Richland School District

Richland High School floriculture students earn top honors at state; will head to nationals


A floriculture team from Richland High School earned First Place at the Washington FFA State Floriculture Career Development Event March 25 in Woodland. Congratulations to Aurora Berger, Alexsis Buckmeier, CJ O'Connor, Amneet Pawar, and Jayden Ward who will now represent the state of Washington at nationals next fall in Indianapolis.

“I could not be prouder of this team,” says floral designer teacher and FFA advisor Danielle Jelinek. “These students stuck together, put in long hours, and pushed each other to the end."

Students competing at state displayed their expertise in a number of floriculture areas including: growing practices, floral design, job interviews, and solving day-to-day retail business problems. The students were also given a written exam testing their general knowledge of floriculture.


District awards site preparation bid for the new Jefferson Elementary School


The Richland School District Tuesday night awarded the site preparation bid for the new Jefferson Elementary School to Big D’s Construction, Pasco. The Big D’s Construction bid of $249,800 was the lowest of four bids submitted. The work includes site cleaning, site grading, and building pad preparation. The site work will begin in early April.

In March 2016, the District selected Design West Architects, Kennewick, to be the architectural firm for the new Jefferson Elementary School project. The new Jefferson will be 65,000 square feet in size and house 630 students. It will be the same design as the recently constructed Lewis & Clark, Marcus Whitman, and Sacajawea Elementary Schools.

The Jefferson construction bid will be awarded in June. The school will open in August 2018.


Richland School District psychologists helping students reach their potential


Thank you to our Richland School District psychologists for all they do to help students be successful:

  • Improve academic achievement
  • Promote positive behavior and mental health
  • Support diverse learners
  • Create safe, positive school climates
  • Strengthen family-school partnerships

Left to right above: Kurt Gustafson, Katrina Carlson, Heather Schaef, Sara Adams, Rachel Carr, Katie Pardini, Marilee Johnson, Jerry Bell, Tascina Penor, Amanda Rexford, Tricia Wahler, and Tania Montes (Angie Withers not pictured).


Leona Libby Middle School planning team accomplishing objectives (photo gallery)

RSD staff: Chris Jacobs, Mindy Reddick, Tami Shea, John Cowen, Mike Bryan, Mike MacBeth, Diana Patitucci, and Andre Hargunani.
RSD staff: Chris Jacobs, Mindy Reddick, Tami Shea, John Cowen, Mike Bryan, Mike MacBeth, Diana Patitucci, and Andre Hargunani.

Leona Libby Middle School will open in August. While construction of the Richland School District's fourth middle school has been proceeding, a group of dedicated teachers, parents, students, industry professionals and community members have come together over the past six months to plan the startup of this authentic STEAM school.

The Core Planning Team, led by Principal Andre Hargunani, have accomplished many objectives in preparation for students walking through the doors in five months including:

  • Developed the Mission & Vision
  • Added new computer science electives
  • Decided on a bell schedule that accommodates project-based learning
  • Researched innovative programs to increase learning opportunities and productivity

Schools taking a personal approach to battling chronic absenteeism (KEPR-TV)


Every absence is a learning opportunity lost and can have significant impacts on a student's success in school and life. Confronted by one of the nation's highest rates of chronic absenteeism, schools in the Tri-Cities are fighting back with new mentors and motivators.

Carmichael Middle School educators identified 130 students who fall under the category of chronic absenteeism. In less than a year, they’ve decreased this number to 30. The school is taking an innovative approach through a group they call the Success Coordinators.

"The big motivator for kids is that personal relationship,” said Tina Burruss, Carmichael administrative assistant. “It’s important they know that there’s a personal connection, there's somebody at school who cares."

Future Chefs Challenge offers young students opportunity to show off cooking skills (photo gallery)


The Future Chefs Challenge offered 11 Richland School District elementary students the opportunity to show off their cooking skills last week at the Tri-Tech Skills Center kitchen. The young chefs cooked up their original healthy food recipes with the help of mentors from the Tri-Tech culinary arts program.

“The Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge gets young students thinking about making healthy food choices and encourages them to get active and creative in the kitchen,” says Cathy Albertson, Assistant Director for RSD Nutrition Services.

1st placeEmily Dustin, 4th grade, Jefferson – Apple Sushi

2nd placeEmily Horner, 5th grade, Sacajawea – Black Oranges

3rd placeIsabelle Vetter, 4th grade, Orchard – Egg Roll in a Bowl


What does a boilermaker do?


What exactly does a boilermaker do? How does a young person become a boilermaker?

Chief Joseph Middle School students learned the answers to these questions when master boilermaker Fred Rumsey visited Randall Spaur’s classroom on Tuesday. Rumsey is a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers. 

“Exposing my students to the trades is eye opening,” says Spaur. “The region is in desperate need for more young people to choose the trades as a career path.”



RSD nurses take proactive stance on mumps outbreak - urge protection through immunization


Message from Richland School District nurses.....

Washington state is experiencing a mumps outbreak in 12 different counties, with the first case hitting Benton County on March 8. Mumps is a disease caused by the mumps virus. It is as contagious as the flu and is spread by coughing, sneezing or other contact with saliva from someone who is infected.

To protect children and families from the risk of long-term health problems associated with this disease, we urge parents to ensure their children and other family members are up-to-date on their MMR vaccinations.

For more information, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website.

Please contact your school nurse with any questions on your child’s immunization status.