Elementary Home

Ridgway Elementary School Home Page.Within this page you find information about our teachers, volunteer opportunities, curriculum initiatives and links to online resources and general parent information. If you do not find what you are looking for please contact the elementary office at 97-626-5468.

Welcome to Ridgway Elementary School also known as RES.  There are 171 students attending RES for the 2918-2019 school year, 30 of whom are preschoolers. There are two class sections of first and fourth grades and the remaining grades have one section. Our average class size is 17 students and we are proud of it!

Our staff is comprised of 20 professionally licensed teachers, 5 paraprofessionals, 2 support staff and 1 office manager. We have a HIGHLY TALENTED STAFF who are committed to improving their practice each and every year. Please click on the Teacher Button on the left to learn more. 

RES receieved the JOHN IRWIN SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE AWARD in 2017. This was accomplished by our excellent teachers working together to implement a meaningful, consistent curriculum based on the Colorado Academic Standards.  I'm proud to say that our staff has put more time into planning projects, fieldtrips, opportunities for student choice, K-5 hands-on science, daily reading and writing, longer math blocks, developing a classroom culture of respect and inclusivity rather than focusing on test prep. It is my privilege to be the Principal of a school with such inspiring teachers, students interested in learning and families who support their community school. 

NEW in 2018-19:

  • Full time counselor in the district. Katie Tryboski will spend half of each day at RES and half at RSS. We are excitied to have a counselor support our students' needs and teach important social emotional, health and student safety lessons in our K-5 classrooms. 
  • 3-D Printer. Thanks to efforts or a Pinhead Institiute grant writer, we have recieved a free 3-D Printer for RES. This will be utilized through tech classes and after school Pinhead programs.
  • Playground Improvements. Four years ago we celebrated the opening of our newly remodeled playground. Thanks to many parent volunteers, GOCO grant funds and leader extratrodanaire Danika Gilbert, the playground came to life. This past summer Danika led an effort to improve the irrigation, planting beds, soccer hay bales, and zipline area in an effort to create a more natural green space for our children. Once again we had a small group of parents help in all areas, including the rebuilding of a rock wall.  
  • The Annual FORS Fun Run raised $23,000 in May of 2017. Funds went towards supplying each classroom with a microscope, purchasing new music instruments, and ordering 80 sets of cross country skis for our 3-5 grade students as well as a trailer to transport the skis. In 2016 FORS raised funds so that we could create an outdoor classroom with sun shades, shed, cushions, custom benches, chairs and a whiteboard. This will be in full us this school year. 

Outdoor and Experiential Education (ODEE) continues to be a district goal. we are proud to offer our students the opportunity to connect with nature, local resources nad regional learning opporutnities with a minimum of one ODEE trip per year. Our teachers continue to refine the curricular integration of each ODEE trip to make these experiences as rich as possible for our students. 

The preschool has been teaching the Pyramid Social Emotional Curriculum for five years. This program is such an incredible success that is is now used in Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Norwood, Nucla, Naturita and Paradox preschools. This is the most age-appropriate and common sense way to teach our youngest students how to ask for help, initiate play, solve their own problems and develop friendships. The only downside to the model is that there is not written curriculum beyond preschool.......so we decided to develop our own. This marks the third year that we have grown the Pyramid Model into grades K-2. 

This year also marks our fifth year of implementing the Bridges Math Program. Teachers are highly invested in this program and appreciate the hands-on nature of the program.  Students are required to do much more thinking and writing about the math processes they use (rather than memorizing the steps of division or mulitplication). This approach is reflected in the Colorado Academic Standards and in our state assessments. Parents, if you become puzzled or frustrated by the work your child is bringing home, please reach out to a teacher to learn more. Teachers have told me how much they would appreciate this rather than having parents teach their children how they learned math. 

This year we are launching a Math Initiative to help our students improve their math fluency, abilty and confidence as a mathematician. One of the most important things parents can do is shine a spotlight and the many ways you use math in a given day. Working with money, computers, playing games, shopping, planning your day, trips, etc. We are going to encourage you to talk more with your kids about numbers and to find fun ways to give your child more practice with buildng their number sense. Playing family games and working with money are two easy ways to begin. 

Reading is one of the most important skills we teach in elementary school. We have two goals in mind when teaching reading. The first is to make sure all students can independently read and comprehend grade level material. The second goal is to help students develop a love of reading. The only way to do this is by providing consistent, uninterrupted time for students to read books that they have selected every single day. Each year our classroom libraries grow to ensure we have a variety of books for students. Once reading becomes "fun" for students, they are on their way to becoming great readers and great student. We know that if our students become strong readers in elementary schoosl, their future years in middle, high school and college will be easier. Our goals can be reached when parents help provide quiet reading time at home on a regular basis.

Parent volunteer opportunities are alive and well at RES. Teachers often ask for parent volunteers to read with students, help in the library and attend field trips. We have a very thorough screening process for school volunteers just as we do for school employess. While it may appear to be an arduous proces, you only have to complete it once with the ultimate goal of protecting our students. Please contact Autumn Bailey in the district office to learn about becoming an approved volunteer. 

Friends of Ridgway School (FORS) works hard to fund-raise and support the needs of our teachers as well as building positive school spirit. FORS meets the first Wednesday of each month at the elementray school and has a page within the school website as well as a Facebook page.

The elementary Parent Advisory Group meets five times a year. The goal of this group is to increase the discussion about school initiatives with parents and the school. If you are interested in joining this committee, please let me know via email. We welcome a diverse group of parents to fuel our conversations. Our first meeting is September 25, from 4-5:00 in the Staff Lounge.

As the year progresses and you have questions for your child's teacher, I urge you to send an email or stop in for a visit. While teachers may not have time to answer an important question at the start of the day, they welcome your questions and perspective as a parent. When parents ask questions they often learn more about their child's academic program than expected. Please don't wait until parent-teacher conferences to find answers to your questions.