The academic departments at Ridgefield High School adhere to state standards in all subjects, including the core areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. We also offer instruction in art, music, and physical education. For more information, please follow the links on this page.
Alternative High School
Ridgefield Alternative High School is a program within the Ridgefield School System that provides services to students requiring increased educational, social, and emotional supports in a small class setting. In addition to academic instruction, the program provides individual and group counseling in a safe and structured environment to encourage students to develop an enthusiasm for lifelong learning and the pursuit of post-high school opportunities.
Ridgefield Alternative High School strives to create a community-based atmosphere for students and staff based upon support and mutual respect in which adolescents are empowered to utilize their strengths to realize and achieve their full potential to become academically and socially productive members of society. These services and supports are implemented by highly qualified staff emphasizing transferable skills leading to success in a 21st century global society.
Business and Finance Technology Education provides students with practical guidelines they need to manage their personal and professional lives. The courses challenge students to develop creative thinking skills, become independent learners, and develop problem-solving skills. Students apply business knowledge and technical skills with activities requiring problem solving, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, preparing them to become responsible citizens capable of making astute economic decisions.
In their coursework, students learn to make knowledgeable and ethical decisions in their roles as consumers, workers, and citizens. They learn about topics in personal finance, the economic principles of an increasingly international marketplace, and the processes by which businesses operate. Business and finance courses provide a solid educational foundation for all students.
Our English program encourages creativity, risk-taking, organization, analytical thinking, collaboration, incremental learning, and self-reflection. We applaud deep appreciation of literature and effective communication skills. We expose our students to various genres, time periods, and cultures and work toward interconnecting disciplines in the other academic departments to provide students with a comprehensive experience. Above all, we maintain high expectations for our students and ask that they also do so for themselves.
Our English teachers honor the growth of all students as readers and writers, notably through our writing conference program. We value students’ ideas about literature while fostering comprehension and fluency. We give individual teachers and classes the freedom to pursue their own passions and collaborate with and celebrate one anothers’ strengths. We model good habits of learning and sincere respect for students and colleagues and believe that a balanced, dynamic program will assist in the development of a whole, healthy learner.
Our students read core text to help them develop their reading and writing abilities. Those core texts are:
Grade 9: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Night, and To Kill a Mockingbird
Grade 10: The Bean Trees and Macbeth
Grade 11: Black Boy, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Great Gatsby
Grade 12: Each course has specific core texts related to the theme of the class.
AP Summer Work
Family and Consumer Science
Family and Consumer Sciences is based on the family and the relationship between work and the family. The mission of this program is to empower people to effectively manage emerging life issues by applying skills, analyzing options, and strengthening interpersonal competencies through an interrelated curriculum. Participation in the program enables students to develop skills to manage their own personal, family, and career lives, and to develop insights into the interactions within families and the relationship of work and family. Family and consumer sciences education applies academic learning to hands-on application and is part of an integral part of each student’s development.
Finding balance in one’s physical, mental, and social wellness is the fundamental foundation for a healthy life. Health education, in addition to teaching key concepts or knowledge, also teaches a variety of skills that promotes lifelong wellness. This knowledge includes the most important and enduring ideas, issues, and concepts related to achieving good health. The skills include how to access reliable information, self-management, identifying internal and external influences and ways to respond to those influences, interpersonal communication skills, goal setting, decision making, and advocating skills for oneself and others about health issues.
The ninth grade program targets personal and consumer health, mental/emotional health, injury prevention, nutrition and fitness, substance abuse prevention, sexuality, and environmental health. A Connecticut state mandate requires substance abuse education each year and HIV/AIDS education on a consistent and on-going basis. Students learn through an interactive program that allows them to personalize the knowledge, believe it, understand its importance and personal relevance, believe in their own ability to act upon it, and then actually act upon that knowledge when necessary.
Senior-wellness courses offer another opportunity to discuss relevant health content in preparation for life outside of Ridgefield High School. Students have a choice between wellness beyond high school or health, ethics, and current events. Wellness beyond high school is a health course for students who want to explore the unique health and lifestyle issues that arise after graduation from high school. There is a heavy emphasis on safety and campus life. After taking the health, ethics, and current events course, students will create habits and practice the skills needed for ethical reasoning and decision making. Each student will learn to distinguish what is right, what is wrong, what is best, and what the difference is between the three.
The principle reason for studying mathematics is to learn how to apply mathematical thought to problem solving. Students must be able to perform the fundamental operations associated with each course and acquire a set of meaningful concepts they can use effectively to solve problems. The ultimate goal of the department is to help students develop the ability to deal with mathematical functions in daily life and for post-secondary education. Some courses require summer work to prepare students for the coming school year.
AP Summer Work
The high school physical education program is the final component of the K-12 Ridgefield Public Schools physical education curriculum. It’s a comprehensive program that’s beneficial to all students. The high school curriculum covers personal fitness needs and how and why students should lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Students also learn about lifetime sports and receive instruction on individual and team sports.
The ninth and tenth grade physical education program allows students to participate in activities directly focused on improving cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Students have the opportunity to analyze the value of certain activities and how each activity enhances total fitness. With teacher guidance, students design a personal fitness program to achieve and maintain health-related fitness standards as measured by the Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment. PE classes meet every day for one semester for a half credit.
The reading department provides students with varying opportunities to strengthen their reading skills and to develop a lifelong appreciation for reading. Students experience a wide range of high-interest and accessible texts, from fiction and non-fiction to film and music.
By guiding students through the reading process and gradually increasing text complexity, students become more reflective and proficient readers. During this process, students predict and interpret text, draw conclusions, make inferences, recognize an author’s purpose, find organizational patterns, and improve general comprehension and vocabulary skills. Students leave class with improved confidence in their skills and a working repertoire of strategies to employ when confronted with challenging texts across the content areas.
Our science department strives to stimulate each student’s creativity and innovation through the use of an appropriately rigorous curriculum centered on problem solving and critical thinking. Students learn in a self-directed, reflective, and collaborative classroom while they develop life and career goals with an emphasis on the technological skills necessary to compete in the future. Community partnerships allow educators to develop and impart the expertise needed for success in today’s workforce.
We make history come alive through cooperative learning activities and simulations. We want our students to study and understand the past in a nurturing, supportive environment that fosters personal inquiry and growth so they can fully appreciate who they are as American citizens today. The goal of our qualified teachers is to teach students how to make knowledgeable, reasoned decisions that impact society in a positive way.
We live in a technology-driven world and students must have a working knowledge of both hardware and software systems. The technology department also includes automotive technology coursework for students interested in pursuing a career in that field.
Visual and Performing Arts Department
The Visual and Performing Arts Departments throughout Ridgefield Public Schools aim to create inspiring experiences that are common to all the arts: exploring, creating, performing, presenting, interpreting, connecting, and reflecting. We believe the arts promote awareness of the world and provide an opportunity to seek meaning through a creative process.
AP Summer Work
- AP Studio Art
- AP Studio Art 2D Design
- AP Studio Art 3D Design
- AP Studio Art Drawing
- AP Studio Art Sample Topics for Inspiration
World languages are systems of communication humans use to define and maintain their humanity. They enable mankind to understand and to be understood in the global community. World languages help students to better understand their own language, appreciate cultural differences and the importance of tolerance, value the beauty of diversity, and reflect on their own identity. We offer language courses in French, German, Italian, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish.