Richland School District

Current News Releases


Long distance video linkup brings salmon and Orca ecosystems learning to life


Students in Diana Anderson’s and Bobbi Eslick’s fifth grade classrooms at Wiley Elementary were transported to the San Juan Islands last week when they participated in a distance learning lesson on Orca whales and the ecosystem of the Salish Sea. Scientist Jeff Hogan led the video linkup learning session from Lime Kiln State Park near Friday Harbor. He was connected via technology to students all over the northwest.

“As part of our salmon life-cycle study, we tied in eco-systems early and, along the way, we adopted an orca, Oreo J-22, from the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor,” explains Eslick. “We’ve talked all year about how the salmon and Orcas are connected and what else is in their ecosystems.”


Community members invited to RSD K-8 Art Show (photo gallery)

Maya Clark, Lewis & Clark, 4th grade
Maya Clark, Lewis & Clark, 4th grade
Hailey Anderson, White Bluffs, 4th grade
Hailey Anderson, White Bluffs, 4th grade
Hannah Kieneker, Enterprise, 8th grade
Hannah Kieneker, Enterprise, 8th grade
Joanna Martinez, Sacajawea, kindergarten
Joanna Martinez, Sacajawea, kindergarten
Chloe Norman, Marcus Whitman, 5th grade
Chloe Norman, Marcus Whitman, 5th grade
ElliAnn Somes, Carmichael, 6th grade
ElliAnn Somes, Carmichael, 6th grade
Ian Hummel, Orchard, 4th grade
Ian Hummel, Orchard, 4th grade

WSU Tri-Cities is hosting the 8th Annual Richland School District K-8 Art Show in the CIC Building (just north of the main campus) through May 31.

A variety of art work is on display including drawings, ceramics, and paintings (see the photo gallery link below for a sample of the exhibited work).

Community members are invited to view the exhibit during normal CIC Building operating hours - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.


Tournament of Books a creative way to get children reading


Another creative way to get kids reading took place at Wiley Elementary School where teacher Diana Anderson and librarian Rhonda Deniston created the Tournament of Books. Based on March Madness, there was a bracket of 16 books. Each week, third thru fifth grade students read the bracketed books and voted on which books were moving on to the next round.

“Wings of Fire” won the championship round.

“The kids really got into reading and were excited to find out each time which book made it to the next level,” explained Anderson.



Ecology & Biodiversity students study forces that have shaped local shrub steppe (photo gallery)


It was hands on learning for some Richland High School science students on Monday. The Ecology & Biodiversity class traveled to the Hanford Reach National Monument North site to learn more about how the basalt lava flows and last ice age floods impacted the current biodiversity of the local shrub steppe.

“This course offers students the opportunity to study the forces that have shaped the earth with the main focus on ecology and evolution,” explains teacher Audra Richter.

Among the learning activities at the Hanford Reach, students:

  • Analyzed quadrat vegetation between the river and the trail to determine wildflower species population coverage and interspecific competition;

  • Determined species richness and energy flow through this micro ecosystem.

Elementary students try their hand at composing music (photo gallery)


Lewis & Clark fifth grade students performed original music compositions Friday at a lunch with special guests Superintendent Rick Schulte and Richland School Board members Brett Amidan and Heather Cleary. The fifth graders have been learning how to write music under the tutelage of Lewis & Clark music teacher Carri Rose. The students composed short pieces for violin, bass, ukulele, and xylophone.

“I applaud these fifth graders for their efforts at writing music for the first time,” said Superintendent Schulte.


Richland School District receives positive bond ratings


Moody's Investors Service (MIS) has assigned the Aa2 rating to the Richland School District’s General Obligation Bonds expected to be issued in the amount of $62 million. These bonds from the February 2017 bond election also received the Aa1 enhanced rating of the Washington State School Bond Guarantee Program.

According to MIS, the Aa2 underlying rating reflects the District's sizeable and expanding tax base, strong socio economic profile, and sound financial position:

  • Strong tax base growth due to continued new construction with no declines over the past twelve years.

  • Positive enrollment trend over the past decade expected to continue.

Site preparation work almost complete at Jefferson Elementary


Site preparation work continues for the new Jefferson Elementary School. Big D’s Construction, Pasco, is in charge of the cleaning, grading, and building pad preparation.

The Jefferson construction bid will be awarded in June with construction beginning in early July.

The new Jefferson will be 65,000 square feet in size and house 537 students.


Poem authored by second grade student earns national recognition

Noelle with her Washington State Reflections award; the national award will be presented June 24 in Las Vegas.
Noelle with her Washington State Reflections award; the national award will be presented June 24 in Las Vegas.

The National PTA has announced that Noelle Kolbinger, second grade student at Jason Lee Elementary School, earned an Award of Excellence in the Primary Literature division at the National PTA Reflections Contest. Noelle’s winning poem is titled “This Is Me” .

In addition to being awarded a $200 scholarship and a silver medal, Noelle’s poem will be displayed at three locations: the U.S. Department of Education, a traveling Reflections art exhibit, the National PTA online gallery. Noelle will accept her award June 24 at the National PTA Convention in Las Vegas.



Therapy dogs encourage reading (photo gallery)


You might call Scout and Jack the reading dogs. Every Friday, you’ll find the two golden retriever therapy dogs hanging out in the Jason Lee Elementary library helping kids become more confident readers. Research indicates a win-win situation….kids enjoy reading with dogs and their literacy skills improve by reading with dogs.  

“Scout and Jack have a calming influence as the kids sit beside them and pet them while they read,” say owners Debbie Crass and Kathy Delucchi.

“Any hook to get children reading more is a positive thing,” adds Jason Lee teacher Liesl Batdorf.