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.
Dr. Nathan McCann