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 Elker Families and the Ridgway Community,

Welcome back to the 2018–2019 school year! We are so excited about the opportunities and experiences that your children will have in the Ridgway Area School District! The district staff and administration have worked hard this summer preparing for our students return. 

The teachers and principals spent time working on curriculum, assessment, instruction, school safety, and teacher supervision. The maintenance and custodial department have worked making repairs across the district, thoroughly cleaning classrooms, installing new carpet at the middle and high school library, and prepping fields and grounds. The technology department worked on infrastructure, installing wireless speakers, increasing wireless access points, transitioning wireless providers, troubleshooting the student information system transition, and completing updates to the network. 

The board has taken extraordinary effort to continue providing an enriching curriculum across both core content areas (math, science, social studies, and reading) and specials/electives (art, music, family science, computer, physical education, technical education, business, STEAM) in our traditional school setting. We are excited to have the following teachers working with students across the district: Mr. Phipps (k–12 performing arts), Mrs. Palmer (k–12 choral music), and Mr. Hofmann (k–12 instrumental music and elementary art). The district has strengthened the Elker Academy, which is our very own virtual learning program (cyber school). Students may choose to earn a Ridgway High School diploma virtually or students may choose a blended education approach, taking some courses online and enrolling in some courses in a traditional classroom setting. Regardless of how a student chooses to personalize their education with RASD programs, RASD educators are there to guide and support their learning and insure their success. 

The district said goodbye to some staff members as they moved into positions in other districts. Mr. Barbazzeni took an assistant principal position with Punxsutawney. Mr. Carpenter will be taking a position with the St. Mary’s School District. Ms. Fischer will be returning to the Pittsburgh area, which is her home. The district is currently advertising for a secondary emotional support teacher and a secondary biology teacher. As a result of resignations and retirements, the district anticipates posting for a paraprofessional position and a confidential secretary to the office of student services.

Students and staff continue to bless us by working hard every day. As a result, Ridgway ranked #92 in Pennsylvania and #2412 in the nation (US News and World Report, 2018) and we are competing for a National Blue Ribbon Award! Through the work done by teachers and students, the Ridgway High School was the recipient of the US News and World Report Silver Medal. We are fortunate to have parents and guardians working with us, who are supportive, and who believe in the value of education. We appreciate the love and support that we experience nestled in our small community of Ridgway. It takes a village to provide students with a world-class education and we have the best village a district could ask for! We have Elker pride and we are so excited to welcome you all back!


    Heather A. McMahon-Vargas

    Heather A. McMahon-Vargas, Superintendent