November 2019

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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:

As we turn the calendars to November and our clocks fall back (on November 3), I have a couple of seasonal and annual reminders for both students and families. First: be safe traveling to and from school. It is cold, wet and dark for our morning commute and we both recognize and appreciate the concerted effort to be cautious and on time for classes. Second, take time to congratulate the accomplishments of our students who are closing out the fall season. We have had extraordinary performances in athletics (Cross Country and Soccer in particular) and in our classrooms. Members of the Class of 2020 are being recognized for their excellence in leadership at the local and state level. Finally, take time to participate in our upcoming elections. Make certain that you are exercising your right to vote on local issues. Please take some time and read our November newsletter and stay informed on what is happening on campus over the next few weeks. We want to make sure you have the opportunity and information to participate in parent nights, college visits and our celebrations of our students. Have a great month!

Alex Otoupal, Principal

Columbia River High School

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Start Practicing for the School Day SAT

Once again this year, Vancouver Public Schools will offer 11th grade high school students the opportunity to take the SAT exam free of charge, as part of SAT School Day in March of 2020. This is the fifth year VPS will participate in SAT School Day, which enables students to take the nation's most widely-used college entrance exam during the school day.

Students can start preparing now for the SAT with FREE practice lessons, and FREE practice tests on Khan Academy.

More information regarding the specific SAT School Day date and registration procedures will be sent home in early 2020.

If you have questions about the SAT School Day, please contact your student's counselor, or visit the Student Pathways Center.

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News from Echo Moran-Prince/Prevention Intervention Specialist

November is Nicotine Awareness Month.

Please take a moment and talk to your student about the dangers associated with nicotine and tobacco. Below are some statistics and talking points.

´ Teen use of e-cigarettes rose 75% between 2017 and 2018.

´ Young adults who use e-cigarettes are more than four times as likely to begin smoking tobacco cigarettes within 18 months as their peers who do not vape.

´ Studies have consistently showed that e-cigarettes/juuls encourage teens to use nicotine who may not have otherwise used tobacco products.

´ Nicotine use can lead to changes in adolescent brain development, including language, memory and intelligence.

´ Repeated use of nicotine can lead to changes in dopamine levels in the brain causing depression and anxiety.

´ 53% of e-cig users reported depression symptoms. Whereas, only 33% non-nicotine users reported depression symptoms.

´ 37% of E-cigarette users reported contemplating suicide whereas, 17% of non-nicotine users reported contemplating suicide.

´ 65% of E-cigarette users report also using alcohol, whereas 16% of non-nicotine users report using alcohol.

´ 64% of E-cigarette users report also using marijuana, whereas 11% of non-nicotine users report using marijuana.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with you student about the dangers of nicotine.

Echo Moran-Prince

Prevention Intervention Specialist

Columbia River High School


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IB Exams

IB Exam Registrations must be completed by October 18.

If you have any questions, contact Julie Nygaard at

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Courts For Kids

There are still a handful of spots open in our Courts for Kids spring break trip to Costa Rica!!

For more information on the trip, please stop by Ms. McAnally’s classroom (610) to receive an informational packet and links to the sign up forms. You can also email Ms. McAnally directly at with your questions.

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Calling all Orchestra and Band Parents!

Did you know that the orchestra and band are planning a Disneyland trip this coming spring?

There have been a number of fundraisers the past couple of years to help pay for music program events, including saving up for Disneyland. We’d love your help!

Please join us at an upcoming Music Association meeting, which for the remainder of this year will occur the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at The Megabite in Hazel Dell.

If you cannot make the meeting but would like to help please ask your music student about the upcoming apple and coffee fundraisers, or email the Music Association board at

Thanks for your support!

What: Upcoming Music Association Meetings

Date: 11/7, and 12/5 (Thursdays)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: The Megabite - 6920 NE Hwy 99

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If your student is a member of the National Honor Society, here are important dates to remember for this school year. Our meetings are held in the Forum 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

November 7

December 5

January 9

February 6

March 5

April 9

May 7

June 4

There is also a concession opportunity on Thursday, October 24 to raise money for NHS activities. Parent volunteers are needed. Time slots range from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Horticulture/FFA Sale

Horticulture/FFA will have holiday wreaths and centerpieces available for sale starting December 3rd. The cost will be $10 each. Please email to place an advance order.
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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.

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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Project Lit Community

Project Lit Community invites the River community to read The Hate U Give this fall! Any River student is welcome to join the book discussion on Wednesday, December 4 during both lunches in Room 600. If you need a copy of the book, swing by River's library.

You're also welcome to join the general club planning meeting on November 6 during both lunches in room 600. Find out how to become part of a national literacy movement!

IB Junior/Senior Social

IB Junior/Senior Social

Nov. 8

6:30 - 9:00

Open to all students taking 1 or more IB classes

CR Boosters Meeting

The CR Boosters are having their next meeting in the Gallery at River on November 12th starting at 6:30 pm. Please come and show your parent support for all of our schools clubs as well as sports. We a looking for a President and now a Concession purchaser (someone to restock the food in the indoor and outdoor concessions stands). All are welcome to come and learn more.
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Senior Boosters - Rally Pizza Partnership Day

Friday, Nov. 8th, 11am-9pm

8070 East Mill Plain Boulevard

Vancouver, WA

Rally Pizza Partnership Day

11 am - 9 pm Flyer Here!

Senior Boosters - Silent Auction

Saturday, Nov. 16th, 12-2pm

4216 Northeast Minnehaha Street

Vancouver, WA

$20 per ticket. Includes food, drink, and live music.

Purchase Tickets!

Senior Boosters - River Night at Portland Winterhawks

Saturday, Nov. 23rd, 6pm

300 North Winning Way

Portland, OR

River Night @ Portland

Winterhawks! Flyer Here!

CRHS Senior Boosters Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 6th, 6:30pm

800 Northwest 99th Street

Vancouver, WA

2020 CRHS Senior Boosters

Meeting in the Gallery at CRHS

Senior Boosters - Last Day Poinsettia Orders Collected

Monday, Nov. 4th, 7:30am-2:15pm

800 Northwest 99th Street

Vancouver, WA

November 4th is the last day Poinsettia orders will be collected. Order Form! Flyer Here!

Counseling Center Staff

Freshman Counselor-Rachael Howington

Sophomore Counselor-Jennifer Waller

Junior Counselor-Alexis Bruce

Senior Counselor-Lou Gill

School Psychologist-Chad Waldman

Clerk-Gina Gasser

Student Pathways Center Staff

Career Guidance Specialist-Morgan Parker

Clerk-Cindy Harrington

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Unveiling the New Student Pathways Center!

Last week, we unveiled a new name for our College & Career Center - the Student Pathways Center! The new Student Pathways Center will focus efforts on delivering programming that focuses on students’ personal aspirations and how our team can support students in achieving those goals through education and work readiness.

Need help with a resume? Want to get a job? Not sure about your next move? Nervous about graduating? No question is too small! Come visit the Student Pathways Center - we’re excited to help!

Get to Know our Staff

Cindy Harrington, Student Pathways Center Clerk

Cindy has been a staple to our CR community for many years. She can help you with any job, college, career planning you may need as well as connect you with resources outside of our building! Wondering about scholarship opportunities? Curious about visiting colleges? Stop by to learn more!

Morgan Parker, Student Pathways Coordinator

Morgan is brand new to our Student Pathways team! For the last ten years, Morgan has worked closely with young adults in Clark County, ages 16 to 24, to support them in creating the future they want, through education, training, and employment services. As a Columbia River graduate, Morgan is familiar with the unique needs of CR students and families and is excited about supporting River students in achieving their career and life goals!

Upcoming Events

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Are you a Running Start student?

Join us in the Student Pathways Center on any of the following dates to get important information about completing your High School and Beyond Plan!

Wednesday, November 6th, 8:30-10a.m.
Wednesday, November 13th, 12:30-2p.m.

Can’t make any of these times? Connect with Morgan at or 360-313-3922.

Seniors 2020!

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 throughout October 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. Next Month: Digital Arts!

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!

Junior Parent Night, Monday, November 4

Juniors parents are invited to attend this evening to hear information pertaining to the junior year. Alexis Bruce, Junior class counselor, and Morgan Parker the Pathways Center Coordinator will be leading this informational session!

This event will begin at 6:30 PM in the CR Lower Commons

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Xello replaces Career Cruising

Beginning this year students will be using Xello to complete their High School and Beyond Plans. The Seniors and Juniors have already been introduced to this new learning tool which is "much more fun" and "more user friendly" than the previously used Career Cruising or, so students say! The Sophomores and Freshman classes will soon be 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 December.

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

Visit the WSUV website for more dates/times.

College Representatives Visiting CR this Fall

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:

October 29 Northern Arizona University, University of Hawaii Hilo

October 30 Cornish College of the Arts, George Fox University, Portland Community College

November 1 Montana State University

November 4 Seattle University, Oregon State University

November 5 University of Portland, University of Washington-Tacoma, Willamette University

November 6 Concordia University

November 7 WSU-Vancouver Application Workshop

November 12 University of Montana

November 13 Portland State University, Clark College

November 15 Warner Pacific University

Class of 2020 Scholarships and 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!

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 12/7, 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 12/14, 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 4, 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