Ridley High School
1001 Morton Avenue, Folsom, PA –
1966, Ridley Park, Eddystone, and Ridley Township School Districts joined
together in a state-mandated merger, necessitating major changes. The Ridley Township Junior High School
became “Ridley North” serving students of junior high school age who lived
north of MacDade boulevard, while the former Ridley Park High School became
“Ridley South” serving students who lived south of MacDate Boulevard in the
former Ridley Park, and Eddystone Districts as well as those Township students
from Crum Lynne, Leedom Estates, and parts of Milmont and Woodlyn.
the high school, the additions referred to as the “A” Wing and the “B” (or
“Stilted”) Wing were constructed.
These wings, connected by two breezeways, provided additional classroom
space, four rooms for large group instruction and audio-visual presentations,
expanded science laboratory facilities, department office space, storage
closets, and two separate offices (including darkroom facilities) for the
newspaper and the yearbook. These
wings would later house a T.V. studio and a radio station, foreshadowing
Ridley’s present prominence in technology. High school enrollment continued to grow by leaps and bounds
during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s reaching its peak in 1975 when the
274,275-square-foot building served more than 2,400 students and graduated 940
seniors from the Sun Center in Feltonville. The year 1972 saw the construction of a new Ridley South
Junior High School behind the existing facility and the demolition of the
building that was once Ridley Park High School.
By 1979, Ridley boasted state-of-the-art language
labs, a Learning Enrichment Program which exceeded the federal requirements,
and a Career Center complete with programs, which “infused” career awareness
into all grade levels. This year
also marked the close of the Ridley North Junior High School and the
repurposing of that building into the Ridley Community Center. The year 1980 marked the beginning of a
new tradition, as graduation was held for the first time on the Phil Marion
Field instead of inside the Sun Center at Feltonville.
enrollment in the high school reached its lowest in 1989 when total high school
population was just under 1,000.
This decrease accommodated the movement of the ninth grade into the high
school as the district, embracing the currently popular middle school concept,
reorganized Ridley Junior High School into a facility designed to serve grades
the 1993-94 school year, the Ridley board of School Directors purchased
state-of-the-art technology financed through a community bond issue, and the
high school initiated the first of several changes in the bell schedule
resulting in shorter lunches, longer classes, and a six-day cycle. By 1995 grades and attendance were
transmitted directly from classroom computers to an administration building
server for the first time in Ridley history. Ridley also logged on to the Internet.
two years of training in techniques such as cooperative learning, technology
integration, learning accommodations, along with visitations to other schools,
and department planning, Ridley made the move in 1997 to intensive
scheduling—each student rosters four 85-minute classes per day with a 30-minute
lunch period and study halls were eliminated. Paraprofessionals were hired to handle non-instructional
duties such as cafeteria duty, hall supervision, and detentions. Each faculty member spends all of his
or her time teaching or preparing to teach.
the year 2001, student enrollment was expected to increase to approximately
2,000 students and will remain in that range for years to come. Many rooms that once were classrooms
were being used for computer labs, the T.V. studio, the theater program, an
alternative school program, a gifted education center, a career center, a large
group meeting room, and various special education classrooms. New curriculum teaching techniques such
as cooperative learning and interdisciplinary curriculums required more space
and a new configuration. Also, the
1934 building, although still attractive from the outside, did no comply with
the present Pennsylvania school code, was not completely handicapped
accessible, and needed new plumbing, heating, wiring, and roofing.
estimates for renovation of the present school proved only slightly lower than
the projected cost of new construction, the Ridley Board of School Directors
voted in October of 1997 to build a new school where the Ridley Community
Center stood. Financed by a
gradual increase in school taxes and by a community bond issue, groundbreaking
began in spring 1999 following the demolition of the Community Center. The new high school opened in the
school year 2001.
to provide students with the best possible facility to prepare them for life
and work in the 21st century, the building includes larger
classrooms, a geothermal heating and air conditioning system, greater access to
technology, a swimming pool, modern laboratories, improved media, library,
choral, band, and drama facilities, and expanded athletic fields.
the end of a millennium marked the end of the lovely pink granite Neoclassic
building which 63 years of graduating classes have called “alma mater.” A new millennium will watch The Green
Mystique grow ever stronger in its futuristic new home on the hill.
901 Morton Avenue, Folsom, Pa –
2001 – Present
new address, a new look, and continuing the traditions highlight the new Ridley
High School. July of 2001 marked
the beginning of the move from the old building to the new, $54-million one
next door. One thousand boxes and
a great deal of perspiration later, the Firpo Moving Company completed the
short trip north on Morton Avenue.
The remainder of the summer was spent unpacking and preparing the
349,500-square-foot space for students to occupy in the fall.
beautiful new building opened on time and under budget for the start of the
2001-2002 school year. The seniors
from the Class of 2002 were given the honor of being the first to attend
classes in the building on August 28, 2001. Their day concluded with a class photo taken in front of the
new high school. Juniors and
sophomores had their own special day that included a scavenger hunt as a way to
get to know the facility. The
freshmen were on even footing with the upperclassmen when it came to finding
their way around the school—the big difference was some being told to “turn
right down by the swimming pool” (which actually were the true
directions). Representatives from
many of the school’s activities hosted a “Welcome Rally” for all the
ninth-graders. All students were
also given a Ridley Pide golf shirt to commemorate the day.
new address and the new look of the building were complemented by the students’
new look. Coinciding with the
opening of the building was the extension of the uniform policy from the
elementary and middle levels to the high school. The high school organized a committee that created the
uniform standards of dress policy.
Students were expected to wear collared shirts, dress pants or skirts,
and closed toe shoes. The
committee left the choice of color to the students’ and parents’ discretion.
all dressed up, the district took the opportunity to showcase the high
school. On Sunday, September 16,
2001, the dedication ceremony for the new Ridley High School was held along
with an open house. Residents were
treated to a complimentary lunch in the school’s new food court, The Raiders’
Den, and were given tours by student volunteers. Over 5,000 people were in attendance. Special lectures were also presented
highlighting our school’s geothermal heating and cooling system and our
technology infrastructure. Local
clergy also held a memorial service in the school’s auditorium for the victims
of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington
D.C., and southwestern Pennsylvania.
The building was not alone in getting public attention. The area designated for the outside
flagpole was distinguished as a place for reflection. A memorial was designed for those former students within the
community who made the ultimate sacrifice during a time of war. This hallowed location was dedicated on
November 3, 2001.
new observances, the updated ceremonies, and continuing other Ridley traditions
were all part of the new facility.
The Senior Awards Program marked the retirement of the honor trophies
and the display of the new plaques for valedictorian, salutatorian, most representative
girl and boy, and best male and female athlete. Each of these award winners was given a collector’s clock
for recognition of these selections.
The plaques are permanently mounted in The Great Hall. Due to the remnants of the construction
project on the grounds, the commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2002 were
held indoors. The gymnasium was
converted to a formal concert hall, complete with a giant “RidleyVision”
television screen. The new technology
also allowed extra guests to view the live broadcast in the auditorium through
the closed circuit television system.
Drama and music programs continued to fill the house with their fall and
spring productions. The
publications of Archive, Green Raider, and Windscript repeated as award winners in their new expanded
spaces. Athletic teams for girls
and boys demonstrated success as Central League champions, playoff contenders,
All-Americans, and in 2003 a state champion diver. Not lost in all of the new scenery was the commitment to
maintaining a quality academic program.
the early years in the new Ridley High School are any indication, the future of
the Ridley School District will continue to reap great rewards. Alumni who walked the halls of either
high school building will have cherished memories and share the common bond of