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Our vision

Our vision at Columbia River High School is the achievement of educational excellence and self-growth for all students within a collaborative learning community that recognizes the worth of each individual through:

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Value
  • Excellence
  • Responsibility

Our school

Columbia River opened on Sept. 4, 1962, with an enrollment of approximately 800 students and a team-teaching model that was at the time an innovative approach for education in the Northwest. The school quickly distinguished itself due to the high quality of its instruction, extracurricular activities and athletics.

More recent highlights

1994: Columbia River High School is authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School.

1999: Thanks to local voter approval of a bond measure three years earlier, upgrades are completed on the school. River has more flexible learning spaces for large group, small group and individual instruction. It also has new technology and networks, with an improved student-to-computer ratio.

2001: Columbia River High School sponsors the first all-district track meet for Life Skills students from all Vancouver high schools.

2007: Columbia River High School is named one of the top 1,300 public high schools in the U.S. by Newsweek magazine.

2015: Students receive individual iPads for learning as a result of community input and approval of a 2013 technology levy.

2017:  Voters say yes to a bond measure that will provide funding to expand and remodel River and its adjacent stadium.

2020: The school’s Chieftain mascot was officially retired on Sept. 8 by the Vancouver Public Schools’ Board of Directors. The action to retire the Chieftain mascot was recommended by former students, community members, the Washington State Board of Education, the American Psychological Association and local tribal leaders who support the removal of Native American mascots.

2020: A water main break at Columbia River High School lead to the discovery of a hidden piece of the school’s past, perfectly timed as the school builds a new wing to prepare for the future.

2021: After months of input from community members, students, and staff, Columbia River High School has a new mascot. Columbia River High School announces its new mascot will be the Rapids.

Learn more about the school