Approach

What makes Ring Mountain different?

At RMDS, students thrive in a community committed to caring for the whole child. We believe that every child has gifts and challenges. All too often, traditional classrooms only recognize a small set of strengths. RMDS is committed to cultivating all kinds of talents, from poetry to public speaking, from engineering to empathy. 

Our key practices are designed to meet students where they are and move them forward to new levels of mastery.

Small Classes

We are an intentionally intimate school.  By keeping class size to no more than thirteen students per classroom, we can build strong relationships between students and teachers, create complex and hands-on learning experiences, and offer each individual attention. At RMDS, every student has one-on-one interactions with every teacher, every day.

Flexibility

We know that there’s never a single way to learn that’s best for every student. When a sixth grade student is ready for a new challenge in math, we can arrange her schedule so she can attend the seventh grade pre-algebra class. A third grader who needs physical activity to enhance attention and learning can be accommodated with a ball chair or standing desk. Our teachers work to create individual solutions to boost every child’s learning.

Social Emotional Learning

We believe schools need to teach more than academics.  Emotions and relationships affect children’s ability to learn effectively. That’s why we focus on developing resilience, self-regulation and empathy in all our students. Beginning in kindergarten, mindfulness practices teach kindness, reflection and compassion. We see mistakes as opportunities for growth. And in class discussions, Middle School students learn to take others’ perspectives, respect different ideas, and create authentic connections. 

Collaboration

Research shows that collaboration leads to deeper learning. Beginning in the Lower School, RMDS students work in small groups and pairs to answer questions and solve problems. Our Middle School humanities classes use seminar tables for student-centered discussions that tackle big ideas and complex texts. By working together, our students learn to listen deeply, think critically, and develop their individual and authentic voices.

Project Based Learning

Our teachers know that there are many paths to mastery and many ways to learn. Along with traditional assessments like quizzes and papers, we are committed to helping students demonstrate their knowledge in multiple contexts. Third graders build a model city to explore the relationships between 2-D and 3-D shapes. Seventh graders direct scenes to demonstrate their understanding of Shakespeare’s plays. Through hands-on learning, students build critical and creative thinking skills essential for long-term success.