Sale of Fireworks Benefits RHS Class of 2020

Experience Ridgefield Set for Saturday, September 14th

 

Knowledge Bowl: An Athletic Event for the Mind

How quickly can you answer these questions?

  1. Find the next two items in the sequence that begins 1, 5, 13, 17, 25, 29.
  2. Spell the plural possessive form of the word men.
  3. Cloaca, intestine, stomach, mouth, and gizzard are all terms associated with which animal’s digestive system?

If you can answer within seconds—and ring in faster than your competitors—you might be a candidate for middle school Knowledge Bowl.  (The correct answers are 37 and 41, men’s, and bird.  And the View Ridge Middle School team got them all right.)

The Knowledge Bowl team at View Ridge Middle School had a winning year, earning a place at state Knowledge Bowl.  When they couldn’t attend the state competition, they continued to practice with coach David Jacobson—after school, on their own time.

Knowledge Bowl teams get ready to buzz in with the right answer.

Jacobson is an experienced competitor; his high school Knowledge Bowl team won their state competition and went to nationals.  “It’s cool getting to take some of the stuff I learned in high school and share it with these kids to give them that edge,” he said.  “Of course, they’re already so smart to begin with.”  Jacobson isn’t kidding; these kids have answers on an incredible range of topics.

Jacobson divided the students into three teams for practice.  They waited for the questions, hands hovering over buzzers, ready to ring in.  Jacobson usually didn’t get a complete question out before someone buzzed in with an answer.

“Identify the sea nymph who detained Odysseus. . .”  A team rang in with the correct answer (Calypso) before Jacobson finished the question.  “. . . on her island of Ogygia for seven years before releasing him.”

“Give the name of the U.S. President who uttered these words during his inauguration speech:  “The only thing we have to fear. . . “   Another team rang in with the correct answer, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  “For fake extra credit,” Jacobson said, “what year did he say that in?”  Instantly, they answered:  1933.  Jacobson, a history teacher, beamed with pride.

When the students were asked what their favorite part of Knowledge Bowl was, there were a lot of different answers.  “Winning every single match!”  “Singing Queen songs on the bus.”  And finally, snacks.  “Mr. Jacobson gave us snacks, brain food.  The first meet we won by just a little bit.  Then he gave us walnuts, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, blueberries, and green tea.  And we won every single meet after.”  There’s a training diet for Knowledge Bowl?  Pass the sunflower seeds.

The award for one of the many Knowledge Bowl team wins this season.

Coach David Jacobson and the View Ridge Middle School Knowledge Bowl team.

Artistry Night Showcases STEAM Projects

Artistry Night at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School and View Ridge Middle School showcased some of the amazing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) projects Ridgefield students have been working on throughout the year.  It is the inaugural year for the school campus, so it was the first time that some attendees had the chance to see the airy art studios and state-of-the-art STEM labs.

The walls of Alan Adams’ art classroom exploded in color; they were covered in original drawings and paintings all the way to the ceiling.  Students utilized a variety of mediums to create the artwork, and students from 5th to 8th grade were represented in an array of projects.  There was so much art, it spilled out into the hallways, with tables full of ceramics and display boards with progressions that started with pencil sketches and ended with finished products.

Art teacher Alan Adams’ classroom is covered in vibrant works of student art.

In the STEM Fabrication Lab, parents and students discussed the many projects on display.  Students proudly pointed out some of the tools they used to create the projects, including 3D printers and trays of robotics parts.  Some of the projects were creating solutions to real-life challenges, like designing mechanical toys for children with cerebral palsy or developing sample orthoses (braces or splints to stabilize an injured extremity).

The Black Box Theater hosted musical performances throughout the evening.  From the hallway, you could hear the music of the vocal and instrumental solos.  Attendees enjoyed the intimate theater setting, where they could be close to the performers.

And in the Commons, a wide range of seventh grade science projects were on display.  The seventh-grade life science classes focused on problem solving for specific ecosystems.  Ideas ranged from a trash collector for the Wildlife Refuge to prevent the spread of toxic chemicals to a water collector and purifier for the Amazon Rainforest.

Students at Sunset Ridge and View Ridge are using STEAM to design creative solutions to all types of challenges.  These practical applications of science, technology, engineering, art, and math help them understand how they will use STEAM not just for class projects, but for a lifetime.

 

Seventh grader Xander Bredemeyer designed a trash remover to keep toxic chemicals from getting to               endangered animals at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

 

Students designed mechanical toys that could be used by children with cerebral palsy.

 

 

Scholarships Awarded to Ridgefield High School’s 2019 Grads Top $7.5M

This year, a total of $7,536,067 in scholarships was awarded to college-bound graduates in Ridgefield High School’s Class of 2019 according to the school’s High School & Beyond Program, which keeps records of scholarship awards reported by RHS seniors.

While the majority of the scholarships came from the colleges and universities that the graduates plan to attend, $50,200 of the total came from local Ridgefield organizations whose generous support continues to provide scholarship opportunities each year to Ridgefield High School’s graduating seniors.

Said Amy McKenna, coordinator for the school’s High School & Beyond Program, “We are fortunate to have such an amazing community that supports our students in pursuing their future endeavors.”

 

Ridgefield’s First National Merit Scholar Finalist in Seventeen Years

Until now, Ridgefield High School only had six National Merit Finalists in its entire history.  And this year, Ian Abrams became the seventh.

The last time Ridgefield had a National Merit Scholar, George W. Bush was president and the Oscar for Best Picture went to A Beautiful Mind.  It has been so long because the achievement is so challenging.

This year, about 1.6 million students took the Preliminary SAT (PSAT).  Semifinalists are the highest-scoring students in each state and represent the top 0.5% of the state’s senior students.  And of that number, only the highest achieving students are selected as National Merit Scholars.  Finalists have to submit applications that list academic record, extracurricular achievements, awards, and leadership positions to be admitted to the elite group.

Ian Abrams is one of only seven National Merit Scholar finalists in Ridgefield High School’s history.

When Abrams became a semifinalist, the notification was lost in the mail.  He found out he was a semifinalist by reading it in the newspaper.  But when he became a finalist, he actually received the letter.  “I came home and my mom had the letter.  She said, ‘Well, I might have read it through the envelope,’” Abrams laughed.  “She was pretty excited.”

Abrams had a busy senior year.  He was president of the Associated Student Body (ASB), captain of the cross country team, a team member in Knowledge Bowl, and leader of the Peer Tutoring Program through the National Honor Society.  This fall, he is leaving high school behind and heading to Brigham Young University.  He plans to study biochemistry and hopes one day to help contribute toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Abrams credits his parents for helping him strive for success.  “My parents have taught me to work hard.  And as I’m doing everything, I’m looking toward the future, how this education will help me to serve people better.”

The Reflector newspaper wrote a profile on Abrams.  The article is available online at https://bit.ly/2IqxJAj.

Union Ridge Elementary Puts On Annual Culture Parade

The city of Ridgefield is well known for its old-fashioned Fourth of July parade.  But a smaller annual parade is making its mark on Ridgefield too:  the Union Ridge Elementary School Culture Parade.

The sixth annual Culture Parade went through downtown Ridgefield, showing the community what the classes studied during the school year.  Each grade highlighted a different facet of world culture.

The parade was led by the school’s assistant principal, Brian Heim, and Ridgefield Mayor Don Stose.  The first students in the parade were kindergarteners, who reflected their personal family history and culture with timelines of their lives.

First graders studied the cultures of individual countries.  They wore paper vests decorated with country flags and interesting facts.  Many of the students’ families had personal connections to the countries they chose.

Next were the second graders, who studied the cultural influence of historical figures.  Each student carried a posterboard with a drawing and biographical facts about the person they studied.  The posterboard made a costume of the historic figure, with the student’s face showing thorough a cutout.

The third-grade classes studied the culture of different regions of the United States.  Each regional group marched together, some of them shouting slogans—like ”West is best!”—and handing out postcards to promote their region.  Students carried posters and dressed to reflect the culture of the region they studied.

To close the parade, the fourth graders brought their study of the culture of the state of Washington.  On each block, the students waited for the music to start before performing Washington’s state dance, the square dance.  Dressed in western wear, they brought a lively close to the parade.

Many people lined the streets to cheer for the students.  But one set of parade watchers got a lot of attention:  the firefighters standing by the fire truck parked near City Hall.  As the students passed the fire truck, their eyes widened.  One kindergartener got brave and asked a firefighter, “Why are you here?”

The firefighter answered, “We’re here because you’re here, buddy!  We’re here to support you!”  The firefighters applauded and high-fived the students as they walked past.  And the students beamed, enjoying the support of the community for their culture parade.

Third grader Leela Weeks dressed as the Statue of Liberty for the Culture Parade.

 

First graders display country flags and facts on their paper vests.

 

A firefighter high-fives students as they walk the parade route.

 

Pioneer Day at South Ridge Takes Students Back in Time

 A covered wagon was parked in the grass.  Women in sun bonnets and aprons guided children through doing laundry on a washboard, hanging the garments up on a line to dry.  Kids sporting coonskin caps and straw hats played with cornhusk dolls in the shade.  Ridgefield in the 1800’s?  No, Ridgefield in 2019 as students at South Ridge Elementary celebrated Pioneer Day.

The entire fourth grade at South Ridge spent many weeks studying pioneer life.  And the unit culminated in Pioneer Day, an outdoor event where students could get a taste of pioneer life.  They rotated through several stations, learning something new at each one.

Some of the stations focused on home life and daily routines.  The students peeled apples and ground wheat to learn about food preservation.  They poked holes in tin to make tin lanterns.  They learned how to make yarn from wool.  And they even milked real goats right there in the schoolyard.

Other activities focused on things pioneer children would have enjoyed.  Quills and ink let them practice the hand lettering pioneer students would have learned in school; there were a lot of ink blots on the paper as they practiced the new skill.  For playtime, they had to learn how to make their own entertainment.  They made cornhusk dolls and learned how to do the cat’s cradle with yarn.

To make the day a little more magical, all the fourth-grade teachers dressed in costume.  And Clark Public Utilities brought their Water Wagon, a reproduction covered wagon, for the children to see.  For a few hours, students brought their pioneer studies to life.  They enjoyed stepping back in time with a taste of pioneer days.

South Ridge fourth grade teachers dressed in costume for Pioneer Day.

 

Students learned hand-lettering with ink. Clark Public Utilities Water Wagon is in the background.

 

Students learned to wash clothes using bars of soap, washboards and tubs of water.

 

Milking goats was harder than it looked!

 

 

 

 

 

District’s Surplus Sale Set for Friday, June 21

 

District’s Early Learning Center Offers New Options

Based on feedback from the well-attended Early Learning Center Information Night on Wednesday, May 29th, the Early Learning Center is pleased to offer some new options.

  • Preschool only:  T/Th, M/W/F, M-F (8:30-12:30) $30/day
  • Preschool with childcare:  T/Th, M/W/F, M-F (7:00-6:00) $51/day

The before/after school age care (grades K-4) has the option to choose the days your family needs; however, the days you choose will be your reserved space, and we won’t be able to make frequent changes to those days.

Please note:  Space is limited and a large number of families have already enrolled.  For an application packet, visit the Early Learning Center webpage at https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/o/district/page/early-learning-center-preschool-child-care.  Submit completed applications with payment to The Early Learning Center, RACC, 510 Pioneer Street, Ridgefield, WA 98642.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email the Early Learning Center at elc@ridgefieldsd.org.

 

District’s CAPS Program Highlighted in Forbes.com

Ridgefield High School’s CAPS program was highlighted this past week in an article regarding real life leaning in Forbes.com.  Ridgefield High School CAPS students, Emma Haynie and Jordan Nash, appear in a photo at the beginning of the article.

The Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) campus at Innovation Ridge is part of the nationally recognized CAPS Network comprised of more than 100 school districts.  The innovative high school program provides students the opportunity to be fully immersed in professional culture using industry standard tools.  Students are mentored by actual employers who partner with the program.

CAPS at Innovation Ridge launched its inaugural semester this year.  Spearheaded by Superintendent Nathan McCann, the program’s vision became a reality through the efforts of Ridgefield High School Principal, Christen Palmer, Director of CCTE and Federal Programs, Tiffany Gould, and Ridgefield High School teachers, Andrea Reinertson, Steve Rinard and Kara Breuer.

“We held the students to a high standard, expecting them to act, dress, and communicate like professionals, and they have truly risen to the occasion,” said Reinertson.  “To witness the way they have transformed from every day students in the classroom to those who get a shout out in Forbes is fulfilling every teacher’s dream!”

“Having the opportunity to work alongside the CAPS teachers and students as they have followed their passions has been a highlight of my career,” said Gould.  “I am inspired by the students in the health sciences, engineering, and business, marketing and entrepreneurship strands that have demonstrated their commitment to their learning and career goals every day.”

 Click here to read the article on Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanderark/2019/06/05/20-tips-for-real-life-learning/#f86061341361

WIN Time Gives Students a Winning Start

The students all left class and walked downstairs.  “Where are you guys heading?” Principal Todd Graves asked.

“Outside!” they said.  “We’re going to the basketball courts to practice a play that we’re doing for WIN time, the plot line for Scaredy Squirrel.”  When they got to the courts, they broke up into groups.  Each group did a skit on a different part of the book Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt.  Students played squirrels, killer bees, narrators, and even trees as they worked through the story’s exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action.

In other classrooms, students worked together to solve math puzzles projected on the screen, conducted experiments, or read aloud from novels.  The classes were all part of WIN time, an innovative program that allows students at Sunset Ridge to find new ways to achieve academically.

Students in Anja Felton’s WIN Time class work on a problem together.

WIN stands for What I Need.  Every student at Sunset Ridge participates in the WIN time program three times a year.  It creates focus on the areas where each student could see improvement or seek more challenges, based on standardized assessments.

The WIN time session assigns each student to a particular subject area.  The students leave their regular classrooms and go to spend a period in a WIN time classroom with other students from their grade.  Each student is challenged to achieve at his or her own level.

WIN provides a wide range of academic support, including informational comprehension, literature, numbers and operations, algebraic thinking, and more.  They even have an eighth-grade math class—for sixth grade students.

The program changes a little each session as the teachers determine what is working best for their students.  Graves said the results have been overwhelmingly positive.  “When we asked students for feedback, ‘Did WIN help me target an area that I needed specific help in?’ almost 100% of the students said yes.”

The students on the basketball court are having a great time creating their skits.  Some of them stand on top of the concrete bases, pretending to be up in trees.  Graves watches with a smile.  “I think of all the things we’ve done here at Sunset Ridge, one of the things I’m most proud of for our kids is WIN time,” Graves said.  “It’s a pretty cool thing to watch.”

Brianne Irons’ WIN Time class gathers on the basketball court.

 

Students in Brianne Irons’ WIN Time class prepare their skit on “Scaredy Ssquirrel.”

 

Sunset Ridge Students Present Innovative Ideas Around City Growth

More and more people are moving to the city of Ridgefield.  But how do we maintain the things we love most about Ridgefield as we grow?   The fifth and sixth graders at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School completed a unit asking them to tackle that difficult question—and they came up with some pretty creative ideas.

The fifth grade group projects addressed three different areas:  business, parks and recreation, and preservation.  Each student group selected a specific issue within those areas.  They did extensive research to learn more, including calls and meetings with area experts.  The students projected possible solutions.  Then they created detailed presentations for Growth Expo night, many featuring reports, models, polls, and handouts.

Principal Todd Graves explained that Project Based Learning (PBL) is an important part of the Sunset Ridge curriculum.  Each year, students answer a question that impacts the community.  “We identify something local, that has an impact on the community, and give a few different topics for the kids to explore.  Then we turn them loose.  What they do is amazing,” Graves said.

PBL teaches students to use the four C’s—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity—to assess and address the issues.  “Those are major skills our kids will absolutely need to have as they leave and go into the work force,” Graves explained.

The thorough assessment of the issues helped the students become extremely knowledgeable about their topics.  During the fifth grade Growth Expo night, one student explained how a hotel could generate new city revenue through taxes.  Another offered cost effective ways to mediate drainage issues on sports fields in Abrams Park.  The sixth grade presentation is coming up soon; their PBL Showcase will be on June 6 from 4:30 to 6:15 in the commons area at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.

Some of the students have been invited to present their findings to the Ridgefield Parks Board.  “That’s exactly the kind of interaction we want to see,” Graves said.  “If you do things like that, the kids will realize their voice actually matters.”

Michael Chandler presents a plan to create a permanent farmers’ market in Ridgefield.

 

Students created this detailed model of a proposed Blue Heron Water Park.

 

A model for a community pool created by a student in Minecraft.

Ridgefield School District Receives WSPRA Communications Awards

Ridgefield School District was recognized by the Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) at its annual conference held earlier this month for outstanding work in public school communications throughout the 2018-19 school year.

Ridgefield’s communications team is led by Carolyn Enos, the district’s communications specialist and includes Kimber Webb and Marie Bouvier.

“I am extremely proud of the work our communications team continues to produce,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann.  “They work hard to keep our stakeholders informed and celebrate the many successes of our students and staff.”

The district received the following awards for school districts in the state with enrollment less than 10,000 students:

Award of Excellence:  2018-2019 Annual Report

Special recognition to Kimber Webb for graphic design, Marie Bouvier for feature writing for Ridgefield Schools:  Proud Past, Prosperous Present, Promising Future, and Carolyn Enos for editing and feature writing for Where Are They Now? Spudder Grad Success Stories

Awards of Merit: 

Calendar category:  2018-19 Parent Guide & Calendar

Special recognition to Kimber Webb for graphic design and Carolyn Enos for writing and editing

Social Media category:  Weekly Construction Updates

Special recognition to Carolyn Enos writing and editing

Video category:  Growing Together, the 2018-2019 School Year

Special recognition to Shannon Korta and Mack Stromme of LSW architects for video production and Carolyn Enos for writing and editing

Congratulations to all WSPRA communications award recipients for their outstanding work this year!

District to Open Early Learning Center This Fall

The Ridgefield School District will be opening an Early Learning Center in the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center this fall!  The center will provide full and half day opportunities for children ages 3-5.  In addition, before and after school care will be available for students through 4th grade.  Space is limited.

Registration is now open.  For a registration packet, click here:  https://tinyurl.com/y3w7ur6x.  For more information about the program, email the Early Learning Center at elc@ridgefieldsd.org.