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Middle school matters: Ridgely Middle School
03/14/2016

In honor of national Middle Level Education Month, this March we are taking a closer look at Baltimore County Public Schools’ wonderful middle schools. Every day during March, one or two more school profiles will be posted. To see all that have been posted, please click here.

Spotlight
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Principal: Sue Truesdell (quoted below)
Feeder elementary schools: Carroll Manor, Cromwell, Crossroads, Halstead, Hampton, Jacksonville, Lutherville Lab, Mays Chapel, Padonia, Pine Grove, Pinewood, Pot Spring, Riderwood, Seventh District, Timonium, Warren, West Towson, and White Oak

School website: http://ridgelyms.bcps.org

Academic achievements

Ridgely Middle has increased Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores in reading by 7% and math by 12%.

Currently 57% of enrolled students are in at least one advanced academic class.

Recent awards and grants

Ridgely was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2006.

The school was named a Microsoft Showcase School this year for demonstrating the promotion of 21st century skills using digital tools.

The school was named a Maryland Green School three years ago and continues to maintain its Green School status.

Student James L. won 2nd place in the States Attorney’s Office Anti-Drug poster contest.

Grade 8 student Cynthia W. won 1st place in the Maryland Art Education Association Youth Art Month Flag Contest.

Students perform Level III music (high school level) at all adjudications and receive the highest scores.

“Several students in our music program have advanced to perform with the All-County groups, including 17 band members, 22 orchestra members, and 13 choral members. Further, three orchestra members and one chorus member have advanced to the All-State groups.”

Students in Grades 7 and 8 performed at the Solo/Ensemble Festival. Student Ben Yin was an accompanist. Eighteen students received the highest score and are invited to the state festival.

“Our students received three gold medals, seven silver medals, and nine bronze medals in the National French Contest.”

“Our Math Counts and Destination Imagination teams will compete in state competitions because of their continued success.”

“One of our robotics teams will be going to Louisville, KY, to compete in the world championship this spring.”

Special academic programs offered

“Ridgely Middle School is a Lighthouse school. All Grade 6 students have devices, and our entire school is making the shift to learner-centered instruction. Teachers are receiving ongoing job-embedded professional development to transform teaching and learning. We encourage all students to become empowered in their own learning process through timely feedback, self-reflection and self-assessment.”

Ridgely is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports school. This is a character education program with a monthly focus and quarterly incentives.

Spanish, French, Latin, and Chinese are offered in Grades 7-8.

Technical education focuses on the engineering design process. The Project Lead the Way program incorporates project-based learning and rigorous problem solving.

Student leadership

The student government organizes many student activities including dances, sporting events, spirit weeks, and charitable fundraisers.

Popular/unique extracurricular activities

There are 38 clubs available to students and an active intramural program.

“Students work to create a literary magazine and recurring news publications. Articles, artwork and creative writing submissions are reviewed and approved, giving our students the opportunity to be published.”

“The robotics club at Ridgely has 44 student members. They compete in state and world championships with Vex IQ Robotics (12 collaborative teams) and Vex Metal Robotics (3 collaborative teams). We are the only middle school team to compete with high school teams.”

Special school traditions

The school hosts a quarterly Straight “A” Lunch for students at all levels.

“Every year, our Student Council and National Junior Honor Society organize a “Stuff-a-Bus” campaign. All families and community members are encouraged to bring in dry/canned goods that are donated to the local food banks prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Students donate an average of 5,000 items each year.”

“Ridgely hosts a Holiday Benefit Party for some elementary school students. The guest students listen to a holiday story, create a craft, get their faces painted, and enjoy a snack. Ridgely students also provide gifts for the children. Relationships are made; it’s a heartwarming event.”

March Madness is an exciting sports event. A basketball game is played in each grade level. Faculty members also compete in a game against each other. Faculty cheerleaders, as well as much of the student population, cheer on the students and teachers. The SGA organizes the event and gives proceeds to charity.”

“Ridgely is pro-active in creating a smooth transition to middle school. A new tradition, a vertical team meeting, has begun. All feeder schools, as well as those schools Ridgely feeds into, are invited to share important information regarding the social and academic expectations at each level. The goal is to make this move a fluid one. Also, we host a Grade 5 orientation and a parent orientation.”

There are two National Junior Honor Society inductions annually. Presently there are 259 National Junior Honor Society members in Grades 7 and 8.

Bet you didn’t know…

That Ridgely Middle School is a quarter mile from end to end.

That, before becoming a middle school, Ridgely Middle was a high school.

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