This school is wonderful. My son just started Kindergarten this year (2013) and loves it.He loves his teacher and is doing well. I was extremely pleased. This by far is the best school. I
This school has a wonderful staff, caring people who know each and every child by name. The school is old but beautiful and old doesn't mean ineffective. The children get to be who they are, advance on their level they get to move forward at their speed not wait for someone else to catch up and or be pushed ahead when they aren't ready. The family support is wonderful. Parents who get involved in so many ways giving support in and out of the class rooms makes a difference. I have never been ask to leave or not stop in. Parents Grandparents aunts uncles, are always welcomed. We have excellent teachers, and our principal is top of his game. He is involved in a boys writer club and the boys really enjoy that special time , learning to love to write.. He is one special person. The two year class room structure helps the children feel comfortable and secure which helps the learning continue year after year. I know that my child wouldn't do well in a regular public school and I couldn't afford a private school. I feel so very blessed to have won the lottery and gotten him in this wonderful school. It might not be for everyone but it works for us. Ridgeway Rams are the best !
Addressing previous post. 1. I have never seen more than 2 computers in any Unit A classroom, in addition, 42 Ipads were purchased this year to give students more technology opportunities. 2. The school is about 100 years old. Much if not all of the school was repainted last year. Peeling paint should be reported to principal, but very unlikely this claim is true. Many of the smaller schools us the gym as the cafeteria as well. 3. This area has had a dangerous reputation for many many years, so parents are aware of this when applying. 4. Class sizes are restricted to 22 students per class. 5. Students move for Math, Music, Art, Computer Lab, Counselor. Reading groups are within their homeroom and those needing additional reading support meet in groups with other teachers. This changes in Unit B & C. 6. This is a school of choice. Parents who aren't happy with this school have the option of returning to their home school, thus opening a space for the 60+ students on the waiting list. 7. This school has one of the highest parental participation/support, high number of volunteer hours of any in the district. Several Teachers have won awards for teaching excellence.
continuing from previous post... In the kindergarten-first grade classrooms there is not an even distribution of of supplies/opportunities. Some of the k-1 classrooms are on the large side (but still very unorganized) while one is TINY. Others have 3-4 computers in the class, while others have just one. And keep in mind that the only time the k-1 students move to other classrooms is for their different reading groups...so it's not like they get exposure to additional computers. The school itself is very old and decrepit. We're talking paint peeling off the walls and stairs. All the extras (art, etc) are in the basement which is tiny and stifling. The gym also serves as the cafeteria--also tiny and LITERALLY falling apart. The school also has a strange odor. Maybe that will change when they get air conditioning. And last but not least, it is located in a dangerous neighborhood which has very recently had shootings. This might ignorable if the other factors were above and beyond--but honestly, everything good I'd heard about this place turned out to be nothing but hype. Especially the myth about small class size. Not true at all. There are smaller classes at Russell.
Ridgeway is a magnet school that draws children across Columbia. Winning a lottery is required to get into Ridgeway. The kids, parents and staff I know at Ridgeway are all really great people who are working to make Ridgeway a great place to learn and grow
My son started Ridgeway this year. This is by far the best school in Columbia. I've heard from parent who have students at others schools. They are frustrated because the entire class can't move forward until one child catches up with the rest. At Ridgeway, students are taught by Units. Units A is a classroom of 20 kids, 10 are in kindergarten and 10 are in 1st grade. They teach to the individual not to the masses or to the middle. This is a public school that has no district boundaries. Parental Involvement is VERY HIGH, teachers KNOW each child, and extra help is easily provided for those who need it. I feel very fortunate that we go to this school.
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