Our elementary schools are already over-capacity.
Our community is rapidly growing. In fact, Ridgefield’s population has grown by 65 percent between 2010-2017, making it Washington’s fastest-growing city. Additionally, we are also experiencing steady growth in areas outside city limits that lie within our school district boundaries. The city is expected to have a population of more than 25,000 residents by 2035.
Not surprisingly, the Ridgefield School District is the fastest-growing school system in southwest Washington. Current district enrollment is 3,400 students and projections indicate a potential enrollment of 8,200 students by 2035.
Crowded classroom conditions not only make it difficult for students to concentrate on their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of time teachers can spend on innovative teaching methods, such as cooperative learning and group work or teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required material. In addition, because teachers must constantly struggle simply to maintain order in an overcrowded classroom, the likelihood increases that they will suffer from burnout earlier than might otherwise be the case.
- US Department of Education
What we need ...
A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The new school will be built on property the District owns on 10th Avenue on the northeast side of the freeway.
The 75,000 square feet K-4 school will relieve overcrowding at South Ridge and Union Ridge, two of the state's largest elementary schools. Some 5th and 6th grade overflow will be accommodated until the new intermediate campus can be built.
Accessible, inclusive playgrounds at South Ridge and Union Ridge Elementary Schools are also needed. Recess matters - it builds brains as well as bodies and often serves as the only opportunity in the day to develop social and emotional learning. Many play areas will be reduced or eliminated to make room for portables classrooms.
FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS
The science shows pretty clearly that taking those breaks in the day makes students better able to encode memory and learn and perform academically. There’s a lot on the table in terms of the child’s health, well being and academic success. But just as critical to cognitive improvement, recess also is crucial to developing social and communication skills picked up on the playground – lessons that usually don’t get taught inside a classroom. Recess is the only place in school, maybe the only place in their social life, where kids have the opportunity to develop social skills with their peers.
for future 5th-6th Grade Intermediate and 7th-8th Grade Middle School Campus
Phase I of this multi-phase process to build a shared campus complex housing an intermediate school serving 5th and 6th graders and a middle school serving 7th and 8th.
BEGIN DESIGN OF NEW 5-6 AND 7-8 CAMPUS
BEGIN DESIGN OF HIGH SCHOOL EXPANSION
Also paid for with developer impact fees, this design will include new classrooms for general education to slow the need for additional portable classrooms. A new vocational building is needed to replace the existing one built in 1975. Building new is expected to be less expensive than a full renovation and will deliver a learning environment that more effectively supports current industry standards. The existing vocational education building will be re-purposed to support the districts warehouse and facilities department needs, both of which have grown considerably as enrollment continues to increase.