Vision and Philosophy
 A Tradition of Excellence
The Ridgewood Public Schools, committed to a tradition of excellence and innovation, in partnership with the community, provide a rich and challenging learning environment, enabling students to maximize their unique potentials to become life-long learners and productive, responsible citizens.     

Ridgewood High School Philosophy
Ridgewood High School endeavors to maintain an educational and social environment that promotes the academic and personal welfare of its students as members of the school, village and global community. The high school recognizes and accepts its responsibility for educating its students to their fullest potential, so that they are prepared to live healthy and productive lives.
Through its diverse and challenging curriculum, its promotion of innovative pedagogical techniques, its support of technology, its cooperation with parents, and especially, its dedicated knowledgeable personnel, Ridgewood High School provides its students with an excellent academic program. The school encourages its students to be independent thinkers and collaborative learners, to express themselves effectively, and to appreciate their own individuality and uniqueness. The school empowers its students to be self-motivated learners, to accumulate knowledge and experience through personal initiative and effort, in order that they remain active learners throughout their lives.
Ridgewood High School recognizes its obligation to its students and society to foster an atmosphere in which students learn social as well as academic skills, an atmosphere in which mutual respect is emphasized among the staff and student body. In the classroom and in the many co-curricular activities that the high school offers, students learn not only to listen to their teachers, coaches, advisors, and peers, but also to share ideas and work together to achieve their goals. They learn that they are part of a larger society, a society in which people must respect one another’s cultures and beliefs.

Ridgewood High School strives to graduate young people who will meet successfully the challenges of the 21
st Century.

 High School Goals
Ridgewood High School, in partnership with students and parents, strive to:
  • provide a setting which encourages active learning
  • include mastery of the content and skills of the various disciplines, research and analysis, critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication
  • encourage students to develop self-discipline and responsibility
  • encourage students to realize their creative, intellectual, social and physical potential by providing a wide range of experiences and activities
  • encourage students to work honestly, to develop good character, and to interact humanely with others
  • encourage students to develop appreciation and respect for not only the worth and dignity of individuals, including those of different social, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, but also for themselves
  • encourage students to effectively utilize technology to communicate, research, solve problems, and express themselves creatively
  • encourage students to understand their responsibilities of citizenship and be prepared to address the social, economic and environmental issues of the community, the state, the nation and the world
  • encourage students to explore career and vocational options, and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the attainment of their goals
  • encourage students to recognize that learning is a life-long process.

Vision of the School Culture

Our vision has eight norms that we ask all members of our school community members to apply to their daily interactions
  1. Collegiality – working successfully with and learning form others;
  2. Experimentation – trying new ideas and looking for more effective ways of teaching;
  3. Trust & Confidence – trusting the integrity of others, acting with integrity ourselves;
  4. Appreciation & Recognition – honoring good effort and achievements;
  5. Caring, Celebration & Humor – having fun together and showing that we care for others;
  6. Involvement in decision-making – having a voice in the decision, policies, and procedures that impact our lives;
  7. Traditions – continuing the ceremonies that symbolize who we are and creating new traditions;
  8. Open, honest communications – taking responsibility for sending accurate messages, talking face-to-face, resolving conflicts respectfully
These norms are from the work of Drs. John Saphier and Matt King and are explained in their article “Good Seeds Grow in Strong Cultures”


Vision of the RHS Graduate
Through the work of our Task Force and with feedback from the faculty, we identified the essential attributes necessary for our learners to live productive lives after they leave Ridgewood High School. The Essential Attributes are attributes that:
  1. Are used across all learning experiences, content areas, and extra-curricular areas;
  2. Are applied with competence in a variety of contexts and cultures;
  3. Can be self-assessed to develop strategies for monitoring and improving.
  4. We want our graduates to be effective communicators who:
    • Demonstrate active listening skills;
    • Express ideas clearly in a variety of personal and public settings;
    • Express reasoned opinions supported by evidence;
    • Adapt communication for diverse audiences and purposes.
  5. We want our graduates to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers who:
    • Make connections among ideas, information and experience;
    • Solve problems in a timely manner using rational and reproducible reasoning strategies;
    • Interpret and synthesize data gathered by a variety of techniques;
    • Apply fundamental principles and prior knowledge to make reliable conclusions;
    • Generate creative ideas;
    • Balance or integrate detail with the big picture.
  6. We want our graduates to be self-directed learners who:
    • Push the limits of their ability and persist when faced with challenges;
    • Establish clear goals and take responsibility for managing their time and prioritizing;
    • Strive to learn from others as well as teach others;
    • Know one’s current profile of strengths and weaknesses.
  7. We want our graduates to be skilled information processors/consumers who:
    • Effectively interpret and synthesize information for use in intellectual, professional, and community settings;
    • Effectively use a variety of information-gathering techniques and information resources to research and solve problems.
    • Validate, interpret, and accurately assess information;
    • Recognize interconnections between multiple disciplines;
    • Extrapolate information and recognize patterns.
  8. We want our graduates to be collaborative workers who:
    • Can think long-term and perceive potential outcomes;
    • Interact inter-personally and forge working relationships;
    • Listen effectively and suspend judgment;
    • Monitor their own behavior in a group;
    • Effectively communicate within a diverse group working toward a common goal.
  9. We want our graduates to demonstrate personal wellness by being people who:
    • Make choices that reflect balanced priorities;
    • Maintain physical health through exercise, nutrition, relaxation, and sleep;
    • Develop emotional and mental health through a deeper understanding of self.
  10. We want our graduates to be responsible citizens who:
    • Embrace the multiple roles and responsibilities of community membership;
    • Understand the interdependence of all people and nations;
    • Value diversity;
    • Give service to others.