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Dr. Nathan McCann
Superintendent
Phone: 360-619-1302
Email: nathan.mccann@ridgefieldsd.org

Dr. McCann's Updates to Team Members


March 2, 2020

Hi all,

On Tuesday evening, the school board took action to place a $40,465,000 bond resolution on the April 28th election ballot. The smaller bond program, if approved by voters, will enable the district to construct a new K-4 elementary school that will initially serve K-6 students to reduce the overcrowding at South Ridge, Union Ridge and Sunset Ridge and provide new accessible and inclusive playgrounds at both elementary schools. Additionally, passage will allow us to move forward with our plan to use school impact fees to purchase property for the new 5-6 and 7-8 grade campuses and to start design plans for the new 5-6 building and the new vocational building and additional classrooms at RHS.

March has arrived, which means Ridgefield Youth Arts Month is now under way. This is our sixth annual RYAM, and it continues to get better each year. First Saturday (March 7th) in downtown Ridgefield officially kicks off RYAM with the Arts Quarter Block Party at the RACC from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Highlights include hands-on art activities, mural painting, a scavenger hunt, vendors and RYAM’s showcase event Art Alive! featuring talented local dancers, musicians, singers and actors from Musical Expressions, The Fusion Theater Collective, and Dance Fusion NW. Ridgefield’s first color run, The Ridge Color Fun Run hosted by The Ridge Parents Association, is also on the RYAM schedule. The two-mile race starts at 10:00 am at Davis Park and includes a Finish Festival with music afterward. Afternoon activities include the Missoula Children’s Theater production of Robinson Crusoe at the RHS Performing Arts Center featuring our K-8 students, a Quinn Liu Concert at the Old Liberty Theater and displays of youth artwork at various downtown merchants. First Saturday’s events will truly be a celebration of the arts in Ridgefield.

On Thursday, March 5th, Mayor Don Stose will be giving the annual State of the City address at 6:00 pm at the RHS Performing Arts Center. His talk will present the past year’s achievements and provide information about the city’s current and future projects. This promises to be a very informative event. I encourage you to attend.

If you are like me, you have been watching the news closely for information regarding COVID-19. Please know that in these situations the district works closely with local and state authorities to ensure appropriate preventative processes are followed. Chris Griffith coordinated with our custodial team last week and Denise Morgan, our district nurse, sent out an update to parents on Friday (the letter is attached). Washington State Department of Health (DOH) provides extensive information on its website. You can visit DOH’s coronavirus webpage at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus to learn more and visit the K-12 specific resources and recommendations at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus/Schools.

Thank you very much for your continued commitment to every student in the Ridgefield School District. Have a great week!

-Nathan

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February 18, 2020

Hi all,

I hope you all had an enjoyable Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting on February 11th, we celebrated our Employee and Students of the Month. Congratulations to Kayla Mitchell, school counselor at Sunset Ridge Intermediate, on being selected as our February Employee of the Month. Also congratulations to the following Students of the Month:

Charlotte Halligan (Early Learning Center)

Natalie Green (South Ridge)

Nolan Proctor (Union Ridge)

Marin Fitzgerald (Sunset Ridge)

Olivia Matters (View Ridge)

Tegan Petersen (RHS)

It is almost March, which means Ridgefield Youth Arts Month (RYAM) is just around the corner. The city’s annual Arts Quarter Block Party in downtown Ridgefield (at Overlook Park and the RACC) kicks off Ridgefield Youth Arts Month on First Saturday, March 7th. There you can watch performing arts, take an art class, and visit the kids’ arts & crafts activity center.

Throughout the month of March, RYAM will feature activities almost every day including classes in art, music, theater, and dance plus art shows and musical concert performances by Ridgefield students. On Sunday, March 8th, RYAM will feature blind pianists Mac Potts and Nick Baker in “Dueling Grands” concert and benefit performances at RHS PAC. A special family-friendly matinee is scheduled at 2:00 pm, and the evening concert is at 7:00 pm. See the attached flyers. Proceeds from RYAM benefit local students via scholarships, and RYAM art, music and theater programs. I hope you plan to attend.

RYAM is now in its sixth year, and it continues to get bigger and better. Best of all, most of the activities are free. Watch for the RYAM brochure, which will be out soon.

Thank you for all your hard work. Have a great week.

-Nathan

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February 3, 2020

Hi all,

I hope everyone enjoyed a terrific Super Bowl Sunday!

This week (February 3-7) is National School Counseling Week, which celebrates the unique contribution of school counselors nationwide and the tremendous impact they make in helping students achieve school and career success. Please take a moment this week to show your appreciation to the school counselor(s) in your building for all they do for our students.

I have heard from many parents how much they enjoyed our fourth annual Bring Your Parent to School Day. As always, they are in awe at the work you do. Our parents treasure the opportunity to experience a portion of their child’s school day, visit our campuses, learn more about our many programs, and see all the amazing work each of you takes on daily to deliver world-class educational experiences for our students. Thank you to all for making this another memorable Bring Your Parent to School Day.

Election Day, Tuesday, February 11th, is fast approaching. Ballots arrived in mailboxes this past week. If you know of voters who still have questions, please let them know about an additional informational bond meeting at 6:00 pm on Monday, February 3rd. The event, which will be streamed on Facebook Live, will provide facts on the bond program in just 20 minutes and 20 seconds.

A tremendous amount of planning has gone into developing the 2020 Bond Program, and we have been fortunate for the incredible level of participation and engagement from members of the community and district staff throughout this process. Thank you for your support of this important work.

Have a great week!

~Nathan

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January 6, 2020

Hi all,

Happy New Year and welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful holiday break.

A School Board Bond Workshop is scheduled on Monday, January 6th and it will focus on school safety. Keynote speaker will be Alissa Parker, co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools and a former Sandy Hook Elementary School parent. She will share her experience and provide unique insight regarding the December 2012 school tragedy which took the lives of 20 children (including her daughter, Emilie) and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. Also on hand will be Chief John Brooks from the Ridgefield Police Department, and Chief John Nohr from Clark County Fire & Rescue who will speak on the importance of school safety. The workshop starts at 5:00 pm in the Columbia Assembly Room at the RACC. I hope to see you there.

At Tuesday’s board meeting on January 14th, we will recognize our January Employee and Students of the Month. Congratulations to Employee of the Month, Lee Ann Young, second grade teacher at South Ridge. Students of the Month include:

Lincoln Stevens (Early Learning Center)

Emma Sekidde (South Ridge)

Jaxxsun Schmidt (Union Ridge)

Alexandra (Ally) Nebeker (Sunset Ridge)

Kaylee Kirkelie (View Ridge)

Emily Trost (RHS)

That same evening, a special interactive exhibit, “Right Before Your Eyes” will be presented at the RHS PAC to raise awareness about youth vaping and other substance abuse. The exhibit, which opens at 6:00 pm, will give participants an opportunity to walk through a mock adolescent bedroom to see if they can detect signs of vaping and substance abuse activity. The event will feature a presentation, “VAPE 101: What Every Parent Should Know”, a panel discussion and Q&A session. I have attached a flyer with more information.

On Monday, January 13th, the RHS English Department hosts the annual school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition at the RHS Performing Arts Center. This is a terrific contest where our kids recite works of poetry. They are evaluated on accuracy, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding. The performances are very impressive, and I encourage you to attend. The event starts at 4:00 pm.

Thank you for all your hard work. Have a great week.

-Nathan

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December 16, 2019

Hi all,

Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year when weekends are a blur of activity.

I hope you had a chance to spend some time in Ridgefield during Hometown Celebration. While the lighting of the Christmas Tree is always fun to see, I must say the Annual Children’s Holiday Bazaar held at View Ridge gym was quite the event. Many entrepreneurs from South Ridge, Union Ridge, Sunset Ridge, and View Ridge were on hand to display their self-made crafts and goodies. A big thank you to the South Ridge PTA, Union Ridge PTO and The Ridge Association parents for organizing this fantastic event. Also, kudos to RHS art teacher, Tami Hoodenpyl and her team for hosting the popular Empty Bowl Project fundraiser in support of the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.

The regular meeting of the school board on December 10th, was filled with number of recognitions. In addition to the December Students and the Employee of the Month, the board recognized the winner and runners-up for our annual Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Contest. This year’s theme was “Winter Wishes”, and the winning entry was created by Madeline Bruguier (Sunset Ridge, 6th grade). Runner-up honors went to Elina Caine (View Ridge, 7th grade), Kelsey Heath (Union Ridge, 1st grade) and Mae Jones (South Ridge, Kindergarten). Congratulations to this year’s winners. We are grateful to the Ridgefield Art Association for sponsoring this contest, now in its sixth consecutive year.

The board also recognized our Spudder athletes: RHS Girls Soccer team for placing 3rd in the state, and the RHS Girls Volleyball Team for bringing home the state championship. In addition, the official opening of The Birds and the Beans coffee kiosk was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting by Laura Jhaveri and CAPS students.

Finally, Bonnie Harris, our Executive Secretary to the Superintendent, who will be retiring soon, was recognized by the board for 33 years of dedicated service. Thank you, Bonnie, for everything you’ve done for Ridgefield School District. A district-wide sendoff for Bonnie is set for Friday, January 10th (5:00-8:00 pm) at the RORC, and all RSD staff are invited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP before Winter Break to Kalin Heath at kalin.heath@ridgefieldsd.org.

There are only a few more school days remaining before Winter Break. My holiday wish for each of you is to slow down, enjoy quality time with family and friends, and allow yourself an opportunity to recharge. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

-Nathan

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December 2, 2019

Hi all,

Happy December! I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Another successful Turkey Trot was held on Thanksgiving morning with a record number of runners and walkers participating (600+) and a bounty of non-perishable food items donated to benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center. The family-friendly Ridgefield event has become an annual community tradition and gets better each year.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, we celebrate our Employee and Students of the Month for December. Congratulations to Susan Arndt, athletics secretary at View Ridge Middle School on being selected as our Employee of the Month. Also congratulations to the following Students of the Month:

  • Phoenix Ramsey (Early Learning Center)
  • Chase Divine (South Ridge)
  • Kherington Hagen (Union Ridge)
  • Jamison Barnette (Sunset Ridge)
  • Tyler Crouch (View Ridge)
  • Charlie Fisher (RHS)

As part of Ridgefield’s Hometown Celebration, I hope you will be able to check out the hand-crafted items created by our K-8 students available for sale at the Ridgefield Childrens’ Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 7th from 11:00am – 2:00 pm at the View Ridge Middle School gym. The event, organized by the parent organizations at Union Ridge, South Ridge and Sunset Ridge/View Ridge, directly benefits our student entrepreneurs.

Also a part of Hometown Celebration is the Empty Bowl Project at the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Hot soup, prepared by local restaurants, is served in unique, soup bowls that patrons can take home. Each bowl is hand-crafted by RHS students and local artists. The event is sponsored by the RHS Art Club and NHS, and proceeds benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.

I encourage you to support the Walk & Knock Food Drive which also takes place this Saturday. The Ridgefield Lions Club is organizing the food drive in our community, and volunteer drivers and walkers are needed at Sunset Ridge/View Ridge from 8:15 am to 12:30 pm. Fill a grocery bag with non-perishable food items for pickup or sign up online as a volunteer at the Ridgefield Lions website by clicking here .

Have a great week, and thank you for all your hard work.

-Nathan

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November 18, 2019

Hi all,

Over the weekend, Ridgefield celebrated big wins in both volleyball and soccer. The RHS volleyball team won its second consecutive state championship in the title match against Ellensburg in the 2A state tournament on Saturday. In the 2A state soccer tournament, the RHS girls soccer team chalked up a win over Port Angeles, advancing them to the state semifinals for the first time since 2015. They will play Hockinson on Friday. Congratulations all! Way to go!

This week is American Education Week (November 18-22). Public schools nationwide will be celebrating staff members whose work is critical in supporting learning for students. On Wednesday, November 20th (Educator Support Professionals Day), we will recognize the work of our amazing secretaries, assistant secretaries and paraeducators. On Friday, November 22nd (Substitute Educators Day), we will celebrate our certificated substitutes whose work makes continued quality learning possible for our students on days when teachers need to be out of the classroom. We appreciate our support professionals and substitutes! This week, please thank the support staff in your building for the valuable work they all provide for the education of our students.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is sponsoring their third annual Turkey Trot, which is fast becoming a holiday tradition in the community. Proceeds benefit both the Foundation and the Ridgefield Family Resource Center. I encourage you to take part in this fun, family-friendly event. Attached is a flyer that provides registration details and more information.

Looking ahead, I hope you all get an opportunity to rest and enjoy time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving break. Thank you very much for your continued commitment to every student in the Ridgefield School District.

-Nathan

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November 4, 2019

Hi all,

I hope everyone is enjoying the perfect fall weather as well as the extra hour of sleep as we transitioned back to standard time.

It was a great week and weekend for our Spudder athletes! On Saturday, the girls soccer team defeated W.F. West to advance to 2A district semifinals. They play Tumwater on Tuesday for a berth to state. In cross country, the boys team qualified for state on 10/31 by taking 3rd place at District; four members of the girls team (Grace Goode, Ariel Griffith, Jane Kuebrich and Shelby Fisher) were individual qualifiers. The team advances to the state meet on Saturday 11/9 in Pasco. Spudder volleyball team, league champions, advance to play the winner of Centralia/Hockinson on Thursday 11/7. The football team awaits the results from a three-way tiebreaker on Tuesday and then will host either Black Hills, Aberdeen, or Centralia on Saturday night. The winner of that game continues on to the 16 team state playoff bracket. Go Spuds!

We will celebrate our November Employee and Students of the Month at the next regular school board meeting on Tuesday 11/12. A big congratulations to Gena Anderson (South Ridge head secretary) on being named our November Employee of the Month. Also, congratulations to the following Students of the Month…

Emmalinn Penner (Early Childhood Center)

Adam Castillo (South Ridge)

Isabelle Tucker (Union Ridge)

Cadie Clark (Sunset Ridge)

Sarah Proctor (View Ridge)

Diego Morales (RHS)

At that same board meeting the school board is expected to pass a resolution putting a school bond on the February ballot. This Thursday (November 7th) the board will hold a special work session to review the preferred 2020 bond program (Plan A) and begin an exploration of alternative concepts (Plan B) should the bond not be approved by voters. This is the first in a series of meetings the board will hold on the topic. I will be visiting staff meetings during November to provide you more information on the bond. In the meantime, I am attaching a handout that summarizes the projects and shares a little more about the growth we are experiencing.

Looking ahead, I hope you have a very enjoyable Veterans Day holiday weekend and the opportunity to take part in a Veterans Day commemoration to thank our veterans for their service.

-Nathan

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October 21, 2019

Hi all,

I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable weekend and managed to stay dry.

Our sixth annual Holiday Greeting Card Contest is now underway. The theme this year is “Winter Wishes”. I encourage all students to participate in creating original artwork for the district’s holiday greeting card. The winner and three semi-finalists will win cash prizes. A big thank you to Ridgefield Art Association, our partner in this endeavor.

In conjunction with the contest, Community Education is offering free Holiday Card workshops open to all students starting October 21st (today!) at South Ridge, October 22nd at Sunset Ridge/View Ridge and October 23rd at Union Ridge. Attached is the form containing Contest Rules, Parental Permission Form, Holiday Greeting Card Art Label and includes registration information for the workshops. I look forward to seeing all of the artwork entries that will be submitted by our student artists.

RHS Theater’s fall production of Dracula will premiere on Thursday, October 24th at 7:00 pm at RHS Performing Arts Center. Additional performances are scheduled through November 2nd. I encourage you to attend a performance and support our talented students. I have attached more information about the event.

October 21-25 is National School Bus Safety Week. This year’s theme is “My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!” Please take the opportunity to thank our school bus drivers for the important work they do to safely get our students to and from school each school day.

The district’s first Patron Tour of the school year is set for Tuesday, October 29th from 8:30 am–11:30 am. Community members will have an opportunity to tour Ridgefield High School’s new Expansion Building, the Vocational Education Building and the property on which the district plans to build a new K-4 elementary school. The tour begins at 8:15 am at the RACC, and bus transportation and continental breakfast will be provided. To register, email communications@ridgefieldsd.org with your contact phone number and the number of attendees in your group.

Save the date! On Thanksgiving morning, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation will be hosting their annual Turkey Trot races (5k and 10k runs). Proceeds will support the Foundation and Ridgefield Family Resource Center. This is a great way to help out our neighbors while burning some calories in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner later that day. More information is forthcoming.

Thank you for all your hard work. Have a terrific week and a safe and happy Halloween.

~Nathan

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October 7, 2019

Hi all –

I hope you enjoyed a restful and productive weekend.

Over the weekend, our fifth graders, staff, student counselors, and volunteers departed for the district’s annual trip to Cispus Outdoor School, marking 50 years of the district’s commitment to outdoor learning for our students. I continue to be amazed by the great work accomplished by students and staff at this event. This signature event aligns with our strategy to support and grow flexible learning environments that help every student achieve high outcomes. Our sustained commitment to Cispus is one of the unique features that sets Ridgefield apart from other districts around the state.

To commemorate Cispus’ 50th anniversary, the district has organized a Cispus Tour set for Tuesday, October 8th. Past participants, counselors and staff will be visiting the camp for a tour and a celebration lunch.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, we celebrate our first Employee and Students of the Month for the 2019-20 school year. Congratulations to Austin Biel (RHS) on being named our October Employee of the Month. Also congratulations to the following Students of the Month:

Addison Speer (South Ridge)

Gael Hurtado (Union Ridge)

Tyler Merlock (Sunset Ridge)

Ella Fitzgerald (View Ridge)

Hunter Abrams (RHS)

Here at the RACC, The Birds + The Beans had their grand opening over the weekend on and are now open for business! Come and experience Ridgefield’s newest coffee hot spot. This exciting new venture, led by CAPS (Innovation Ridge) students has been long in the making, and we are excited for its success in the years to come. Congratulations and huge Thank You’s go to Andrea Reinertson (CAPS Marketing & Entrepreneurship teacher), Tiffany Gould (Director of CCTE and Federal Programs), and mentor Laura Jhaveri of KillaBites who were instrumental in guiding the CAPS student team toward the successful completion of this new and exciting endeavor.

Thank you for all your hard work. Enjoy your week.

~Nathan

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September 22, 2019

Hi all,

October is fast approaching and promises to be a busy and exciting month for us.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the district’s participation in Cispus Outdoor School, a long-standing tradition that has provided generations of Ridgefield students with hands-on environmental skills and inspiration for a lifelong respect for nature and the outdoors. Ridgefield School District is proud to be the longest-running camp in Cispus Outdoor School history.

In commemoration of the unique learning opportunities that Cispus has provided to our students, the school board will commemorate the event at Tuesday’s school board meeting with a resolution to honor this extraordinary milestone. On Thursday, Mayor Don Stose will issue a proclamation to designate the first week of October as Ridgefield Cispus Outdoor School Week.

October is definitely a month of celebrations. National Custodians Day is Wednesday, October 2nd. Please take the time to thank the custodians in your building for providing a safe and clean working environment for all of us. October is also National Principals Month. For all of their hard work and dedication, please join me in showing appreciation to all of our school administrators throughout the month.

October is also National Bullying Prevention Month. The district staff is planning a district-wide commemoration on Unity Day, October 23rd, it’s signature event. Please plan to wear orange on that day to show your support for anti-bullying. More details on the district-wide commemoration is forthcoming.

The Birds + The Beans coffee kiosk is slated to open on First Saturday, October 5th at the RACC. An official announcement of the grand opening is in the works from the high school’s business/marketing students in the CAPS program, who have worked hard to conceptualize and bring this exciting venture to fruition. Stay tuned for more information.

Have a great week and thank you so much for all you do to support our students.

-Nathan

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September 8, 2019

Hi all,

This week, we are proud to announce separate grand opening celebrations for two new facilities in our district.

On Tuesday, September 10th, I invite you to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Early Learning Center (ELC) at the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC) at 5:00 pm. The ELC opened its doors last week to welcome its first-ever group of “hash browns” -- preschoolers (ages 3-5) and before/after school students in Grades K-4. The ribbon-cutting will take place in the Columbia Assembly Room at the start of the regular school board meeting. I invite you to attend and visit the newly renovated ELC classrooms soon afterward.

On Saturday, September 14th, Ridgefield High School will be celebrating the official opening of its new Expansion Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 am in the new library. The two-story-building, which has been under construction for the past year, opened for classes on schedule on August 28th. It features new classrooms for Fine Arts, Science, Life Skills and general education. Come attend the celebration and check out the impressive new facility.

After the RHS ribbon-cutting, come over to the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC) for some fun at Experience Ridgefield! The community carnival (now in its fourth year) starts at 11:00 am and celebrates Ridgefield’s proud past, prosperous present, and promising future. There is fun for everyone, including new additions this year of a Corn Hole Tournament and a Bingo tent to go along with 40 participating vendors. Oktoberfest, sponsored by Ridgefield Main Street, will also be there.

A big thank you to our title sponsor, iQ Credit Union; our supporting sponsors, ABM and The Modern Orthodontist; and our activity sponsors, Team Serface at Cross Country Mortgage, Draper Orthodontics and the Ridgefield Raptors. A flyer for Experience Ridgefield is attached. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Have a great week.

-Nathan

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August 25, 2019

Hi all,

Welcome back! It was great to see everyone at Convocation. I hope you had a fun and relaxing summer. Like you, I’m eager to welcome back our students on Wednesday.

Congratulations to our 2019 Exemplary Service Award recipients who were honored at Convocation:

Partner Employee Exemplary Award: Lucero Ponce, ABM custodian - South Ridge Elementary

Classified Employee Exemplary Service Award: Carla Bonebrake, Health Aide – Union Ridge Elementary

Certificated Employee Exemplary Service Award: Kelly O’Boyle, Special Education and SEL teacher - Sunset Ridge/View Ridge

You can view their Convocation video tributes on You Tube at the following links:

Lucero Ponce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hmVLOfWKz4

Carla Bonebrake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho3s6PVdLNA

Kelly O’Boyle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGYnUZNFVEM

After more than a year in the making, the Ridgefield High School Expansion project is nearly complete and is on schedule to welcome students and staff for its first school year. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building is set for Saturday, September 14th at 10:00 am in the expansion building’s library. This event takes place in conjunction with Experience Ridgefield, which will be happening at the RORC on the same day. All are invited to attend.

I am proud to announce that the district’s first Early Learning Center (ELC) is scheduled to open at the RACC on Wednesday, August 28th. It will serve preschoolers and provide before/after school care for children in Grades K-4. Big Thank You’s go to Erika Muir, Early Learning Coordinator; Scott Rose, Project Manager at R&C Management; Emerick Construction; and the entire District Office staff for helping to make this a reality. The ELC is holding an Open House on Monday, August 26th. You are invited to come and see the new facility. Please also mark your calendars for the ELC’s official opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for Tuesday, September 10th at 5:00 pm during the school board’s regular meeting at the RACC.

Experience Ridgefield is set for Saturday, September 14th, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC). A flyer is attached. I hope to see you all there.

Have a great week.

-Nathan