School Spotlight: Meadow Ridge Elementary
Every day, 850 students in grades K-5 make their way to Meadow Ridge Elementary in Plymouth. The school isn’t even two years old, but staff members here have high expectations for what students should accomplish.
“We want to help children be successful academically, as well as socially and physically,” said Karen Keffeler, principal of Meadow Ridge. “And so we focus on those pieces of the Cardinal Code.”
Keffeler says the ‘Cardinal Code’ consists of respect, responsibility, compassion and mindfulness.
“Kindness is so important,” she said. “The ability to work in groups. The ability to problem solve. The ability to have a conflict with somebody and resolve it in a way that is peaceful and good for everyone involved, so that’s part of our Cardinal Code.”
To help carry out the Cardinal Code, the school implemented a program called Mixer Families, where students in different grades come together in small groups once a month and get to know each other. A couple of first graders provided this CCX News reporter with positive reviews.
“I like it because it brings people together,” said Delaney Nelson, a first-grader. “We get to learn about people’s cultures and where they’re from.”
“It’s fun because if you meet them again, you can just say their name without even saying ‘hey’ and stuff,” said Arjan Batra, another first-grader.
The program is one of the highlights of Meadow Ridge’s second year as the school tries to build a community. But a community isn’t the only thing being built.
“This building was actually built for 700 students and we are currently at 850, so we have had to modify some learning spaces,” Keffeler said.
However, a long-term solution is on the way. Construction began in November on 10 new classrooms to accommodate the extra students.
“I truly appreciate the teachers and the families who’ve been so flexible in that,” Keffeler said. “Yes, we are pretty crowded, and we are making it work, and we’re having fun.”
But above all else, they’re providing students with tools they’ll carry with them for years to come.
“We want to inspire our kids, we want to build compassion, and help them create a love of learning that will last forever,” Keffeler said.
Construction on the new addition to Meadow Ridge Elementary should be completed by July 1.