February 2020

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Columbia River High School

800 NW 99th ST.

Vancouver WA 98665


Principal - Alex Otoupal

Associate Principal/Curriculum - Rob Duncan

Associate Principal/Activities - Ken Roberts

Associate Principal/Athletic Director - Nick Davies


Greetings River Community:

We are through week one of Semester Two for the school year and have a very busy close to the winter months ahead of us. I want to begin my February Newsletter with a huge thank you to all who have participated in circulating information about the February 11 Levy Election. For more information, please click .

We had a very strong finish to Semester One and will be distributing report cards in the next few days. You are able to continue to check up on posted class information for your student through Skyward. If you have not yet, I encourage you to make the a "favorite" on your smart phone.

We have two updates regarding our daily schedule and our efforts for academic intervention. We have included both the updated bell schedule and the calendar for Intervention Mondays in this newsletter. Students and families should have received guidance on goal setting and progress monitoring earlier this week. The information was presented by Administrative Intern Elizabeth Vaughn. We will continue to partner with you as we march through our third quarter grading period.

There will be three external partner groups visiting our campus this spring to observe and provide feedback on our efforts with our International Baccalaureate (our three year re-authorization for the Full Diploma Program and our initial authorization for the Career-related Diploma). Our partnership with Ed Tech, Google Classroom and Digital Promise will feature our work in Social Studies and English classrooms in the form of a case study. It is exciting to see the Professional Learning that accelerates our students' learning experiences. I am so very proud of our Faculty's continued advocacy and design of instructional lessons that harness creativity and push our students' critical thinking. This spring, work will be displayed in a wide variety of modes and this partnership enables the amplification of this amazing work. I am so proud. Finally, our seven year cycle for accreditation with the state is underway and we will complete our self study in late March.

Meanwhile, more updates on our remodel will be finalized in the coming weeks. Please look for that information in a special newsletter before the end of the month.

In closing, I want to highlight the work of our Guidance Counselors at River. This week is "National Counselor Appreciation Week" and we have some true legends to honor. First, as you were previously informed, Lou Gill passed away in January. Countless individuals have stepped in to assist students, staff and friends as we mourn and take her inspiration of a life well lived and press forward. We have made some shifts in the department responsibilities. Please take note of that information included in this newsletter.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Have a wonderful start to Semester Two!

Alex Otoupal -


Columbia River High School

Winter Sports Update

Chieftain Fans,

Here is an update of what is going on in the world of Chieftain athletics:

Girls Bowling

Our girls took 2nd at districts and are heading to State this Thursday through Saturday! If they bowl like they have all year, they have a chance to do very well.

Competition Cheer

The girls will be competing at State this Saturday at Battle Ground HS at 3:00 PM. Come support them!

Boys Swimming

The boys are headed to the sub-district swim meet this Wednesday at Mark Morris.


The girls have a competition this Saturday against Hudson's Bay at the Naydenov Gymnastics Center at 2:00 PM.


The wrestling team has their last league dual meet tonight at home against RA Long. It starts at 6:00 PM in the main gym. They also have sub-regionals at Hockinson HS this Saturday.

Girls Basketball

Senior night is this Thursday against Washougal. Washougal is our girls' only league loss this year, so this is a big game! The girls will have a home district game next Friday, 14 February.

Boys Basketball

With two league games left, the boys basketball team has already locked up a league title! They will have a home district game next Saturday, 15 February.

Go Chiefs!

Nick Davies

Associate Principal/Athletic Director

Columbia River High School

Follow River Athletics

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Girls Bowling

The girls bowling team has had a successful end of season. The varsity team consisting of Maya Burnett, Sadie Burrows, Jenna Chinn, Rileigh Chinn, Janie Green, Caoimhe Sauers, and Kylee Wisisnki took 2nd place at the Lumberjill's Tournament and also placed second at Districts. Kylee Wisinski was the 3rd place individual and Sadie Burrows placed 4th. The Chieftains will compete at the State Championships February 6th and 7th.

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Each week throughout the school year, the WIAA and Wendy's recognize varsity athletes, from each of the six classifications, who exhibited outstanding performances the previous week (based on nominations). Each winner receives a letter of recognition from the WIAA Executive Director, a commemorative WIAA/Wendy's Athlete of the Week promotional item, and a certificate. Our very own Jenna Chinn won in week 19 for her bowing achievements. Jenna had an outstanding week of bowling by averaging 200 pins over two matches. She bowled games of 210 and 200 to help lead her team to a win over R. A. Long in a tight shootout. She followed that performance up with games of 180 and 212 in a victory over Mark Morris, helping the Chieftains remain undefeated in league play.

Jenna was also nominated for The Columbian's Athlete of the Week. She finished runner-up.

Project Lit Community

Thank you to CR Boosters for supporting Project Lit Community's movie showing of The Hate U Give! Over 30 River students were able to attend. Still haven't read the book? Copies are available at River's Library Media Center.

Project Lit Community will be exploring various issues during Black History Month. We invite River students to join our next conversation on March 4 during both lunches in Room 600. Read one of the Project Lit books that will inform our discussion. Some books have mature content and themes. You can find more information linked below.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

March: books 1-3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

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News From the Intervention Specialist

Dear Families of CRHS,

Did you know February is Marijuana awareness month?

Marijuana has been linked to school failure. It can negatively affect attention, memory and learning abilities which can last for weeks and even months. Compared to students who do not use marijuana, student who do tend to get lower grades and have a higher chance of dropping out of high school. Research even shows it can lower IQ if used regularly. Long-term marijuana users report lower life satisfaction, more memory and relationship problems, poorer mental and physical health, lower salaries and lower career success.

Please remember to talk with your teen about the dangers of substance use. If you feel your teen would benefit from support groups feel free to contact Echo Moran-Prince, Columbia River’s Prevention and Intervention Specialist, at (360)313-3840 or email .

News from The Washington State Department of Health

Meningococcal and HPV

February 2020

As a parent, there is nothing more important than safeguarding your child’s health. The Washington State Legislature requires us to make information available to you about meningococcal disease and human papillomavirus (HPV). Know the facts about these diseases and the vaccines available to protect your child.

Meningococcal Disease and Prevention

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection. Fortunately, this life-threatening illness is rare, with only 20-30 cases reported each year in Washington. The most common symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, headache, and rash. It can cause meningitis (swelling of the covering of the brain and spinal cord). The disease spreads through close contact with an infected person. Teens and young adults are more likely to get meningococcal disease, especially if they live in group settings like college dorms.

How can I protect my child from meningococcal disease?

The meningococcal conjugate vaccine, or MCV4, prevents against four types of the disease. It is a 2-dose series recommended for all children between 11 and 12 years of age, and again at 16 to 18 years of age. The meningococcal B vaccine, or MenB, is recommended for some children with rare health conditions or who are at risk during a meningococcal B outbreak.

For more information about meningococcal disease and how to prevent it:

· Washington State Department of Health:

· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Prevention

What is HPV?

HPV is a common virus. Most people exposed to HPV will never develop health issues. But for others, HPV causes major health problems, including cervical, anal, vulvar, mouth, and throat cancer. Most infected people have no symptoms and may spread the virus without knowing it. HPV spreads mainly through sexual contact.

How can I protect my child from HPV?

Make sure your child gets the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is highly effective. The HPV vaccine can prevent infection from some of the most common and serious types of HPV that cause cancer and genital warts. The vaccine does not get rid of existing HPV infections.

Who should get the vaccine and when should they get it?

Because the immunization is more effective when given at younger ages, 9 through 14 year olds need 2 doses. Those starting at 15 or older need three doses. The recommended age is 11 or 12. HPV vaccine may be given up to age 26.

For more information on HPV, the vaccine, and cervical cancer:

· Washington State Department of Health:

· Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:

· American Cancer Society:

Where can I find the meningococcal and HPV vaccines?

Talk to your healthcare provider about the vaccines your child needs. In addition to meningococcal and HPV, your preteen should receive Tdap. Washington offers vaccines at no cost to kids through age 18. Providers may charge an office visit fee or administration fee to give the vaccine. If you can’t afford these fees, you can ask to have them waived.

Supplemental Levy On the Ballot This February

Changes in state funding for education have contributed to a multimillion-dollar shortage in Vancouver Public Schools’ budget. To address the shortage, the district is asking voters to consider approving a levy on Feb. 11, 2020.

Supplemental education and operations levy facts

  1. If approved by voters, the supplemental levy for education and operations would maintain current levels of programs and services in VPS.
  2. The new levy would supplement the educations and operations levy passed in 2019.
  3. The levy would pay for locally funded teacher positions that maintain smaller class sizes.
  4. All schools in the district would benefit from the levy.
  5. The levy would help schools continue to improve student achievement and graduation rates.
  6. Without revenue provided by a supplemental levy, the district would face shortfalls that require budget cuts and layoffs.
  7. Supplemental levy collection would begin in 2021.
  8. The estimated rates per thousand are:

  • 43 cents in 2021
  • 41 cents in 2022
  • 40 cents in 2023

  1. If voters approve the supplemental levy, the 2021 rate combined with the current education and operations levy would be $1.95 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
  2. The supplemental levy will appear on the ballot in the special election on Feb. 11, 2020.

Learn more at

Impuesto suplementario en las papeletas de votación este febrero

Cambios en la financiación estatal para la educación han contribuido a un déficit multimillonario en el presupuesto del Distrito Escolar “Vancouver Public Schools”. Para tratar esta escasez de fondos, el Distrito Escolar les pide a los votantes que consideren aprobar una recaudación fiscal el 11 de febrero de 2020.

Información importante sobre la recaudación de impuestos suplementaria para programas educativos y operaciones

  1. Si es aprobada por los votantes, la recaudación de impuestos suplementaria para programas educativos y operaciones mantendría los niveles actuales de programas y servicios en el Distrito Escolar “Vancouver Public Schools” o “VPS”, por sus siglas en inglés).
  2. La nueva recaudación de impuestos complementaría la recaudación de impuestos para programas educativos y operaciones aprobada en 2019.
  3. La recaudación de impuestos pagaría por los puestos de maestros financiados localmente y que mantienen salones con un número reducido de estudiantes.
  4. Todas las escuelas de distrito se beneficiarían de esta recaudación de impuestos.
  5. La recaudación de impuestos ayudaría a las escuelas a continuar mejorando el aprovechamiento estudiantil y el índice de graduación de la preparatoria.
  6. Sin los ingresos de la recaudación de impuestos suplementaria, el distrito escolar se enfrentaría a déficits que requieren recortes presupuestarios y despidos.
  7. La recaudación de impuestos suplementaria comenzaría en 2021.
  8. Se estima que las tasas de interés por cada mil dólares son:

  • $0.43 en 2021
  • $0.41 en 2022
  • $0.40 en 2023

  1. Si los votantes aprueban la recaudación de impuestos suplementaria, la tasa de 2021 combinada con la tasa actual de educación y operaciones sería de $ 1.95 por $ 1,000 del valor tasado de la propiedad.
  2. La recaudación de impuestos suplementaria se presentará en la boleta de las elecciones especiales del 11 de febrero de 2020.

Obtenga más información en

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National Honor Society

If your student is a member of the National Honor Society, please let them know that our meeting location has been changed due to construction. We will be meeting in the Media Center beginning with our January meeting. Our meetings are held at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. to give everyone an opportunity to meet. Members can only miss two meetings before being removed from the membership role, so it is important that they attend. If you have any questions, email Ms. Fitzpatrick at

Remaining meeting dates are:

January 9 February 6

March 5 April 9

May 7 June 4

Earn World Language Competency Credits with AVANT

The World Language Competency Credit Program is a way to earn credit for a language you already know. Please see the flyer below for more information. You may also download the flyer below to print.
Earn World Language Competency Credits with Avant

Columbia River High School Plastic Recycling

Columbia River High School will recycle plastic again this year. Recycling bins for plastic are located in Room 503, and both the main east and west building entries.

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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
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Mark Your Calendar-Upcoming Spring Testing Dates

March 17 & 18 - English/Language Arts SBA - all 10th graders, 11th & 12th grade as needed - Special Testing Schedule

March 25 - School Day SAT - All 11th graders (opt out forms available in Main office)

April 21 & 22 - Math SBA - all 10th graders, 11th & 12th grade as needed - Special Testing Schedule

Counseling Center Staff

Freshman Counselor-Ashley Thurber

Sophomore Counselor-Jennifer Waller

Junior Counselor-Wayne Wanke

Senior Counselor-Rachael Howington

School Psychologist-Chad Waldman

Clerk-Gina Gasser

Student Pathways Center Staff

Pathways Coordinator-Morgan Parker

Clerk-Cindy Harrington

Upcoming Field Trips

The Student Pathways Center is offering several field trip options to explore the world of work and life beyond high school in February and March.

February 7 Sophomores have the opportunity to tour the programs offered at Cascadia Technical Academy. The variety of programs include Criminal Justice, Cosmetology, Culinary, Automotive Technology, Dental, Hospitality and Tourism plus many more!

February 27 Juniors and Seniors are invited to attend the Clark College Pro-Tech Day. Each student will register for two sessions prior to the event and rotate through them during the day. Sessions cover individual program content, career options, tours of lab/shop spaces, and the chance to speak directly with a program faculty and advisers. This is great time to see the professional and technical programs that Clark offers.

March 10 Seniors should check out the NW Youth Careers Expo where they can see the region's amazing diversity of career opportunities, along with the skills and education needed for those jobs. The Expo includes hands-on learning, demonstrations, mock interviews, career workshops and the chance to talk directly with professionals about college-and-career options.

March 19 Sophomores are able to participate in the Youth Employment Summit at the Clark County Event Center. The summit is designed to allow high school students to connect with employers from a variety of companies in industries such as technology, manufacturing and construction. Many companies spoke to transitional positions for pre-college job-seekers, as well as entry-level positions for career occupations.

To participate in any of these trips, students should stop in the Student Pathways Center and pickup a field trip permission slip.

IB Career-related program

The IB Career-related Program application for authorization has been submitted. A tentative visit has been scheduled for the end of March. Faculty, students, and parents will be invited to be a part of this process, so stay tuned!

We plan to implement the IB Career-related Program in the fall of 2020. Current sophomores can let our Student Pathways Center know if they are interested in either of our two pathway options: Computer Science or Digital Arts (Photography, Video, and/or Graphic Design). In this program, students take two or more IB courses, participate in a Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) course, do language development and service learning, and complete a reflective project.

Need something to do for Spring Break?

Spring Break is a great time for students to tour College campuses. There are so many college campuses located in the area, this can be a Staycation option! Take your parents or friends and check out future educational options, those could be trade schools, two year colleges or four year colleges and universities. It is a good idea to contact the school and set up a tour time, you will get more individualized attention and more than likely see more than if you went on your own! If you need help, see the CR Student Pathways Center.

Running Start Students High School and Beyond Plan Completion

Running Start students need to complete their High School and Beyond graduation plan. This is a state of Washington graduation requirement.

Drop by the Student Pathways Center for help or if you would like to set up an appointment call Cindy Harrington at (360) 313-2923

Seniors 2020!

Seniors if you need help planning for next year or completing the High School and Beyond plan for graduation? Go to the Student Pathways Center and sign up to get help during Intervention.

Did you know that you can get free money for college and trade schools?! We’re here to help you figure it out! Join us during Intervention Periods to get help completing the FAFSA and researching other ways to pay for training and education after high school. Come see us in the Student Pathways Center to arrange for a pass!

What Pathway Will You Take?

Thinking about what comes after high school? Unsure about what you want to do? Want to learn more about what’s out there? The Student Pathways Center has options! Each month, the Student Pathways Center has a unique career pathway focus - come visit to test out hands-on activities of different career paths you can take.

We Want Your Input!

We are adding new workshops to help you get ready for life! We want your input on what workshops will be helpful for you -- College 101? Applying for Apprenticeships? Creating a Rockin’ Resume? How to Get a Job? Come let us know what you need and we’ll make it happen!

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Xello is the new tool that students are using to complete their state of Washington High School and Beyond Graduation Plans. The Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores have already been introduced to this great tool. The Freshman classes will be in the Student Pathways Center in February, learning about and exploring Xello too!

Financial Aid for the Class of 2020

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened up on October 1, 2019. Families will report income from their 2018 tax return for students entering college in the fall of 2020. Students planning to attend college at a four year, two year, or technical school, will want to file FAFSA early (in October). Filing your FAFSA is free, and filing early will ensure that you don't miss out on aid that you qualify for. You can get a head start on filing by creating your FSA ID. Both students and parents will need one. Get started and learn more at
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Other Financial Aid Events/Resources

Need more help with Financial Aid?

Here are some great additional resources.

WSUV A-Z of Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshops

These workshops will be held multiple times until April.

You do not have to be planning on attending WSU Vancouver.

Visit the WSUV website for more dates/times.

Class of 2020 Scholarship Opportunities and Reporting Awards

As Seniors receive scholarships and awards throughout the year, the Student Pathways Center wants to know! Use this link to report your great news!

Many local scholarship opportunities are posted on the Student Pathways Center website, do not miss the opportunity to apply for these great scholarships with very small applicant numbers. Scholarships are a fabulous way to pay for colleges, universities and trade schools.

College Representatives Visiting CR

During the school year many college representatives will be visiting CR. Students have the opportunity to sign up for these visits in the CR Student Pathways Center. These visits are not just open to seniors. Additional visits are being added daily, for the most up to date information see the Student Pathways Center Website:

SAT/ACT Testing Dates

The SAT and ACT are used by college admissions offices in the selection process of prospective students. Students are required to take one or the other as part of their college application. Students may register on-line at and/or

SAT Basic Test $49.50 and with writing $64.50. The test dates are 3/14, 5/2 and 6/6. See their website for more information.

ACT Basic Test $52.00 and with writing $68.00. The test dates are 2/8, 4/4, 6/13, 7/8. See their website for more information.

Columbia River will again offer the SAT School Day at no cost to current juniors on March 25, 2020. If students wish to test again, or at another time they should register online using the information above.

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2019-2020 School Calendar

2019-20 school calendar

NOTE: Every Monday from Sept. 9 to May 18 is a 40-minute early release, when school is in session, excluding holidays.

August 2019

Aug. 27 – First day of school

September 2019
Sept. 2 – Labor Day, no school

October 2019
Oct. 11 – In-service day, no school
Oct. 16 – Parent conferences, 2-hour early release – elementary schools only
Oct. 17 – Parent conferences, 2-hour early release – middle and high schools only
Oct. 17 – Parent conferences, no school – elementary schools only
Oct. 18 – Parent conference, no school – all schools

November 2019
Nov. 11 – Veterans Day, no school
Nov. 27-29 – Thanksgiving break, no school

December 2019
Dec. 23 - Jan. 3 – Winter break, no school

January 2020
Jan. 20 – Martin Luther King Day, no school
Jan. 24 – Semester break, no school **

February 2020
Feb. 17 – Presidents Day, no school

March 2020
March 30 - April 3 – Spring break, no school

April 2020
April 16 – Parent conferences, 2-hour early release – all schools
April 17 – Parent conferences, 2-hour early release – elementary schools only
April 17 – Parent conferences, no school for middle and high school only

May 2020
May 25 – Memorial Day, no school

June 2020
June 9 – 2-hour early release**
June 10 – Last day of school, 2-hour early release**

** If schools are closed due to weather, the calendar may change. Snow make-up days, in priority order, are June 11, 12, 15 and Jan. 24.

Vancouver School District – Non-Discrimination Statement

Vancouver School District – Non-Discrimination Statement 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/ADA – Kym Tylelyn-Carlson/Tamara Shoup; Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinators – Human Resources – Kathy Everidge; Elementary – Debra Hale; Secondary – Chris Olsen