Dr. Redinger's Open Letters

Superintendent Dr. Shelley Redinger

Updates, messages and thoughts from Dr. Shelley Redinger To THE RSD COMMUNITY on the important work going on in RSD schools.

Oct. 6, 2021

I want to start this blog by saying thank you.

Thank you to our students for their resilience, drive and compassion. When I was at schools as students returned at the end of August, I could hear their excitement as they caught up with friends or chatted with staff as they walked in. In the first month of this school year that excitement has translated into everything from River’s Edge High students participating in an engineering competition at the University of Idaho, Lewis & Clark Elementary students being inspired by Olympic and Paralympic athletes and our preschoolers at the Early Learning Center diving right into starting their learning adventure. And seeing the impressive turnout at the #TakeStridesTC suicide prevent event, an event organized by our high school student leaders, was a reminder of how our students are lifting up their friends through these challenging times.

Thank you to our staff for their dedication, professionalism and problem-solving. Teachers and paraeducators have worked hard to stay connected to their students, engage and inspire them, in the early days of the pandemic and now. Our custodians, nutrition services staff, bus drivers, maintenance and operations crews and front office staff have moved quickly to adapt to new precautions and safety procedures so schools could open safely this school year. Our health room staff are on the frontlines in responding when students become ill and making sure our schools don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Each day has brought a new challenge and they have tackled each one, whether it’s making sure middle school athletes still have competitions with other schools outside RSD despite scheduling setbacks or determining how to ensure elementary students can enjoy specials such as library, music, art and physical education, the activities that make a day at school, well, special.

Thank you to our families for their understanding, advocacy and care. While many of our students are back to in-person learning, there are still a lot of new routines and requirements to keep in mind and help our students through. I appreciate the need for families to have options in how their children prepare for their futures, whether they enroll their child in one of our elementary, middle or comprehensive high schools; team up with our staff in a partnership role such as at Three Rivers HomeLink, pursue project-based learning at River’s Edge High School, a fully online learning experience through Pacific Crest Online Academy or enroll in unique regional programs such as Delta High School or Tri-Tech Skills Center. It’s this same interest into their child’s educational well-being that leads many to join parent-teacher organizations or just volunteer in the classroom, demonstrating how they truly care for kids.

And thank you to our community for its support of our schools. Our students benefit from mentorships with local businesses and professionals and neighbors participating in fundraisers. Ongoing support of our levy-funded arts and athletics programs ensure our students can take the stage, the field and the court. We have newer and more modern schools than many districts across the state that make for safe and secure places to learn because of voter approval of past bonds.

Thank you. Thank you for reminding me why I was so eager to come back to Richland and be a part of this community.

My goal is for this monthly blog to be another tool in RSD’s toolbox in bringing everyone in our community into the conversation and share updates on exciting initiatives. Stay tuned for details on some new events I am organizing to meet with community members and share information and updates on district projects and planning efforts. We are also preparing to roll out a new tool in the coming weeks that will give you the opportunity to give feedback on important questions while also seeing what your neighbors also have to say and find common ground.

Lastly, be on the lookout for a survey where you can give us some initial feedback on our district and school communication efforts. I want to be sure that everyone knows how we are serving our community and preparing its next generation for the future.

Talk to you all soon!

- Shelley