Ridgeway has one of the top special education programs in the Memphis City School system and yet does not pride itself on its diverse background including those in the special ed program. Ridgeway also offers CLUE advanced English and accelerates in that department.
Ridgeway prides itself on high achievements on both the ACT and the SAT. In recent years graduates have attended Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis, Tulane University, Emory University, The George Washington University, and other top tier schools.
Ridgeway also prides itself on its teachers. 68% of the teachers hold either a masters or a doctoral degree. 100% of the teachers hold Bachelors degrees and a state license. The A.P. program is one of the top in the city schools. Ridgeway offers Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Calculus AB, Statistics, American Government, European History, American History, Music Theory, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish Language, and French language.
Ridgeway's academic rival for the past years has been White Station High School, rated in the top Hundred.
Some of the core problems that Ridgeway High School faces are the prospects of violence by students, student disobediance, and the constant use of marijuana by students. In the halls of Ridgeway High School one can constantly witness drama existing between students. Nearly everyday violence breaks out among students often caused by a debate between someone's "baby mama" or baby daddy," or even the pettiest issue like "she looked at me wrong." This problem usually exists between African Americans but is not limited to them. Memphis City Schools has tried very hard to fix this problem over the years with such programs as offering the whole school free Grizzlies tickets if they can go a certain amount of days without fighting.
The other major problem at Ridgeway High School is the constant use of marijuana. This is caused by many different reasons. One reason is students feel apathy towards their studies and need a way to get them through the miserable day at Ridgeway. They use marijuana to help them get through the stressful day known to them as school. Their has been many arrests, expulsions, and suspensions caused by marijuana, but when interviewed students promised they would not stop smoking the "herb," claiming it was the only way they could get through the day. Of course Memphis City Schools is cracking down on this epidemic, but it is also clear that they are fighting a losing battle.
Ridgeway has a school newspaper (The Orange Peel) created by the Creative Writing Class and an annual yearbook (The Chapperal) created by the Yearbook class. Ridgeway has many active clubs in areas including foreign language, mathematics, science, business, government, music, art, community service, religion, and more. There is an active Student Council , a jazz band, Model United Nations team, and a Mock Trial team. Ridgeway excels in local and national competitions of all varieties. Ridgeway Roadrunners hold positions in the All-West Tennessee Band, Orchestra, and Choir. Ridgeway also have an extensive theatre program producing both a fall and spring show every year with the help of the band and choir departments. Ridgeway also hosts an annual Fine Arts festival put on by the students with the help of the PTO.
The School also has a few special programs including Facing History and Ourselves, Ridgeway - University of Tennessee summer internships, PLATO course recovery, and Gateway exam tutoring.
Students may wear oxford shirts, polo shirts, turtlenecks, and blouses with "Peter Pan" collars. All shirts must be white. Sweatshirts must be white, black, navy blue, tan or any other colors approved by the individual campus.
Trousers, shorts, skirts, and jumpers must be black, tan, or navy blue. Denim clothing is not allowed.
Students at Ridgeway may also wear Ridgeway Roadrunner logo clothing including sweatshirts, t-shirts, polo shirts, and other garments sold through the school.