Superintendent's Message

As we embrace the crisp days of February, it brings me great pleasure to connect with you through our community newsletter and share the latest highlights from Columbia School District.
This past month, CSD celebrated School Board Appreciation Month. School Boards often are charged with making decisions that can be difficult and require sifting through a great deal of information. They also bear the responsibility for setting a vision that will guide school districts for years to come. I am thankful for the support of our Board of Directors for giving their personal/family time to assist, guide, and support our District. As January closes, I want to thank our five Board Members who selflessly give of their time and energy to support our efforts to ensure that all Coyotes experience a safe and dynamic learning experience here in the Columbia School District. Thank you to Crystal Maiden, Brad O’Brien, Thad Pariera, Michael Scrimsher, and Hayley Shepard for your service and support of our community!

We have officially reached the half-way point of the school year which means the students will be finalizing our District iReady Winter Benchmark Assessments. Did you know that all students in Columbia School District from Kindergarten through 10th Grade (and selected 11-12th grade) students are assessed in the Fall, Winter, and Spring via the previously mentioned iReady screener? The purpose of the literacy and math benchmark screener is to assess students proficiency and identify areas of strengths and growth. Staff use the information to provide insight and tailor instruction to meet the individual needs of students while ensuring targeted support to enhance their learning.

Since we are talking about assessments, I want to also follow up and let you know that CSD was recently selected to administer the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) test to selected 4th and 8th grade students. Every two years, random schools across Washington State are selected to administer the tests and CES and CMS were selected this year. Due to our random selection, some students will be assessed in literacy and math on February 21st (CMS) and February 22nd (CES). If your child was selected to participate, a letter was sent home to notify students and parents. To learn more about the NAEP test, please visit the OSPI website at and search NAEP. There you will find additional information, videos, and FAQ documents if interested.
Finally, this past month CSD held our first two Balanced Calendar community forums. Thank you to those who attended and provided feedback. We will be holding another community forum later this month on Thursday, Feb. 22nd from 6-7 PM at the CHS Auditorium and again on Monday, March 18th. We are looking into a virtual option and will get back with our community regarding this opportunity so stay tuned for additional details. That’s it for this month! As always, thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you on campus sometime over the next month!

Todd Hilberg,