Ridgefield High School STEM Students Observe Geological Engineering Field Work on Campus

A geological engineering team from Columbia West Engineering Inc. was on campus at Ridgefield High School early this week to acquire soil samples for analysis from the site of proposed new construction for the Ridgefield High School expansion, part of Ridgefield School District’s 2017 bond project.

Field workers from the company extracted numerous soil samples for lab analysis to determine the site’s soil composition.  Engineers will use the data to design the foundation for the new structure.  Preparation for the soil study involved heavy equipment being carefully maneuvered into place onto the campus’ courtyard and having the area cordoned off for student safety, as classes were in session during the operation.

Earlier this year, Lance Lehto, president of Columbia West Engineering, recognized the event as a unique learning opportunity for STEM students and reached out to high school administrators and project managers on the construction side to help make this happen.  As a result, engineering students in Ridgefield High School’s STEM program got a close-up look at this field work.

This week, Lehto visited the STEM engineering classes to do presentations about the soil study from a geologic field engineering perspective while the field work was taking place outside the classroom.

Students learned about soil composition in Ridgefield and in Clark County, got some geological history of the local region, and learned why soil analysis is essential in building design.  Then, outfitted with hard hats, safety vests and safety goggles, students headed over to the field work site with Lehto where they observed the actual soil sample extraction process in real time.  The field crew drilled as far down as 75 feet to acquire the samples of clay, silt, sand and gravel layers that make up the soil on the site.

The Ridgefield High School expansion project is currently in its design phase.  Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2018 with proposed completion in fall 2019—in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Columbia West Engineering Inc. is a locally-owned and operated multi-disciplinary geotechnical, environmental, special inspection, materials firm.  The district is grateful to Lance Lehto and his engineering crew for providing this unique learning opportunity.

Ridgefield School District Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Capital Facilities Advisory Committee

District developing long-range plans to accommodate student enrollment group

Ridgefield School District invites interested residents to join the district’s Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC).  This group will study, analyze, and make capital facility recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Ridgefield School District is Clark County’s fastest-growing school district over the past four years and is projected to more than triple in enrollment by 2035.

The advisory committee’s first meeting will be on Wednesday, December 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Ridgefield High School, Room 311.  The committee’s work will continue through March 2018 with recommendations presented to the Board of Directors for consideration in April 2018.  The district anticipates putting a bond proposal on the February 2019 ballot.

The Capital Facilities Advisory Committee will be asked to:

  • Develop programming to meet the needs of Phase III of RSD’s capital facilities plan, as identified by the district’s CFAC team that met from November 2015 – April 2016;
  • Develop criteria for decision-making that promotes continued success for Ridgefield School District and the community;
  • Plan and host community open houses and outreach activities; and
  • Review proposed concepts for Phase III and recommend a preferred concept for the 2019 bond election.

In addition to community members, the committee will include district staff, students, local public officials, and business partners.

Those interested in serving on the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee may sign up by calling the district office at 360-619-1302 or emailing Dr. Nathan McCann, the district’s superintendent at nathan.mccann@ridgefieldsd.org.

Ridgefield Fourth Grader Submits Winning Design in School District’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest

Ella Wood, a fourth grader from South Ridge Elementary School, is the first-place winner in this year’s Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest for the Ridgefield School District.  Her artwork was selected by judges as the entry that best exemplifies “Together for the Holidays,” this year’s contest theme.

Ella’s winning design will grace the cover of the district’s holiday greeting card, 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, Ella receives a $50 cash award.

Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest 2017 – First Place, Ella Wood, South Ridge Elementary School

Three artwork entries were also selected for Runners-Up honors.  These entries were submitted by Violet James, a second grader from Union Ridge Elementary School; Emma Waddle, a fourth grader from South Ridge Elementary School; and Adara Grieco, a sixth grader from Union Ridge Elementary School.  Each student receives a $25 cash award for their winning design.

Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest 2017 Runner-up, Violet James, Union Ridge Elementary School


Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest 2017 Runner-up, Emma Waddle, South Ridge Elementary School


Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest 2017 Runner-up, Adara Grieco, Union Ridge Elementary School

All four students will be recognized at the district’s regular school board meeting on Tuesday, December 12.

The Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest, now in its fourth 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.

RHS Students Learn Sales and Marketing First-Hand in Collaborative Project

By collaborating with other classes and combining specific skill sets, students in Andrea Reinertson’s Marketing class and Stefanie Foster’s Foods Class at Ridgefield High School now have a better understanding of how products are promoted in the marketplace.

In October, both teachers created a project centered around a hypothetical pasta company whose goal was to create a frozen food product for teens seeking quick, ready-made meals.

Reinertson’s marketing students conducted research to find out which qualities their target market (teens) were looking for in their ideal pasta product and presented their findings and recommendations to the “Product” team (the students in Stefanie Foster’s Foods class) to prepare the final product.

“Foods students were briefed on their vision of the product to be marketed,” said Stefanie Foster, RHS Foods and Consumer Science Education teacher.  “My students researched the best and most cost-effective way to prepare the product.  They prepared and completed peer evaluations on how to adjust the recipe to better meet the target market.”

Foster added that her students also collaborated in class on how best to present the recipe as recommended by the Marketing class.

Collaboration by students in both classes generated a variety of pasta products.  Marketing students came up with the brand, logo, and attention-getting grocery aisle displays for each one.

To measure the products’ success, teachers invited staff members and other students to score the different pasta products based on taste, product display, likelihood to purchase, and the sales techniques utilized to draw “customers” in.

A couple of the pasta products had a high number of tastings–a direct reflection on the appeal of the displays and sales techniques, according to Andrea Reinertson, RHS  marketing teacher.

As marketing and production “employees” in a hypothetical pasta company, the students learned what is involved in the areas of product research, production, advertising and sales in the marketplace.  Best of all, the experience was completely hands-on from beginning to end.

“The students really loved getting to pick their own pastas, having the opportunity to think creatively to solve a problem and getting to see their ideas come to life,” said Reinertson.

Working collaboratively was a notable takeaway.  “All the students learned a ton about communication and teamwork,” added Reinertson.  “These are such valuable life skills that I know they will learn from and improve on as they get older.”

Walk ‘n Knock Tomorrow

Tomorrow is our annual Walk & Knock campaign to collect food for the needy. You may have gotten a brown paper bag included in  your newspaper, if not, use any bag. Put it on your porch by 9 am. If it hasn’t been picked up by 4:00 you can drop it off at the Sportsman’s in downtown Ridgefield.

Items needed are canned meat, stews and tuna, elbow macaroni, oatmeal, soup, pancake mix, powdered milk, rice, beans, instant potatoes, baby foods, diapers, toiletries.

Follow up on the November Meaningful Movie

Wednesday’s showing of An Inconvenient Truth was the best attended to date due to our partnership with the Sierra Club. It really speaks to the importance of working together! If you weren’t able to attend, “An Inconvenient Sequel” is available through Amazon to rent, Red Box and Netflix’s DVD service. I highly recommend it.

Some notes from my husband, Chris Dudley, who is our discussion moderator:

“A big Thank You! To our sponsors, The Loo-Wit Sierra Club, The Ridgefield Community Library, The Ridgefield Community Group, The Old Liberty Theater, and to everyone who came out, contributed, and/or spoke up!

First, I incorrectly attributed a Freeman Dyson statement about humanity’s need to plant a billion trees to help mitigate climate change to an Albuquerque, New Mexico television reporter named Stuart Dyson. I met Stuart at a college party in the late 80s and he became a hero of mine. I’ve had some email correspondence with Freeman Dyson, the eminent theoretical physicist, over the years. Confusing the two men may seem inexcusable unless you know that both are irascible, interesting characters.

A question was asked that begs for more discussion, ‘how to get people engaged in the climate fight who have other social justice concerns that they feel they need to focus on instead.’ Our thought from the Meaningful Movies team, based on a mountain of literature, is that our changing climate will disproportionately affect people with the least resources, those suffering, those who have always suffered systemic oppression. Fighting climate change is the right thing to do from a social justice perspective because the disenfranchised face the worst consequences of global climate change.

I mentioned a Brooking’s Institution White Paper on Carbon Tax Credits. There a myriad of them. The Brooking’s Institution is a fantastic resource for policy information.

Here is NASA’s report on the gravitational pull of icebergs and what the loss of those iceberg’s may do to nearby cities and ports.

Information about the Hybrid Geothermal-Solar power plant recently installed in Nevada which Marc Rappaport designed and spoke of can be found here.

Please get in touch with Don Steinke (crVanWash@gmail.com) to find out how you can help specifically in stopping projects that contribute to climate change and in working on policies in the schools and city governments to reduce fossil fuels. He’s out front, every day. If you realize how important this fight is but don’t know what to do, ask Don! He, and we, could really use your help and involvement. His hand-out is linked here.

I’ll be putting together an informational meeting on Marc Rappaport’s idea of building a community solar array. I have nearly zero details at this point, and am only gathering information and hoping to find those interested. Please, please text or call me 505 803 3766 or email me chrisrushdudley@gmail.com if you live in Ridgefield and you’re interested in learning more (unless you put your info on the sign-up list already).”

We were also so fortunate to have Brian Ettling from Citizens Climate Lobby in Portland speak briefly. If you are interested in getting involved with legislative efforts at the state and federal levels, please contact Dawn Marineau Kropp, who is involved with the Vancouver chapter at 503-830-2174 or e-mail her at dmarineaukropp@gmail.com.

There will be no film in December. Please save the date January 24th for Tickling Giants.

Megan Dudley

Hometown Celebration

Saturday is Hometown Celebration and the town will be jumping. It all starts with the Ugly Sweater Run and continues all day with a bazaar at the Community Center, live music, kids’ activities, trailer rides, Santa, etc. Most of the activities are free. Some on down and enjoy the fun! The Christmas tree at Overlook Park will be lit at 5:00, with lots of food and singing.

RHS Students Share DECA Fall Leadership Conference Experience

At the end of October, eight RHS students were fortunate enough to attend Washington’s DECA Fall Leadership Conference in Bellevue, Washington.

DECA, also known as Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a career and technical organization made up of students at both the high school and college levels and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality and marketing.   It prepares leaders and entrepreneurs for careers and education in these and other business areas.

This is Ridgefield High School’s first year as a high school chapter of DECA, so the conference served as a great opportunity for the students to gain a better understanding of the organization.

The students, Jonathan Flury, Jaden Gorder, Lily Maul, Kenadi McCaskill, Kelli Paterson, Tim Radosevich, Joey Vossenkuhl, and Rachael Werbowski  shared photos of their experiences at the conference.  View them by clicking here.

Andrea Reinertson, RHS business and marketing teacher, believes that the Fall Leadership Conference was exactly the platform needed to provide the strong start to the high school’s DECA chapter, noting that the high school’s DECA member count climbed from 9 to 23 members when the students returned from the conference.

The district is grateful for the contribution made by an anonymous donor to RHS’ DECA program.  Without the donor’s support, attendance at the conference would not have been possible.

Students interested in joining RHS’ DECA chapter can contact Andrea Reinertson, RHS business and marketing teacher, at andrea.reinertson@ridgefieldsd.org.

Thought for the Week

What is happiness? I am not sure what happiness is, but I know for certain that happiness is not looking up from what I’m doing to say I am happy!

Holiday Elves Needed

Calling all Holiday Elves!  The Friends of Ridgefield Community Library are in need of donations of baked goods (sweet and savory) for the Hometown Celebration BAKE SALE Fundraiser on Saturday, December 2ndfrom 9 am to 4 pm in the Ridgefield Community Center.  If you’d like to donate something yummy for the bake sale, please contact Jeanne Androvich to sign up at jeanne.androvich@mindspring.com or 360-887-2579.

Baked goods may be dropped off at the Ridgefield Community Center on Friday evening, December 1st from 5 pm to 7 pm, or on Saturday morning, December 2nd from 7:30 am to 9 am.  We are looking for donations of candy, cookies, bars, fruit pies, cakes, quick breads, muffins, rolls, and breads.  We CANNOT accept any item that needs to be refrigerated!  We especially are in need of baked goods that are vegan, gluten free and nut free.  Please label your donations to avoid any guesswork for the Elves.  Also, the Elves need to know if the baked item contains milk, egg, nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soybeans.

Want to give the Friends the gift of your time, but you don’t bake…that’s okay…the Friends need extra Elves to help during the Bake Sale as a server or cashier.  The Friends especially need extra hands for the 12 pm to 1:30 pm shift, the 1:30 pm to 3 pm shift, and the 3 pm to 4:30 pm shift.  And if you have a food handler’s license we can really use your help!  Contact Jeanne if you’d like to help at the Bake Sale.

All proceeds from the Bake Sale will go towards the Library Building Fund and library programs at the Ridgefield Community Library.  The Friends thank you for your support of your local library and wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Happy Holidays, Jeanne Androvich, President, Friends of Ridgefield Community Library


Congratulations to Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church’s kitchen, that had a perfect score on the inspection from Clark County Public Health this month

Turkey Trot

Photo courtesy Sandy Schill

Sandy Schill reports “What a pleasure to see hundreds of walkers and runners on the Port trail on Thanksgiving morning. I’m sure many of them were seeing the Tundra Swans for the first time.”

Make it 2 M

I’m happy to report that last week’s Open House brought in $559 for the library building fund. Three original water colors were sold, as well as lots of prints and note cards. Thanks to all the people who attended and brought food to share.

We also collected $171 for the Family Resource Center, and a bunch of clothing and food. On this subject, will the person who brought the large blue collection barrel please come and pick it up?

Happy Thanksgiving

Free Training Offered December 12 to Help Cope with Adolescent Stress

A free training is available December 12th for parents, educators and community members.  Presented by Mary Jadwisiak from Holding the Hope, it is entitled “Coping with Adolescent Stress, Anxiety and Depression.”  No RSVP or registration is necessary, and it is open to the public.