Dear Columbia River Students and Families,

I am pleased to report that our Faculty Retreat yesterday was a success in terms of meeting our goals of alignment with the VPS Equity and Excellence Initiative and our daily lived experiences at River.

Over 80 River Staffulty participated in several hours of orientation and “leveling” our common understanding of our daily efforts grounded in Culturally Responsive Education (CRE).

Going forward, we will continue to center ourselves and our instructional planning with the following guiding questions in mind:


  • What do we want students to understand?
  • What do we want students to feel?
  • What are the targets for rigor?
  • What are the indicators for engagement?
  • What are the opportunities we have to be responsive?


We know this effort will galvanize our continued commitment to serving all students. Our aim continues to be to clearly define the intersection of equity and rigor in our students’ learning experiences at River. Through this process, we center ourselves in a growth mindset.

We are committed to this ongoing journey with you and will continue to keep you updated on our efforts.

We look forward to connecting with you all very soon.


Alex Otoupal

Head of School