The Rock Ridge School District is undergoing a transformation. Created by the merger of two ancient rival districts–the Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia school districts–the citizens of both old school districts have voted to build a new high school and two new elementary schools. The citizens of both school districts also voted to consolidate the two school districts into one. This is the first newly consolidated school district in the State of Minnesota for the past 15 years. And it is probably one of the rarest school consolidations which has occurred not because of financial struggles–both school districts were in solid financial shape–but because of genuine interest to improve the quality of education the students were receiving. In other words, the communities buried their parochial armor and gunpowder and decided to look to the future for their kids and grandkids. The communities cared less about their mascots and colors and slogans and sports history and more about transforming education.
Here is what this means for the students who are and will be attending the Rock Ridge schools. We are designing the new schools and education around the 21st century skills of Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Citizenship, Character, Entrepreneurship, and Global Competence. Our goal is to have the benchmarking standard of “Best in the World,” while using simple but powerful statements such as, “Education to inspire the next generation,” and “Fiercely United,” and “Rock Ridge Rising,” and “Helping students find their magnificent obsession,” as terms to express ways of thinking about things. Read more.
They said it couldn’t be done…
Life Long Rivals. Now Fiercely United.
Even though we have a new name and a new facility (soon), we want you to forever feel welcome here. We want you to come home and feel like you can still access your high school memories. We know it’s different, and we will do everything we can to make it as close to the same as possible. Come on in and join us in celebrating the alumni of Eveleth, Eveleth-Gilbert, Gilbert and Virginia.
We fully respect that you graduated a Golden Bear, a Buccaneer, or a Blue Devil. We understand that passion runs deep. But think of it this way: We are all Iron Rangers and we are all very proud to be from here. The Range gave us our start. It was a part of our foundation. I remember going off to college and it did not matter anymore where I graduated from. What mattered was that we were from the Range. We all found each other at gatherings and reminisced about the rivalries. Outsiders would gather around and listen to our stories and be amazed at our passion for and vivid memories of the events we were talking about. Next thing you knew, we were all friends singing in choirs together, playing together on teams, and very proud to be from the Range. These kids of today get to do this now, and they are enjoying every minute of this opportunity.