Ridgefield School District launches new virtual learning program

Wisdom Ridge Academy is a choice program that is focused on serving the Ridgefield community and will require a high level of parental/family involvement

The Ridgefield School District announced Thursday  its new virtual learning program, Wisdom Ridge Academy. The new Alternative Learning Experience, or ALE program, opens in the fall of 2021 and will serve students in grades K-12.

Ridgefield Superintendent Nathan McCann
Ridgefield Superintendent Nathan McCann

Wisdom Ridge Academy is a choice program that is focused on serving the Ridgefield community and will require a high level of parental/family involvement. Its mission is to provide high quality, flexible learning options that suit the needs of individual students and their families. 

At Wisdom Ridge, families are their children’s co-educators. While the majority of learning will take place in the home, Ridgefield teachers will still provide supervision, academic support, and will see students for in-person weekly check-ins and monthly progress reports. The program is not rigid with a strictly bound daily schedule, nor is it a purely online learning program administered exclusively through third party online learning platforms.

“A growing number of families are seeking more flexible learning opportunities,” said Ridgefield School District Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann. “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.”  

Wisdom Ridge Academy is wholly separate from Ridgefield Remote. The new ALE program has been in development and planning for months with the help and guidance from Mark Clements, an expert consultant who has helped launch several highly successful family-partnered remote learning programs throughout the state of Washington. Clements was also the principal of River HomeLink, a similar ALE program located in the Battle Ground Public Schools district. 

“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, principal at View Ridge Middle School. “To most effectively serve Ridgefield families, remote options need to be 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, offering flexible scheduling and self-paced learning opportunities. Online learning platforms will include Accelerate (for grades K-12), Edmentum (for grades 6-12), and eDynamic (for secondary level electives).

“Our experience with remote learning has shown us that students thrive in a variety of learning environments,” said Ridgefield School Board Director Zenia Bringhurst. “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.”

Family Information Nights

Families interested in learning more about Wisdom Ridge Academy are invited to attend an Information Night on Wed., April 21 in the Columbia Assembly Room located at the Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center at 510 Pioneer Street. Presentations will begin at 5:45 and 6:30 p.m., with question and answer sessions following each presentation. Families can attend in-person or remotely. More details, including links to attend the virtual sessions will be provided soon. 

Information provided by Ridgefield School District.

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