Never Doubt: Our schools and our democratic process unite us in possibility

Two quotations have swirled around in my mind over the last weeks:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

“From Parkland, Florida….to Los Angeles, California…. so far in just two months, six communities have been impacted by school shootings with injuries or deaths. Sixty-three casualties, twenty people dead in or at schools —16 students and four adults—just 45 days into 2018….”    – #Neveragain statement from Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Webb from February 26, 2018.

March 14 has been determined by many groups locally and nationally as a “Day of Action”.  For some organizations, this means a “walk out”.

At River, our aim is to engage students in dialogue and sustain this movement to a better, more peaceful world.  We have established guidelines that we have developed with our Associated Student Body Leadership and with the Principal’s Advisory Council in meetings on February 16th, 20th and  March 2nd and 6th.  We will share the options with our student body and our community before the end of this week.

We will publish an assembly schedule that will allow for students to engage in organized, and supervised activities.  We are a closed campus.  Planned activities will take place in our regular meeting spaces such as the gym, commons and Media Center.  There will be no outside speaker presentations.  We will adjust instructional time to accommodate some activities and a “moment of quiet reflection”.   If students choose not to participate, we will accommodate those wishes.

  1.  Activities planned for the morning will enable all students to participate or to option-out.  Students will be provided time and space to participate in a meaningful way.  (This may be sitting quietly, registering to vote, or drafting a letter.)
  2. Activities planned for the morning will be inclusive and facilitated with every effort made to recognize divergent points of view and to provide opportunity for exploration into all sides of the issues that arise.

Public schools and our democratic process unite us in possibility.  Never doubt.

More:  Founding Fathers and the Washington Legislature 


Magnet Night at Columbia River High School

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Columbia River High School’s Magnet Night will be Wednesday, January 17.  Our doors will be open at 6 pm.

Our intended outcome for the first 30 minutes of the evening is to provide a preview of some of our athletic, activity and club organizations. These programs make us a comprehensive high school and we have a great deal to share.  Student and staff representatives from a variety of our teams, clubs and groups will be spread out in the Upper and Lower Commons.  We hope you make personal connections during this time.  We encourage incoming students to interact with current students and staff so that we can keep you informed over the spring and summer of upcoming events.

At 6:30 pm, Our Associated Student Body President and I will provide a welcome and some brief comments as “The State of The School”.

At 7:00 pm we will move to J. Hoover Gym to present our International Diploma Magnet Program.  This meeting is for those students and families interested in learning more about the IB at Columbia River . During this presentation, you will hear from Julie Nygaard, River’s IB Magnet Coordinator, some of our teachers and our current students.

International Baccalaureate Magnet Program application checklist – applications submitted before February 5, 2018 are considered on-time.

In order to be ready for the IB diploma program, students must complete a first year algebra course (or its equivalent) with a grade of A or B by the end of their 8th grade year.  Please note, in order to complete the requirements for the Full Diploma, 9th grade math is PreB Geometry or higher.

Checklist for ALL Applicants

  1.  Thorough completion of the online application (Please use either Google Chrome or Safari as your web browser for the online application.)
  2. Request copies of current 7th & 8th grade transcripts from your current school and submit paper copies to Columbia River High School no later than Monday, February 5, 2018
  3. Schedule and complete an interview and writing sample.  Interview dates are February 1, 3 and 8, 2018.  Use this link to schedule an appointment for an interview

Students who do not currently attend a VPS school will also need to submit their State Assessment (HSPE, MSP and EOC), MAP, SAT, PSAT or other similar scores from standardized tests) to Columbia River High School no later than February 5, 2018.

Students who reside outside of Vancouver School District boundaries…will be able to submit a boundary application after May 1, 2018 from your resident school district. If accepted, this boundary exception will need to be completed before May 15, 2018.

Applicants will be notified about the status of their acceptance by mail and email after March 8, 2018.