The Ridgefield School District has announced a new districtwide virtual learning program for K-12 students in the district.
A news release sent on April 14 stated Wisdom Ridge Academy, the district's new alternative learning experience, will open in the fall semester of the 2021-22 school year.
Wisdom Ridge Academy will be “a choice program” that requires a high level of parental and family involvement. According to the release, the mission of Wisdom Ridge Academy is “to provide high quality, flexible learning options that suit the needs of individual students and their families.”
Parents and families will be the co-educators for students enrolled in the program. While a majority of learning will take place in a home environment, Ridgefield School District teachers will provide supervision, academic support and will see students for in-person weekly check-ins and progress reports, according to the release. The program will not feature a “rigid” daily schedule and is not strictly an online learning program either, stated the release.
“A growing number of families are seeking more flexible learning opportunities,” Ridgefield School District Superintendent Nathan McCann said in the release. “The past year has seen an increase in interest in these programs, and we are thrilled to be able to offer a brand new school to meet the unique needs and pursuits of our families right here in Ridgefield.”
The release said the new alternative learning experience program has been in development for months with help and guidance from Mark Clements, a consultant who has helped launch several family-partnered remote learning programs throughout the state. Clements also served as the principal of River HomeLink, a similar program at Battle Ground Public Schools.
“Remote options provide flexibility for students and families with unique needs and pursuits that may not be compatible with the typical Monday through Friday, six-and-a-half hour daily school schedules,” said Tony Smith, the principal at View Ridge Middle School. “To most effectively serve Ridgefield families, remote options need to be a part of our program offerings. It’s about providing options to meet families and learners where they’re at.”
At Wisdom Ridge, online learning platforms will provide most of the coursework and assessment, while offering flexible scheduling and self-paced learning opportunities.
“Our experience with remote learning has shown us that students thrive in a variety of learning environments,” Ridgefield School Board director Zenia Bringhurst said. “Wisdom Ridge Academy will support Ridgefield families by providing high quality learning pathways for young people. Providing families with flexible learning options will complement the high quality education that exists in the district and create more opportunities for kids to thrive.”
Families who want to learn more can attend an information night from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. on April 21 in the Columbia Assembly Room at the Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center, 510 Pioneer St. A question and answer session will follow the presentations.
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