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Pacific Ridge at 10 Years

Monday, February 27, 2017, marked the 10-year anniversary of Pacific Ridge School's campus groundbreaking. This spring we celebrated our school's first ten years with ten weeks of special programming. 
Please see below for stories, photos and reflections from our first decade.

Celebrating Pacific Ridge

List of 10 items.

  • Founding Spirit - Week 1

    Student Community Life

    Date: Thursday, March 9th
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Place: Athletic Center

    Parent Event "Our Founding Story"
    Date: Thursday, March 9th
    Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
    Place: Community Hall

  • Arts - Week 2

    Performing & Visual Arts Showcase

    Date: Saturday, March 11th
    Time: 5:00 p.m.
    Place: Pacific Ridge campus

    Community Life - PRS Musicals Revisited
    Date: Wednesday, March 15th
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Place: Athletic Center

  • Ethical Responsibility - Week 3

    Community Life - Planting a Seed Presentations

    Date: Thursday, March 23rd
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Place: Athletic Center

  • Purposeful Life - Week 4

    Senior Signatures

    Date: Tuesday, March 28th
    Time: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
    Place: Mullady Hall
  • Academic Excellence - Week 5

    Community Life - Orations Finalists

    Date: Thursday, April 20th
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Place: Athletic Center

  • Athletics - Week 6

    Parent tailgate before home games and parent event at Bobby Riggs Tennis Center - dates and times to be announced soon.

  • Community - Week 7

    Grandparents Day!
    Date: Wednesday, April 26th
    Time: 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
    Place: Pacific Ridge campus

    Spring Fest
    Date: Wednesday, April 26th
    Time: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Place: Pacific Ridge campus

  • Science & Technology - Week 8

    Community Life - SHTEAM!
    Date: Thursday, May 4th
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Place: Athletic Center

  • Global Engagement - Week 9

    Community Life - Public Art Project/Global Program
    Date: Thursday, May 11th
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Place: Athletic Center

    Senior Art Show
    Date: Thursday, May 11th
    Time: 6:30 p.m.
    Place: Community Hall

  • College & Alumni - Week 10

    Specific programming to be announced soon.

So Proud of Our Alumni!

Pacific Ridge School students have "flown the nest" to tackle college and the work force around the world. We are proud to have alumni attending over 150 colleges in 41 states across America and four nations overseas. The variety represents the incredible diversity that Pacific Ridge champions. From large universities to small technical colleges, students have embraced the next chapter of their education.  

As many current alumni continue their academic pursuits, Pacific Ridge also celebrates the alumni that have graduated from college and are contributing to the workforce. Our alumni are busy researching, consulting, reporting, engineering and shaping policies. We are proud to follow their accomplishments and look forward to paths that future Firebirds will follow!

Making an Impact in College and Beyond

Celebrating Global Engagement…from textbooks to travel!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” (Dr. Seuss)
This familiar poem offers a joyful introduction into Global Engagement at Pacific Ridge. The principle and practice of engaging in our world is integrated into nearly every aspect of the curriculum at our school. Classes, clubs, service learning and travel all provide opportunities for our students to explore the world.
While life changing year-end trips allow students to visit places near and far, year-round classes such as the ever popular Post-Colonial African Studies, World Languages, Arts, Theater, Music, Science and English offer students an intense introduction into global cultures, religions, politics and people. Integrated principles, projects and field trips help students to engage locally while thinking globally. 
Our entire campus becomes a global learning lab each year when students from places such as China, France and Mexico, often hosted by Pacific Ridge families, are invited to learn side by side with students here. Additionally, clubs such as Model United Nations and Hands of Peace allow students to explore current and historic political issues while encouraging them to actively engage in working together towards solutions. Pacific Ridge’s service learning integrates theories of global engagement as well. Students apply their skills in journalism and photography, fashion design, athleticism  and fundraising towards action-oriented projects such as providing needed supplies for a homeless shelter in South Africa, obtaining donations for shoes for children in India and coaching young basketball players in Tijuana.
By welcoming guests such as representatives from Amnesty International, refugees from Syria and global photojournalists to speak to the community at large, Community Life continues to provide a meaningful platform for raising awareness about challenges and hopes of people from all over the world.
Lastly, and as a testament to the strength of the global fabric woven into our curriculum, independent endeavors, inspired by lessons taught at Pacific Ridge, have been created by students outside of the classroom. These have included projects such as an art gala for Syrian children, a documentary film highlighting Europe’s refugee crisis and another highlighting the 9th graders’ annual pilgrimage to China.
Pacific Ridge students are global citizens who are dedicated to developing a world view. Through reading, writing, serving, creating, and traveling, the Pacific Ridge community is positively impacting our world.

 - Gwen Lauren Meitchik (P'16, P'19)

Science and Technology - It's Sustainable!

Science and technology abound on the Pacific Ridge campus. A great example is our approach to sustainability. It encompasses the use of both science and technology in a way that directly impacts our students and our community by raising awareness and showing the direct impact of a sustainable campus. 

Since the founding Green Team and Campus Stewardship groups (established in 2007), students in the Service Learning program have added numerous groups dedicated to sustainability, including New Ocean Blue (educating local elemntary school students about pollution and the ocean gyres), Alternative Energy Resources (producing biofuel in the Chem lab to power generators that run equipment for Fall Fest and other campus  activities), and many more.

Our school itself is a model of sustainability. Each building on our energy-efficient campus contains an energy dashboard so students can view energy consumption in real time and yearly competitions challenge students and faculty to conserve. Pacific Ridge has received multiple awards for its commitment to sustainability and to the environment, including a gold-level California Green Ribbon Award for the past three years. Our campus ranks high in the nation for sustainable design: Mullady Hall is one of the few high school LEED Gold Certified high school buildings in the country and all other permanent buildings are LEED compliant. Student suggestions have had a significant impact on campus design and the technological tools we use to support sustainability.

Please visit our Sustainability page for more information about this great program!

Community At Pacific Ridge

The word "community" survived in every iteration of our school's mission statement because in order to achieve such a bold, expansive mission, we needed to expand the definition of "school" to incorporate all those who would be needed to deliver that mission: teachers, parents, faculty and students - the entire community that comprises a school. We were calling on each entity to commit to the ideals of the mission. In notes from the vision workshops of 2003: "In order to attain these goals in our school, we aim to create a culture that emphasizes integration and connection - across disciplines and among people." The word "community" comes from the Latin, "communis", which means "shared by all or many."  Referencing Pacific Ridge as a "community" instead of a school meant we were asking everyone associated to share in the ideals of the mission.

- Carrie Dederich, Founding Parent and Board Member

Firebird Athletics Over The Years

Nowhere else is the spirit, energy, and work of building the community called Pacific Ridge School more palpable than on our courts, fields, tracks, and sidelines. From starting teams to building the facilities those teams play in and on, many moments of uncertainty, laughter, frustration, collaboration, faith, and dedication have gone into the development of a robust program that now entails 35 teams, 8 CIF championships and a combined 80.5% participation rate among students! Originally playing in parking lots, warehouses, and makeshift fields, our Firebirds rose to soar on the beautiful artificial turf field opened in 2010 and in the fabulous, world-class athletic center opened in 2012. In between, in 2011, the Pacific Ridge athletic program achieved a significant milestone recognition and was promoted from Frontier League membership to Coastal League membership where it would begin to play peer schools such as Bishop's, Francis Parker, and Santa Fe Christian.  Pacific Ridge athletics had made its mark. With developmental boy's beach volleyball and baseball on the horizon and a fledgling hockey program underway, sports at Pacific Ridge are still growing and developing along with the interests and skills of the student athletes that fill the rosters. 

Academic Excellence

At Pacific Ridge, learning opportunities abound. Harkness learning, engaging coursework and intentional, built-in co-curriculars provide students with a rich educational experience. Grade-level signature projects challenge students in interesting ways and make their learning personal and impactful. Enjoy looking back at some of these defining academic moments in the photo gallery at right.

Purposeful Life: From the Firebirds Parent Corner

Pacific Ridge School has proven to be the best gift we could have provided our son, Anurag. The PRS community gave our family a warm embrace when we settled down in Carlsbad in July of 2014 and started to build our roots here. What a difference three years can make! Our family has benefited from PRS being a part of our life. As parents, both my husband and I enjoy the opportunity to give back to the PRS community. I have coached Science Olympiad teams and love to volunteer as my time permits. Success for our children is the everyday commitment to the pursuit of academics and extracurricular interests in a holistic manner with an ability to graduate from the school as fully accomplished individuals. Also, it is the fostering of great values like perseverance and determination that lets PRS students shine and meet their goal of a purposeful life.
Purposeful Life is one of the primary themes of the PRS experience. As parents, purposeful life is geared towards making our children adapt as much as possible to challenging situations and overcome them. Apart from the classroom education, PRS has offered a nurturing and a creative environment for our students. As an example, the music department with its inspiring curriculum is able to nurture students who have an interest in vocal singing. Global Travel programs, service learning, clubs, athletics and Science Olympiad are few other examples of the very many opportunities that PRS offers for a child’s fullest growth. From volunteering at a soup kitchen to Global Vantage's international storytelling, students engage in community outreach activities and learn key lessons in citizenship. A memorable experience for our family indeed. Congratulations on the 10-year anniversary, Pacific Ridge!

-Firebird Parent, Dr. Lalitha Aiyer

Ethics in Action

Ethical Responsibility is one of the three key components of the Pacific Ridge mission to guide students toward a purposeful life. Students in every grade put ethics into practice, locally and globally, through Service Learning, classroom exploration and service-oriented global trips. What starts with exposure & learning about different types of service programs in middle school, moves to training and collaboration in 9th grade and ultimately leadership and initiative in 10th - 12th grades. Our students serve, and they do it well!

The Arts in Review

From exceptional musicals, plays, and dance recitals to the visual arts of graphic design, photography, filmmaking, to set construction, lighting and sound design, students have vividly displayed their creativity and talent over the last 10 years. Under the incomparable and tireless leadership of all the arts teachers, the arts have been a cornerstone of the Pacific Ridge experience. From seventh graders in their first arts classes to seniors on their global travel, Pacific Ridge has shown that the study and appreciation of arts and creativity is central to the mission of preparing for a purposeful life. We invite you to spend a few minutes scrolling through these photos of performances and presentations from the school's first decade.

Founding Years Trivia Quiz

Think you know a lot about Pacific Ridge School's founding years? Take our quiz! Students took the quiz in a game-style format at Community Life on March 9, and while the match was close, seniors won a pizza lunch for providing the most correct answers.

Groundbreaking Week

On March 2, 2017, Pacific Ridge students, faculty, staff and Trustees came together to launch our 10th-year celebrations with an all-school photograph on the athletic field. The photograph shows how much the school has grown in the past ten years, from 108 students in 2007 to nearly 600 today. A drone was able to capture the whole community in a single frame. Afterwards, students and faculty enjoyed each other's company at a catered picnic on the lawn. 

Founding Spirit

February 27th, 2017, marks the ten-year anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony held to commemorate the kick-off of campus construction for Pacific Ridge School. On that day, founding faculty, staff, parents, prospective students and community supporters gathered to celebrate the realization of a dream; after five years of planning, strategizing and fundraising, the mission of the school was about to be realized. Remarkably, the school opened its doors in time to welcome the first 7th and 9th-grade classes in September, a mere seven months from the start of construction.