Ridgefield High School (Connecticut)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ridgefield High School
Aerial view of the school and Scotts Ridge Middle School.
700 North Salem Road


United States
Coordinates41°19′31″N 73°31′40″W / 41.3254°N 73.5278°W / 41.3254; -73.5278Coordinates: 41°19′31″N 73°31′40″W / 41.3254°N 73.5278°W / 41.3254; -73.5278
Other nameRHS
TypePublic high school
School districtRidgefield School District
NCES School ID090381000779[1]
PrincipalStacey Gross
Teaching staff135.99 (FTE) (2017–18)[1]
Enrollment1,658 (2017–18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio12.19:1 (2017–18)[1]
  •      Orange
  •      Black
Athletics conferenceFCIAC

Ridgefield High School (RHS) is a public high school in Ridgefield, Connecticut, United States. It is part of the Ridgefield School District. It was ranked 119th in Newsweek's 2015 list of the top 1,600 high schools in America and 226th in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 list of the top 4,813 high schools.[2]


The school's dropout rate has remained consistent over the years at 1%. Daily attendance has been similarly steady at 95%.[3]

Course Offerings[edit]

341 students took 754 Advanced Placement (AP) exams in May 2006, with 92.2 percent of exams with scores of 3 or higher. In the eight years up through the 2005-2006 school year, the number of students taking AP exams has tripled.[3] Ridgefield High School offers 20 AP classes, as well as multiple UConn Early College Experience classes and Multi-Variable Calculus (as an honors course, not dual enrollment).[3] In 2012, a number of computer-related subjects were added to the curriculum, including computer art, computer music, engineering (Project Lead the Way), digital design studio, and Advanced Placement Computer Science. However, the latter is only available in alternating years.[4]

District Reference Group A[edit]

For the purpose of comparison with the achievement levels of similar schools, the state Department of Education classifies schools and communities in "District Reference Groups", defined as "districts whose students' families are similar in education, income, occupation and need, and that have roughly similar enrollment".[5] Ridgefield is one of eight school districts in District Reference Group A (grouped with Darien, Easton, New Canaan, Redding, Weston, Westport, and Wilton).[6]

Student Achievement[edit]

Students and alumni of Ridgefield High School have won many prestigious academic honors. RHS regularly produces 8-12 National Merit Scholarship Finalists annually,[7][8][9] though the class of 2019 was a notable exception to this trend.[10] Graduates of Ridgefield High School have won full rides to colleges such as Duke University,[11] the University of Virginia,[12] and the University of Michigan.[13] RHS students have also been named Presidential Scholars, a Coca-Cola Scholar, a Lieberman Scholar, a Jefferson Scholar, Stamps Scholars, Morks Family Scholars, A. B. Scholars, and more.[12][13][14][15][16] The school has also produced multiple student representatives to the Connecticut State Board of Education.[17][18]


About 65% of the student body participates in at least one interscholastic athletic activity.[3] It is a member of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and is in class LL for states. Each year RHS sends many students to play a variety of sports at the collegiate level.[19]


The school's facilities include a two-story-high, glass-enclosed student center and all marble Student Life Office. The school has a football stadium with turf field and a turf practice field adjacent to that (Tiger Hollow 1 and 2).


Over the years, but especially so in the past few, Ridgefield High School has attracted its fair share of controversy.

Student Racism[edit]

In October 2017, a video of a Ridgefield High School student along with a then-recent alum painted in blackface with the headline "Nigger" went viral on social media.[20] The post was shared hundreds of times, and deeply upset some students of color who pointed out that "Ridgefield as a town is 96% white."[21][22] There was also additional controversy regarding the administration's decision to discipline student reporters who shared the information prior to extensive fact-checking, leading to the spread of some misinformation regarding the administration's training of faculty members.[22]

Baseball Field Fire[edit]

A wet baseball field was doused with 24 gallons of gasoline and set on fire in a failed attempt to dry the field for a Ridgefield High School varsity baseball game in April 2019.[23] Three RHS varsity baseball coaches were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a police investigation.[24] The cost to restore the field to pre-fire condition was estimated to be in excess of $50,000.[25]


During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were no fewer than 5 instances of swastikas drawn on or around school grounds. On September 8, 2017, an anti-Semiticsymbol was found etched into a table at Ridgefield High School.[26] A little more than 2 months later, on Tuesday, November 21, a swastika was found drawn on the inside of a classroom door at Ridgefield High School.[27] Additional anti-Semitic symbols were found in January, June, and August.[28][29][30] All these events led to the creation of a program for town officials to "do more than condemn" the events.[31]

Threats of Violence[edit]

In the 2018-2019 academic year, Ridgefield High School saw a surge in threats of violence against staff and students. In late May 2019, a student was arrested for threatening to initiate a school shooting.[32] The student, whose name was not released because he or she is a minor, was charged with threatening in the first degree and breach of peace in the second degree.[33][32][34] Earlier that year, there were instances of bomb threats in December[35][36] and January.[37] There was also an undisclosed threat made on social media in March of the same academic year.[38]

Previous bomb threats had been made at RHS in 2007,[39] 2008,[40] and 2012.[41]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Search for Public Schools - Ridgefield High School (090381000779)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  2. ^ EST, On 08/19/15 at 7:31 AM (August 19, 2015). "America's Top High Schools 2015". Newsweek.
  3. ^ a b c d "Evidence of Sustained Improvement in Student Accomplishments". Strategic School Profile 2005-2006 Ridgefield High School (PDF). Connecticut Department of Education. December 5, 2006. p. 6. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "Supplemental School Information". Strategic School Profile 2005-2006 Ridgefield High School (PDF). Connecticut Department of Education. December 5, 2006. p. 6. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  5. ^ Strategic School Profile 2005-2006 Wilton High School (PDF). Connecticut Department of Education. December 5, 2006. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Find a Community: By Educational Reference Group (DRG)". Discovery 2007 / An initiative of the William Caspar Graustein Fund. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2007 – via discovery.wcgmf.org.
  7. ^ Daly, Tara. "Meet Ridgefield High School's National Merit Scholarship Finalists!". www.hamlethub.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "12 Ridgefield High Students Named National Merit Semifinalists". Ridgefield Daily Voice. September 19, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "8 Ridgefield High School Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists". Ridgefield, CT Patch. September 9, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ridgefield Student Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist". Ridgefield, CT Patch. September 14, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Ducey, Kerry Anne. "Alexandra DiGiacomo of Ridgefield Among Nineteen Selected for A.B. Duke Scholarships". www.hamlethub.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Student Earns Scholarship". The News Times. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Press, The Ridgefield (July 3, 2018). "Robert Buckley joins the 13th class of Stamps Scholars". The Ridgefield Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Kavaler, Community Contributor Bernard. "20 Connecticut Students to Receive College Scholarships From Fund Created by Former Sen. Lieberman, Including Five Incoming Freshmen". courant.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "RHS senior Gunnar Smith is a U.S. Presidential Scholar".
  16. ^ Suryawanshi, Omika. "Ridgefield High School Grad Awarded for Women In Tech Advocacy". www.hamlethub.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  17. ^ "State Board of Education--Members". CT.gov - Connecticut's Official State Website. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  18. ^ News-Times; The; NEWS-TIMES, Susan Tuz THE (March 20, 2006). "Two student representatives named to Board of Education". NewsTimes. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  19. ^ Press, The Ridgefield (November 30, 2018). "Ridgefield High athletes will compete for D1 colleges". The Ridgefield Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  20. ^ "Racist Image Circulated At Ridgefield High School: Report". Ridgefield, CT Patch. December 21, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  21. ^ Reid, Macklin K. (December 21, 2017). "Racist photo troubles kids at high school". The Ridgefield Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Reid, Macklin K. (February 6, 2018). "Schools dispute King Day speech allegations". The Ridgefield Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  23. ^ "A wet Connecticut baseball field was doused with 24 gallons of gasoline and set on fire". Fox News.
  24. ^ Coulter, Steve (April 9, 2019). "Ridgefield coaches put on leave after baseball field fire". The News Times.
  25. ^ "Ridgefield baseball field repairs estimated to cost $50,000 after gasoline-soaked blaze set". GameTime CT. April 8, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "Swastika Found At Ridgefield High School". Ridgefield, CT Patch. September 8, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  27. ^ "Swastika Found Drawn On Classroom Door At Ridgefield High". Ridgefield Daily Voice. November 22, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "Swastikas Found Again in Ridgefield". Ridgefield, CT Patch. August 29, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  29. ^ Press, Associated. "Police: More swastika carvings found in Ridgefield". courant.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  30. ^ Perrefort, Dirk (January 13, 2018). "Ridgefield officials believe swastikas the work of one or a few people". NewsTimes. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Reid, Macklin K. (December 4, 2017). "Another swastika at high school prompts program for town officials". The Ridgefield Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Threat causes Ridgefield High to dismiss early". FOX 61. May 30, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  33. ^ reports, Staff (May 30, 2019). "Teen arrested for threat that led to Ridgefield High early dismissal". NewsTimes. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  34. ^ "Ridgefield High School Dismissed Early Due to Threat". NBC Connecticut. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  35. ^ "Ridgefield H.S. under veil of caution after bomb threat". connecticut.news12.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  36. ^ Coulter, Steve (December 13, 2018). "Ridgefield police investigate bomb threats". The Ridgefield Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  37. ^ "Ridgefield High School Dismissed After Written Bomb Threat Was Found: Police". NBC Connecticut. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  38. ^ Coulter, Steve (March 20, 2019). "Ridgefield High student charged after making social media threat". New Haven Register. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  39. ^ News-Times, The (September 25, 2007). "Ridgefield High gets bomb threat". NewsTimes. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  40. ^ News-Times; The; Reports, Staff (November 7, 2008). "Officials: Ridgefield High bomb threat not credible". NewsTimes. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  41. ^ "Bomb Threat Discovered at Ridgefield High School". Ridgefield, CT Patch. November 13, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  42. ^ Reid, Macklin (May 1, 2011). "Jared Bernstein, RHS graduate, is leaving Obama administration". The Ridgefield Press. Hersam Acorn Newspapers. Retrieved May 21, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  43. ^ O'Donnell, Michelle (May 8, 2004). "Long Island Native, Killed in Iraq, Is Buried in Arlington". The New York Times.
  44. ^ "Scott Heckert". Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  45. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. (January 19, 2015). "State of the Union Speechwriter for Obama Draws on Various Inspirations". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  46. ^ Sanchez, Ray (April 21, 2018). "This is the 16-year-old behind the National School Walkout". CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2018.

External links[edit]