CARLSBAD – Pacific Ridge School welcomes the community to its campus for an Open House event on Saturday, January 7, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Interested families are encouraged to learn about the independent school’s programs, meet faculty and talk to current students and parents about their experience.
The event will start with a presentation led by Head of School Dr. Bob Ogle, who will share the school’s mission and philosophy. Pacific Ridge is known for its mission, which includes a focus on academic excellence, ethical responsibility and global engagement.
Academic programs at the school are delivered in seminar-style classrooms, in which fifteen students and a teacher sit together around an oval table, known as a “Harkness table.” In this setting, students engage with course material by sharing their ideas and hearing the perspectives of others. Teachers work to integrate academic content across disciplines so that students can make connections and broaden the context of their learning. The school offers a wide range of arts, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) and elective classes in addition to honors and AP courses.
A year-long service learning program is built into the curriculum, giving students a weekly class period to develop service projects and travel off campus to assist in the community. Over 40 student-led and school-led service groups address needs as diverse as ocean pollution, quality of life among the elderly and education for girls in India. Grade-level projects also encourage students to view themselves as active and ethical problem-solvers in the local community and the larger world. All students in grades 7-10 participate in service learning and over 85% of juniors and seniors continue with service work until they graduate.
Global history and current issues are woven into the curriculum and the last two weeks of the school year are reserved for global trips. Over 95% of students participate in the global travel program, which includes school-led programs for grades 7-10 and a broad range of options for juniors and seniors.
Seventh grade students explore nature and teambuilding in Big Bear, while 8th graders cap their American Studies curriculum with a trip to Washington, D.C. The 9th-grade class travels to China, where students explore Beijing, volunteer in rural schools and have the option for a homestay in Shanghai. Sophomores challenge themselves with backpacking and camping in an outdoor leadership trip to the Northern Sierras.
Eleventh and twelfth graders can choose from among more than a dozen school-designed trips, or develop one of their own. Examples of recent trips include studying social justice in Cambodia, food insecurity in Nicaragua, post-colonial issues in South Africa and Wilderness First Responder training in New Mexico. Since the school’s founding in 2007, students have traveled to 38 countries on six continents.
For more information about Pacific Ridge School, and to RSVP for the Winter Open House, go to pacificridge.org.