Congratulations on an eventful and action-packed week two of River Remote 2.0

My hope is that this weekend, you spend some time away from the screen and recharge in preparation for week three.

Three action items were determined this week by VPS:

1. Temporary layoffs/furloughs for 275 bus drivers, nutrition services employees and district resources officers. Of those employees, 46 will have reduced hours.
2. Temporary layoffs/furloughs for 354 employees serving as secretaries, clerks and paraprofessionals. Of those employees, 136 will have reduced hours.
3. The Columbia River High School mascot will change effective immediately.

These decisions followed by the statement “our next steps are to be determined” cause immense fear, anxiety and frustration. I am a person who likes to have a plan and in my 28 years working in schools, I know that I have never experienced such uncertainty.

I choose to believe that we will get better as a community in our collective efforts to put the COVID 19 pandemic down for good in the next months. We know we must work together to create the conditions for schools to resume in-person services.

Finally, I am confident that we can wrap our arms around our students as we navigate the process for a selection of a mascot that adequately represents what it means to be part of one of the finest schools in the nation.

I hope you all have a restful weekend.


Alex Otoupal, Principal
Columbia River High School