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West Ridge Academy Spotlight

A Charter School that Focuses on Character and Curriculum

Article by Emily Montgomery

Photography by Photos by Diandra

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

West Ridge Academy (WRA) is a small but growing Core-Knowledge K-8 charter school that offers a fast-paced, well-rounded curriculum. While WRA has a heavy emphasis on all content areas, building character is also a significant factor embedded in the curriculum. “We spend a lot of time on our pillars of virtue, which are self-control, responsibility, gratitude, community, compassion, respect, integrity and perseverance,” Davon Renfrow, executive director of West Ridge Academy, says.

According to Renfrow, deciding on the WRA curriculum is a collective community and stakeholder process. “When we adopt something, we bring in parents, we bring in teachers… We have a very clear line of what we teach and what we leave up to the parents to teach at home,” Renfrow says.

To attend WRA, there is a student fee of $125 for K-5 grade and $135 for middle school which includes the P.E. uniform.

“We’re a one-to-one iPad school, so with that, as well as, programs for individual differentiation comes expenses,” she says. “We have sports for grades six, seven and eight; soccer, volleyball, basketball, track and cross-country,” she says. “We have after-school clubs for third, fourth and fifth graders. We determine the clubs based on student interest.” 

Since WRA is a K-8 school, students have the option to apply through the open-enrollment process to attend the high school of their choice, if it is outside of their home school. “I am a firm believer that children learn and thrive when they are in an environment that works for them…that’s the whole beauty of choice and charter,” she says.

Davon Renfrow, Executive Director 

"It’s an honor to be part of a community that values engaging families, has amazing students and an exemplary staff.  When personal values align with WRA’s mission of fostering a rigorous and character-focused learning environment, it creates a strong foundation. We ensure that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in all aspects of life and the eight pillars of virtue provide a framework for character development, allowing students to cultivate essential qualities."
 

Jen Metzler, Teacher 

"WRA is known for academics and character development, but teaching at WRA is much more. My administration provides me with genuine opportunities to learn and use best practices in my teaching. I am provided support in my lessons and personal growth. WRA’s strong focus on family relationships allows me to build a “school as a second home” style classroom. The whole WRA community truly fills my heart with joy and I am always eager and thankful to come to work."

Tyson and Amber Massey, Parents 

"Our family has been so blessed by our kids attending West Ridge Academy because of the Core Knowledge education they receive, the community it creates and the character building with the pillars of virtue. WRA is a charter school that appreciates, seeks out and values parents' input and participation. Its teachers holistically care about their students and want to hear from parents and the administration clearly communicates needs and events. It is truly a wonderful school."

Nathaniel Villalobos, Student 

"I am glad that I attend West Ridge Academy because the teachers and students are nice, specials are fun and I learn a lot about every subject. I am comfortable talking to teachers when I need support."

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