About Our School

Our Mission @ Fossil Ridge

Our mission at Fossil Ridge High School is to ensure, that upon graduating from Fossil Ridge High School, each student will possess the character, skills, aptitude, and knowledge to successfully engage in every option they choose in work and in post-secondary education.

Our Goal @ Fossil Ridge is “Excellence, Everywhere.” We emphasize this with our students and staff throughout the year and work together collaboratively to achieve this every day in our classrooms, in our leadership across the school and in our competition in academic and athletic events.

RIDGE @ Fossil

We believe in Respect, Integrity, Determination, Gratitude and Excellence at Fossil Ridge High School. This belief applies to the classroom, the sports arena, academics and leadership. Our students know that together we are the strongest community of learners and RIDGE is how we operate to be the best school in the state.

Our Focus @ Fossil Ridge

Our focus at Fossil Ridge High School centers on our quest for excellence, everywhere. We strive for excellence of character as a means of reaching excellence of achievement. We engage students, parents, and staff collaboratively to achieve excellence. Everything we do, every decision we make, is aligned with our mission. We will accomplish our goal for excellence, everywhere in an environment that is safe, nurturing, and free from disruption of learning.

Our Work @ Fossil Ridge

Put the learner at the center of daily instruction

  • Provide differentiated instruction within the classroom to meet the learning styles of all students. Incorporate student directed activities into daily lessons that foster inquiry, shared problem-solving, active collaboration, peer-to-peer communication and the use of technology to solve real-life problems.
  • Use a wide range of instructional approaches and strategies to challenge students’ academically. Utilize a wide range of instructional materials (e.g., challenge activities, project based activities, real world models, online resources, etc.) to increase active student engagement in learning.
  • Give students authentic opportunities to write about their learning and thinking daily across all grade levels and content areas. Incorporate learning journals, blogs, online forums, digital publishing, and other types of writing to increase the students’ ability to express their reasoning and thinking process for a wider audience.
  • Use student achievement data to support learning not obstruct learning. Facilitate a systematic study of student work to determine individual student needs within the classroom and to enhance instruction (e.g., student portfolios, routine data collection and analysis, body of evidence for student growth, effectiveness of instructional practices, common formative assessments, etc.)

Develop Strong PLC Teams

  • The changing landscape in teaching is complex and formidable accompanied by uncertainty, anxiety and difficulties that can lead to conflict. Accept that conflict will occur and work together to resolve conflict along the way. Have the crucial conversations necessary to move forward as a team and include everyone’s voice in the conversation in a safe, respectful and positive manner. Seek first to understand.
  • Take time for collaboration among our teams/departments to test instructional strategies and techniques and expand our level of expertise by listening to the ideas of others. Include reflective dialogue on instructional practices. Reflect on our pedagogy and collectively engage in problem solving. Analyze student data on a regular basis as a monitoring strategy for student growth.
  • Take time for the celebration of the quality instruction in the building as well as a celebration of the results of our teams’/departments’ hard work. Highlight, acknowledge and honor the contributions of team members.
  • Take time to work collaboratively to design a research-based curriculum that reflects best thinking in the content area. Clarify the specific knowledge, skills, and problem-solving strategies that students should develop and demonstrate as a result of our instruction. Focus on essential, significant and meaningful learning (CAS). Select and implement effective methods to monitor student achievement at the classroom level. Take time to learn and grow professionally.

Create a Climate of Possibility in the Classroom

  • All students are different and inherently creative. Provide learning activities that encourage diversity of thought, creative expression and new ways of problem solving instead of conformity of thought, approach and presentation.
  • Work to spark curiosity within all students. “Curiosity is the true engine of achievement” – Sir Ken Robinson. Give students multiple opportunities to express and apply their curiosity in real world issues.
  • Never forget, “Teachers are the lifeblood of a successful school. Teaching is not a delivery system. Teaching is a creative profession. Great teachers mentor, provoke, stimulate, engage and facilitate learning. If there is no learning going on, then there is no education going on.” – Sir Ken Robinson
  • “Education is not a mechanistic system. It is a human system. Education is about people. It doesn’t happen at the state legislative level. It happens in the classrooms with teachers and students. The seeds of possibility lie dormant just below the surface waiting for the right conditions of support and nourishment to thrive and grow. The right climate leads to rampant growth and tremendous possibility.” – Sir Ken Robinson

The History of Fossil Ridge High School

Fossil Ridge High School is the fourth and newest public high school in the Poudre School District, serving Fort Collins and northern Larimer County, Colorado. Originally named "Harmony High School", our campus went through a transition from "Fossil Creek High School" to its final title, Fossil Ridge High School. Our school is named for the low ridge in front of the foothills to the west and southwest of Fort Collins and attests to the rich collection of fossils found in the Fossil Creek area.

Fossil Ridge High School is one of the thirteen nationwide Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings. The school was constructed out of "green" materials and utilizes double-pane windows, as well as solar panels to produce energy. The school saves approximately $100,000 a year in utilities. Due to Fossil Ridge's environmentally friendly design, the Discovery Channel hosted a special highlighting energy saving and its importance in our modern society at the school. The new building received the international annual design award of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International for 2006, the "James D. MacConnell Award"[1] for outstanding new educational facilities.

Fossil Ridge opened with 475 students in grades 10 and 11 on August 18, 2004 and expanded to include seniors in 2005 and again in 2009 to include freshmen. Enrollment at Fossil Ridge remains strong with about 1970 students in grades 9-12.

Our Colors and Mascot @ Fossil Ridge

In the fall of 2003, a select committee composed of future students, parents, and community members engaged in a consensus decision process to determine the school colors and mascot. After receiving substantial input from all constituencies and engaging in lengthy discussion, the committee selected our colors as Hunter Green, Silver, and Black, and established our mascot as the SaberCat. Our mascot’s name is Fang.

At Fossil Ridge there is a community spirit of inclusion, pride and dedication to excellence in all that we do. Students take pride in and care of the school and its facilities, seek out challenging learning experiences, and involve themselves in a variety of school activities. Staff members are dedicated to excellence in their instruction, and seek to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with their students and the community. Parent involvement at Fossil Ridge is encouraged, supported and celebrated. Together, members of the Fossil Ridge learning community work hand in hand to sustain a school-wide culture of Respect, Integrity, Determination, Gratitude and Excellence (RIDGE).

The Alma Mater / Victory Song of Fossil Ridge

Our choir performs the Fossil Ridge Alma Mater at the beginning of all major assemblies, celebration events and commencement ceremonies. Derek Bestor, one of our graduates in 2006, wrote our school Alma Mater.

Through mountain pass black, silver, green
Walk proud and tall
Cross ridge and stream
We stand above 
The SaberCats will never fall
To hear the proud winds carry the roar
That always drowns out other calls 
Hail Fossil Ridge 
Memories and love behind us 
SaberCat pride we pledge to thee

Our pep band performs the Fossil Ridge Victory Song during all major athletic events throughout the year.

All hail the SaberCats
We're in the fight
We shall prevail
Onto a victory
Our colors proud
For all to see
We shall defend, Go Cats
Until the end, Go Cats

The Academic Environment @ Fossil Ridge

Fossil Ridge High School is the newest of four comprehensive high schools in the Fort Collins community. Classes are available to meet a full range of student needs including those with special interests, those seeking advanced-level opportunities, and those with special needs. For more detailed information, please access the THINK (Academics) section of our web site. 

Extracurricular Activities @ Fossil Ridge

At Fossil Ridge we offer an extensive menu of school-sponsored and student-created clubs, organizations and programs. We strongly encourage all students to become actively involved in the clubs and organizations that best fit their personality and learning style. For more detailed information regarding our many clubs and organizations, please access the LEAD (Activities/Leadership) section of our web site.

Advisory Program @ Fossil Ridge

Each student is enrolled in an advisory program that provides a standards-based curriculum focused on academic guidance, post-secondary planning, civic engagement, service training. Most importantly, the students’ involvement and active participation in our Advisory Program helps them to build strong bonds and close relationships with peers and Fossil Ridge staff over the course of their four-year journey. For more detailed information regarding our Advisory Program, please access the Advisory section of our web site.

The School Culture @ Fossil Ridge

Fossil Ridge High School is committed to a positive school culture.  We have a four-year program incorporating the key elements of Rachel's Challenge. We also have infused Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) into our day-to-day operations and expectations.  With the strong support of our parent community and administration, Fossil Ridge is recognized for being a national leader because of our innovative and sensible implementation of both programs simultaneously.  The results of our tireless work are a sense of community, school pride, and positive culture that has touched every aspect of Fossil Ridge.  "Excellence. Everywhere." is our long-standing motto, and the standard our school strives for every day. For more detailed information regarding our work around culture, please access the Culture of Our School section of our web site.

Ridge TV, Etched In Stone and Fossil Yearbook

At Fossil Ridge High School, we have three of the best communication / publication programs in the state of Colorado and most of the nation. We have committed staff leading each of our three programs that bring real-world experience and genuine creativity and innovation to the classroom. For more detailed information and samples of their quality work, please access each of these program sections on our web site.