As the beginning of school approaches, we begin the various rituals that have become associated with the big event. During the last two weeks of summer, parents might begin implementing an earlier bedtime and start to wake our “late sleepers” a little earlier. Meal times may become a bit more regular. Calendars start to become a little more important. We do these things, as well as make other preparations, because we want to make sure our kids have the best possible start to school.
For their part, the schools are also preparing. Floors have been waxed, buildings painted and supplies have arrived. New personnel have been hired. (We welcome Mr. Lloyd to 3rd Grade, Ms. Sieff to Science, Ms. Cheek to Spanish, Ms. Keeton to Preschool, and Ms. Antich, Ms. Rask and Ms. Santiago to the ranks of our paraeducators.) Sports teams have returned from camp and started official practice. We do all these things because we want to make sure our students have the best possible start to school.
In that vein, you should be aware of the following changes that have been implemented for Raymond Schools this fall:
Student Preparation For School
Of course, none of the foregoing is of much use if the students are not mentally prepared for school. Two key components for a successful school experience are a desire to learn and “grit.” Indeed, one might argue that these two ingredients are necessary for a successful life experience. This list from scholastic.com has some great ideas that we, as parents, can do to encourage a desire to learn and a “can do” attitude:
The Raymond School District appreciates all of the community support we receive and we look forward to helping your children be their best in the upcoming school year!
For a complete calendar of events, go to www.raymondk12.org
The City of Raymond has closed much of Commercial Street and the surrounding roads in order to work on the streets and sidewalks. If you're coming to the school, please use Duryea and park in the elementary school parking lot. The closure is expected to last through the end of September.
If you know someone who does not have Internet access, but would like to, please let them know that if their child qualifies for free/reduced lunch, they may also qualify for reduced-cost Internet service via Comcast. For details, they can call 1-855-846-8376 or go to: https://www.internetessentials.com/.
(Yes, we recognize that using a webpage to invite those who do not have Internet access to investigate the Comcast program is a bit strange; we're hoping that those who see this announcement will pass this information on to their friends who may need it. Raymond School District will also send information home to families later in the year when we have received the flyers from Comcast.) Below is a copy of that information.
From Comcast's Promotional Letter:
"We know that many students and their families would like to have Internet service at home so they can do homework, search for jobs, download music, communicate with others and much more. We also believe the Internet can be an important part of your child’s education.
That’s why we want to make sure you know about a new program provided by Comcast called Internet Essentials.
If you have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, your family may qualify for fast, affordable home Internet service for the new school year. Internet Essentials costs just $9.95 per month (plus tax). For participating families, there are no price increases, no activation fees or equipment rental fees.
In addition, you can buy a low-cost computer for just $149.99 (plus tax) and receive free Internet training — online, in print and in person.
If you think this might be right for your family, it’s easy to get started. Visit InternetEssentials.com to learn more and see if you qualify, or call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) to enroll and get connected.
Again, we want to make sure that our students have access to online learning, and we are excited to tell you about programs like Internet Essentials that may be helpful to your family."
Beginning in September, the District will provide all meals (breakfast and lunch) to all students free of charge. The Federal government recently began offering this option; we have been investigating since January whether or not it was a "good fit" for us. After due consideration, we submitted our application and have recently been notified that we have been approved. We believe that this change will be good for both family budgets and student stomachs!
Please note that students/parents are still accountable to pay any meal fees that have accumulated up until this time.
Students have been testing since April, and I have been impressed by their tenacity and dedication. 3-6 graders have tested for many hours… for many days! The testing has focused on reading, writing, speaking, listening, and math. Having a strong foundation in reading is critical for being successful on all portions of the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Here are some tips for daily use with kids to help prevent the “summer slump” of learning.
· Start a family vocabulary box or jar. Have everyone write down new words they discover, add them to the box, and use the words in conversation.
· Use the time spent in the car for wordplay. Talk about how jam means something you put on toast as well as cars stuck in traffic. When kids are highly familiar with meanings of words, they have less difficulty reading it.
· Talk about what you see and do. Talk about everyday activities to build your child’s background knowledge, which is crucial to listening and reading comprehension.
· Talk to your child about the books you read. Talking about books you have read or information you found in the newspaper will help your child know that you value reading. Many children enjoy hearing about the books that their parents read when they were children.
· Provide a checklist of chores or daily activities that students can review and check after completion. Many multi-step questions provide students with a checklist/process they can follow.
The last week in May will feature Scholastic Book Fair, a Skeeter the Clown visit, Grandparent/Special Person Day, Science Fair, and an Elementary Band Concert. The final weeks of school will allow us to celebrate our hard work and success. Along with the above strategies, make sure to give “kudos” to your children for all the hard work throughout the school year… they deserve it!
Raymond Junior/Senior High News
It’s the time of year when senior projects are due. This leads to the questions: What are senior projects and why does RHS require them in order to graduate? The Senior Project, sometimes called a Culminating Project, is a undertaking that challenges high school seniors to demonstrate their academic knowledge in an experiential way (in most cases). The culminating project is sometimes confused with the state high school exit exam. The state exit exam is a written exam that usually tests student’s math, reading, writing, and science skills, whereas the culminating project is a required project that is usually a learning experience based on a topic chosen by the student. The state Board of Education first made the projects a graduation requirement for the Class of 2008. State Legislators voted a few years ago to drop the obligation as part of the state’s graduation requirement. At RHS, the project is mandatory in order to graduate.
We are often asked why a project is required. The requirement is an effort to increase the education standards. As college admissions and the workplace require more from their recruits, high schools must too. For students who are required to complete a culminating project, this is a chance for the student to explore a topic of personal interest. The project provides an opportunity that student may not have otherwise. By completing the project, students have a real-life experience that can help them in their next adventure in life (college, job, entrepreneurship, military, internship, etc.). Students gain a number of important skills by participating in the process: Leadership, communication, project management, public speaking and presentation skills among many others.
Senior projects enable students to really think about what they are passionate about, and encourage them to expand their skill-set and apply themselves. Teens should really take senior projects seriously, and utilize the assignment as a way to complete a project that is truly meaningful and innovative. Completing a senior project allows students to take a hard look at what they are talented at, and put these talents to use. Therefore, these projects certainly aren’t just pointless school assignments, they are opportunities for students to demonstrate their abilities, and show that their school produces high-achieving, responsible students.
Senior projects may take many forms and showcase a multitude of needs and interests. One of this year’s seniors has mapped out all of the graves of Elk’s Club members who have been laid to rest at the Fern Hill Cemetery. The obvious benefit is to assist the Elk’s Club as they honor their members on special holidays. Another graduating Senior repainted the Seagull emblems the lead the way from Hiway 101 to the school. Senior projects take many forms and are only hampered by lack of imagination or drive.
The student usually presents the project to a panel consisting of 2-5 people typically made up of teachers, community members, faculty, and staff. We often ask parents, guardians or other family members to be involved so that they can see the culmination of whatever their senior has been working on for the past several weeks, and in some cases, past several months. At RHS, the Senior Project has taken on the persona of a Rite of Passage. ______________________________________________________________________________________
19 May, 7:00 p.m.—HS Band Concert
21 May, 5:00 p.m.—District Track Meet
26 May, 6:00 p.m.—JH Sports Banquet
29 May, 1:30 p.m., Elementary Band Concert
3 June, 6:00 p.m.—HS Sports Banquet
6 June, 2:00 p.m.—Graduation in the HS Gym