Thought for the Week

You might be from the Northwest if…  (cont’d)

    1. You notice ‘the mountain is out’ when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
    2.  Put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
    3. Switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.
    4. Have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
    5. Think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.
    6. Buy new sunglasses every year, because you can’t find the old ones after such a long time.
    7. You measure distance in hours.
    8. You often switch from ‘heat’ to ‘a/c’ in the same day.
    9. You use a down comforter in the summer.
    10. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them.
    11. You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
  • You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer) Deer & Elk season (Fall).
  • You understand these jokes and send them to all your friends in the northwest or those who used to live here.

Author unknown – but obviously from the northwest!

Protest In Ridgefield

A group calling themselves ‘Freedom of Assembly Ridgefield, WA’ held a protest against systemic racism yesterday at Overlook Park. Several people spoke about their experiences and after the rally many marched around downtown Ridgefield chanting “Black Lives Matter.” About 30 people attended and the group handed out a leaflet listing books, movies, and podcasts of interest as well as organizations that address the issue of systemic racism.

As a white woman living in Ridgefield, which is overwhelmingly white,  my question is: What are five concrete things I can do, beside reading a book or watching a movie, to combat racism?


Naming Opportunities

Now that the contract to build the library has been awarded, it’s time to think about the furnishings for the building.

A Naming Opportunity presents a unique chance for individuals, families and businesses to write a chapter in the history of the Ridgefield Community Library. Through a Naming Opportunity-level gift, you become a part of the library’s legacy for generations to come.

Gift levels range from $100,000 to $100. Email me ( and I’ll send you a complete list.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – July 23, 2020




July 23, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families

As you are aware, community spread of COVID in Clark County and Southwest Washington remains prevalent.  I know how much we all yearn for a return to some semblance of normalcy, including having our children in school.  However, the current public health conditions make the likelihood of an in-person start to the school year highly unlikely.

The District has spent the summer preparing to meet the many challenges posed by COVID.  Building and district administration have been working with our labor partners on two viable learning options until we can once again return to a traditional, fully in-person model.  One is a distance-only model, the other a “hybrid” model that combines in-person and remote learning opportunities.  Tremendous progress has been made on both models, and I am confident that we will be able to safely welcome our students back into the schools at some point during the 2020-2021 school year.

The two viable learning models include a “hybrid” learning model and a “remote-only” distance-learning model.  In the “hybrid” learning model, the District will divide the student population into two groups.  Each group will attend school in-person two days a week, while completing remote learning the other three days.  In this model, the District will ensure that families with multiple students will be assigned to the same group.

In the distance-learning model, all students will participate in a robust and predictable learning model from home five days a week.  The District is committed to providing an engaging, rigorous, and relevant distance learning model taught by RSD educators.  We believe this hometown connection, with our talented teaching staff leading students in their learning, makes this program superior to other distance offerings.  It is our hope to share specifics on these learning models with you next week.

I know there are still many questions regarding what the 2020-2021 school year will look like.  And I recognize that while this news comes as a welcome relief to some, others will be disappointed and disagree with the anticipated decision to open the school year remotely.  It is not an easy decision, and I appreciate the different points of view.  In-person learning is optimal, and our goal remains to bring students back for in-person learning experiences as quickly as conditions allow.  Ultimately, we will continue to rely on the advice and guidance from our public health officials.  The encouraging news is we can collectively improve conditions so a safe return to school is possible.  I’ve added this link to a research article that provides insight into how the community’s actions can determine how and when schools will open.

Thank you for your continued support of the Ridgefield School District.  Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Lots of Smiles in Ridgefield Today

I’m happy to report that the Executive Board of the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries voted last night to award the contract to construct our new library to Union Corner Construction. This means we can start remodeling the existing building and former Community Center into a bigger, better library.  HURRAH!

It’s been a long hard pull for the Friends of the Library, and thanks are owed to all the members who have worked so hard to raise money for the project.

Seven bids were received and the bid came under estimates, at $2,484,000. Adding in sales tax and a 20% contingency, gives an estimated budget of $3,250,000,leaving about $350,000 for remaining soft costs and FF&E.

Union Corner Construction is a forty year old company that specializes in commercial construction. They built the Cascade Park Library as well as the west room of our Community Center.

The first step will be in moving the contents of the present library into the former bank building across the alley. The plans originally were to use a human chain to pass the books, but with COVID-19 that’s probably not going to happen. I’ll keep you posed….





Thought for the Week

You might be from the Northwest if…

  1. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, and Willamette.
  2. Consider swimming an indoor sport.
  3. Can tell the difference among Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.
  4. In winter, go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, while only working eight-hour days.
  5. Never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
  6. Are not fazed by “Today’s forecast: showers followed by rain,” and “Tomorrow’s forecast: rain followed by showers”
  7. You cannot wait for a day with “showers and sun breaks.”
  8. How no concept of humidity without precipitation.
  9. Know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.
  10. Can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.

Kits for Kids

Kathleen at the Ridgefield Library has been putting together creativity kits for kids. She has three and is working on a fourth.

The paper beads kit is for kids 10 and older and includes paper strips, toothpicks and string.

The mini banjo is for kids seven and older and includes all the items needed to make a mini banjo.

The jack-in-the-box is for children four and older and include a template, stick and glue dots.

You can pick up a kit at the curbside pickup. Phone the number on the post when you get there and someone will bring a kit to you. The hours are 10 – noon and 2 – 5pm Monday through Saturday.

That Kathleen – she’s a wonder!

Contractor for Library

Good News!

On Monday evening the Board of the Vancouver Library will announce the name of the contractor who will remodel the library building, and I’ll post the name as soon as I know it. Watch  this space!

Ridgefield School District Appoints Zenia Bringhurst to School Board

Zenia Bringhurst, a Ridgefield community member, health industry professional and Ridgefield school parent, was appointed Ridgefield School District’s newest school board member by unanimous vote on July 15, 2020 at a special meeting of the Ridgefield School District school board.

Zenia and her husband, Trace, have lived in Ridgefield for the past fifteen years.  They have three sons:  Kellen, who graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2019; Cade who will be a senior at Ridgefield High School this fall; and Connor, who will be a sixth grader at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.

Zenia Bringhurst

Bringhurst manages the Corporate Accounts team for Boston Scientific where she is responsible for a number of corporate initiatives collaborating with large health systems across the U.S.  She has had over 20 years of experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.  Bringhurst holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University.

“I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to give back to the Ridgefield community through serving on the Ridgefield School Board,” said Bringhurst.

“Zenia’s science background, industry experience and passion for our schools will be a great benefit to our board,” said Joe Vance, Ridgefield School Board President.  “We are fortunate in Ridgefield to have people like Zenia that are willing to volunteer for public service.”

State law requires school boards to fill any board vacancy through an application, interview, and appointment process.  The appointment will be temporary until the November 2021 general election, when a permanent board member will be elected to the position.

Bringhurst will represent District 5, a seat formerly held by Scott Gullickson, who retired from the school board in June after 12 years of service.  Gullickson joined Ridgefield’s school board in May 2008.


4th of July Photos

This from Sandy Schill:

“As the longtime Festival director for the Ridgefield 4th of July, I just couldn’t bring myself to say, “Canceled” for our event. While it looked nothing like the annual parade, festivities and evening fireworks that we usually have, we altered it to comply with the safety for our citizens due to the current pandemic.

We asked our community citizens to celebrate our independence at home in their front yards and driveways and we would bring some fun to them. People started the day at 1 p.m. holding their own kid parade in their street. At 2 p.m. Cars and Parade entries randomly began driving around our development neighborhoods. One of our long-standing parade entries, RDO, passed out 5,000 units of potato chips and instant potato packets. Ice cream trucks roamed the streets. Human bugs from a pest control company, Natura, performed as they drove through the neighborhoods. We were pleasantly surprised at how many people participated in our suggestion to stay home and celebrate. We also had a patriotic Parade of Homes in which the best decorated home for the 4th of July received a trophy in each neighborhood. We had a lot of participants that did a wonderful job decorating for the 4th. They pre-phoned in their address and we drove around and judged the homes awarding them with their trophy.

We also had #Ridgefield Strong t-shirts custom made over the last four weeks. Everyone was wearing their shirt for the day.

The city had their own virtual events happening such as a virtual pancake breakfast and a virtual shoebox parade float that was streamed online. While it was a bummer that we couldn’t hold our traditional event, it just goes to show how strong our community spirit is in Ridgefield.”

Here are photos of some of the winning displays

Superintendent’s Update to Families – July 14, 2020




July 14, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Here we are, in the middle of July, with long summer days and relaxing cool nights.  I hope you are finding time to escape, rejuvenate, and unwind.

When I wrote to you on June 18, I was optimistic that we would be opening the 2020-2021 school year in a “traditional” fashion.  Now, nearly a month later, I am less confident that a “traditional” start is possible.

I empathize with and share everyone’s desire to know more about what school will look like for 2020-2021.  Please know, the Ridgefield School District continues to prepare for a safe and sensible in-person start, albeit today that looks like it will be in a hybrid learning model.  Please also know, at least for the beginning of the year, a remote-learning model for all students remains a possibility.

Hopefully, you have heard the news; the District is also committed to running a distance-learning model.  We sent the distance-learning option notice early because there are families that have already shared with us that they:

  • do not want their children attending schools until there is a proven vaccine;
  • do not want their children to attend schools wearing face masks.

It was important to make sure families knew there would be a distance-only option.  Naturally, this still leaves many unanswered questions.  The District is working as quickly as possible to finalize details.  I am immensely grateful for the talented team of administrators, teachers, and staff working collaboratively on our reopening plans.

The first question many ask is, will more information be forthcoming before families have to decide on the learning model for their children?  Yes, more specific information will be coming, and relatively soon.  I can assure you that the distance-learning model will be far more robust and predictable (day-to-day fidelity) than the model we rolled out this spring.  We have gained valuable experience and more preparation time that we did not have in March.

If you are interested in this option for next year, please click here to complete the registration process by July 31.  We will extend the deadline if we need to give families sufficient decision-making time.

Thank you for your patience as we complete the process of putting the hybrid and distance-learning models together.  As I mentioned above, I am optimistic we will have more information to share soon on each option available to families.

I hope this helps to alleviate some of the anxiety around the many unknowns for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  As always, stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent


Thought for the Week

A Cherokee saying:

We have taught our children the earth is our mother

Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth

This we know.

The earth does not belong to man. The man belongs to earth.

This we know.

All things are connected. Like the blood which unites our family.

All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.

Man did not weave the web of life. He’s merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.

AiSv Nv wa do hi ya do.

(Walk in Peace)

A Record High Daily Covid Count – USA

The above graph is from Worldometer’ s dashboard for Covid 19. For the first time, it shows cases for the US as being above 70 thousand/day.   The number is higher than John Hopkin’s dashboard and Wikipedia’s  .  However. the sources all show that Friday, July 10th  was the highest single day ever.  Many states, especially in the south,  are at crisis levels now.  

The US failed to get this disease under control when it had the chance back in March and April when other countries did.  We are going to pay a heavy price for that with many epidemiologists saying it is going to get worse.

As individuals, our responsibility is to protect ourselves and others as best we can.  Wearing a mask,  practicing  safe distancing,  and other recommended means need to be followed.  It may be a while before things get better.

By Paul Snoey

Parking Lot Sale

Friends of the Library are selling off the remaining items from the Community Center today in the parking lot of the former Umpqua Bank, which will be the new temporary home of the library. I understand it’s mostly kitchen items, but come and check it out – you might find just the item you need.

The sale will be from 9am to 3pm.

Masks and face coverings along with social/physical distancing will be required!

Superintendent’s Update to Families – July 8, 2020




July 8, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I hope everyone is enjoying a restful and relaxing summer.  2020 has been a challenging year and once again I extend my sincere appreciation for the grace, patience, and support our families have demonstrated.  Together, we are indeed much stronger.

The District continues to work collaboratively with our partners to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.  I want to be clear that while many unknowns still exist, the District’s overarching goal is to return to “traditional” in-person instruction in a safe and sensible manner.  As we analyzed our stakeholder survey results it became clear that the District needs to plan for multiple learning opportunities, and that a return to in-person learning (in any form) may be more than some families are currently comfortable with.   We understand that some families may want or need an online-only learning experience and we are pleased to share with you today that Ridgefield will have an online learning option available in the fall.

Please fill out the Ridgefield School District School-Based Distance Learning Registration in order to enroll your student in the online-only learning experience.  Early registration will allow the District to assign your student to a distance learning teacher and allow our teachers to prepare for how to best provide this robust learning opportunity to their students. Please note – submitting a School-Based Distance Learning Registration Form confirms that your student will not attend in-person classes for at least the first Trimester (K-6th grade students) or Semester (7th – 12th grade students) of the 2020-2021 school year.  Forms must be completed by Friday, July 31, 2020.

As always, stay safe and remain #RidgefieldResilient.


Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent