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.

Dec. 9, 2021

I was so excited when I learned in November that our educational service district, ESD 123, was restarting the Middle School Art Show. I was glad I was able to attend the opening reception recently to look at creations from some of our own middle school students and celebrate them. Anyone in our community may go see the show while it’s up through Dec. 17 at ESD 123’s offices in Pasco or you can see the photos of some of our student’s work online.

After a school year where so many of the opportunities for students to perform and compete in front of their families, friends and the community were limited, it’s great to see these types of events resume safely. Our student-athletes are again taking the field or court with people in the stands. Musical and theatrical performances are scheduled in our auditoriums. Each game, show and recital is the culmination of hours of practice, rehearsal and commitment on the part of our students and staff.

They are also a manifestation of how deeply our community cares about our schools.

State funding for schools does not pay for art classes in elementary schools or coaches. Our middle and high schools could not have athletic programs if not for the community’s support of our Educational Programs & Operations, or EP&O, levy. Our arts programs, which begin in our elementary schools and help students build on their creativity and talent as they go through middle and high school, are paid for by local levy dollars. When you cheer and applaud our students, you also are cheering and applauding your dedication and your neighbors’ dedication to quality schools.

But that’s not all our community’s decades-long support of local levies does for students. The EP&O levy ensures we can meet the needs of every student, whether that be Advanced Placement (AP) courses or special education services. Levies pay for school supplies each fall for our students in kindergarten through Grade 8 and the bulk of our district’s school nurses, social workers and school psychologists. The Technology levy, first approved by voters in 2018, has put a digital device in the hands of every student in Grades 2-12 to enhance their learning in the classroom and at home.

Every time you hear about an innovative student program in our schools, whether that’s our growing Work-Based Learning program or the award-winning students studying documentary filmmaking and podcasting at Hanford High, that is your levy dollars at work.

The importance of the EP&O and Technology levies to all RSD students is why the Richland School Board recently voted unanimously to ask the community to renew them in the Feb. 8 special election. We’ll be sending you more information about the levies and how they affect our schools in the coming weeks. You can also find online the official ballot resolutions, how tax rates would not change and answers to frequently-asked questions. I humbly ask that you consider all of this when you are reviewing your ballot and casting your vote. And, if you can, I highly recommend taking in one of our student performances or competitions. They truly are a fulfilling experience.

Happy holidays and talk to you all soon!

-Shelley

Past Open Letters