Principal's Message

Ridge Crest Families,

Welcome back to the 2016/2017 school year.  It is my pleasure to serve as your principal for another year.  It is always exciting to start a new school year.  I wanted to share with you a couple of things that  are going to be our focus for the 16/17 school year.

As always there will be a strong focus on Math and Language Arts.  The district will soon be adopting a new language arts program to accommodate the Common Core State Standards.  Teachers are looking at two different programs at schools throughout the district and they will vote on an adoption around midyear.  It has been many years since the teachers have gotten a new language arts program, so we are excited because the materials look wonderful.

In addition, we will be focusing on our Math program.  Students will be encouraged to become “problem solvers.”  Did you know that our brains are hardwired to create maps.  When people encounter a problem they need to solve and go on to struggle to figure out a solution, as synapse is being formed in the brain. That is basically a connection from one area to the next.  The brain actually builds a new map and gets smarter.  As this synapse is forming and the solution has arrived, there is a “lightbulb moment,” a feeling of eureka.  This eureka feeling is actually a release of chemicals that are being produced by the brain-dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin.  These chemicals give you a high feeling as wonderful sensations arrive in your body.  This is referred to as a “learner’s high.”

When we step in and help our students solve a problem, we are actually stealing their high.  We mean well.  We think we are being helpful, but in fact we have robbed our students of the two important evolutionary and learning experiences.  First, we have not let them form the synapse in the brain that forms true learning and connections.  Second, we have not let them have the high of problem solving, which is designed to reinforce their motivation to problem-solve in the future.  Being helpful often makes the helper feel better, not the one being helped, because we stole the learner’s high.

You may also hear your child or their teacher use the word, “grit” this school year.  We are teaching our students to have “grit.”  Grit is defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals.  Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress.

So please support us this year by encouraging your student to hang in there and keep trying.  Don’t step in at the first sign of struggle.  Rather, give them the tools and encouragement to “hang in there” and persevere. 

I wish us all a very positive and productive school year!


Mrs. Cinq-Mars, Principal

Julie Cinq-Mars