Richland School District

Tech Ninjas program providing students with leadership and communication skills (Tri-City Herald)


A group of first- and second-graders sit on the carpet in front of a SMART board in Orchard Elementary School’s library. The projected computer screen is a change from the classic chalkboards. They allow teachers access to a host of tools.

“A lot of our teachers are feeling overwhelmed,” said Shirley Falls, a third-grade teacher at the school. “It’s hard to keep up with technology.”

Falls, and, her partner, Amanda Workman, are training a batch of Tech Ninjas. The group of highly capable Orchard Elementary students are learning how to use the SMART boards and other technology.

The goal of the Tech Ninjas is to find a way to help integrate technology into classrooms and help students and teachers struggling to adjust.


PUBLIC FORUM on Wednesday - Community invited to rate school name nominations

Construction of the new middle school in West Ricland is right on schedule
Construction of the new middle school in West Ricland is right on schedule

The Richland School District has received nearly 300 nominations for naming the new middle school in West Richland. Names receiving multiple nominations include: Candy Mountain, Keene, Leona Woods (Libby), Enrico Fermi, and Belmont. Here is the entire list.

  • Interested community members are now invited to evaluate and score those nominations at a public forum on Wednesday, October 26, 7:00 pm, at Enterprise Middle School.

  • Those attending will also rate the nominations for school mascot and colors.

  • The forum scoring results will be passed on to the school planning team and then to the Richland School Board.

The District’s fourth middle school is currently under construction near the intersection of Keene Road and Belmont Boulevard. It will open in August 2017.


Receive Key Communicators email news updates

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


Community can order flower arrangements from Floral Design class (photo gallery)

RHS Floral Design students with samples of their creative work
RHS Floral Design students with samples of their creative work

If you need flower arrangements for banquets, weddings, holiday parties, or birthdays, the Richland High School Floral Design class may be just what you’re looking for. The Floral Design students work hard to produce quality bouquets, centerpieces, and corsages that please their community customers.

“I’m proud of the way these students apply artistic design principles to their floral arranging,” says teacher Danielle Jelinek. “Most recently, they created some beautiful breast cancer awareness arrangements.”

To find out more, email Danielle at:


Friday is deadline for new middle school nominations

The Richland School District invites community members to nominate names, mascots, and colors for the new STEAM middle school which is being built in West Richland. The new school will open in August 2017.

According to District policy, “District school or support facilities will be named after geographic characteristics of the area in which the facility is located or after deceased persons who have achieved local or national stature resulting from enduring contributions in the fields of education, arts and sciences, historical significance to the region, military achievements and statesmanship. Names must not conflict with names of other schools in the district or surrounding districts.”

Those wishing to make a nomination for school name, mascot, and colors can do so by filling out this New Middle School form The deadline is Friday, October 21.



One mile run is just one of many fitness activities in physical education classes (photo gallery)


The one mile run is just one way that Richland School District students get exercise in middle school physical education classes. Monday was no exception as Carmichael students took to the track at Fran Rish Stadium. Fitness circuits, soccer speed ball, tennis, and bowling are just a few of the many P.E. activities offered.

“We give students lots of fun choices,” says Shanon Flynn, Carmichael P.E. teacher and RSD department chair. “We want them to enjoy being active and fit.”


Students learn about perseverance while studying artist Henri Rousseau (photo gallery)

Jefferson students enjoying their work on the Rousseau-style jungle mural
Jefferson students enjoying their work on the Rousseau-style jungle mural

Tiger in a Tropical Storm (1891) was the first of many jungle scenes for which French artist Henri Rousseau is best known. Jefferson Elementary School students learned about Rousseau in Erika Cook’s art classes and put their learning into action by creating a Rousseau-style jungle mural in the school hallway.

“There is so much students can learn from Rousseau’s life,” says Cook. “He was a self-taught artist who persevered and kept painting even though many art critics didn’t like his work at the time. He became famous.”


Hanford High School runners come to aide of fellow competitor


During a cross country race at the 48th Annual Richland Invitational last Saturday, a girl collapsed next to Hanford High School runner Kara Shibley (right above). Kara stopped and cared for the girl who had passed out and was not responding. Fellow HHS runner Kersten Lucas noticed the situation and ran to get a parent before getting back into the race. Kara stayed with the collapsed girl until she was assured things were OK and then started running again. 

“Kara and Kersten exemplified what we want in our young people,” says Coach Sean Mars. “They noticed a situation where help was needed and responded.”


Richland School District secures land for future high school


The Richland School District has reached agreement with 7HA Family LLC to purchase 70 acres of land in West Richland.The land will be used for a future high school. The cost is $3.89 million. The purchase will close sometime in late November.

The 70-acre parcel is located just west of the land where the District is currently building a new middle school (near the intersection of Keene Road and Belmont Boulevard).

“This is an exciting day,” stated Superintendent Rick Schulte. “We’ve secured land for a high school which will serve the growing areas of south and West Richland. We thank the City of West Richland for their help in making this purchase happen.


Literacy stations are engaging, fun, and challenge kindergarten students (photo gallery)

Jefferson kindergarten teacher Heather Hadler using flashcards at a learning station.
Jefferson kindergarten teacher Heather Hadler using flashcards at a learning station.

Literacy learning stations are a key component of Richland School District full day kindergarten classes. Students practice reading and writing skills that are carefully selected to meet their specific needs. Early in the year, these skills include letter identification, initial sound fluency, decoding skills, and upper and lowercase letter formation.

“Literacy learning stations provide a variety and balance of instructional approaches that engage kindergartners in reading and writing,” explains Nicki Blake, RSD Executive Director of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum.

The stations include computer games, letter and word flashcards, paper and pencil practice, literacy apps on iPads, and guided reading groups.


HHS marching band earns second place at Cavalcade of Bands (photo gallery)


For the second year in a row, the Hanford High School Marching Band earned Second Place at the Southeastern Washington Cavalcade of Bands October 1 in Pasco. The HHS show “Waterworld” featured over 150 students performing on instruments and flags/rifles. The director is Kevin Swisher. 

The HHS Color Guard earned the top color guard award for the third time in the past four seasons. The coaches are LaNae Munroe, Loralee Newbury, and Anna Newbury. 

The event at Edgar Brown Stadium attracted marching bands from 18 schools around the region.


CSI unit engages Science Investigations students in STEM learning (photo gallery)

Science Investigations students in front of the West Richland Police Department's Mobile Response Unit
Science Investigations students in front of the West Richland Police Department's Mobile Response Unit

The Case of the Missing Mascot engaged Science Investigations students at Enterprise Middle School. Teacher Janene Bush wanted an engaging culminating activity for the CSI unit and she got that with very helpful assistance from the West Richland Police Department. Sergeant Thomas Grego and Officer Drew Hendrickson visited her class with insights as to how they go about gathering evidence to solve crimes and how to correctly process a police report.

Then today (Wednesday), the students toured the WRPD headquarters…..they stepped inside the evidence room and learned how evidence is carefully cataloged and stored. “The CSI unit was an exciting time of STEM learning,” says Bush.