Lunch Times (may vary by teacher):
- Kindergarten: 10:05 – 10:30
- 1st grade: 10:15 – 10:40
- 2nd grade: 10:35 – 11:00
- 3rd grade: 10:50-11:15
- 4th grade: 10:55 – 11:20
- 5th grade: 11:05-11:30
- MS A Lunch: 11:45 am – 12:10 pm
- MS B Lunch: 12:41 – 1:06 pm
Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy, home of the Pioneers, integrates a civics approach to education and problem-solving.
Founded in 2016 as a PreK-8 school, Citrus Ridge is one of two schools in the nation and the only traditional public school in Florida that utilizes a specifically civics-based curriculum. The school was created with the support of former U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross and in partnership with the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship.
Located in the Four Corners region of Polk County, Citrus Ridge is home to a diverse population of students. The school is proud that its faculty and staff mirrors the diversity found within its student body.
At Citrus Ridge, faculty and staff believe that all students should learn to think at a more critical level. To develop critical-thinking skills, Citrus Ridge provides meaningful instruction in a student-centered learning environment.
Citrus Ridge has set five school expectations that are encompassed within its Pioneer P.R.I.D.E. program. These expectations are:
P: Positive attitude; treat yourself and others with high regard
R: Respectful behavior; be honest, take responsibility for your actions and words
I: I will be ready; be successful by following directions and dress code requirements and being punctual
D: Do the safe thing; take care of yourself, others and the environment
E: Engaged in learning; active learners are involved and prepared
Pioneer P.R.I.D.E. expectations are to be followed throughout the campus, including common areas such as the lunchroom, playground, bus and classrooms.
In 2019, Citrus Ridge added an exciting new learning opportunity as eighth-grade students took their inaugural trip to Washington, D.C. This trip, sure to become a Citrus Ridge tradition, serves as a capstone to students’ years of civics-based learning.
What Makes Us Different?
At Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy, students receive a unique, civics-based educational experience that empowers them to make better decisions and a positive difference in their community.
In addition to their academic studies, Citrus Ridge students participate in monthly civics lessons. For instance, in August, they learn about respect and how they can show it to themselves and to others. In March, they learn about honesty, and why it is important to be truthful in their words and actions. Civics lessons are infused into every subject area, from math to language arts.
To help students further develop into highly contributing members of society, Citrus Ridge offers a wide variety of service-learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to create projects that address problems they see in their school community — and beyond. Two examples of such service projects: the Puzzle Piece Café and Bakery, a project that teaches special needs students social and job skills they’ll use throughout life, and the Recycling Club, a years-long effort by students to reduce waste on campus.
In 2019-20, Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy instituted a house system to create a deeper sense of community among its nearly 2,000 students. Each Citrus Ridge student is randomly assigned to a house, such as the House of Innovation or the House of Exploration. Members of each house meet monthly to discuss their house theme and how they can demonstrate qualities associated with their house theme in their everyday lives. The house structure helps students build relationships and expand their understanding of what it means to be a difference-maker in our society.