St. Mary School, Ridgefield Academy ready for new school year

Ridgefield Academy students take notes while learning outdoors.

Ridgefield Academy students take notes while learning outdoors.

Ridgefield Academy

Educational leaders at Ridgefield’s two private schools — St. Mary Catholic School and Ridgefield Academy — are looking forward to the new year.

St. Mary School starts Thursday, Aug. 29, for kindergarten through eighth grade students, along with the Ridgefield’s public schools, which provide the busing for St. Mary’s students. St. Mary’s pre-kindergarten programs, which serve three-year-olds and four-year-olds, will start Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Ridgefield Academy’s year starts Tuesday, Sept. 3, for all students.

“What I love about each school year is that it is a new beginning,” said St. Mary’s Principal Anna O’Rourke. “This is my 10th year as principal and 24th year as an educator at SMS, and I am just as inspired as the day I began.

“This year, our 240-plus students will be delighted in updated resources like new Chromebooks, math manipulatives, STEM and makerspace activities.

“In addition to welcoming new students to our preschool, elementary and middle school, four new staff members are joining the SMS family. We continue to be guided by our mission, and remind our students daily of our longstanding motto to “Work hard, be kind, and smile!”

St. Mary’s, on High Ridge, is a pre-kindergarten through grade eight Catholic school with approximately 240 students for the 2019-20 school year.

Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. for kindergarten through eighth graders, with pre-kindergarten classes varying from 8:30 a.m to 2 p.m.

Ridgefield Academy

Ridgiefled Academy is a co-educational day school on West Mountain Road, serving preschool through eighth grade students. Classes start Tuesday, Sept. 3, and hours are from 8:25 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — with school facilities open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“As Ridgefield Academy heads into the 2019-20 school year,” said Head of School Tom Main, “it does so with a great deal of excitement surrounding increased preschool enrollment, consistent enrollment in K-8, an experienced and deeply committed faculty and staff, and initiatives designed to further its role as the premier preschool-grade 8 school in Fairfield County.

“Having just completed a thoughtful review and refresh of the school’s mission statement, trustees will complete their work on a comprehensive strategic plan,” Main said.

“The preschools are working hard to further develop their academic programs. The lower school is broadening and deepening implementation of the Columbia Teachers College reading and writing workshops, and grades 4-8 will maintain a strong focus on literacy skills, mathematics, critical thinking, and much more while developing a thematic component to the overall curriculum.

“Guided by research, our faculty, along with our Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, will continue to enhance the program in grades 4-8,” Main said, “creating an academic environment that promotes excellence and facilitates integrated learning, context, and connectivity. It’s going to be a great year!”