January 2019

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Columbia River High School

800 NW 99th ST.

Vancouver WA 98665


Principal - Alex Otoupal

Associate Principal - Rob Duncan

Associate Principal - Ken Roberts

Associate Principal/Athletic Director - Tony Liberatore


As we begin 2019, I have been reflecting on the work we accomplished last year. This is an important and rewarding exercise. And the time is now to think about how these efforts can push us to reach even higher in the months ahead.

Last summer, I was invited to participate in the Clark County Truancy Project. Additionally, River was invited to participate in Vancouver Public School's Attendance Project Initiative. The aim for both is to become more strategic about relaying the importance to regular school attendance. It is not terribly complicated: success in school and graduating on time is connected to regular attendance. The work of both groups is to engage students and families who have been referred numerous times for school attendance issues. Typically, the focus is on those students who attend less than 80% of the year.

It seems these numbers sneak up quickly on students and families. If you are only missing a day here or a period there, you may not see the larger picture. Missing two classes per month in the course of a September - June school year does indeed add up to 20 absences. Keeping in mind that we have 180 school days in the typical year, our systems consider this level chronic.

As I have stated in River's School Improvement Plan: Our goal is 90/90 by 2020. This means that 90% of our students are on time and in class 90% of the school year in 2020. Although we are not there yet, we are getting close. Our team believes that if we begin by addressing morning tardies (e.g. when large numbers of students arrive late in the morning).

At Columbia River High School, we do fairly well with daily attendance. Below we have some data to share and to celebrate (September to December attendance rates):

Class of 2019: 215 Seniors have a daily attendance rate of 85% or better.

Class of 2020: 203 Juniors have a daily attendance rate of 85% or better.

Class of 2021: 217 Sophomores have a daily attendance rate of 90% or better There are 291 students in grade 10 at River this year.

Class of 2022: 207 Freshmen have a daily attendance rate 95% or better; add 60 more students with 90% or better and our 9th grade is off to a terrific start.

We are beginning January, 2019 with our "Arrive at 25" campaign. Very simply, all students have to do is arrive for first period at 7:25 AM. The theory of action is that if students make the effort to arrive 5 minutes before period 1, we will reduce and perhaps eliminate the "tardy bell entrance" for those students who are running late. We are not changing the bells; we are just making a concerted effort to be early.

We acknowledge that students are not always in control of their morning schedules. Some students rely on carpools. Some students have siblings or other family to care for and to help get prepared for the day. We also acknowledge those who are late because of coffee run and made choices along the way to school that allowed precious morning moments to escape. (Lattes and mochas and specialty coffees are available in the Upper Commons by the way, and for a half the cost of our local shops!)

With a concerted effort, we believe we can improve and get to 90/90. I hope everyone is enjoying the Winter Break. I look forward to seeing you at 7:25 on January 7, 2019!

Alex Otoupal, Principal

Columbia River High School

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Winter sports are off to a great start. Please continue to check for live schedules.

Over winter break we will also have three home games; wrestling on January 2 at 6:00, boys basketball on Jan 3 at 7:00, and girls basketball on January 4th at 7:00.

Spring sports clearance will open the first week of February through FamilyID

Tony Liberatore

Associate Principal/Athletic Director

Columbia River High School

Respect, Integrity, Values, Excellence, Responsibility

Twitter - @ColRiverSports

Arrive by 25

As we begin a new year, we want to re-focus on the importance of students arriving on time at the start of the school day. Students arriving to school with time to spare have the luxury of setting in, preparing their class materials and focusing their minds on the lessons to come.

While classes officially start at 7:30 am, our goal is to have the majority of our students in the school building by 7:25 am so they can start their classes on time and ready.

Beginning on January 7, our first school day of 2019, we will be encouraging all students to “Arrive by 25” - to be here at Columbia River no later than 7:25 am. This will include positive recognition and incentives. In addition, we will also be contacting students who are arriving after 7:30, the official starting time for 1st period.

We are asking that parents and families help us in our on-time efforts. This could be as simple as a reminder to leave for school just a few minutes early.

We look forward to 2019, and seeing all our CRHS students ARRIVE BY 25!

SAT School Day is coming!

On March 6, 2019 all 11th grade students will have the opportunity to take the SAT for free! We are encouraging 11th grade students who receive IEP or 504 services to check in with their counselor if any testing accommodations are needed.

More information regarding the School Day SAT will be available in January.

News From Echo-Moran/Intervention Counselor

Dear Families of CRHS,

January is Inhalant awareness month.

It is estimated the over ten percent of all tenth graders have tried inhalants. “Huffing” is the act of inhaling solvents or chemicals to the point of intoxication and has been shown to cause liver damage, cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, baldness, acne and high blood pressure. Twenty two percent of inhalant users who died of sudden sniffing death syndrome had never used inhalants prior to their death.

Signs of inhalant use are:

  • Slurred speech.
  • Drunk, dizzy or dazed appearance.
  • Unusual breath odor.
  • Chemical smell on clothing.
  • Paint stains on body or face.
  • Red eyes.
  • Runny nose.

Inhalant use is deadly, please talk with your teen about the dangers of huffing.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Prevention, Intervention Specialist, Echo Moran-Prince at (360)313-3840 or

Vancouver Voters To Consider Two Replacement Levies

This February, voters who live within Vancouver Public Schools’ boundaries will cast ballots on two levies for students and schools. These levies are not new taxes. If approved, they would replace existing levies that expire at the end of 2019.

Even with additional state funding (McCleary), the local levies are necessary to make up ongoing gaps in funding for services and priorities designated by the Vancouver community.

What the levies would pay for The education and operations levy (formerly called the “maintenance and operations levy”) would maintain basic programs and services from 2020 to 2023, including: • Classroom supplies • Textbooks • Equipment • Classroom programs • Special services • Extracurricular and intramural activities • Maintenance of buildings and grounds • Safety and security • Utilities • Insurance • Fuel

From 2020 to 2025, the technology levy would help prepare students for higher education and future careers by funding: • Technology that supports students’ creativity, innovation and problem-solving abilities • Training to help teachers educate students on the skills required for success on the job • Tablet and laptop computers for all students in third through 12th grades

How much property owners would pay Per $1,000 of assessed property value, the estimated rates are: • Education and operations levy—$1.50 • Technology levy—$0.31

The total rates per assessed $1,000 for all local and state school-related levies and bonds, including the proposed levies, are: • 2018—$7.29 • 2019—$5.81 • 2020—$6.25 (estimated) • 2021—$5.99 (estimated) • 2022—$5.99 (estimated) • 2023—$5.99 (estimated)

The actual rate may be different due to changes in state funding, property assessments and area growth. For more information, visit

The election date is Feb. 12, 2019.

Los votantes de Vancouver considerarán dos recaudaciones fiscales de reemplazo En el próximo mes de febrero, los votantes que viven dentro de los límites del Distrito Escolar “Vancouver Public Schools” emitirán sus votos en dos recaudaciones fiscales para estudiantes y escuelas. Estos gravámenes no son nuevos impuestos. De ser aprobados, reemplazarían las recaudaciones fiscales existentes que caducan a fines de 2019.

Incluso con fondos estatales adicionales (McCleary), los impuestos locales son necesarios para cubrir las brechas continuas en el financiamiento de servicios y prioridades designadas por la comunidad del Distrito Escolar de Vancouver.

Lo que pagarían las recaudaciones fiscales La recaudación fiscal para educación y operaciones (anteriormente denominada “Recaudamiento fiscal para servicios de mantenimiento y operaciones”) mantendría los programas y servicios básicos entre 2020 y 2023, que incluyen:  Suministros para el salón de clases  Libros de texto  Equipo  Programas para el salón de clases  Servicios especiales  Actividades extracurriculares e intramurales  Mantenimiento de edificios y terrenos  Seguridad y protección  Servicios públicos  Seguro  Combustible

Del 2020 al 2025, la recaudación fiscal para la tecnología ayudaría a preparar a los estudiantes para la educación superior y futuros profesionales al financiar:  Tecnología que apoya la creatividad, innovación y capacidad de resolución de problemas de los estudiantes  Capacitación para ayudar a los maestros a educar a los estudiantes sobre las habilidades necesarias para tener éxito en el trabajo  Tabletas y computadoras portátiles para todos los estudiantes de tercer a doceavo grado

Cuanto pagarían los propietarios de inmuebles Por cada $ 1,000 del valor tasado de la propiedad, las tasas estimadas son:  Recaudación fiscal para educación y operaciones - $ 1.50  Recaudación fiscal para tecnología - $ 0.31

El total de tasas a pagar por cada $ 1,000 tasados para todas las recaudaciones fiscales y bonos relacionados con las escuelas tanto a nivel local como estatales, es: 2018- $ 7.29 2019- $ 5.81 2020- $ 6.25 (estimado) 2021- $ 5.99 (estimado) 2022- $ 5.99 (estimado) 2023- $ 5.99 (estimado)

La tasa actual puede que sea diferente debido a cambios en la financiación estatal, tasaciones de propiedades y crecimiento del área. Para obtener más información, visite:

La fecha de las elecciones es el 12 de febrero de 2019.

Избиратели Ванкувера будут принимать решение о замене двух школьных налогов В феврале избиратели, проживающие в пределах Ванкуверского школьного района, будут голосовать по вопросу продления сбора двух налогов в пользу учащихся и школ. Эти налоговые сборы не являются новыми налогами. Если они будут одобрены, они заменят существующие сборы, действие которых истекает в конце 2019 года.

Даже при получении дополнительных фондов от штата (постановление McCleary) местные налоговые сборы необходимы, поскольку они предоставляют недостающие денежные средства для оказания услуг и решения приоритетных задач, указанных жителями Ванкувера.

На что пойдут налоговые сборы Налоговый сбор в поддержку образования и деятельности школ (ранее называвшийся «налоговым сбором на эксплуатацию и поддержку деятельности школ») поможет сохранить основные программы и услуги в период с 2020 по 2023 год, включая следующее:  школьные принадлежности для использования в классах  учебники  оборудование  программы в классах  услуги специальных программ  внеклассные и факультативные занятия  эксплуатация зданий и территорий  обеспечение охраны и безопасности  коммунальные услуги  страховки  горючее

С 2020 по 2025 год налоговый сбор на компьютерные технологии будет использоваться для того, чтобы помочь подготовить учащихся к обучению в высших учебных заведениях и к будущим профессиям за счёт предоставления фондов для следующего:  компьютерные технологии, которые помогают развить у учеников творческие способности, инновационный потенциал и способность решать поставленные задачи  курс обучения для учителей, который поможет им привить ученикам навыки, необходимые для достижения успеха на работе  портативные компьютеры, планшеты и лэптопы, для всех учеников с третьего по 12-й классы

Сколько будут платить домовладельцы По предварительным расчётам на каждую $1000 оценённой стоимости недвижимости размер налога составляет:  налог на образование и эксплуатацию зданий — $1.50  налог на компьютерные технологии — $0.31

Общая налоговая ставка по всем местным и штатным школьным налогам и облигациям, включая вышеуказанные планируемые налоговые сборы, на каждую $1000 оценённой стоимости недвижимости составляет:  2018—$7.29  2019—$5.81  2020—$6.25 (по предварительным подсчётам)  2021—$5.99 (по предварительным подсчётам d)  2022—$5.99 (по предварительным подсчётам)  2023—$5.99 (по предварительным подсчётам)

Реальная ставка может быть другой вследствие изменения предоставляемого штатом финансирования, стоимости недвижимости и развития района. Для получения дополнительной информации выйдите на сайт

Выборы будут проходить 12 февраля 2019 года.

Iká pwe ke mochen epwe wor emén epwe ánea ngonuk masowen ei taropwe nón fóósun fénúomw ren ómw kopwe weweiti, en mei tongeni kéri Juanita Yasu, 360-771-5343.

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Blended Learning

Since its introduction nearly seven years ago, Vancouver Public Schools’ one-to-one technology program has expanded to provide digital tools to all students in grades three through 12. Training and professional development for teachers and administrators are major components of VPS’ successful one-to-one technology program.

Instructional technology facilitators—teachers on special assignment—lead the work to ensure educators have what they need to use technology effectively for teaching and learning. Professional development focuses on the use of educational applications, communication and collaboration tools, innovative instructional practices and robust coaching. The goal is to use the power of technology to amplify student growth and access to rich learning experiences.

At Salmon Creek Elementary School, third- through fifth-grade teachers have embraced digital tools in a blended learning model to offer students choice and ownership of their learning.

“Blended learning can be defined as face-to-face learning combined with self-paced learning and online learning,” said Principal Heath Angelbeck. “We’ve leveraged student voice and choice as a key component at Salmon Creek Elementary.”

Salmon Creek fourth-grade teacher Daphne Russell describes students as digital natives—users of technology at a very young age. Teachers, on the other hand, have adopted technology-rich classrooms, but are not digital natives—they weren’t born into it.

“It’s something we’ve had to embrace,” said Russell.

When she began teaching at Salmon Creek last year, Russell received her iPad and computer. While she was familiar on how to use them, she didn’t know what to do with them as a teacher. She set a goal to attend all the trainings so she could learn to use the devices as a teaching tool. She describes her first training as transformative. The skills she acquired in her trainings led her down the path to learn more.

“I had an opportunity with my teammates to go to a blended-learning professional development, which as a professional development was a blended experience itself,” said Russell. “As a teacher, I sat in a classroom setting and I also did online learning. It was a blended experience to teach me and to teach my colleagues about a blended-learning experience. There was no going back.”

Using digital tools in a classroom environment allows students to work on lessons at their own pace, and at the same time allows the teacher the freedom to work with students in small groups or with those who may need extra help. Digital tools also allow students to be creative in demonstrating their learning and understanding in multiple ways.

Students take ownership of their learning because they can control it. Many educational applications provide online feedback and support. If a student’s response to a problem is incorrect, the student is able to review and learn the material before moving on. In addition, students can take the iPads home and still collaborate with their teacher and classmates online. Parents also can be active partners in their child’s learning through login access to their child’s device.

“The most important thing to me is the equity that happens when you have the iPads and the technology,” said Russell. “When you leverage all these tools, it levels the playing field. It gives each child the same materials that they can use at home.”

As teachers and administrators become proficient with digital tools, they are valuable mentors and leaders with their colleagues. The focus on mentoring creates a model of innovation and change as school technology leaders lead the way for others. Providing educators with tools and support is critical in sustaining the program into the future and improving learning for all students.

“This is not a finished product, it’s a work in progress. With all the tools I have, I can customize the experience for each child,” said Russell. “It’s truly a journey. I suspect this will be a lifelong learning experience for me, and it’s my hope that it empowers students and that it supports their families. It really gives me the opportunity to love what I do all the more.”

Attendance Information

New to the CR website is a direct link to the attendance office email. If you send an email to excuse an absence that is all you need to do. You can just disregard the automated phone and email messages you will still receive. Those messages are especially designed for parents who are not aware of their student missing school.

This year, Vancouver Public Schools are making a special effort to ensure that all students fully benefit from their education by attending school regularly. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. By being present at school, your child learns valuable social skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff. Consistent attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.

Care Closet

Did you know Columbia River High School has a Care Closet? If you are a family in need of non-perishable food items and/or clothing please contact


Be ready

Winter weather conditions can be difficult to predict, but there are a few steps you can take to prepare for possible school closures or delays.

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date so the school staff can reach you if necessary.
  • Know how to receive school closure information and where to find it.
  • Have a backup plan for work and/or child care if schools are closed, delayed or released early.

What you need to know when the storm hits (or threatens to)

The decision to close schools or delay opening them is not taken lightly. The safety of students and staff is a top priority.

When winter weather hits, a transportation crew begins driving in different areas of the school district at 3 a.m.

With advice from the transportation crew and a meteorologist, the superintendent will make a decision regarding the operation of our schools. If possible, this decision will be made by 5 a.m. If a two-hour late start was declared the prior evening, we will attempt to make the decision by 7 a.m.

If it is decided to close schools, delay opening them or release students early, that information will be immediately shared via one or more of the methods listed below. This information will be posted only if there is a schedule change to report.

If it is decided to continue with a regular school day, then no information will be reported, and parents and staff will know that schools are operating on regular schedules.

If schools are closed or dismissed early, after-school and evening activities also will be canceled. Community use of schools will be canceled only if schools are closed.

In the event of an early release, families will be notified by phone call and/or email. Elementary students who ride the bus or walk will not be released until verbal confirmation about arrangements has been made with families.

There are several ways to get school closure information

  • Go to the VPS homepage at
  • Go to FlashAlert at (from this link, anyone can subscribe to receive FlashAlert notifications via email)
  • Download the free Vancouver Public Schools mobile app to your smartphone or tablet,
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our school closure posts: and @VancouverSD.
  • Call the district’s Snow/Closure Info line at 360-313-1401 or General Information at 360-313-1000.
  • Check radio, television and newspaper websites.
  • Automated phone calls will be made to families if schools are closed early during the school day, or if the decision to close is made the night before.

Snow bus routes

Snow bus routes have been developed for some school buses that serve the schools listed below. These alternate routes will be used when icy or snowy conditions exist on some of the school district’s most difficult roads. Snow routes will be used for morning and afternoon routes. Snow bus routes are safer during bad weather conditions. The snow routes are posted at

When snow bus routes are announced, there will be no service to some bus stops. Alternate bus stops will be used.

We encourage students to ride school buses to and from school during adverse weather conditions. School buses are a safe and reliable form of transportation.

Elementary schools: Anderson, Chinook, Felida, Sacajawea and Salmon Creek
Middle schools: Alki, Gaiser, iTech Prep, Jefferson and VSAA
High schools: Columbia River, iTech Prep, Skyview, Vancouver Flex Academy and VSAA

School closure makeup days

Because full-day school closures must be made up by students and school staff, four make-up days are built into the school calendar. This year, the four designated make-up days—Jan. 25 and June 14, 17 and 18—will be used to make up four days missed due to the delayed start of school. Any school closures this winter will be made up after June 18.

Join the VPS team!

We are currently seeking substitute and permanent applicants for Paraeducator, Bus Driver, Nutrition Services, and Custodial. To view a complete job posting and apply, visit the district website; and select VPS Jobs. Qualified applicants will be invited to interview.

If you need assistance, please contact the Human Resources Department ( or 360-313-1080).

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Construction Apprenticeship Fair, January 29, 2019 3:00 - 5:00 PM

WorkSource Vancouver is hosting an opportunity to learn about an area Construction

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program and to talk to Apprenticeship Coordinators from Oregon and Southwest Washington to learn about training opportunities available through apprenticeship programs. Meet with local unions and businesses about careers in the high demand Construction industry.

This event will be held at WorkSource Vancouver, 204 SW Stonemill Drive, Suite 215,

Vancouver, WA 98684

For more information, contact Susan Milke at 360-735-4981 or

SAT School Day

Columbia River will offer the SAT School Day at no cost to current juniors on March 6, 2019. All juniors will be pre-registered. Students who do not wish to test will have the option to opt out.

Class of 2021-Sophomore Information Night

February 11 at 6 PM

CR Lower Commons

This evening event is intended to provide important information

to parents and students prior to forecasting.

Topics of discussion will include: Graduation Requirements, College Entrance Requirements, Running Start, IB Diploma and Certificate options, Clark County Skills Center and Vancouver Public Schools Magnet Programs.

Parents and Students are encouraged to attend.

NEW-Clark College Representative to Have Office Hours at CR

Adrienne Bocci, Admissions Officer for Clark College will be at CR monthly for the remainder of the school year. She will answer questions regarding all aspects of attending Clark College. She will also help with the application process.

Meet with Adrienne in the CR College and Career Center during lunchtime on the following dates: January 14, February 11, March 11, April 15 and May 13.

Plan College Visits Around Spring Break

Spring Break is a great time to visit college campuses! If you are going to be traveling near a college, make sure and call their admissions office or visit their website in advance and schedule a tour - it's really easy.

The best time to tour is during the week when classes are in session. Even if you "staycation" in Vancouver, there are plenty of schools nearby available to tour.

Seniors Get Your FAFSA Filed!

It is not too late to get your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) filed if you are planning to attend college next year. Even if schools have a “priority” deadline that has already passed, you still need to file your FAFSA for the 2019-2020 school year as soon as possible at Filing late may eliminate you from some forms of aid and scholarships.

Clark College Running Start Information Nights

January 23 or February 6 or March 13

7:00 - 8:00 PM, Clark College Gym

These are optional and identical meetings - do not attend more than one.

This is an opportunity for current high school sophomores and juniors (and their parents) to learn more about Running Start, a program that allows eligible juniors and seniors to attend college classes and earn dual credit (both high school and college credit).

Current Running Start students will discuss their experiences in the program, eligibility criteria will be discussed and the deadlines and requirements for Fall Quarter 2019 entry will be explained. If you can't make it to a meeting visit for more information or contact Enrollment Services Running Start representative at (360) 992-2366.

Saturday Academy's ASE Program Information Session

Monday, Feb. 4th, 6:30pm

800 Northwest 99th Street

Vancouver, WA

Saturday Academy's ASE Program matches current 9-11th grade students with scientists and engineers for eight-week, full-time summer internships. For more info go to

The presentation will take place in the Columbia River High School Forum (Room 408).

Please park in the west parking lot.

Scholarships Available

Check out the Career Center website for multiple scholarship opportunities.

Some of the current scholarship opportunities include:

Vancouver Rotary Club Scholarship

Awarding $80,000 in college and vocational scholarships. Seniors in high school may apply who are committed to community and family service. Academics are important but not critical. Scholarships may be used for continuing education in Washington and Oregon only. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2019.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

Students who will be pursuing a degree in a STEM or healthcare field are invited to apply for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher, and be planning to enroll in an eligible Washington college or university for fall of 2019. This scholarship is designed to support students from low and middle income families with financial support, support services and to also encourage recipients to work in Washington State once they complete baccalaureate degrees.

Last year, 63% of eligible students who applied were selected for this scholarship! Recipients could receive up to $22,500 over five years of college. The application is available online at beginning January 3, 2019 and closes on February 28, 2019.

Seniors Get your FAFSA Filed!

It is not too late to get your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) filed if you are planning to attend college next year. Even if schools have a "priority" deadline that has already passed, you still need to file your FAFSA for the 2019-2020 school year as soon as possible at Filing late may eliminate you from some forms of aid and scholarships.

Counseling Center Staff

Freshman Counselor-Jennifer Waller

Sophomore Counselor-Alexis Bruce

Junior Counselor-Lou Gill

Senior Counselor-Rachael Howington

School Psychologist-Mike O'Bryan

Clerk-Gina Gasser

College and Career Center Staff

Career Guidance Specialist-Dave Bennett

Clerk-Cindy Harrington

1st Semester Final Exams

Wednesday, Jan. 30th, 7:15am to Thursday, Jan. 31st, 2pm

800 Northwest 99th Street

Vancouver, WA

IB Magnet Open House

Wednesday, Jan. 9th, 6:30pm

800 Northwest 99th Street

Vancouver, WA

2019/2020 IB Applications Due Date

IB Applications for incoming students, for the 2019-2020 school year, will be accepted from January 8, 2019 until January 28, 2019.
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