RVCS Student Application 2021-2022 School Year
Ridge and Valley Charter School - A Different Kind of Public School
Ridge and Valley Charter School is a public K-8 school of choice providing students an education for a hopeful sustainable future. Our educational program and curriculum honors children as individuals and emphasizes personal excellence, hands-on experiential education, self-directed and outdoor learning, earth literacy, bioregional studies— all within the context of the most recently understood scientific story of our 13.7 billion year-old Universe. A Ridge and Valley Charter School education is an experience of emergence, wonder, support and guidance that allows young people to grow into the fullest expression of their interests, passions and joys so they become self-directed, confident, responsible and informed adults. Ridge and Valley Charter School incorporates an integrated, emergent course of study designed to complement children’s developmental stages and support their ongoing exploration of themselves and their human and non-human communities, so they can provide leadership that has a clear vision of the world and how to make it better. Our school provides a caring place where children, families, faculty staff, trustees and community partners come together to create a nurturing learning community. A Ridge and Valley Charter School experience provides our students a sense of belonging to the larger whole, an education that meets high standards, and offers creative and sustainable ways to participate in our communities and world.
Key aspects of our philosophy and program:
Human beings are merely a thread in the miraculous web of life supported by this living universe. We have a profound responsibility to respect and care for the Earth and all human and non-human beings. Hence, the school’s primary focus on ecological literacy and sustainability. Children practice everyday habits of living that reflect sustainable lifestyles, learn how to be citizens of the world and learn to construct lives that promote the long-term health of the planet.
Our program is highly integrated, inter-disciplinary and experiential, allowing children to learn by doing, often out-of-doors, and in multi-aged groups. Every student participates in annual overnights and/or multi-day expeditions, and regular experiences in the natural world inspire us all to question, reflect, wonder, and think creatively, as well as understand life in new ways. Through these experiences, students develop critical thinking skills, challenge traditional assumptions about consumer culture and to derive new models for honoring the world around them.
Using this experiential approach, the school meets the New Jersey Student Learning Standards set by the New Jersey Department of Education. Beyond all mandated state tests, learner assessment primarily consists of projects, work portfolios and rubrics, and are articulated through student and guide narratives, rather than traditional letter grades.
Each and every child is cherished and respected, and their creativity and potential nurtured and supported. Children learn to respect and honor differences, dissolve boundaries and share common goals in real-world settings. Circle and restorative practices are an integral part of our program.
Enrollment at Ridge and Valley Charter School is open, on a space-available basis, to all K-8 students residing in New Jersey, with preference given to students residing in the districts of Blairstown, Hardwick, Knowlton, Frelinghuysen, and North Warren Regional. If more applications are received than there are spaces available, a lottery is held after an application deadline. The first application period for the 2021-2022 school year is October 1 through October 31, 2020. You will be notified of enrollment status before the end of the month in which an application lottery is held. Once a student has been accepted, the student remains enrolled for subsequent school years. Siblings of enrolled students receive preferential placement in the student enrollment process.