Ridge Park is a Grand Rapids gem. With a strong focus on attracting first generation Americans, they are able to provide a very diverse and rich experience for my children. This is well-balanced by a sensible uniform (polo/khakis) policy that levels the socioeconomic playing field and allows kids to interact with each other simply as peers - with no preliminary judgments. All of the children appear to be respectful, kind, and eager to learn. Ridge Park staff work hard to ensure children of all learning abilities and levels receive the attention and challenges that they need. The year-round calendar also helps to improve retention from year to year (and simplifies the summer scheduling). I am proud to be a Ridge Park parent!
While the teachers and education at RPCA are excellent indeed (as of 2014), the school's environment is a bad influence on the students, especially at the age they are. As I suppose it's true that every child learns about mature themes eventually, it's important to remember the pace and the extent (most kids there have "large vocabularies" and tendencies to speak vulgarly). But all in all, I've seen RPCA produce it's fair-share of geniuses! And there teams are okay.
I love the direction the school keep heading with Mr Brillhart at the helm. My eldest attended here from k-8 and now attends City High. My youngest will do the same. I believe the great teachers at this school have allowed my kids to soar and be able to get into the best high school in the area. Way to go Ridge Park! Proud Ranger mom
My son has attended Ridge Park for 2 years now (4th & 5th grade). He transferred there after attending Grand Rapids Christian (tuition based). I was pleasantly surprised to hear him complaining the curriculum was "so much harder & challenging than at GR Christian". As a parent, it brings me great joy to know that my son is getting a top notch education where he is consistently being challenged, while enjoying tuition free schooling!
At first I was skeptical about RPCA. I looked/toured into different school districts like Forest Hills and have found that all the curriculum is the same if not better at RPCA. The only difference at RPCA is the parent involvement. From what I've seen, there's very few parents that care about volunteering or their child's education all together and that is the ONLY reason tests scores aren't the best here, period. It saddens when I hear parents blame the teachers for what their kid is/isn't doing in the clasroom. For parents who are reading this, it's not the staff job to raise our children. We are responsible and play the major role in our children's lives. The staff is outstanding and the principal is always thinking of new and better things for the school. Everyone genuinely cares about the kids and they go above and beyond the call of duty! The staff works diligently to teach and prepare the children and I know we made the right choice by sending our girls here. :-D
Ridge Park has been a great fit for our family with the caring/responsive staff, true diversity, college bound curriculum. My daughter's have all gone from average students in public schools to honors classes and higher GPA's since the close of their former elementary school. The athletics program is very inclusive in that all students are encouraged and allowed to participate. I also appreciate the middle school being in the same building, but separate in operation. I have enjoyed my children's time at Ridge Park and always recommend other parents to consider sending their children to the best in the area! Parent of Ridge Park Students
We have been at RPCA for 4 years now. We've been very impressed with the ass't principal (who was there during the previous principal) and how he dealt with some discipline problems we'd had in the past. Having the new principal really has improved the morale of the teachers. The quality of teachers has been OUTSTANDING. We have also been impressed with the staff as well. RPCA has extracurricular classes periodically which are just fun once-a-week for 4 weeks classes after school. We've chosen not to participate in sports yet, so I can't speak to that. We're pleased with the level of academics expected from the children. There is homework every night, but in 3rd grade, it's 2 or 3 pages. We appreciate the racial diversity and haven't so far seen racism. Also pleased that now there is a Moms in Touch prayer group for the school.
I am very impressed with Ridge Park. My daughter went to another charter school for her Kindergarten year, and it was a real struggle for her. The teachers were wanting to hold her back another year. Fortunately we moved to G.R. and she enter first grade at Ridge Park. Her improvement was amazing, she really did very, very well. She is now in the second grade and again doing awesome. The staff and facility are all very professional and the all genuinely care for all the students. It is very apparent that they encourage lots of parental involvement, and that is so important to achieve success. They are always keeping parents informed of school happenings and progress. I would like to see more extracurricular activities, but we can always enroll of children in community activities, so it is really not that big of a deal. Great Job!
I read the above review and noticed the dates corresponded with past poor leadership. The principal prior to the current one was an absolute nightmare. The atmosphere at Ridge Park is very relaxed for the students but still has structure. The curriculum is appropriate and very college prep. The teachers are proactive with their students. They listen to their students-that comes from my 6th grader. I would recommend this school to anyone!