Ridgefield Academy opened its doors for its 45th year to over 510 students across four campuses today, September 3. RA Lower and Middle School students arrived to a gleaming campus and the welcome cheers of Upper School students for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Preschool students were also welcomed on campus for visitation day and met their teachers for the first time.
This will be Head of School Tom Main’s second year on campus. Main, who has 25 years of experience as an administrator at the Upper School Head or Head of School level, has brought a wealth of experience and leadership to the Academy. Since joining the school in fall 2018, several new initiatives have been launched. After a thoughtful review and refresh of the school’s mission statement, Main has collaborated with the board of trustees on a comprehensive strategic plan. The Lower School is broadening and deepening implementation of the Columbia Teachers College reading and writing workshops, with several more teachers having attended workshops in New York City this summer. Our Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning continues to enhance the educational program in Grades 4-8 with a thematic component to further promote excellence and facilitate integrated learning, context and connectivity.
The opening days of school bring with it two meaningful RA traditions. Today, the Grade 8 class participated in an afternoon of team building and leadership activities. They then received personalized RA sweatshirts, a traditional right of passage for Grade 8. Tomorrow, to signify the beginning of their RA journey, students, faculty and staff new to the school will join in a special tradition of ringing the school bell.
As the year stretches out before us, faculty and staff members look forward to better understanding each child as an individual and a learner. We look forward to a year of discovery and skill building in an environment that is ripe for exploration, risk-taking, and leadership.