Richland School District

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Receive Key Communicators email news updates

Community members wishing to stay current with Richland School District happenings can do so via email. These news summaries include recaps of Richland School Board meetings along with up-to-date information on instruction, curriculum and facilities. To subscribe to Key Communicators, contact Steve Aagaard, RSD Communications Director, at


Old Marcus Whitman bench gets new home across the street (Tri-City Herald)

Marshall and Charlotte Jones with the Marcus Whitman bench; photo courtesy of Tri-City Herald
Marshall and Charlotte Jones with the Marcus Whitman bench; photo courtesy of Tri-City Herald

Marshall Jones was a little surprised when some men knocked on his door Friday and said they were there to install a bench. The bench that previously sat near the main entrance of Marcus Whitman Elementary is one of many vestiges that typically are discarded during a renovation project. But Jones, 91, asked a year ago if he could have it. He and his wife Charlotte, 93, routinely sat there, across the street from their central Richland home. “I said ‘I thought you forgot about me,’ ” Marshall recalled. “(A worker) said, ‘No, you’re on the list of things to do.’ ” Those working on the school made sure to set it aside.


Pasco school officials ask RSD to reconsider money for Delta High (Tri-City Herald)


A year after the opening of the new Delta High School, Richland school officials are being asked to help shoulder some of the unpaid $2.36 million construction bill. The Pasco School Board president is asking his Richland counterparts to pay $790,000. That’s one-third of the amount not covered by the state for the school built in west Pasco. But the request could be wishful thinking. Years ago the Richland board had no interest in committing money to a capital project for Delta. “We promised our constituents that only per pupil money would go to Delta,” Richland School Board president Rick Jansons told the Herald on Monday. 


RSD and CBC planning academy to train future health care providers (Tri-City Herald)


A new program allowing Richland School District students to train for health care careers — whether preparing for medical school or becoming a physical therapist — could be available by fall 2017. It could be based in Columbia Basin College’s new health sciences building under construction in central Richland. The goal is to help students get an early start on a career path in a growing industry. It also represents a new approach to education where the barriers between earning a high school diploma, a college degree, and work experience are torn down. Officials say the need for such a program is clear as health care has become a large part of the local economy.

Students take initiative in improving look of Chief Joseph campus (photo gallery)


In an effort to help beautify the Chief Joseph Middle School campus, leadership students planted grass seed in the courtyard Tuesday morning. The student leaders met with the Richland School District Grounds Department to plan the project. They interviewed local nursery owners to determine what type of grass to grow, the best time to plant, and how to fertilize during the summer. “The courtyard will look much better with a nice lawn when school opens in late August,” says leadership advisor Ryan Hoff.


Allen Vizzutti performs with Hanford High instrumental groups

Tapteal teacher named Distinguished Educator by Washington State University


Kimmi White, first grade teacher at Tapteal Elementary School, has been named the “Dr. Vitt and Mary Ferrucci Distinguished Educator for 2016” by the College of Education at Washington State University. The honor is based on White’s innovative use of classroom technology and her sharing of cutting edge instructional methods with teachers around the state. “Vitt and Mary Ferrucci established this award to encourage the work of updating the way educators are teaching math and science,” stated Dr. Michael Trevisan, Dean of the WSU College of Education.


Marcus Whitman team will attend STEM Leadership Institute


A team of teachers from Marcus Whitman Elementary School will attend the Washington State LASER STEM Education Leadership Institute June 27 to July 1 in Lynnwood: Shannon Case, Cassie Lane, Evan Newby, and Racquel Tansy. The Institute will prepare teachers to enhance their STEM-focused instructional efforts.


Carmichael S.A.V.E. Club making our community a better place

Carmichael S.A.V.E. Club
Carmichael S.A.V.E. Club

Kudos to the Carmichael Middle School S.A.V.E. (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Club for making a difference in our community this year. Club members coordinated a food drive, adopted a family for Christmas, and raised money for the American Heart Association.

They ended the year with a special Kindness Project for teacher Melissa Welch who lost her eight-month-old son Deacon last year. S.A.V.E. members honored the baby and family by paying forward acts of kindness. They handed out “Kindness starts with me!” bracelets to Carmichael students and staff.


Hanford High School drama takes home two Seattle 5th Avenue Awards


Hanford High School drama received two awards Monday night at the Seattle 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards:

  • Outstanding Hair and Make Up Design - The Little Mermaid
  • Outstanding Ensemble Group – The Rebel Poor in Urinetown

The entire cast of Urinetown and outstanding lead actor nominee Devin Duggan performed musical numbers for the McCaw Hall audience.

Main Jefferson building could become preschool center (Tri-City Herald)


A Richland elementary school facing demolition now is being eyed for preschool space. The Richland School Board recently heard a pitch to make Jefferson Elementary the home of the district’s various preschool efforts such as classrooms for developmentally delayed kids or a state-funded program for low-income families. The old school also could become a community center. Board members directed district administrators to gather more information but several voiced support for the idea.

District completes successful year of full day K at all schools (photo gallery)


The Richland School District’s full day kindergarten program is receiving positive feedback from teachers, parents, and administrators. The combination of focused professional development, redesign of the classroom environment/daily schedule, and communication with community child care providers has been instrumental in the success of full day K. The District is completing the first year of offering full day K at all elementary schools.