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Education - Ripon College

Page history last edited by laura.eppinger 11 years, 3 months ago

Service  |  Academic Work  |  Education & Training  |  Capacity Building  |  Deliberative Democracy 



Other Issues In This Topic 


  • ELL/ESL education
  • Extracurricular enrichment for area students
  • Support for students with behavioral problems
  • Support for youth at-risk of failing
  • Declining graduation rates at Ripon High School
  • Mentoring and cross-age tutoring
  • Opportunity for postsecondary education for low-income, first generation students



Types of Service   short-term | ongoing school year | summer


  • Short-Term:
    • Think College Early month-long series to educate low-income, first generation families about the many possibilities for postsecondary education.
    • TV Turnoff Week
  • Ongoing School year:
    • BRAVE (Building Assets and Resiliency in Everyone) mentoring program in both public elementary schools and the middle school.
    • STRIPES tutoring program at the Ripon High School.
    • Mentoring at Crossroads Charter School and developing a partnership with REACH Charter School
    • ESL/ELL tutoring for adults and students
    • Mentoring through Big Brothers, Big Sister   


 Academic Work  courses  |  service-learning  |  CBR and policy research   |  departments and institutes

  • Courses and Possible Service-Learning Partners
    • Anthropology 325: Advanced Museum Studies (Professor Stovel) Groups of students pick a collection of artifacts from the Ripon College Museum or the Library, and make presentations for Ripon K-12.
    • Chemistry 112: Structure and Reactivity (Professor Katahira) Professor Katahira is interested in having his students tutor others in Chemistry—a partnership with STRIPES would be ideal. This would function as the placement model of service-learning—college students would tutor high school students on a weekly basis for the semester.
    • Chemistry 232: Glass Working (Professor Katahira) College students in this course could supplement area public school science classes with a demonstration about the chemistry of glass working
    • English 243: Women's Literature (Professor Woods) Service-Learners could run creative writing workshops for local students (in grades 6-12) using the principles of feminism, cultural analysis and literary critique.
    • English 260: Topics in Cultural Identity (Professor Sontag).
    • History 264: Immigration and Ethnicity in American History (Professor Blake) Professor Blake has never used service-learning in a class before, but would like to try it for the Fall 2009 semester, when he will teach an Immigration and Ethnicity in American History course. He would like to make service-learning option in his course, and use the placement model. The OCE's ELL programs (the phone help line and tutoring at the Public Library) are possible partners. Service-Learners could also work with the Ripon School District's ELL Family Night or help to plan Las Posadas 2009. ESL tutoring for STRIPES would also be a good match.
    • Spanish 211: Intermediate Spanish; Spanish 321: Voces espanolas I (Professor Fuerch) Professor Fuerch has worked with Bonners in the past to create independent study courses for students who assist English Language Learners. She has also promoted volunteerism to her students, with partners such as ADVOCAP, the OCE’s ELL tutoring and help hotline, and Ripon Public Library tutoring programs.


  • Departments and Institutes
    • The Ethical Leadership Program (ELP)
    • Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)
    • Local chapter of Amnesty International
    • The English Honors Society



Education & Training   forums  |  workshops  |  reflection activities

  • STRIPES hosts mid-year and end-of-the-year meetings, service projects, reflections, and celebrations for tutors.


Campus and Organizational Capacity-Building  training  |  fundraising  |  resource development


  • Bonner orientation, retreats, and semester wrap-up
  • Annual conference hosted by SIFE or ELP
  • Conferences about resource development co-sponsored by Ripon College chapter of Amnesty International and Campus Christian Fellowship  



 Research, Policy Analysis, Deliberative Democracy

evaluations  |  policy research  | issue forums  |  advocacy



The Office of Community Engagement Policy Interns (Molly, Arielle and Rusty) spent their time researching the Ripon Area School District (RASD) April 7th referendum. Molly worked on polling, Arielle researched Ripon history and current Ripon news, and Rusty research history and current news of communities outside of Ripon.

The Policu Options team attended four informational panels through Superintendent Dr. Zimman. In the future Molly hopes the interns will take a more hands-on role in town policy, such as planning panels and sponsoring dinners to educate the public about certain issues.


In the past, referenda have focused on extracurricular activities, including band uniforms, high school choir robes, and the Ingalls Field turf for various sports, along with funding for Murray Park Elementary (early-1990s) and Barlow Part Elementary School (mid-1990s).


Arielle read through three years of the Ripon Commonwealth Newspaper to learn more about past referendum and the April 7th referendum. The result of voters reading the Commonwealth was that their votes agreed with the ideas presented in the paper. Additional research was found here.


Here are the three issues voted on April 7th, 2009:


  1. a 10-year $500,000 bond for replacing the high school boiler and roof maintenance at various schools;
  2. a six-year $500,000 annual revenue limit override to be used for purchasing textbooks, computers and technology, maintenance repairs, and vehicle replacement that have been eliminated from the budget; and
  3. a three-year annual revenue limit override to maintain classroom staffing and related instructional expenses, including $575,000 in the 2009-2010 school year, $725,000 for 2010-2011, and $850,000 in 2011-2012.


There were four public feedback sessions for the community to learn about the referendum (located at the Ripon High School and Ripon Public Library during January). Here is some feedback from Ripon residents:


  1. Boiler and Roof
    1. No one opposed replacing the boiler;
    2. The current boiler to be replaced is 50-years-old. It is currently expensive to operate, not energy efficient;
    3. There was the concern that it could break down at any time, which would be very inconvenient;
    4. Deferring the roof repair would have resulted in leaking roofs, thereby resulting in damage to the building’s envelope, interior finishing, and equipment;
    5. Deferring any repairs would have been even more costly than passing the referendum; and
    6. Unplanned and unscheduled maintenance is often more costly than routine, scheduled maintenance.
  2. Textbooks, Computers and Technology, Maintenance Repair, and Vehicle Replacement
    1. The replacement cycle the RASD uses to revise curriculum, purchase new textbooks, and update technology/computers is every six years. The replacement cycle had been put on hold to not cut teaching positions;
    2. The RASD purchases used vehicles on a regular basis to replace worn vehicles. These vehicles transport student groups, teams, and staff to events, workshops, and competitions. Maintenance vehicles are for a variety of job duties including hauling to inter-school deliveries and snow plowing;
    3. The School District should not spend more money than necessary on roofing for the Ripon Middle School because they plan to build a new facility with land by Murray Park in the next decade;
    4. Major Aaron Kramer noted he would have a hard time supporting a proposal for $500,000 per year indefinitely for textbooks, technology, maintenance, and vehicles;
    5. While new textbooks are expensive, they are required to match curriculum when teachers revise and rewrite curriculum and the Board approves that curriculum; and
    6. Without question two being passed, it would be continually more difficult to provide consistent quality in education. Students preparing for 21st century careers would be working with technology and information that was not up to date.
  3. Classroom Staffing
    1. Without the passing of the third question, class sizes will double with each teacher eliminated per elementary grade level;
    2. Four teachers will be cut for the 2009-2019 school year since the referendum has not passed. $545,000 needs to be taken out of operating annual expense in order to comply with state law, which is equivalent to six to seven teacher positions. There are three options:

                                                               i.      Eliminating one teaching position each from Barlow Park Elementary, Murray Park Elementary, Ripon Middle School, and Ripon High School to save $78, 234 per position and $312,936 in total each year;

                                                             ii.      Maintaining the positions in question, but at the price of other commodities; and

                                                            iii.      $210,472 in other cuts, including eliminating repair projects, lengthening classroom repainting cycles, dropping billboard sponsorships with Ripon College, and reducing lawn fertilizer applications.



The first two referenda passed, but the RASD is cutting teachers. Cutting teachers leads to more students per class and increases the ratio of teachers to students. Cutting teaching staff reduces the ability for one-on-one attention from teachers to students. Often, it is imperative for students to receive one-on-one attention to understand their studies. 

Bonner Leaders and other Ripon OCE volunteers use community service opportunities to supplement classroom learning in the RASD. From after school tutoring to mentoring, Ripon College students provide one-on-one attention to young learners in need. The referenda analyzed by the Policy Options Team very much effects the quality of education local students receieve in the classroom by addressing issues such as quality of school facilities, relevance of school textbooks and number and pay of teachers.

Understanding the state of classroom education in Ripon helps Bonner Leaders better understand the need for their service in extracurricular activities such as mentoring and tutoring.

The Ripon School District has already begun to cut teachers and programs. Read about this here, here and here.




  • Staff
    • Lindsay Blumer: Director of the college’s Ethical Leadership Program
  • Faculty – Resources on Effective Service-Learning Methods
    • Michelle Fuerch: Professor of Spanish
    • Jody Roy: Professor of Communication
    • Brian Smith: Professor of Religion
    • Emily Stovel: Professor of Anthropology
    • Diane Mockridge: Professor of History
  • Resources for Ripon Area Education Issues
    • Joe Hatcher: Professor of Psychology and School Board Member
    • Susan Katz: Professor of Education and OCE contact for asset-mapping
  • Students
    • Jake Jochem (Ripon ’11) and Ashley Retzlaff (Ripon ’11), co-founders of STRIPES tutoring program
    • Whitney Levash (Ripon ’10), former Education Cluster Leader; has worked extensively with Think College Early
    • Catie Pfeifer (Ripon ’11), OCE grant-writing intern; has worked with STRIPES tutoring program through grant-writing and volunteering
    • Amber Steichen (Ripon ’12), Public Library volunteer
    • Cher Vang (Ripon ’12), has served as a mentor to students at Crossroads Charter School; is interested in creating after-school arts programs for area youth, such as slam poetry workshops
    • Tracy Waldinger (Ripon ’11), Public Library site coordinator; has planned TV Turnoff Week programming for area school children
    • Kayla Wallick (Ripon ’12) Crossroads Charter School site coordinator
    • Pachia Xiong (Ripon ’10) Big Brothers Big Sisters site coordinator
  • Community Partners
    • Barlow Park Elementary School and Murray Park Elementary School
    • Big Brothers Big Sisters
    • Ripon Public Library
    • Ripon Middle School
    • Ripon High School
    • Ripon Charter Schools (Crossroads and REACH)


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