond Program.  Made up of volunteers comprised of parents, citizens and staff from the Ridgefield community, the committee spent six months working to effectively address the community’s rapid growth.  The collaboration between CFAC and the district provided the information needed to shape the design plans for Phase III of the district’s four-phase Capital Facilities Plan.

“The 2019 Bond Program is attributable in large part to the work of all the CFAC committee members,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann.  “They started their work last winter and worked through the spring to prepare it.  The program they crafted is fiscally responsible and addresses many of the district’s needs.  We appreciate their hard work and the dedication of many people who participated in the process.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ridgefield experienced 65% growth from 2010 to 2017, making it Washington’s fastest growing city.  Over the next four years, Ridgefield School District is projecting a 45% increase in student enrollment, adding 1,422 new students by 2022.

Currently, the bond tax rate for Ridgefield is $4.34 per $1,000 of assessed property value, making it the fourth lowest tax rate of the county’s nine K-12 school districts.  With voter approval, the school tax rate is projected to increase by $0.09 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.  For the owner of a $300,000 home, that would mean an increase in property tax of $2.25 per month.

Ridgefield Children’s Holiday Bazaar Set for Saturday, December 1

Come check out handmade crafts and delicious homemade goodies created by Ridgefield students at the annual Children’s Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 1st.  Proceeds from this student-led event benefit each student vendor directly.  Enjoy a unique Christmas shopping experience!

Partnership Between Killa Bites and Ridgefield School District Create Recipe for Student Success

When students in Tammy Angvall’s Ridgefield Transition Program (RTP) come to class, theirs is not the typical classroom experience.  On any given school day, they assist numerous local Ridgefield businesses who, in partnership with Ridgefield’s Special Education Department, provide them with work opportunities.  The RTP program teaches 18 to 21 year olds the real-life work skills and experiences essential to living independently.

Ask any RTP student, and they will tell you that Killa Bites, a local Ridgefield dessert and catering company, is at the top of their list of favorite work assignments.  Founder Laura Jhaveri and co-owner Donna Suomi, utilize the kitchen at the former View Ridge Middle School to produce the popular delectable desserts and catered items Killa Bites is known for.  In return, Jhaveri has taken the RTP program and its students under her wing as the company enters its next phase of growth.

Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that creates luscious confections such as the company’s unique and legendary cake bombs (tiny cream-filled cakes enrobed in chocolate), irresistible chocolate-dipped biscotti, and flavored gourmet popcorn?

“Laura has provided intern positions and numerous learning opportunities within her business for our students,” said Angvall.  “She also helps to provide the class with professional speakers and contacts from the network of community businesses and agencies she deals with.”

In addition, thanks to Jhaveri, RTP students interested in photography and videography get the opportunity to hone their skills by promoting Killa Bites on social media and in print.  Jhaveri also invites the students to attend and assist in many catering and tasting events with Killa Bites.

“From filling out applications to interviewing and learning on-the-job skills, all the way to tasting delicious products, Laura has been there for us,” said Angvall.  “We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Killa Bites and owners, Laura and Donna.”

Left to right: RTP students Mike Rapp and Calvin Bowen on the job at Killa Bites.


Students Tessa Castano and Katie Bradshaw (2nd and 3rd from left) help create cake bombs with Killa Bites crew.


Left to right: Calvin Bowen, Alex Mulligan and Mike Rapp work the catering line for Killa Bites.


Empty Bowl Event Set for Saturday, December 1

Come check out unique ceramic bowls for sale created by local and student artists at the Empty Bowl Project event on Saturday, December 1 at Union Ridge Elementary, Building “A” (11:00 am – 2:00 pm).  $20 includes soup and a ceramic bowl!  All proceeds benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.  A big thank you to sponsors: Pacific Northwest Best Fish Co., El Rancho Viejo, Vinnie’s Pizza, Ridgefield Art Association, RHS Art Club and RHS National Honor Society.

Ridgefield High School Students Learn Marketing Pasta-bilities

A giant Dorito walks up to you and says, “You should try our Cheesy Crunch Pasta!”  You’re not dreaming, you’re at the Pasta Project.

Danny Dorito is the mascot for Cheesy Crunch Pasta.

The Pasta Project is a collaboration between Andrea Reinertson’s marketing class and Sarah Fontyn’s foods class at Ridgefield High School.  The marketing class works in groups to come up with product ideas.  Then the food class creates recipes and cooks the pasta samples.

On the day of the Pasta Project, Reinertson invites other classes into her classroom.  “Imagine you are at grocery store sample day,” she says.  “There are nine displays here of different types of pasta.  But you can only choose three.  You’ll decide based on four categories:  their display, their sales pitch, whether you would actually buy the product, and the taste.”  She hands out three judging slips per students, and the students wander the aisles.

Each marketing group has created eye-catching product displays for their pasta.  There is a wide range of choices, and the sales pitches are flying.

“Did you know 59% of Americans eat pasta twice a week?  Our pasta cooks fast so families can get it on the table.”

“Our pasta is easy to make but offers the same taste as exquisite Italian pastas.”

“9 out of 10 Americans don’t get the recommended of seafood in their diets.  Our pasta has fresh ocean shrimp that’s nutritious and delicious.”

Students taste the pasta samples and select their favorites.  It will be a while before votes are tallied.  But in the meantime, all the students are enjoying the Pasta Project—including Danny Dorito.

Pasta SCHM pasta is made from locally grown ingredients.


Sebastian Interian, Daniel Aleksandrov and Doran Woltersdorf promote Island Pasta.