Ridgefield Alternative High School is an academic community which serves the needs of students who otherwise would not be successful at RHS. At RAHS, we create a climate of trust and honor to enable all students to become self-directed and self-reflective learners. We want our students to make a difference in the world around them by choosing their path rather than passively accepting one. RAHS is a school of choice where we seek to create a school climate based on commitment to each other and the community. We celebrate the individual differences of all students and assist them in maximizing their potential in a collaborative environment.
RAHS, recognizing that the role of community is integral to the success of our students, puts into practice the philosophy of George H. Wood, Director of The Forum for Education and Democracy. Dr. Wood is the author of Schools That Work .
"Community makes learning possible. Indeed the strength of a democratic community is that collaboration makes individual growth possible. By collectively taking care of a variety of needs and necessities, the community frees individuals to learn, grow, and develop in ways that isolated individuals find impossible. As long as kids are isolated and alienated, their struggle with the structures and limits of the institution dissipates energy that could have been used for learning and involvement. When a student feels welcomed, when he or she feels that the school is his or her community, the things that get in the way of learning are put aside..... Openess, self-governance, memory and hope...are crucial if we are to take seriously the charge that schools become places where informed, involved, compassionate, democratic citizens are nurtured. These schools are where young people will first make connections - to one another, to their teachers, to the school community. These connections make community in the larger sense possible."
Washing apples at New Pond Farm