Welcome to Our School

Welcome to the Internet home of the Ridgway Area School District. Together, the three schools that comprise our district provide a safe, empowering learning environment for kindergarten through 12th grade students in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. 

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. We are happy to provide you with information about our district, our elementary school, our middle and high school, and the excellent programs and services we offer our students.

A Message from Our Superintendent

Dear RASD Parents and Guardians,

The safety of your children is the district's highest priority. The district's crisis plan has three areas which are prevention, intervention, and post-intervention. Prevention includes actions taken by the district before a safety breach, compromise or event occurs. Intervention includes the actions taken by the district during an event. Post-intervention occurs after an event. The sequence of events enacted by the district on Friday, February 16, 2018, was prevention actions.

The district's actions resulted from an awareness of a potential threat to student safety. The Ridgway Borough Police and the Ridgway State Police support the district. Both law enforcement agencies had an excellent response time. During a crisis, the superintendent has a communication matrix. A global connect outreach call will notify parents of any situations. When there is a weather related emergency notification, global connect emergency calls go out. I was not aware that outreach calls only go the primary number listed in the student information system. That is why some parents did not get the call on their cell phones or as they would for a weather-related call. Through the global connect emergency call, all future weather or safety concerns will go out to parents from the superintendent.

The district crisis team will meet on Thursday, February 22, 2018, to evaluate the response and identify strengths and weaknesses. The previously planned district in-service on March 19 will continue to focus on school safety and safety drills. The district will be expanding this training and inviting local law enforcement. The state police will be presenting an active shooter drill training for staff. The district will continue to train staff on safety care. There were previously two training sessions scheduled for March, and those will proceed as planned.

A parent forum on school safety is on the schedule for parents and guardians of the Ridgway School District on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the middle and high school library. Please use the library entrance. This forum will provide parents with an opportunity to better understand the district's current safety measures such as physical and procedural measures. Also, law enforcement personnel and local agencies will speak on prevention. Additionally, parents will have the opportunity to express ideas about school safety.

What RASD learned:

  1. The district's students and staff are excellent at informing the administration of concerns - "Say Something."
  2. The county schools and law enforcement agencies need to enhance communication between one another when school safety concerns exist. Communication especially needs to be enhanced in a day and age when there are so many transient students between schools and when we are sharing staff and programs.
  3. All calls regarding weather and school safety will be via global connect emergency, not global connect out reach. 
  4. Law enforcement response time to either campus is outstanding.

What parents and guardians can do:

  1. "Say Something." As parents, many of you have access to various social media sites that students frequent such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. You hear conversations that take place between your child and their peers. You have access to your child's text messages. You have access to information that is often greater than what school staff has access to. Please, when you see something that is concerning to you, "Say Something." Please never assume that "the school already knows," "it’s not that big of a deal," "kids will be kids," or "I don't want to be the one that tells." Report safety concerns to your child's building principal at Ridgway Middle and High School (814) 773.3164 or FSG (814) 776.4297. When you contact your child's school, let the secretary know you have a school safety concern. You will be in direct contact with a staff person who will document your report and then investigate it. If the concern is immediate or imminent, please call 911. 
  2. Please make sure that your child's contact numbers are up to date and current. Also, please check that your child's school has the name of the person to whom you want your child released to in an emergency situation. We will not release children to anyone that parents have not authorized in writing. 
  3. When a global connect call goes out under emergency circumstances, please listen to the message. If you have difficulty hearing the message, go directly to the district Facebook page. The same message will be available in writing. If you have questions after accessing the content of the message, please call 773.3146 or contact the superintendent. We will answer your calls and return messages as we are able to. 
  4. If you have suggestions related to the District's school safety, please contact Superintendent Heather A. McMahon-Vargas. In the subject line, indicate "school safety suggestions." 

As the superintendent and as a parent, I understand your concerns and fears. My own three children attend school in the district. My children, your children, and my staff are my heartbeats. Together we will make certain that we have a school that is as safe as possible for our children and staff. I appreciate your support and I am grateful to have an opportunity to lead in a district and community that I care deeply about. 


    Heather A. McMahon-Vargas

    Heather A. McMahon-Vargas, Superintendent