Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

Our Mission is to create a vibrant and personalized learning environment that cultivates the intellect, creativity, and character of our students.  Ridgewood is a small, progressive school for students PreK-8, which incorporates an innovative college preparatory curriculum.  Students will be prepared to excel in learning, achieve in life, and engage the global community.

Ridgewood begins with a child-centered approach to education, including differentiated instruction and developmentally-appropriate discovery.  We believe that learning is an active process in which students, teachers, and families are all engaged, one in which students are encouraged to explore their own strengths and weaknesses, and develop their own critical reasoning skills.  We utilize a hands-on, inquiry-based, cross-curricular, and often project-based pedagogy, creating opportunities for both immersion in the natural environment and fluency with innovative technologies.   As a result, Ridgewood students are motivated intrinsically and eager to explore their worlds to a deeper extent.

Our curriculum is an innovative, college preparatory curriculum that prepares our students for the challenges of tomorrow.  We believe in the balance of an award-winning STEM curriculum, coupled with exciting opportunities in the visual and performing Arts.  Together with foreign language education, service-learning opportunities, and an emphasis on oral and written communication, the Ridgewood curricula create a balanced approach: one that encourages creativity, while preparing students for 21st century problem solving.

As important to Ridgewood as its pedagogy is its community.  We believe that a strong community of learners is one in which students learn and grow with each other and from each other, building a strong appreciation for teamwork and collaboration.  We expect the same sense of collaboration from our staff, families, and alumni. Our community not only honors, but celebrates its diversity, and strongly values social justice and community service.  In these ways we are growing students who not only take ownership of their own education, but are prepared to be the next generation of citizens and leaders.

Finally, Ridgewood is committed to the social and emotional growth of its students through a developmental framework of character education.  Our core values create the framework through which decisions are informed and relationships are cultivated.  Through traditions such as Morning Assembly, student mentorship, and building-wide celebrations of diversity, we are growing not only the intellect of our students, but their character as well.

Our core values create a learning environment, which:

» Inspires the joy of learning and discovery.
» Encourages academic excellence.
» Celebrates diversity.
» Fosters respect.
» Expects integrity.
» Embraces responsibility.
» Promotes leadership.
» Instills citizenship.
» Engages the whole child.