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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Feb. 21, 2024

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Hands-on learning is a hoot for Wisdom Ridge Owls

The Columbian

RIDGEFIELD — Building robots, creating colored flames with chemistry and making intricate rangoli sand art designs may sound like descriptions from a high school or even a college class, but the kid-sized goggles and gloves give it away. These are Lauren Pinkleton’s K-3 students at Wisdom Ridge Academy, Ridgefield School District’s K-12 alternative learning experience program, who are bringing school lessons to life with incredible enrichment activities.

For K-3 students at Wisdom Ridge, day-to-day classes are guided by Pinkleton but held online, so the onsite enrichment opportunities provide a welcome time to enjoy hands-on activities together. Their enrichment classes are largely self-guided, with students choosing what to do for independent time and discussing or voting on group activities.

This flexible learning environment provides a great balance for some young students, allowing them to complete the same benchmarks as in-person school but with the benefits of a more customized path.

“I’ve been inspired by what it can do for families,” Pinkleton said. “The flexibility allows them to spend more time with their kids while also getting them really involved with their student’s learning. Cool things can happen!”

For those families, Wisdom Ridge provides more choices in how their students learn. “It’s not like Ridgefield Remote where students had to be in online class at a certain time every day,” Pinkleton said. “Now we can work with your family’s schedule. Parents can be more hands-on at a time that works for them, and the kids get more one-on-one time with their teacher. Some kids really flourish in this environment and make substantial progress right away.”

Students can enroll in Wisdom Ridge Academy at any grade, and some Ridgefield families are surprised to learn that K-3 is an option. No matter whether students are at, above or below grade level, they can still enroll.

The close partnership between Wisdom Ridge and families helps guide students to success.