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.”

Ridgefield School District Notified of Student Testing Invalidations

The Ridgefield School District was recently notified by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) that Smarter Balanced tests administered in Spring 2017 to certain fourth grade students for English Language Arts were invalidated.  The action was taken by OSPI after it determined that the test proctors who administered the tests did not follow required testing protocols.

When staff members at Union Ridge Elementary first learned of the potential violation, they alerted building administrators, who worked quickly with district staff to limit further incidents.  The district followed state guidelines by notifying OSPI of the incident, conducting an investigation, and submitting its findings to them.

Based on its review of the district’s investigation, OSPI made the decision to invalidate the affected students’ English Language Arts test scores.  As a result, the Ridgefield School District’s state report card shows that only 39% of its fourth grade students met ELA standards.

“The district is working with building administrators to ensure that test proctors follow all state guidelines to ensure that future incidents with regard to test administration does not recur,” said Chris Griffith, Assistant Superintendent.  “The district sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience that this situation has caused to the affected students and their families.”

Chris Griffith

The state invalidates student test scores when it determines that the test score cannot be relied upon to provide accurate information about a student’s performance.  In this case, there was compelling evidence that showed that required testing protocol was not followed.

Further examination of the student test score results shows that 64% of Ridgefield students with valid tests received a passing score.  In comparison, the state average is 56%.

“The invalidation of tests was a result of proctors’ misunderstanding of allowable test support materials provided to the students,” said Griffith.  “This is an unfortunate event, because we believe the affected students would have performed similarly to their district peers who scored 8% higher than the state average.”

Ridgefield School District Announces Efforts to Recognize September as Attendance Awareness Month

Ridgefield School District has joined a nationwide effort to celebrate Attendance Awareness Month in September, pledging to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance, with a special focus on reducing chronic absenteeism in the new school year.

The district recognizes that good attendance is essential to academic success, but far too many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent.  Chronic absenteeism is described as missing 10% of the school year, or about 18 days for any reason–excused or unexcused.  Research shows that is the point at which absenteeism begins to affect student performance.

Nationally, 5 to 7.5 million students miss nearly a month of school in excused and unexcused absences every year.  In 2016, the chronic absenteeism percentage for the state of Washington was 16.7%.  Ridgefield was slightly better at 16.4%.

Starting as early as kindergarten, chronic absenteeism predicts lower third grade reading scores.  By middle school, it’s a warning sign that students may fail key classes and drop out of high school.

Chronic absence disproportionately affects children from low-income families and communities of color, creating attendance gaps that exacerbate achievement gaps in local schools.  This is not just a matter of truancy.  Many children, especially in the early grades, miss too much school because of chronic health problems, unreliable transportation or housing moves—barriers that city agencies and community partners can help families address.

“School is a child’s work,” said Ridgefield School District Superintendent Nathan McCann.  “Coming to school on time and ready to learn each day is a habit that will lead to success in all areas of our kids’ lives.”

Superintendent Nathan McCann

In September, schools, city agencies, community nonprofits, faith-based groups, businesses and others around the nation are committing time and resources to raise public awareness, map local attendance gaps and work with community partners to improve school attendance starting as soon as children enter school.

During Attendance Awareness Month, the district is asking community leaders, parents and students to help stem chronic absenteeism by building a habit and a culture of regular attendance.

Experience Ridgefield Set for Saturday, September 23

Get ready for some old-fashioned, small-town fun as the Ridgefield School District prepares to host its second Experience Ridgefield event on Saturday, September 23.  The community carnival, set to take place at Ridgefield High School from 3:00 – 7:30 pm, celebrates Ridgefield’s proud past, prosperous present, and promising future.

“We are all very excited for Experience Ridgefield,” said Bonnie Harris, Executive Secretary for the Ridgefield School District and the event’s coordinator.  “This is truly an event where there will be something for folks of all ages to enjoy. We will have numerous food vendors, music, games and activities, a game truck, potato sack races, inflatables, arts and crafts, a selfie photo booth, many exhibits and displays, a Mr. Potato Head Contest, and much more.”

In addition to all the food, music, and fun, the Ridgefield Family Resource Center (RFRC) will be sponsoring a “Stuff the Van” campaign to collect personal hygiene items, non-perishable food, and new coats for the center.

In the evening, families can enjoy a showing of “The Goonies” under the stars at the district’s football stadium.

Experience Ridgefield was born from a concept developed by the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) consisting of twelve students–each representing one of the district’s four schools who meet monthly with Superintendent Nathan McCann to provide the district with advice and feedback.  The group also completes a project each year that contributes to the betterment of the community.

Members of Ridgefield School District’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) in 2016

When board members, Scott Gullickson and Joseph Vance, sought ideas for a way to bring the community together at a district-hosted event, McCann turned to his group of SSAC students for their input.  The students developed the highly interactive, carnival-like event, making it representative of everything that makes Ridgefield unique.  They wanted the event to capture everything they loved about their community.  Appropriately, they named it “Experience Ridgefield.”

The event, launched last year, was a phenomenal success.  The students’ efforts in marketing and promotion brought in more than 40 vendors and lead sponsorship by Holbrook Concrete Construction Inc. with assistance from The Historic Sportsman’s Steakhouse and Saloon.  This will be the district’s second year hosting Experience Ridgefield.  It is thankful to Holbrook Concrete Construction Inc. for once again being this year’s lead sponsor.

“I’m very proud of all the creativity and planning put in by the students in developing this large-scale community event that celebrates the spirit and pride that makes Ridgefield such a wonderfully unique place to live,” said McCann.  “We appreciate the generosity of our partnering sponsors and the many local businesses, civic groups, and public entities for supporting Experience Ridgefield.”

Ridgefield School District Honors Employees with Exemplary Service Awards

The Ridgefield School District honored three employees with Exemplary Service Awards at their Convocation event on August 23 as they welcomed staff returning from summer break for the new school year.

Steve Rinard, teacher at Ridgefield High School, received the Exemplary Service Award for certificated staff.  Described by colleagues as thoughtful, hard-working and dedicated, Rinard took the lead in developing the math components of the STEM Engineering classes in addition to taking on coaching duties for RHS football.  Well-respected among students, staff and families for always putting students first, Rinard was selected as deserving of the award in this category.

Steve Rinard

Chris Poppert received the Exemplary Service Award for classified staff.  As Director of the Ridgefield Family Resource Center, Poppert received the award for the time and energy she dedicates to help connect students and their families most in need with essential supplies and services.  Additionally, her efforts in nurturing the relationship with Family Solutions, a private, non-profit community mental health agency, led to a full-time district-based mental health counselor this year.

Chris Poppert

The Exemplary Service Award for Partner Agency Employee was presented to Nicole Bartroff of Chartwell’s Food Services for going above and beyond when it comes to serving students.  Bartroff’s exemplary quality is demonstrated by how much the students love to engage with her.  Described as a “magnet” to kids, she is the caring “lunch lady” who encourages them and ensures that they are taken care of.  In addition, Bartroff was selected to receive the award in this category because of her great smile and positive attitude on the job even on the most challenging days.

Nicole Bartroff

The district also presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Dawn Gaspar for her leadership in the Ridgefield High School Boosters and numerous community endeavors, and the Partner of the Year Award to Citizens for Ridgefield Schools whose outstanding support contributed greatly to the successful outcome of Ridgefield School District’s 2017 Bond Program.

Dawn Gaspar


Members from Citizens for Ridgefield Schools (from left) Allison VanArnam, Jim Maul, Tevis Laspa and Kent Landerholm accept the Partner of the Year Award from Superintendent Nathan McCann (far right).

Vendor Spaces Available for “Experience Ridgefield” Event

Come help celebrate Ridgefield’s proud past, prosperous present and promising future!  Vendor spaces are still available for “Experience Ridgefield” hosted by the Ridgefield School District.  The community carnival, now in its second year, is scheduled for Saturday, September 23 at Ridgefield High School  from 3:00 – 7:30 pm.

Click here for a Vendor Application and more information.

All vendor applications are due September 1.  Applications received by August 23 will be entered into a prize drawing.

For more information, please call Bonnie Harris at 360-619-1302 or email or

Ridgefield School District to Hold Annual Surplus Sale

Ridgefield School District will hold its annual Surplus Sale on Monday, August 7 at Union Ridge Elementary School Gym from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The one-day event will offer a variety of surplus school items for sale, including computers, laptops, Google Chromebooks, kitchen items (pots and pans) and tons of books.  Surplus school furniture (chairs and desks) will also be available.

For more information, please contact Ridgefield School District’s Maintenance Office at 360-619-1390.