Samuel M. Ridgway Middle School is a building that opens its doors to instruction and learning seven days a week, ten months a year. Various scouting troops, soccer teams, basketball programs, and adult organizations use our facility to broaden and enrich young people as well as adults. This spirit of comfort and growth especially pervades our educational programs for our students, grades 5-8. Whether a student is an incoming fifth grader or a transferee, he or she finds Ridgway Middle School to be conducive for learning, sharing and high school, college and career readiness.
Diversity is a word that accurately describes the student population of Ridgway Middle School. Along with our diverse population, we have a mobility rate that climbs to about 20+% each year. These factors have made us a stronger family; our sensitivity being heightened, resulting in programs which benefit all students & focus on smooth and time-efficient transition. Support mechanisms (listed below) and our focus on character education have given students the tools to navigate through the often challenging and confusing waters of adolescence:
Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)
Lunchtime Study Skills
Guidance Groups (Girls’ Talk, Boys’ Talk)
Articulation Programs for Incoming 5th Grade Students & Parents
First Day Format for New Students
L.E.A.D. (Grade 5)
PARCC Readiness Infused in Lesson Plans via Common Core Implementation
Broad-Based Utilization of Instructional Assistants (special needs, Math & LA classes, Title I)
High School Orientation Programs for 8th Graders
Broad Inclusion Program (across subject areas & grade levels)
Positive Behavior Supports in School - P.B.S.I.S. (S.O.A.R. Incentive Program)
National Junior Honor Society Chapter
Highly Active PTO
Algebra for 8th Grade; Pre-Algebra for 7th Grade
The upbeat spirit of Ridgway is further witnessed in the varied extracurricular activities that compliment the fine work enacted by our staff members daily. A flavor of the athletic and the academic rest with these post-school activities:
Award winning Band, Jazz Band and Chorus Ensembles
Ridgway Register (Newspaper)
Drama Club Play Production
Academic Team Competitions
Summer Music Program
Scholastic Sports (Boys/Girls Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Cheerleading)
Student Council Functions (dances, Committee Meetings)
National Junior Honor Society Events
Our teachers have put a great deal of emphasis on making instruction an "active" endeavor that engages the students mentally and physically. Small group instruction, station learning, interactive labs, peer conferencing, public speaking, Smart Interactive Board and computer technology, and providing choice menus to students have added many levels of differentiation in making learning more of an interactive, engaging, personable, and enjoyable experience.
Our technology program at Ridgway clearly demonstrates an energetic and aggressive philosophy. The utilization of mobile laptop computer labs with wireless capabilities, and the addition of Smart Interactive Board technologies have taken learning to new modern heights that fully engage students by providing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) components in every classroom.
This philosophy has also spread beyond the classroom where school level activities have been created to educate our students in a non-traditional, yet successful manner. Math Day (teams of students - one from each grade level - tackle six challenging problems) and Career Day (many outside speakers address our students in grade-level groups) are two unique ventures beyond the classroom. Others include a 3-day camping trip for our sixth graders, the 8th grade Baltimore Trip, an advanced algebra competition, grade level activities and service-oriented projects. Our students have responded to the needs of our community (canned goods drive) and the needs of mankind in general (March of Dimes, Leukemia Society, Operation, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Locks for Love, Teens for Jeans, and a St. Jude Walk-A-Thon) annually in stellar fashion. Focusing on giving back to those less fortunate, both students and staff walk away educationally and emotionally enriched.
Our teaching staff deserves so much credit for establishing the positive air that surrounds Ridgway Middle School. Our parents and volunteers also deserve a great portion of this praise. Whether at parent-teacher conferences, IEP meetings, PTO meetings, or volunteering to help chaperone school dances and class trips, the parents of Ridgway Middle School are cooperative and supportive; they value education and they prove this each and every year.
Samuel M. Ridgway Middle School is only a building, but the people who occupy it seven days a week make it an educational oasis; a location defined by personal, engaged learning, student achievement and adolescent growth and development.