Notice: Ridgeview will not be holding Summer Academy in 2017.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

Summer Academy: Purpose and Philosophy

One of the most beloved myths in American education is that students’ summer breaks hearken back to a time in our agricultural history. This view, though romantic, is wrong. Students in rural areas who took time off typically left in the spring for planting and in the fall for harvesting, but they were in school in the summer. The wealthy, urban kids, however, were typically not. The cities were hot, and heat makes bad things smell worse – especially horse dung. Those who could afford to left town. The bureaucratic desire to standardize virtually everything runs especially deep with educrats, and to justify their existence they sought a way of ensuring that everybody came and went at the same time. Since it was more difficult to bend the wealthy to their will, they compelled the rural and the poor to take the same time off as the rich even if they had nowhere to go.

It is fairly certain that they were popular with students of all socioeconomic brackets, but as a result we have now inherited the unintended problem that students forget a lot of what they learned when they take three months off each summer. Imagine how much better at your job you might be were you to stop doing it entirely for three months each year. Ironically, while the rich have always left for vacation, the lower and middle class parents have the same problem today as they had back then, which is what to do with the kids when you have to keep working but the state refuses to watch your developing progeny for eight hours each day. Childcare is expensive and if poorly thought out, offers children and parents little in return for their money.

Summer school is not a new concept except that when offered by the government it is usually about as appealing as spoonfuls of cod liver oil or warmed ipecac syrup. It has its own stigma about it: it is for the delinquents who did not manage to warm up to all their subjects the year before. Ridgeview sought a way to improve upon this, to deliver a more enticing opportunity where learning could be fun and parents unburdened for one more month until the whole family was prepared to vacate together. Students who attend Ridgeview’s Summer Academy can explore the cosmos, read amazing adventure stories, plays with horses and other farm animals, talk about dinosaurs and paleontology, conduct scientific experiments; in short, children can do the sort of things we would hope they would do if left to their own devices. The older students can take classes that they need to make room in their schedule or to prepare for classes they know will present an added burden. For example, students make use of this opportunity to prepare for a mathematics course they know will be a challenge and thus diminish the encumbrance they have to bear during the academic year. It runs for just three weeks each year, and students have discovered wonderful texts in Moral Philosophy and other courses that will remain with them for a lifetime. While it is not quite the same as that bucolic vision of our farming roots, it does go some way towards bridging the gap between the end and the beginning in addition to mitigating the dangers of lost knowledge.

We hope you will consider delaying your vacations a bit longer and joining us for just three more weeks. There is both fun and relief to be had here, and if you are new to Ridgeview, it can provide an insight into what more you have to look forward to should you choose to enroll.

View Previously Offered Courses

Elementary School Classes

Elementary School Classes
8:00am – 3:00pm

June 6 – 24, 2016
$350.00 / 3 weeks; bring a lunch

Life on the Farm
1st – 3rd Grade, Mrs. Houdesheldt, Mrs. Michaud, and Mrs. Paa

In this course we will focus on helping children learn about all aspects of a farm, including different animals that live on a farm, sounds animals make, what kinds of crops are grown, the typical daily routine on a farm, why farms are important to people, and why each farm is special. The students will also have the opportunity to grow their own seeds, make their own butter, and create their very own scarecrow. This course will let children use their creativity and give them the opportunity to experience new and exciting wonders that take place on a farm. During this course, your child will learn songs, read books, play games, and do physical activities that will help them learn about the many different daily activities that take place on farms. They will also be watching Babe and reading Charlotte's Web. We have also invited some very special animal guests to join us. We would love to have you - come on down!

A Celebration of Fairy Tales

4th6th Grade, Miss Kujawa and Miss Belsterling

Hear ye! Hear Ye! Your presence is requested for a royal celebration! Join us for an exploration of famous fairy tales and the cultures they came from! Come learn about the languages, history, and geography of the lands where such stories as "Beauty and the Beast", "Hansel and Gretel" and "King Arthur" were born, while seeking the answers to such pressing questions as "How would Cinderella's slippers have been made?" and "How big would the Round Table have to be to fit all those knights?" It's sure to be a grand adventure!

After School Care CANCELLED Ridgeview will be offering our after school care program for grades 1-6. 3:00pm - 6:00pm $20.00/day. A minimum of 10 students need to sign up in order for the program to go forward.

CLICK HERE to download a complete Summer Academy class description.

High School Classes

High School Classes

Session 1: 8:00am-11:00am

Session 2: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

$175.00/class which lasts for 3 weeks; bring a lunch

Algebra I

Mr. Hayhurst; No credits awarded.

Algebra Boot Camp is a no-frills, get-your-variables-in-gear algebra course designed to give students essential Algebra I skills. This course is designed for students who want a second chance at passing Algebra I, students who want a powerful skill set before they enter an Algebra I class, or anyone who wants to beef up their algebra skills. At the end of the course, students needing to retake Algebra I will have the option to retake the math placement exam and move on to geometry. This course does not replace the year-long Algebra I course. Session 1.

NB: A minimum of nine students must register for this class by May 20, 2016 or the class will be canceled.

Moral Philosophy

Dr. McMahon; Incoming 11th & 12th graders only

This class will receive 5 credits and fulfills Ridgeview's Moral Philosophy graduation requirement.

Our theme is eudaimonia, long-term ‘happiness,’ the well-lived life for persons, families, and groups. We will read philosophical works (selections) for principles and fiction for their application in both concrete and complex circumstances. Major writers include Aristotle, for the classical tradition, and Dante, for the Christian. It will be a discussion course. Session 1.

Economics and Technology

Mr. Luce; This class will receive 5 credits, and fulfills Ridgeview's Economics graduation requirement.

This class will explore the role that technology plays in both economic theory and economic history. Much of the class will be devoted to a careful reading of the book The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, by Joel Mokyr, Professor of Economics at Northwestern University. Mokyr explores the question of why only a handful of societies in history have displayed a high level of technological creativity. The most interesting parts of his book focus on deep cross-cultural comparisons between the major societies of the Old World: Western Civilization, Islam, India, and China. Half of a student's grade will be based on a book review of the Mokyr book, due one week after the class ends; the other half of the grade will be based on two short multiple choice tests, one in the middle of the second week, and the second on the last day of class. Session 2. NB: A minimum of nine students must register for this class by May 13, 2016 or the class will be cancelled.

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