Richland School District

Hanford High School Engineering Club builds hand for fellow student

Matt Roohr, Fiona Kirkham, Kimberly McKinnon, Adrianna Iturba (Samuel McKinnon in photo that Fiona is holding)
Matt Roohr, Fiona Kirkham, Kimberly McKinnon, Adrianna Iturba (Samuel McKinnon in photo that Fiona is holding)

Hanford High School junior Fiona Kirkham started the school year with two working hands; that’s one more hand than she had last year….and quite important for the aspiring artist. Four members of the Hanford High School Engineering Club gave up their summer Saturdays to build a new hand for Fiona who was born without a left hand. The engineers are Adrianna Iturba, Kimberly McKinnon, Samuel McKinnon, and Matthew Roohr

“The student engineers assembled the hand from thermal form plastic and strung ‘tendons’ to help it grab objects,” explains mentor Christine McKinnon.


National Merit Program announces Semifinalists and Commended Students


Richland School District proudly announces that 31 high school seniors are Semifinalists and Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. Becoming a Semifinalist is the first stage of a process that will end next spring with scholarships for some of the students honored. About 7,500 Merit Scholarship awards worth more than $33 million will be offered, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.


Public invited to hear Richland High School jazz groups at John Dam Plaza


The Richland High School Music Department invites community members to a free jazz concert at the John Dam Plaza HAPO Stage on Tuesday, September 27, at 6:00 pm. The RHS jazz bands and choir will perform. And the weather forecast looks perfect for an outdoor concert.....85 degrees is expected on Tuesday.


Richland School District teachers named Washington State Fellows


The State Superintendent of Public Instruction has selected nine Richland School District teachers as Washington State Fellows for the 2016-17 school year:

Stephanie Becker, Lewis & Clark, Early Learning
Erin Bennett, Carmichael, ELA
Kelly Casto, Hanford High, Math
Morgan Chittenden, Jason Lee, ELA
Debbie Ellefson, Enterprise, Science
Kelly Lindsley, Chief Joseph, Science
Cheri Masters, Carmichael, Science
Denise Rosenblum, River’s Edge, ELA
Sandee Stroup, Richland High, ELA

“We are proud of the work our Fellows have done and will continue to do as they share knowledge with their Richland School District colleagues,” says Nicki Blake, Executive Director of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum.


Top honors for Richland High School FFA students (photo gallery)

Kassidy Weber
Kassidy Weber

Richland High School FFA students earned a number of top honors at the Benton-Franklin Fair in August. The students purchased their market goats, swine, and rabbits last winter and have been learning about real life agriculture and the responsibilities involved in taking care of livestock since then….

  • Kassidy Weber, Grand Champion, Market Goat  
  • Kaitlin Smasne, Grand Champion, Market Hog
  • Ashleigh Hurst, Grand Champion, Rabbit Knowledge
  • Ashleigh Hurst, Grand Champion, Rabbit Judging
  • Alyssa Dobson, Reserve Grand Champion, Market Goat
  • Arland Ward, Reserve Grand Champion, Hog Showmanship
  • Kenely Webb, Reserve Grand Champion, Goat Showmanship
  • CJ O’Connor, First Place, Goat Obstacle Course

Planning underway for new STEAM middle school (KONA Radio interview)

The Richland School District's fourth middle school will open in August 2017. The new school will have a STEAM focus and the planning is underway.

"We're looking at how to integrate the sciences, technology, engineering, the arts, and math across content areas so students see the relevance of all their core academics," explains Principal Andre Hargunani. Hear more from Andre in this interview with KONA Radio.


Students learn about the relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights


Richland School District government students spend a considerable amount of time learning about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Students discover the contemporary relevance of these documents in their lives. 

With Constitution Day being celebrated tomorrow (Saturday, September 17), students in Steve Perez’s Hanford High government class today tested their knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The students used Chromebooks to do a simulation game on the iCivics web site.  

One of the founders of iCivics is Sandra Day O’Connor, former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. “There is an increasing appreciation that we need to know how our government works,” says O’Connor. “Civics is about learning how to make a difference in one’s local community, state, or nation.”


District officials to discuss importance of PILT funding with Cantwell, Murray, and Newhouse

PILT helps fund purchase of technology and.....
PILT helps fund purchase of technology and.....

Richland School District officials will head to Washington, D.C. next week to make the case for continued PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funding from Congress. PILT is money given to the District (and other local taxing agencies) by the federal government to make up for lost revenue when the government took Hanford land off the tax rolls.

“The District receives about $2 million each year so it is a significant source of revenue,” says Superintendent Rick Schulte. “PILT money directly benefits RSD students.”


New Teaching & Learning/Administration Center part of 2017 bond issue


Q. Why is a Teaching & Learning/Administration Center included on the February 2017 bond issue?

A. Richland School District administrative staff are currently scattered around Richland due to the inadequate central administration building on Snow Avenue. The Teaching & Learning Department now rents office space on Wright Avenue (photo above). The Special Programs Department now rents office space on Bradley Boulevard. The existing central administration building on Snow Avenue was built in the 1940s originally as a corner grocery store.  "It is woefully inadequate for a school district our size," says Superintendent Rick Schulte.


School Core Planning Team seeks STEAM professionals


The Core Planning Team for the Richland School District’s fourth middle school is seeking two professionals from STEAM-related industries to join the team and help plan the innovative STEAM* school. Interested professionals can apply at this link. The new middle school will open in August 2017.

“We have a unique opportunity to develop a STEAM focused program from the ground up,” says Principal Andre Hargunani. “The input we receive from these industry professionals will be a key part of our planning efforts.”

Also serving on the Core Team will be educators, parents, and students.


New middle school will be next project completed from 2013 bond issue

The District’s fourth middle school is currently being built near the intersection of Keene Road and Belmont Boulevard in West Richland (architect drawing above). The new school will be 108,000 square feet in size and house 800 students. Every classroom will have full access to instructional technology. The school will open in August 2017. Community members will be invited to submit names for the new school later this fall.


First graders dive right into improving arithmetic skills (photo gallery)


Richland School District first graders are hard at work making the transition from kindergarten. One learning activity this morning in Lisa Moore’s classroom at Jason Lee Elementary focused on the number “2”. The first graders were practicing how to draw the number “2” and write the word “two”.

Moore brought students up to the SMART Board where she helped them draw the number correctly. The students also practiced adding in their Numbers Galore workbooks and rotated to different stations around the classroom where they were challenged to count up to 20 and record their answers.