About Vista Ridge High School
Vista Ridge High School in POWER Zone is home to the Wolves. It's the newest high school in District 49. As a comprehensive, student focused high school, the Project Lead the Way Engineering Academy is the hallmark of its science, technology, engineering and math program, which includes an all female engineering class.
The school takes student success seriously. A large portion of students are involved in high academic rigor, with many taking pre-Advanced Placement and advanced placement classes. AP and pre-AP course offerings start as early as freshman year with expanded opportunities junior and senior years. There are AP courses in all four core subject areas as well as the art department.
With more than 80 percent of the students engaged in extracurricular activities, there are many opportunities to get involved at Vista Ridge High School, such as student council, Distributive Education Clubs of America, National Honor Society, fall and winter drumline, color guard, Knowledge Bowl, CyberPatriot, anime club, Alpha Leaders, Key Club, FIRST Robotics, FCA, GSA, dance club, marching band, and the Wolfpack Theatre Company. For those with interest in vocal music or theater, both departments excel with multiple performances throughout the year. The school benefits from an active Booster Club and Fine Arts Booster Club.
For sports, the school offers boy’s and girl’s cross country, football, boy’s golf, boy’s soccer, girl’s softball and girl’s volleyball, boy’s and girl’s basketball and wrestling, boy’s baseball, girl’s golf, girl’s soccer and boy’s and girl’s track. Vista Ridge High School won their first State Track Championship in only its fifth year. Cheerleading is active during both fall and winter sports seasons and student athletic training is available for all seasons. Vista Ridge High School celebrated the grand opening of the only artificial turf football and soccer stadium and baseball complex in District 49.
POWER Zone STEM System
Odyssey Elementary School, Skyview Middle School and Vista Ridge High School are designated by District 49 as a "STEM schools." STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.
The STEM designation's purpose is to get students interested in STEM-related careers, but not at the expense of other content areas. The root of a STEM education is inquiry based learning, which is teaching students how to think and problem solve.
Schools are implementing this type of learning through project-based units, which requires the integration of other content areas. Students begin to see the relationships between various subject areas and use major skills learned in each area in multiple classrooms. Our goal is to help our students become well rounded thinkers and problem solvers in this digital age.
POWER Zone Overview
POWER Zone's educators and support staff are dedicated to facilitating a mission focused on purposeful risk, ownership of learning, whole child-student concept, engaging inquiry and respectful relationships (POWER). Their values involve climbing with confidence where everyone has permission to fail and try new ideas. The zone is creating a loyalty effect, where working together to solve problems helps everyone succeed.
POWER Zone administrators and teachers strive to treat everyone as the most important person, ensuring a positive culture. And a focus on community service ensures their community's support in critical times. A family-first focus for a well-rounded life helps each student’s family enjoy each other, increasing academic productivity. School faculty are dedicated to nurturing respectful relationships. Teachers are given autonomy to teach and through the proposal process, anyone can bring ideas to the entire zone community for approval and implementation. All suggestions are considered with respect. The zone's administration believes in innovative change in education with comprehensive engagement, so all seek mastery.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Ecosystem
- Arts Integrated into STEM
- Elementary Science Labs
- Engineering Academy
- Robotics and Technology
POWER Zone Indicators
Hundreds of families responded to the POWER Zone performance dashboard survey sent in late 2015. The zones administrators are using the information their families provided, as a way to create a zone that is the best place to learn, work, and lead within. The word "best" can be subjective. What does it mean to be the best in the eyes of our community? What indicators would evidence that we are "best?" Finding the answer to this question is exactly the point of the POWER Zone performance dashboard process. As a collaborative community, our zone is committed to creating school priorities that are very real and meaningful.
In POWER Zone, each family's input is helping to drive zone-level educational decisions. Please browse our community created indicators to see how each directly supports your child’s ability to successfully leave POWER Zone career or college ready.
Critical thinking refers to a person’s capacity and commitment to embark on an unbiased, self-guided, self-disciplined reflection of ideas and evaluation of concepts, while recognizing a need to understand multiple perspectives. In our zone performance dashboard survey, parents told us that the ability for their child to not only problem solve, but to also think critically while doing so, is very important.
Problem solving skills require our students to understand how to properly identify a problem, plan out how to solve it, follow that plan, and know what to do if they don’t find the solution right away. Regardless of the profession your child wants to attain after high school, he or she will need to be able to solve problems in a variety of ways. This zone indicator allows POWER Zone to support more learning environments and opportunities that teach students the ability to look at real life problems through different lenses and points of views.
When we mention school climate, we're referring to a school's quality and character, along with the values expressed during social interactions and organizational processes and structures. To ensure POWER Zone schools demonstrate a positive school climate, where there is a focus on developing quality and supportive stakeholders relationships, we will continue our unabated focus to bring a positive school culture into every single classroom.
To ensure POWER Zone students have the opportunity to choose, create and explore targeted academic and career pathways, we will continue to commit resources in this area at our secondary schools. We now have an individual career and academic plan coordinator and a dean of concurrent enrollment at Vista Ridge High School. Both of these positions provide evidence of our commitment to this area. More and more, teacher training is occurring in this area each semester, so that we can ensure we have the personnel and resources to support such an exciting and important endeavor.
Literacy is a process of reading, thinking critically and communicating around a variety of diverse and meaningful content. Through our POWER Zone performance dashboard survey, parents overwhelmingly explained their support for strong literacy skills. We couldn’t agree more. A child's future success rate across all core content areas has been closely related to their ability to read proficiently by third grade.
Our parents must know their children are safe. Our students must feel safe to learn. The importance of ensuring a safe and secure learning environment was universally seen throughout our performance dashboard survey as the most important indicator to our community. To ensure POWER Zone school environments are kept safe and orderly, we will continue to regularly garner input from our community.
Portfolio of Schools
District 49 will create a robust portfolio of distinct and exceptional schools. It’s not enough just to have a bunch of different kinds of schools; the district needs to have high quality, exceptional schools. District 49 strives to offer wonderful schools in all of its zones, schools that are different from each other and superior to the options students might have in neighboring districts and communities.District 49’s board-approved strategic plan provides unified vision, goals and strategies to prepare students to achieve like never before. Its strategic plan is organized around a a big rocks metaphor. If the district identifies and focuses on what's most important – its big rocks of trust, community, best district, portfolio of schools and every student – and then adds other things around them, the medium-sized rocks, and finally works in the pebbles, everything better fits together. District 49 has applied this metaphor in its strategic plan, which identifies the district's Big Rocks. These strategic initiatives will be emphasized over the upcoming years, representing the district’s commitment to its community. These five rocks are its foundation for building an excellent future with its staff, students and greater community.