August Newsletter

Back to School Edition Update- 8/19/21

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Columbia River High School

800 NW 99th ST.

Vancouver WA 98665


Principal/ Head of School - Alex Otoupal

Associate Principal/Curriculum - Rob Duncan

Associate Principal/Activities - Ken Roberts

Associate Principal/Athletic Director - Nick Davies

Report Card

Principal’s Welcome Letter

Dear River,

As we move closer to our first day of school on August 31, 2021, I remind you that we have multiple measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Beyond this, the IB curriculum at River is poised to challenge your child’s mind and our hearts in these extraordinary times.

As Head of School, I take this opportunity seriously and I remind you that I am always at your service. And on behalf of an elated and excited Faculty - we can not wait for the year to begin.

We have a challenging future ahead as we re-model, re-group and re-frame our systems at Columbia River High School and we push ourselves to create - not just a new but a better “normal”.

I respectfully ask: What better time than now? What better place than here?

I thank you - in advance - for your support!

Alex Otoupal,

Principal/Head of School

River: Please join me in welcoming our new staff:...

Norah Coker - English

Nick McCarthy-SLC 2

Jose Gonzalez -Sci / Spanish

Mariah McCleskey - Science

William Kincl - English

Jennifer Johnson - Eng/Avid

Lisa Cavola-Chilcote - IB Bio

Naveed Eshragh - IB Chem

Taylor Rochelle - Stephens LS

Lauryn Heying CTE - Real Life/Health

Heidi Axford - Counselor (Freshman)

Jolly Monzon - Front Office Clerk

Cheri Chavers - Counseling Clerk

Edward Kumpeer - Custodial

COVID Safety - What to expect at River to start the school year

As we get closer to the school year, we are updating the ‘River Playbook;’ similar to last year’s version. Here is similar information - River Playbook Slides. Here are some key points to know about Columbia River:

  • We will be on a regular 6 period schedule with all students back in the building!

  • Masks are required for everyone who comes into the school and social distancing is expected when possible.

  • Students will be 3 ft apart whenever possible. Teachers will remain 6 ft whenever possible.

  • All classrooms will have seating charts.

  • We will be back to eating lunch in the commons and courtyards.

  • At this time, we are no longer doing attestations or temperature checks.

  • Many COVID/School questions can be found on the district’s FAQ Page

Safe and Healthy Classrooms Update

The school district will be posting specific COVID-19 case notifications on our website, You can find the information on the bottom right of the page. The district will be doing the same thing on the district website through the VPS COVID Dashboard. Additionally, here is a link to the district’s detailed health and safety plan.

Honors English 9: Summer Reading @scottbinkley @julienygaard

MARK YOUR CALENDAR- Some upcoming dates to remember

8/23/21- Picture Day/ASB Registration

8/23/21 - Chromebook Pick up/10:00 am -5:00 pm@CRHS

8/30/21- Freshmen Welcome Orientation/12:30pm@CRHS

8/30/21 - New Student Tours/3:00 pm- 4:00 pm@CRHS

8/31/21- First day of school

8/31/21- Welcome Assembly (9th grade only)/7:00 am/Hoover Gym

9/1/21 - Picture Day makeup

9/3/21 - Varsity Football vs Skyview/7:00 pm @Kiggins Bowl

9/6/21 - JV Football vs Skyview/6:00 pm @Kiggins Bowl

9/6/21 - Varsity Girls Volleyball vs Skyview/6:00 pm @CRHS

9/7/21 - Freshman Girls Volleyball vs FVHS/5:30 pm @CRHS

9/7/21 - JV Girls Volleyball vs FVHS/5:30 pm @CRHS

9/7/21 - Varsity Girls Volleyball vs FVHS/7:00 pm @CRHS

9/9/21 - Varsity Boys Golf vs FVHS/3:00 pm @Tri Mountain Golf Course

9/10/21 -Varsity Boys Tennis vs Mark Morris/3:30 pm @CRHS

9/10/21 -Varsity Girls Slow Pitch Softball vs Evergreen HS/4:00 pm @VGSA

9/10/21 -Varsity Boys Football vs Bremerton/7:00 pm @Kiggins Bowl

9/27/21 -Curriculum Night - meet the teachers & tour the new 500 Wing

Picture Day/ ASB Registration

August 23, 2021 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in the small gym; All students are invited to come in by last name/ alpha groups. Click here for more details.

Picture Day make up - Sep 1, 2021


Freshmen welcome orientation will be from 12:30pm-3pm on August 30. DO NOT FORGET to be awesome. Incoming students shouldn’t miss this chance to meet new people, tour campus, ask questions and get answers from our best resource - members of the Class of 2023 and the Class of 2022. As you all know, River has a well-deserved reputation for providing a welcoming environment and support for each member of this community. We love meeting new people and can not wait to bring on the Class of 2025!

New Student Welcome Tour

Are you new to Columbia River High School in grades 10-12? Please join us on August 30th from 3-4 pm for a building tour, get important information and meet new people. Hope to see you here!

Activities & Athletics


Fall sports have begun! Football started on the 18th, and all other sports begin on the 23rd.

First Day of Practice Information for all fall sports.

Fall Season Athletics

We couldn’t be more excited about starting fall sports. This is our first year as the Columbia River Rapids, and we are excited to share our Rapid Logos and other approved images with the community! We look forward to seeing you at sporting events as we welcome people back!

Here is some general information to start the year:

  • Head Coach Contact Information - Please reach out to coaches for specific questions.

  • Football starts on Wednesday August 18th. All other sports start on Monday August 23rd.

  • Students must be registered and hold a valid ASB card ($35), and paid the athletic fee ($60) to participate in River Athletics. Students can sign up through FamilyID.

  • If you have questions, please reach out to Gina Gasser -

  • We are updating the River Athletics Website - we will have the first day of practice information along with initial schedules posted soon.

  • The Columbia River High School Stadium is still under construction. Until further notice, our football games will be played at Kiggins Bowl. Girls soccer and JV football will still be played at Columbia River.

  • Fall Parent Night will be virtual again this year. All programs will hold their parent night before the first day of school. Each program will send a video/zoom link to their families.

Curriculum and Classrooms

Below are the Big Five Frequently asked questions/answers:

  1. When can I see my schedule of classes for this fall? Schedules should be visible on Student/Family Access starting Monday, August 23, 2021.
  2. Where can I find the school readiness / School Supply list? The VPS website has school supply lists for all schools - Supply List link here
  3. Which lunch will I have? Where can I find information about breakfast/lunch? Lunch is determined by 4th Period class. Students with a 4A class will have 4th period class, followed by Lunch. Students with a 4B class will have Lunch first, followed by 4th period. We will have lists of Lunches by Teacher posted throughout the building. This year Breakfast and Lunch will be free for all students (during the 2021-22 school year).

  4. Who can I talk to about a schedule change or questions I have like: “what if I am missing a class or assigned to the wrong class”?

    Students and Families should contact their grade level counselor for schedule questions. Schedules are created based on requests made by students/families in the Spring of 2021.

  5. Where can I find out information about the bus and parking on campus? Bus information can be found under the “Our School” section on the CRHS Website. Parking information and Parking Permit request forms will be available through the Attendance Office ~ Bonnie Womack will distribute forms after August 31..


Information for Student Chromebook Check Out on August 23, 10 am - 5 pm.

Students who registered for classes by Friday, August 20th can check out a school device during their school picture window. They do need a signed RUP at check out. You will need to have the Responsible Use and Safety Agreement signed before receiving your Chromebook. Click here for the form. In Russian, click here. We are waiting for this year’s Spanish version. Any 9th grader who still has a middle school iPad needs to turn in their iPad before they can check out a chromebook. If your device has been lost or stolen, please come and report the problem. We can help you file paperwork and check out a new device. Returning students with a broken device or who need replacement power cords can also get help during their school picture window. Follow the link for more information.

Remodel Photo Update

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Booster membership drive August 26-September 3

It is time to gear up for a new school year, so we would like to take this opportunity to introduce or reintroduce you to CR Boosters. Click for Membership Form. CR Boosters need your help. Go Rapids!


The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022 will be held at 5:00 pm on June 13, 2022. The location is yet to be determined.
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Launch Pad to College for High School Seniors

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the college enrollment process? Clark College can help! Get college enrollment help and start exploring your future campus at Launch Pad to College!

High school seniors can join Clark College staff for the Launch Pad to College event designed to guide them through the Summer and/or Fall 2021 enrollment process from start to finish. By the end of the event, students will have everything they need to register for first-term classes, understand the financial aid process, and prepare for their first term at Clark College.

All students in attendance will have the opportunity to schedule a campus tour the Saturday after each session date. Tour registration will be sent to students after attending their registered Launch Pad date. Choose from 5/20, 6/13 or 6/24.

We highly encourage students to apply to Clark College prior to their registered Launch Pad event date. The application is free and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Apply at If you need help with the application, contact us at

Register here!

Schedule Appointment with the Student Pathways Center

If you want to talk individually about your plans for after high school or need support with any planning, please schedule an appointment! We're here to help.


The Vancouver School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, age, families with children, honorably discharged veteran or military status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America, and other designated groups. You may also contact any of the following people by writing to them at Vancouver School District, PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8937, or by calling 360-313-1000: 504 – Steve Vance; Civil Rights and Affirmative Action – Janell Ephraim; ADA and Title IX – Kathy Everidge; Title IX Elementary Schools – Kristie Lindholm; Title IX Secondary Schools – Jim Gray.