Academic Overview

Our Intentional Approach

Real academic excellence happens when students go beyond the mastery of subjects to reach a deeper understanding of more than just what, but why. 

When a student joins Forest Ridge, she joins a remarkable community of learners and changemakers—girls who are excited about learning and curious about the world, and who inspire and empower each other everyday.  Our outstanding faculty, who are not only experts in their subjects, but passionate about what they teach, engage students with a rigorous curriculum that is a careful balance of foundational academic subjects, unique, integrated courses and enriching experiential learning opportunities that allow students to pursue studies in their areas of interests.

Valuing curiosity, inquiry and investigation, each grade-level curriculum is designed to build the skills of flexible thinking, critical reasoning and purposeful collaboration. Our strong multidisciplinary curriculum is rich with integrated learning opportunities that push our students to apply their knowledge and skills in a variety of cross-curricular ways.

With a focus on uniting disciplinary knowledge and skills, while encouraging new ways of thinking, our academic and extracurricular programs ignite curiosity, creativity and purpose within our students, empowering each girl to pursue her intellectual journey.

Middle School: Academic Excellence & Personal Growth

In the middle school, academic excellence meets personal growth in an engaging and dynamic environment. We pride ourselves on offering more than just a curriculum; our faculty and staff, who specialize in working with middle school girls, provide a holistic educational experience that lays a solid academic foundation while nurturing the individual growth of each student.

To empower girls during the critical middle school years, we’ve developed an engaging and dynamic curriculum designed to give students the freedom to explore, build her confidence, develop independence, and use her voice as she prepares for the next step of her academic journey in the Upper School.

Learning is an active, collaborative process with an intentional balance of content mastery and skill development and classrooms are vibrant spaces where students actively participate, collaborate, and explore. Our middle school curriculum is thoughtfully designed to challenge and inspire students, encouraging them to explore diverse subjects and develop critical thinking skills, while building a strong foundation that prepares them for the success in the Upper School and beyond.

Upper School: Rigorous Academics Meet Purpose

In the Upper School, our course of study challenges students through rigorous academics while also nurturing their intellectual curiosity and personal growth. Our faculty have designed engaging, dynamic and hands-on courses that prioritize depth of study over breadth, allowing students to develop a robust understanding of the curriculum.

The Upper School Mod Schedule, in which students take only 3.5 classes at a time, for 6 week terms called “mods,” gives girls more time for deep, interdisciplinary learning, active engagement and collaboration between peers and faculty.

With fewer, yet longer, classes, breaks between periods, and time to explore interests and passions, Forest Ridge’s mod schedule allows girls to flourish both in and out of the classroom to cultivate their purpose in a holistic and intentional way, without sacrificing student social-emotional wellbeing. 

Our Upper School graduation requirements—comprised of both academic credits and service learning hours, as well as a capstone project in the senior year—are designed to ensure that Forest Ridge graduates successfully complete a course of study in a broad range of disciplines and skills to prepare them to lead lives of purpose in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world. Through our endorsement pathways, as well as a senior capstone project, students can deepen their learning in a specialized area of interest, differentiating themselves from their peers.

While Forest Ridge does not offer AP courses, the curriculum covered throughout our Upper School course of study meets or exceeds the material covered by standarized AP courses and prepares our graduates for success at colleges and universities around the world. To learn more about our College Counseling program, click here.

Our curriculum isn't just interdisciplinary, it's integrating multiple ways of thinking and doing. The more students can see how subjects are intertwined, the better we are preparing them for what the world looks like now and will look like in the future. Of course we want our girls to get into the top choice colleges, but we also want them to flourish in college. We don't want them to just be able to get jobs, we want them to be the changemakers the world needs.Nikki Danos, Director of College Counseling 

Read More About Our Academic Program