Ramona Unified School District continues its commitment to alternative education at Ramona Community School, which gives families two distinctly different programs suited for parents who prefer independent study programs for their children.
One of the two programs offered is the Montessori Academy, which opened in Ramona in 1986 and is based on the teaching principles of Dr. Maria Montessori. This option is available to students in grades K-8.
According to the district’s news release,
“Through Montessori methodologies, students pursue their educational interests in a prepared environment using a wide variety of manipulative and specially-designed materials, allowing students to progress at their own individual pace,” states the district’s news release announcing the start of registration for the 2009-10 school year.
The goal of the Montessori Method is to educate the whole child: physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally. Students are encouraged to take ownership in their education and develop a love for learning. While they are administered the same assessments, the approach to learning is unique, with an interdisciplinary model that encourages creativity and critical thinking. There is also a great deal of parent involvement in and out of the classroom.
The second program on the RCS campus is Mountain Valley Academy, which is available to students in grades K-12 who wish to receive an education program through an independent study format. MVA was named among the top 8 percent of high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report last December and offers a college bound program that compliments the University of California and California State University systems.
Since 1983, MVA has blended the best of classroom instruction with home education experiences. While the model is an alternative, it still accesses the district’s standards-based curriculum.
MVA offers total home study or a classroom option. Class sizes are small, and lessons are self-paced and customized to students’ needs through a solid partnership with parents.
MVA also offers a variety of electives as well as school events like career day, literature fairs, drama productions and science fairs. CIF sports are available to the students.
“Located on a relatively new campus, RCS offers an ideal learning environment for students wanting a non-traditional experience with their learning modality and academic setting,” said Dr. Cathy Pierce, director of the district’s Assessment and Categorical programs. “We are equally proud of each and every one of the schools, and especially proud the parents in Ramona have a variety of rich and diverse options for educating their children.”
Open enrollment began this week for both programs. Applications may be obtained at the school, 1010 Ramona St. Parents have until March 13 to enroll their children. Priority is given to returning students and their siblings. After that, it is run on a first-come, first-served basis of students within district boundaries. Lastly, RCS will accept students residing outside of Ramona with the appropriate interdistrict transfer documents.
For interested families, there will be a Parent Information Night on Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at RCS.
For more information, contact the school at 787-3600, stop by the office during normal business hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit the Web site at http://www.ramonausd.net/rcs.