John R. Whitner, Principal
Contact me at 276-835-1601 or

Welcome to Ridgeview Middle School
 Home of the Wolfpack!

October 13, 2017

Dear students, parents and guardians:

Thanks go out to everyone who helped us make it through these past two weeks! I am especially grateful to law enforcement, the fire department, state police and other first responders who dedicated their time to make sure our students were safe. As you know, there have been several challenges that our school and students have gone through with the recent incidents and evacuations. One thing that helped was our evacuation plan that we had already practiced in August. Our faculty and students were able to follow the plan they had already practiced, safely exit the building and go to their designated areas. After each evacuation, we reviewed the plan and revised procedures in order to improve the process.

I want to make parents aware of some of the procedures that were used and will continue to be used in case there is a future evacuation. When students exit the building, they are not allowed to take any back packs or bags with them. We are encouraging them to take their cell phone, keys and any medical supplies if those items are readily available. Teachers have specific safe areas where they take the students and check to make sure all of the students have arrived. The school nurse is centrally located in case there are any medical needs. The teachers then prepare their students for the buses upon which they will placed as soon as the buses arrive and are ready. Any parents wanting to pick up their children need to report to the main visitor’s gate, where they can sign the checkout list and wait for their child. There are designated teachers who will go find the student and bring him or her back to the gate for parent pick-up.

In case of future evacuations, the following policies need to be understood and followed:

  • Once the school has been told to evacuate, the safe removal of all students becomes the top priority. At that point, there is no time to answer phone calls, questions or even bring students to the phone. Our number one priority is to get all students, faculty and staff quickly and safely out of the building and to their designated location. Once the students have been relocated and determined to be well, we then focus on getting students home.

  • As mentioned above, we are encouraging students to take their cell phone with them if possible. However, we have all student/parent contact papers with us in our evacuation bag. Teachers have cell phones available for student use in case someone needs one.

  • It is important that all parents come to and wait at the pick-up gate and make sure their child is properly signed out; otherwise another parent or relative may show up and panic because they cannot find their child. We are keeping all students with their teachers until the parent or guardian has actually arrived and is present for pick-up. The first day, there were several students standing at the gate for long periods of time waiting for their parents because the parents did not realize how long it would take for them to arrive.

  • High school students can pick up their brother or sister at the time they are ready to leave, but they will also need to go to the parent pick-up gate, sign them out and wait for the student to be brought to them, instead of walking over and getting them.

  • All of the procedures that are in place are there to ensure the safety of all of the students and ensure a smooth transition from our evacuation site to their home.

Below are a few of the upcoming events:

Due to the recent events, yearbook sales have been extended until Wednesday, October 18th. Anyone who did not order a yearbook needs to order it by then. Full price is $30 and the deposit is $20. Parents can order yearbooks at Monday’s Open House.

The end of the first nine weeks was Monday, October 9th. An Open House is scheduled for this Monday, October 16th, from 5:00 to 7:00. Report cards will be available for pick up at that time.

Ridgeview Middle School is participating in the “Pennies for Patients” program to help raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. This fund raising event for this cancer society begins Monday, October 16th and will continue three weeks through Friday, November 3rd.

We are fortunate to have Ty Howard to return this Tuesday, October 17th, to speak to Ridgeview High School and Ridgeview Middle School students. Last year, he spoke to our students about bullying prevention. This year, his topic is the Opioid Epidemic. He is scheduled to speak to the high school students in the morning and the middle school students in the afternoon. If you do not want your child to attend the program, please complete the form at the bottom of this page and return it school no later than Tuesday morning, October 17th.  If we do not receive the form stating your child cannot participate, they will be allowed to go to the program.  Mr. Howard is an excellent speaker who knows how to help students, so we are hopeful that every student will be allowed to attend.

The seventh grade students are scheduled to go on a reward trip to Barter Theatre on Tuesday, October 24th. The south quad of the sixth grade students will have their nine weeks reward trip to Bristol Caverns that same day, Tuesday, October 24th, and the north quad of sixth grade students will have their nine weeks reward trip to Bristol Caverns on Wednesday, October 25th.

Due to recent events as well as continued concerns about clowns, Ridgeview Middle School will not be allowing costumes at the school on Tuesday, October 31st. However, it has been decided to have a Halloween Hat day, where middle school students can wear decorative hats, bandanas or head bands to school. Plans are to have contests between the different rooms, quads and grades to see who has the best head gear. Even though wearing hats will be allowed that day, all head apparel needs to stay within school board policy and guidelines. No masks or extra make-up will be allowed.

Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, November 5th, so everyone is reminded to move their clocks back an hour. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th, so there will be no school that day.

With sincere thanks, John R. Whitner


Any parent who does not want their child to attend the Ty Howard program needs to complete, detach and return note below to the Ridgeview Middle School office by Tuesday morning, October 17th.            .  

I do not want my child, _______________________________, to attend the October 17th program at Ridgeview Middle School on Tuesday, October 17th.

Signed ____________________________________ Date ___________________