RHS Thespians Awarded Bronze Level Honors in State Competition

Members of the Ridgefield High School Thespians have achieved Bronze level Honor Status at this year’s Washington State Thespian Festival.  Out of the state’s 100 Thespian Troupes, RHS’ Troupe 8635 is now among the 16 Thespian Troupes in Washington who have earned the prestigious status of Honor Troupe.

“The Thespians worked really hard this year to gain this status for our school and our troupe,” said teacher Kaitlyn Etter and Ridgefield School District’s Theatre Arts Director.  She attributed the success to the students’ extraordinary efforts.

The application process required documentation of the troupe’s community service, support of other Thespian troupes, Theatre advocacy and quality of the high school’s Theatre program.  Even as the COVID-19 epidemic interrupted the process, Thespian Officers (Katelyn Brown, Peter Schafer, Kaitlyn St John, Clara Lewandowski, Sebastian Rojas-Rincon, and Jason Gasca) worked together to submit a video presentation and all documentation virtually.

“They have represented Ridgefield extremely well, and I’m incredibly proud of them,” said Etter.  “Way to go Spuds!”

Small Act of Kindness

One of Ridgefield’s great strengths is our strong and supportive community. During this time of physical distancing, it can be hard to witness and feel that sense of community. Take a moment today to recognize our community support by sharing small acts of kindness that you have received or witnessed.

These may include:
✔️ Check in on a neighbor, family, or friend
✔️ Display window/porch art to brighten your neighborhood.
✔️ Surprise a friend or neighbor with a note or card.
✔️ Make masks for your neighbors.
✔️ Send flowers or have a sweet treat delivered to a friend
✔️ Have a surprise Zoom birthday party

Share small acts of kindness or something that has brightened your day in the ‘leave a comment’ section above, and I’ll publish some of them. Keep doing the things that make Ridgefield home!

Who Dunnit?

Someone transplanted these lovely Merlot lettuce plants in my plot in the Community Garden, and I don’t know who did it. Was it you? I have exhausted my list of suspects and would love to be able to thank the thoughtful person who surprised me with this gift. Whoever did it knows me pretty well because the plants are arranged just as I would have. Thank you, whoever you are!

Feel Good Fridays Continue

Hotspot Internet Access for Students Will Be Available Sooner Than Anticipated

Internet hotspots provided by the district will be available to students starting Monday, May 11th — a day earlier than previously anticipated.  In addition, the duration of each hotspot location will increase by three additional hours for a total of six hours per day (9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday-Friday).

Look for the KWRL bus at the following internet hotspot access locations:

  • Cowlitz Crossing (gas station/convenience store at ilani), 31801 NW 31st Avenue, Ridgefield 98642
  • Rosauers Supermarket, 101 S. 47th Avenue, Ridgefield 98642
  • Mountain View Christian Academy, 2810 NE 259th Street, Ridgefield 98642
  • Whipple Creek Seventh Day Adventist Church, 302 NW 179th Street, Ridgefield 98642
  • Pioneer Vista Apartments, 16501 NE 15th Avenue, Ridgefield 98642

Students should connect to the RidgefieldSD network using the Wi-Fi password spudders (lowercase).

Superintendent’s Update to Families – May 6, 2020

 

 

 

May 6, 2020

 

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Let me begin this update with a flurry of thank yous!  Today is National Nurses Day (marking the start of National Nurses Week) and the perfect time to give a well-deserved shout-out to our school nurses and every nurse in the Ridgefield community.  Please help me send a special thank you to all the nurses in our community that continue to serve during this trying time.  Post your appreciation and tag it #RidgefieldResilient.

Amazing stories of celebration and student learning continue to make their way to the District.  I am so impressed with everyone’s dedication and effort to move forward in this new remote learning world.  I want to take a moment to thank all of our educators this week – National Teacher Appreciation Week.  Thank you for your continued exemplary service during this stressful time.  And thank you also to every student and family member who has taken time this week to celebrate the educators making a difference in their lives.

As the weather continues to warm, it reinforces how much I look forward to re-engaging with students, staff, and community members in person.  A pathway to that end is now in place.  As you know, Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” order articulates a phased approach to opening Washington State back up.  You can learn more by reading the Governor’s “Safe Start” order.

High school graduation is a monumental culminating point for both students and their families.  A moment in time where we honor our senior students.  The District has weighed many factors (some of which are listed below) to reach our final graduation decision.  Ridgefield High School will hold a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 5.  You can find an overview of graduation in RHS Principal Christen Palmer’s letter to Spudder families.

  • A survey of senior students and their parents revealed that many seniors and parents still want graduation to be on June 5.
  • We cannot guarantee a traditional in-person graduation later in the summer
    • Admittedly, the Governor’s phase-in approach will allow for groups of greater than 50 in Phase 4, but he has not provided specific dates for subsequent phases to begin.  Instead, we will advance from stage to stage based on the state’s dashboard data.
  • Given that graduation has been scheduled all year for June 5, we are confident that all students can participate on that day.  The longer we would go into the summer means that we might begin losing students who will be going into the military, moving, working elsewhere, etc. from being able to attend.

From the beginning, the District has been committed to supporting our students with technology.  With that in mind, Chromebooks for students that are still in need can be picked up Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm at the RACC.  This is a check-out process and takes a little longer, so please be patient.  You will need to return the Chromebook by 4 pm on June 19 to the RACC.  Additionally, our shipment of hot spots has arrived.  We will provide hotspot internet access starting Tuesday, May 12 from 9:00 am – noon at five different locations.  Look for the KWRL bus.

  • Cowlitz Crossing (gas station/convenience store at ilani)
  • Rosauers Supermarket
  • Mt. View Christian Academy
  • Whipple Creek 7th Day Adventist Church
  • Pioneer Vista Apartments

Later this week, the District will launch another ThoughtExchange.  We invite you to participate.  While we understand the trials and tribulations associated with our new remote learning world, we also believe there are hidden benefits.  This week we are asking you to think about and share the best aspect of our new remote learning.  We want to take this opportunity to think about how we might be able to shape the educational experience for our students, staff, parents, and community in the future.

Finally, I wish to send a heartfelt “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms in the Ridgefield School District.  Celebrating this Mother’s Day will be different, but no less special.  I look forward to dropping a gift off at my parent’s house for my mom and spending some quality time this Sunday, watching our boys celebrate Amanda.

As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

This is Phase I

On May 1, Governor Inslee extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order until Sunday, May 31 and introduced a 4 Phase plan for reopening Washington State. Today, we are in Phase 1.

This is what Phase 1 means in Ridgefield:

What is changing:
• Some outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, golf, boating, and hiking have been re-opened with physical distancing restrictions in place. If you choose to recreate in these remember: leave 6 feet between you and others outside your household, check for openings before you leave, and stay close to home. If you will be utilizing the Port of Ridgefield boat launch, please remember the dock is for loading and unloading only.
• Existing construction projects that meet physical distancing criteria may resume/continue.
• Retail businesses may re-open for curbside business only.

What is NOT changing:
• City offices remain closed to the public. Our phones are staffed during business hours. Utility payments may be made online, by mail, drop-off, or phone.
• All gatherings (except for drive in spiritual services) are prohibited. All public events and park reservations through May 31st are cancelled.
• City parks and trails remain open. Play structures, sports courts, and public restrooms at parks are closed.
• To alleviate worry and maintain a standard of health in our community, the City will not assess late fees nor disconnect water service until further notice. You will continue to receive bills and past due reminders during this time. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please call us at (360) 887-3557 to make payment arrangements.
• All non-essential meetings, including regular Parks Board and Planning Commission meetings, will be suspended. Essential City Council meetings will continue to occur but will be conducted via teleconference. City Council members will not be attending the meetings in person.

CAPS Network to Host a National Virtual Career Week

Over 20 national business leaders from NASA, John Deere, Disney, Boston Scientific and many more will support authentic, profession-based learning for high school students during the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) weeklong virtual career fair that kicks off on May 11th.  Ridgefield’s own Zenia Bringhurst will share her experiences at Boston Scientific.  She has been an amazing business partner supporting our Innovation Ridge CAPS students in pursuit of their career goals.

During a typical school year, high school students from across the United States enrolled in CAPS courses have the unique opportunity to learn about careers through direct interaction with professionals.  Due to COVID 19, visiting professional mentors and working with local clients on projects has come to a near halt.  All students across the CAPS national network will have the opportunity to engage small business owners, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and community leaders through virtual career presentations.  Each business leader will speak for approximately 40 minutes about their experiences in their respective professional industries.

Pulitzer nominated author and serial entrepreneur, Clifton Taulbert, will present a closing keynote entitled: “Discover Your Abundant Talent” on May 14 at 1:00pm. “The future matters as does the generation that represents our future,” shares Taulbert. “What better time than now to understand that challenges bring forth the opportunity to dream and reach beyond our present reality and to engage technology in the people connecting process.”

CAPS Network Virtual Career Week will take place May 11-14 and is open to all CAPS affiliated school districts. More information on the event can be found at the CAPS Network website: Virtual Career Week Registration https://bit.ly/2yF2YFl

About the CAPS Network:

The CAPS Network is a set of affiliated, nationally recognized, innovative high school programs. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs. More information about CAPS Network can be found at https://yourcapsnetwork.org/

More information about Innovation Ridge CAPS can be found at https://innovationridge.weebly.com/

Thought for the Week

The Toilet Paper Art Challenge

Eight of our talented Ridgefield artists submitted entries into the Toilet Paper Art Challenge sponsored by the Ridgefield Art Association. You can help reward them for their creative work by going to the webpage below and voting for your favorite entry. One vote person please. Voting will conclude and winners will be announced at 1pm on Monday, May 4th.

https://ridgefieldwa.us/things-to-do/community-events/first-saturdays/tp-art-show/

The City of Ridgefield will award a prize to the ‘People’s Choice Winner’.

Victory Garden Contest Opens

People all over the world are taking time during the global slowdown to start their own vegetable gardens. We thought, why not celebrate the abundance of green thumbs right here in our beautiful Ridgefield area? We have adopted the name “Victory Gardens,” popularized during World War II, to highlight that self sufficiency in a time of great economic and supply chain uncertainty can also be a patriotic act. Growing our own vegetables, herbs and flowers can allow us to live more sustainably too. In other words, this contest is a winner by every measure.

Important dates:

Contest Opens: May 1st, 2020

Final Submission Date: August 23rd, 2020 by 11:59pm

Winners Announced: September 1st, 2020

Contest Rules: Gardens must be located in the 98642 zip code. They can be at a home, community garden or business and must be grown in 2020. Households or businesses with more than one garden may submit entries for each garden. All ages are encouraged to participate. Gift certificates for Lava Java Cafe will be awarded for each of the following categories:

10 Contest Categories:

Least Water Usage

Most Visually Stunning or Best Use of Art

Best Garden in Which to Be a Kid

Most Biodiversity

Most Improved (submit before and after photos)

Best Use of a Small Space

Best Food Theme (i.e. salsa, Asian veggies, herbal tea, pizza toppings etc)

Greatest Food Production

Best Youth Garden (Under 18 years old)

People’s Choice (most positive Facebook comments)

Important dates:

Contest Opens: May 1st, 2020

Final Submission Date: August 23rd, 2020 by 11:59pm

Winners Announced: September 1st, 2020

Submissions:

Please submit your contest photo by posting it on the Ridgefield Forward Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RidgefieldForward/. Indicate for which category or categories you would like to be considered. If you don’t use Facebook, you can still participate simply by emailing your pictures to mdonavan@gmail.com.

 

Sponsors:  This contest is co-sponsored by Ridgefield Forward, a newly formed collaboration of local volunteers focused on reducing and reversing Climate Change, and Lava Java Cafe owner Phuong Tran, who is passionate about conservation and helping the planet.

*Photo submission is considered permission to post; however, ownership of all images shall be retained by the photographer. Please note that all photos submitted will be posted on our Facebook site and may be used for contest publicity.

 

 

 

Shop Local

During the Ridgefield Shop Local and Save Program the City of Ridgefield is offering utility rebates on your water bills for local receipts. You can earn a credit on your utility bill by buying and eating locally made food and beverages, or by purchasing a gift card from your favorite downtown store. Our local businesses make the possibilities seem endless.

How does it work?
Spend $25 at a local business or restaurant (you can combine two receipts) – the receipt must have the date and business name.

Write your name (as it appears on your utility statement), phone number, and utility account number on the receipt(s).

Scan and email the receipt to utilities@ci.ridgefield.wa.us or drop off the receipt(s) in a sealed envelope at the gray dropbox in front of City Hall at 230 Pioneer St.

The City of Ridgefield will credit $15 towards your utility bill.

You can earn up to 5 credits per account with a maximum credit of $75 per account. Eligible businesses include any business within the Ridgefield city limits. This program will go from May 1st-June 30th.

You can learn more about the program at https://ridgefieldwa.us/shop-local-and-save/

First Saturday Virtually

First Saturday 5th Anniversary: We are celebrating the 5th Anniversary of First Saturdays tomorrow – it is all virtual, but still a reason to celebrate! Thank you to everyone who has dedicated time and energy over the last five years to make this celebration possible. It has been fun to look back at our accomplishments and the awesome activities that so many residents and visitors have enjoyed. We even won an award from Association of Washington Cities. Watch the slide show tomorrow.

If you don’t know, the founders of the First Saturday event are Earleen Griswold, Peggy Quall, Barb Blystone and Kay Stringfellow. A huge shout out to them for making First Saturdays possible.

We are all looking forward to being able to celebrate live again! But, until then, the City is committed to continuing First Saturday events in whatever way possible.

May First Saturday/5th Anniversary Celebration: Here is the link for May First Saturday. It will go live later tonight: bit.ly/VirtualFirstSaturday

Shop Local and Save: The City is launching a program today to encourage residents to shop local. In a nutshell, residents who shop at a business within City limits can turn in the receipt for a credit on their next water bill. How you can help – provide receipts and let your customers know it is happening. Here is a link to find out more information: https://ridgefieldwa.us/shop-local-and-save/

Look for another shop local program that will be unveiled next week. If you have your own FB page, please share the announcements – it will benefit your business and this fabulous place that we live.

New Student Registration for 2020-21 School Year Goes Online Starting Today

Starting Friday, May 1st, Ridgefield School District implements an online registration system for new students enrolling for the 2020-21 school year.  The new system replaces an outmoded, paper-based registration process.  Now parents can complete forms, upload documents and submit student registration(s) — all online.

Before beginning the online registration process, it’s recommended that the following documents be readily available for each student.  Parents may scan and upload these document(s) or take a photo of documents using their phone and upload them as pictures:

  • Student’s state-issued birth certificate
  • Two proofs of residency documents
  • Transcript from previously attended school (if in grades 9-12)
  • Medically-verified immunization records
  • Legal documents pertaining to child custody (if applicable)
  • Special programs documentation (HiCap/Gifted, IEP)
  • Foster Parents (School Notification Letter and Agency’s Contact information)

If there is a need to stop in the middle of online registration, parents can save their work as long as they enter an email address.  The system will email them a link to their unsubmitted form so that they can pick up where they left off and continue with the submission process.

To access online registration, please use the following link:  https://webforms.ridgefieldsd.org/Forms/StudentRegForm

Kindergarten Registration

Incoming kindergarten students should be five years of age before September 1st to enter kindergarten.  Note:  The Kindergarten Parent Information Night events previously scheduled for Thursday, May 7th at both Union Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Elementary have been cancelled due to COVID-19 social distancing rules mandated by the state.  Instead, both schools will provide kindergarten information to new families via email and will also post the information to their school websites.

Early Learning Center Registration

Parents planning to enroll their students in the Ridgefield Early Learning Center should contact Erika Muir at 360-619-1300 to inquire about availability in the program before registering online.

Information and Assistance

For more information, visit the Student Enrollment page.  For assistance with the online registration process, please contact the schools directly.  Although school offices are now closed, building secretaries are currently monitoring voicemail and email messages for their buildings.

Union Ridge Elementary School (Grades K-4)  360-750-7600, tonia.rice@ridgefieldsd.org

South Ridge Elementary School (Grades K-4):  360-619-1500, gena.anderson@ridgefieldsd.org

Sunset Ridge Intermediate School (Grades 5-6):  360-619-1420, kim.babien@ridgefieldsd.org

View Ridge Middle School (Grades 7-8):  360-619-1400, sharon.bisila@ridgefieldsd.org

Ridgefield High School (Grades 9-12):  360-619-1320, roz.andersen@ridgefieldsd.org

What’s New at the Library?

Our Vancouver Regional Libraries are still closed due to the pandemic, however Sean and his staff at Ridgefield Branch are thinking up ways to keep you interested and involved.

There are two books displayed in the library windows, and each day a new page is turned. Check it out when you’re downtown. Sorry for all the reflections in this photo – you can see I tried to stay out of the picture!

There’s talk of maybe using social distancing to pass out books on hold, so if you’re running out of reading material, find some books you’d like to read and put them on hold. When this service is offered you’ll be first in line.