Education

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Madison County Schools
476 Highland Colony Pkwy. • 601) 879-3057
www.madison-schools.com

Serving more than 13,000 students, Madison County Schools (MCS) is the fifth-largest school district in the state of Mississippi. The district, with four schools serving the Ridgeland zone, achieved an “A” rating based on the statewide accountability model. The district’s motto: “Madison County Schools: Mark of Excellence,” reflects a commitment to not only help each child reach his or her fullest potential, but also for each child to excel. The district is committed to fostering 21st-century skills and helping students develop into lifelong learners. Through its programs and advanced teaching methods, MCS helps students become critical thinkers who are creative, technologically savvy and can identify and solve problems. Three years ago, MCS embarked on a 1:M Digital Initiative. Designed to enhance student learning, the initiative creates a personalized student-centered learning environment that includes students in grades 9-12 receiving a Macbook to use at school and home and Chromebooks in grades 6-8.

Ann Smith Elementary
306 South Pear Orchard Rd. • (601) 856-6621
www.madison-schools.com/domain/11

Serving kindergarten through second grade, Ann Smith Elementary has an enrollment of 735 students. In recent years, the school received a multimillion dollar renovation, adding classrooms, expanding common areas and updating the interior and exterior spaces. ASE is committed to moving every child to the next level. All certified teachers are considered highly qualified; 45 percent have earned an advanced degree, such as a master’s, specialist or Ph.D. Ann Smith employs 13 National Board-certified teachers. The school has a 1/12 student-to-teacher ratio. Through an Arts in the Classroom grant offered by the Mississippi Arts Commission, ASE implements arts integration (music, dance, theater and visual arts) throughout the curriculum to promote effective instruction and grow students academically.

Highland Elementary School
330 Brame Rd. • (601) 853-8103
www.madison-schools.com/site/default.aspx

With an enrollment of 620 students in grades 3-5, Highland Elementary features a curriculum incorporating academics with music, physical education, computers and library sessions.

An active Parent Teacher Organization has paid for the installation of projector systems in each classroom and purchased additional projectors where needed, built an amphitheater style outdoor classroom, worked with teachers to secure grants for a walking trail and Project Fit and playground equipment.

Several years ago, HES secured $10,000 worth of computer equipment from Code.org for its commitment to the schools’ computer programming (coding) initiative. Highland was the only school in Mississippi to receive the honor.

In 2016, Highland Elementary became the first and only school in the state to implement CYCLE Kids, an eight-week fitness program where students learn about bicycle safety, nutrition and wellness.

Olde Towne Middle School
210 Sunnybrook Rd. • (601) 898-8730
www.madison-schools.com/Domain/1110

Olde Towne Middle School, serving 670 students in grades 6-8, has a student-to-teacher ratio of 15/1. The school offers a collaborative learning environment and strives to provide ongoing curriculum improvements to prepare students for the future.

Students not only participate in one of the best middle school STEM programs in the nation, but also take accelerated courses in math and English/language arts and have access to outstanding art and music programs.

Ridgeland High School
586 Sunnybrook Rd. • (601) 898-5023
www.madison-schools.com

Located in one of the fastest growing school districts in the state, Ridgeland High opened in 2002. Accredited by the Mississippi State Department of Education, the Madison County School District has achieved an “A” rating based on the statewide accountability model. The four year comprehensive high school, with 875 students in grades 9-12, boasts a strong college preparatory program.

Accelerated and College Board Advanced Placement courses are available to students.

With dual enrollment courses, students can spend part of their day taking college courses on the Holmes Community College campus.

Each year, 95 percent of Ridgeland High graduates go directly to college. More than 50 percent enroll in four-year academic institutions while 45 percent attend two year colleges.

Community Colleges

Holmes Community College – Ridgeland Campus
412 W. Ridgeland Ave. • (601) 856-5400
www.holmescc.edu

Founded in 1925 as an agricultural junior college in Goodman, Holmes Community College has grown into a comprehensive, multi-campus institution with locations in Grenada and Ridgeland, as well as the Kosciusko Center, which expanded in 2015 to become a state-of-the-art training center. From outstanding faculty and academic programs to advanced technology and facilities, the college provides students with the tools to succeed, lead and positively impact the world.

Holmes offers an Associate Degree in Nursing, Associate of Arts degree, Associate of Applied Science degree, technical certificate and career certificate as well as workforce training. The college prides itself on providing accessible education to students of all ages, offering face-to-face, online and hybrid courses; undergraduate courses and adult education classes. With more than 50 academic majors, approximately 30 career/technical programs, 50 extracurricular activities, 10 athletic teams and an active student body of 6,000 students, Holmes helps students broaden their experiences and cultivate their minds.

The Ridgeland Campus offers both day and evening credit and noncredit courses, including technical programs in business and medical office technology, computer networking technology, engineering technology and paralegal technology. Career programs in practical nursing, welding and multiple workforce training programs are also available.

Delta Technical College
113 Marketridge Dr. • (601) 206-5200
www.deltatechnicalcollege.com

Delta Technical College offers small class sizes and hands-on training to help students gain the skills they need for employment in a number of high-demand career fields. Modern, updated campus facilities in Ridgeland and Horn Lake offer vocational programs in welding, HVAC, dental assistant, medical assistant, medical coding, industrial, commercial and residential electrician, cosmetology and commercial truck driving.

Interesting facts concerning Delta Technical College:

  • A 40,000-square-foot facility in Ridgeland provides space for hands-on training.
  • Several accelerated workforce training programs can be completed in less than 12 months.
  • Courses are also available for those looking to enhance their current professional position.
  • Delta Technical College is approved by the United States Department of Education to participate in the Federal Financial Aid Program.

Chamber Junior Diplomat Program

Now into its 16th year, the Chamber’s Junior Diplomat Program instills in students a well-rounded appreciation of community service, introduces them to the business community and awards Junior Diplomat of the Year and Spirit of Junior Diplomat scholarships totaling $1,500 to graduating seniors to the college or university of their choice, said Linda Bynum, executive director of the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce.

Every year, area high school juniors and seniors are invited to become a part of the Ridgeland Chamber’s Junior Diplomat Program. Students who live within the city limits of Ridgeland and attend Ridgeland High School, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Jackson Academy, St. Joseph Catholic School, Madison Ridgeland Academy and Jackson Prep are invited to submit an application.

Ridgeland Chamber volunteers Allison DeWeese of Holmes Community College and Jim Lowery of Pear Orchard Business Center serve as Junior Diplomat co-advisors.

The Junior Diplomats meet the first Tuesday of each month at Chamber member businesses. Throughout the year, the Junior Diplomats participate in many city and Chamber events, including the Natchez Trace Century Ride, Senior Adult Valentine Banquet, Easter Egg Hunt, KidFest! Ridgeland, Heatwave Classic, Trunk or Treat, Make A Difference Day and the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. They also volunteer for TOP Soccer, Mayor’s Wellness Walk, the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival and events at the Mississippi Craft Center.

Students interested in the Junior Diplomat Program must complete an application and submit it to the Chamber office, Bynum said. “Every application is carefully read and reviewed. We want students in the program who have every potential of becoming tomorrow’s leaders.”

Each applicant must write a 100-word essay detailing why he or she would be a good candidate for the program and also must include three letters of recommendation; one of the letters must be from a teacher, principal or high school counselor, Bynum added.

Other criteria include a list of all extracurricular activities, awards received and offices held. And, all applicants must have a 3.0 grade average.

“One of the greatest aspects about our program is that our Junior Diplomats have gotten to know others with the same interests and goals,” Bynum said. “They have become better acquainted with their community and are realizing the importance of giving back to their community.

“If we can instill one basic premise,” she added, “it is the age-old adage, ‘we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’”