Richland School District

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.


Additional classrooms being installed at Hanford and Richland High Schools


The Richland School District is getting ready to install 12 additional classrooms at both Hanford and Richland High Schools. The modular building will have interior hallways and restrooms. Seen above is the foundation preparation taking place at Richland High this week.

The high quality classroom additions will help handle the increasing enrollment numbers at both schools. The Richland School Board has discussed placing a new high school on a bond issue ballot in 2021.


Poem authored by Jason Lee second grader will compete for national honor

The Washington State PTA announced today that Noelle Kolbinger, second grade student at Jason Lee Elementary School, earned first place in the Primary Literature division at the WSPTA Reflections Contest. The award honors imagination, creativity and interpretation of the theme “What’s Your Story?” Noelle’s winning poem is titled “This Is Me”.

“I am always amazed at the talent our students show and Noelle’s piece is certainly at the top of the list,” said Becky Pospical, Jason Lee PTA President.

Noelle will accept her award April 29 at the Washington State PTA Reflections Ceremony in Seattle. Her poem will now compete at the national level.


District focused on connecting with students and reducing chronic absenteeism


The Richland School District is continuing its efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism including the gap between low income and non-low income students. Seen above are the administrative assistants and Gear-Up Success Coordinators who are helping middle school and high school students with goal setting and attendance issues……(l to r): Brenda Diaz, Michael Vowels, Donelle Dorsett, Cindy Nichols, Tina Burruss, and Elias Cuello (not pictured is Adrian Ochoa).


District canceling four Friday early releases to make up instructional time


The Richland School District announced today that four early release Fridays have been canceled so that students can make up some of the lost instructional time due to bad weather this winter.

Students will now attend school for a full day on the following Fridays:  April 14, 21, 28, and May 5.

"Every hour of instruction is valuable for our students," said Superintendent Rick Schulte.

The last day of school is set for Thursday, June 15, pending approval by the state.

As announced previously, the snow make-up days are May 26 and June 12-15.