The Tour, Part V
What was once the sanctum of a church is now Ridgeview’s performing arts complex – referred to by its familiars as the PAC. There is something appropriate about the relationship between its past and present usage since so many things that happen elsewhere at Ridgeview culminate in the PAC. A student may practice in the band room, but they will perform their polished pieces on the stage in the PAC. Every assembly, every awards ceremony, every back-to-school and state of the school address; every speech for Student Council elections and board elections; very nearly every faculty meeting, movie night, and senior lock-in will be viewed by an observer seated on these overworn pews. The memorization of lines for a play may happen in the relative obscurity of a classroom, the singing for a musical practiced in the bathrooms upstairs, but most of us will come to know of our student’s talents and efforts from a performance in this room. It is here that every parent attends their first informational meeting, and if their students are fortunate and steadfast enough to become Hoplites, one of their final moments as a Ridgeview parent will be spent in the same room watching their child present and defend their senior thesis having studied in countless classrooms, with countless teachers, and having read countless books. It is not a luxurious room by anyone’s estimation, but many grand moments have occurred here and many more landmark moments seem likely to come.
Directly across from the PAC sits Ridgeview’s gymnasium. Each of our students takes a physical education course from kindergarten, but they also take a karate course, and later a jujitsu course, and still later, if they are so inclined, they have the opportunity to take a course in Krav Maga. Any school that takes personal responsibility seriously must by extension take the notion of self-defense seriously, and Ridgeview has demonstrated its consistent earnestness in this regard since its founding. The development of one’s physical faculties, and the knowledge of how to maintain them throughout one’s lifetime are no less essential than the development of one’s intellectual faculties. In an age of soaring obesity rates, and a manner of living that is increasingly sedentary, Ridgeview regards it as obvious that our student’s lives will be dramatically improved if they understand how to protect their health. That Ridgeview does not offer high school athletics is not a refutation of this belief, but a reflection of our founder’s understanding that the district schools were not wanting in this respect, but with respect to academics. Consequently, while Ridgeview has focused on character and academics, its students have made consistent use of the opportunities available to them through the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and a diversity of club sports in Northern Colorado. Finally, we have been fortunate to have a PE teacher who has promoted social dance and made it such a popular elective that our school’s dances better reflect the elements of sociability, dignity, and class that one would expect from a school that places such a high premium on character.