We are committed to providing engaging and rigorous educational opportunities for all of our students through our academic programs. We are driven to meet the needs of our students today and in the future. We offer relevant and engaging instruction that prepares students well, not only for career and college readiness but for lifelong success.
We are also committed to serving the needs of the whole child, which means focusing on interests, dreams and the developmental milestones of our students, from early childhood through graduation. Through strong partnerships with community organizations and nationally-recognized research institutions, we engage in a continuous improvement model to ensure excellence for both students and staff. We live the ideal that one is never too old to learn.
English Language Arts (Literacy)
We think of “literacy” as the ability to read and write, but it encompasses much more. Oral language development is critical to building strong reading and writing skills, and to communication in general. Critical thinking skills utilized while viewing a production, hearing a speech, or engaging in social media, are extremely important. That’s why we focus on all of the domains of literacy: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our integrated elementary curriculum has a strong balance of reading, writing and phonics work at the earliest levels. This ensures that our students gain the skills they need in decoding words and reading fluently in order to understand what they have read.
Literacy plays a part in every content area as students move through the Richfield education system. Our students are continually learning to read and write as they read and write to learn. “Literacy” in Richfield means thinking and communicating in the discipline, being financially and economically literate, and understanding how language is deeply embedded in all cultures.
Math is everywhere in our lives: from perfectly geometric plants to patterns in the skies, the seasons, and our waters. We are dedicated to building strong math identities in our students, helping them to deeply understand mathematical concepts and the why behind them, not just the procedures. Strong math education provides students with vital lifelong skills, including problem-solving, analytical and spatial skills, and a deeper understanding of the world around us through science, music and the arts.
In Richfield, we know that learning math is good for our students’ brains. Research shows that strong math students access different parts of their brains while engaging in mathematical activities. Math education provides students with the opportunity to look for problems and design solutions, and strong math education will prepare students for jobs that haven’t even been created yet.
Science is an integral component of human society. It offers the opportunity for students to learn why and how things work—from the environment, to living organisms, to machines and more. Science provides explanations to the mechanics and reasons behind complex systems. In Richfield Public Schools, we embrace scientific thinking. We strive to create young scientists who are curious and embrace a deep understanding of natural and man-made phenomena and their effects on our world. We believe that the future is in the hands of our students, and we want them fully prepared to voyage into the unknown.
Social studies prepares students to become informed, active and engaged citizens in society and participating members of an interdependent global community. At Richfield Public Schools, we are dedicated to that purpose. Our social studies curriculum requires students to engage in thoughtful inquiry, to learn from the past in order to create a better tomorrow, and to collaborate with others when solving problems. Further, social studies demands the inclusion of all students, because such rich diversity enhances the learning needed in a pluralistic society.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
STEM education is an integrated approach to teaching and learning, preparing students for a world we cannot yet imagine. STEM is not a curriculum; it is a framework of education that uses inquiry and project-based learning to solve problems. While we often think of STEM as mostly science and math, or just technology, literacy also plays a critical role in STEM education. It helps students to better understand each subject separately and together. Students tap into their creative, scientific and technical mind to apply concepts in the four areas of science, technology, engineering and math to identify issues and resolve them. Our 6-12 Computer Science Pathway prepares students to be successful in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science courses at Richfield High School, giving students the opportunity to learn advanced coding skills that open a world of possibilities for them after high school.
The arts celebrate creations of the heart, and offer multiple perspectives on the world. We believe the arts are a crucial component to education and that students’ lives are enhanced through the arts: music, visual arts, food, design, performing arts and more. Participating in fine arts contributes to higher academic achievement, civic engagement and socio-emotional growth. It can also improve motivation, concentration and confidence.
Our country and our communities are more diverse than ever before, and it is one of our greatest strengths. Our rich diversity will provide our young people with the skills needed to successfully navigate through an increasingly connected global society. Becoming proficient in a second, third or even fourth language is a valued skill in the workplace and in life. Further, language education provides a deeper understanding of cultures from the lens of one of their most important human aspects: communication.
We are proud to offer a pre-K through high school dual language immersion program, where students bring their first language assets and learn a second language from and with each other. In addition, we offer Spanish, French and German language and culture instruction, and we embrace all of the languages that make us #OneRichfield.
We offer students the opportunity to learn a global language beginning in middle school. At Richfield Middle School, a student can even earn high school credit while still in eighth grade. At Richfield High School, three global languages are offered, with all three (French, German and Spanish) offering college credit at the highest levels. Most colleges and universities require at least two years of high school global language credit. Our students are well prepared to meet this prerequisite by the time they graduate from Richfield High School.
We also offer the opportunity for students to earn the Seal of Biliteracy from the State of Minnesota. The Seal of Biliteracy is a celebration of students’ multilingualism. It provides recognition of language assets through notation on a student’s transcript as well as college credit at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU).
We are committed to the priceless values of bilingualism and biliteracy.
Health and Physical Education
As part of our mission to provide the best possible education for our students, we require physical education and health education throughout our students’ educational careers.
Physical education provides an opportunity for students to continue building both their gross and fine motor skills, to enhance their hand-eye coordination and their reflexes, and to improve their cardiovascular and muscular systems while reducing stress. Further, physical education provides the opportunity to learn and improve team-building skills and self-confidence.
Health education helps students build their knowledge about physical, mental, social and emotional health. Our students learn about healthy habits and how to maintain them, as well as how to prevent chronic diseases through a healthy lifestyle. Our health education curriculum also includes a unit on sexual health. All families will receive information on this unit a few weeks before it starts. This includes information on the specific topics covered and the opportunity to opt their child(ren) out.
Media & Technology
#En-Rich is our personalized digital learning model that supports students and teachers in developing the “Four Cs” of 21st-century learning: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. This happens through a combination of personal learning devices, instructional software and innovative teaching strategies. Students use multiple platforms to check grades, communicate with teachers, access digital assignments and access digital curriculum. This includes Synergy (student information system), Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Seesaw and Schoology.