Families Matter

As we gear up for school and the subsequent stress for families, I thought I should take a minute to express Raymond School District's appreciation to parents and grandparents for all that you do for your children and grandchildren. One of the reasons that we began providing school supplies for all elementary students last year rather than having shopping lists for parents was to remove some of that stress. We are happy to continue that tradition this year. You've got enough going on!

We know intuitively that families are critical to children's educational development, and we also know through research. During the July 4th weekend of 1966, a report on education was released by the government regarding the effects of numerous variables on educational achievement. Known as the "Coleman Report," the 700-page study included more than 600,000 students, 60,000 teachers and 4,000 schools. It described and measured the various influences on student achievement (school funding, student background, socioeconomic status, etc.).

The researchers collected data both on the educational resources available to different groups of children and also on those students' achievement levels. This allowed them to understand the degree to which "educational inputs" (per pupil expenditures, size of the school library, newness of the school building, etc.) affect "educational output" (academic achievement). The research showed that while inputs mattered, differences in students' family norms and expectations mattered even more.

The finding that school resources make a difference in student achievement and families make an even bigger difference should not be surprising. Intuitively, we all are aware of the critical role of the family in preparing children for success. Families teach the importance of hard work, accountability, kindness, fairness and other such non-academic traits. Through their examples and by actively teaching, parent educate their kids about the importance of learning, reading and self-improvement. Numerous studies have shown that by the time children are in third or fourth grade, their personalities are largely formed.

More recently, a 2010 study conducted by Christopher Nave of the University of California, Riverside, compared data collected by teachers of students in grades 1-6 in the 1960s with video-taped interviews with those same students 40 years later. They then rated the individuals in four personality traits that were demonstrated in the original and subsequent data: talkativeness, adaptability, impulsiveness and self-minimizing behavior (being humble to the point of minimizing their own importance). (You will note that these traits are first learned and observed in the home.) The researchers found that:

  • "Talkative youngsters tended to show interest in intellectual matters, speak fluently, try to control situations, and exhibit a high degree of intelligence as adults. Children who rated low in verbal fluency were observed as adults to seek advice, give up when faced with obstacles, and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.
  • Children rated as highly adaptable tended, as middle-age adults, to behave cheerfully, speak fluently and show interest in intellectual matters. Those who rated low in adaptability as children were observed as adults to say negative things about themselves, seek advice and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.
  • Students rated as impulsive were inclined to speak loudly, display a wide range of interests and be talkative as adults. Less impulsive kids tended to be fearful or timid, kept others at a distance and expressed insecurity as adults.
  • Children characterized as self-minimizing were likely to express guilt, seek reassurance, say negative things about themselves and express insecurity as adults. Those who were ranked low on a self-minimizing scale tended to speak loudly, show interest in intellectual matters and exhibit condescending behavior as adults."

Of course, children do not come into the world as "blank slates." I have six children and every one of them has their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Parents also have an impact on all four of these areas. We affect talkativeness, adaptability, impulsiveness and excessive humility in numerous ways:

  • Do we engage our children in meaningful conversation about their world, as well as ours, or do we just allow them to "space out" in front of the Playstation?
  • Do we help our kids focus on how to take control of their own life, or do we complain about how unfair the world is?
  • Do we allow our kids to experience the consequences of their decisions, or do we try to shield them from the results of their mistakes?
  • Do we encourage a healthy sense of self, or do we often berate their abilities?

We appreciate the hard work that so many parents put forth to give their children the tools they need to be successful. We are honored to support you and build on the solid foundation you have built.




On 25 May, the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) held a dinner to recognize community organizations from Mason, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pacific counties for their contributions to schools. The Stella and L.V. Raymond Foundation was honored for their support of children in the Raymond School District.

According to Dr. Stephen Holland, Superintendent of Raymond School District, The Foundation has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the District for projects as diverse as stadium lighting, classroom technology, musical instruments and field trips. According to Holland, “This generous support has resulted in the students being able to participate in learning experiences that would normally be far beyond the District’s capacity to provide.”

For example, this year LV Raymond purchased Smart Boards, track timing system, marimbas, leather tooling kits, graphing calculators and automotive scanning equipment, as well as many other items for classroom use. Additionally, they paid for a large part of the Disneyland band trip, an elementary LEGO/STEAM lab and hundreds of Accelerated Reader books. Dr. Holland stated that “Every year the Foundation has supported our students in similar ways. We truly cannot overestimate the impact of these funds on our students. This recognition by WASA is well deserved."

Ron Brummel accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation.


The Raymond School District summer food program will operate from 27 June through 12 August, Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; there will be no service on 4 July. Anyone who is 18 or younger is welcome to eat for free at the following locations:

  • Raymond School District cafeteria
  • Riverdale Lions Club Park
  • South Bend School District
  • Old Willapa Elementary

Raymond Elementary

The first week of testing is down, and 3rd through 6th-grade students will be working on the Smarter Balanced Assessment throughout the entire month of May... and creeping into June. Please refer to the Backpack Express for the testing calendar. It is very important that students are well rested and on time for testing days. As always, encourage them to do their best and provide unconditional support.
Students will take a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and a Performance Task (PT) for both Math and English/Language Arts. There is also an integrated lesson between the two tests for each subject. 5th graders are the lucky ones that get a little added fun- they will also be tested on science. If your child has ear buds/headphones, they should bring them to school for the online testing. If students do not have them, we will supply headphones at school.
With the beautiful weather we've been having, the playground is bustling with kids. We love that students have a safe place to go- and we want to keep it that way. Unfortunately, there have been some health and safety concerns on our playground from activity that occurred after school hours. These issues have typically happened over weekends and are found Monday morning. They have been primarily in the play shed. If your child uses the playground, please have them report any suspicious or inappropriate activity and share it with the school.
Raymond Jr/Sr High

This is it! We are in the home stretch as far as the school year goes and everyone is working hard. There are many upcoming events to keep abreast of, people retiring at the end of the school year, and a group of seniors who are anxiously working their way to graduation.

May 27th will be a snow day, meaning that since we did not lose any time due to inclement weather this year, there will be no school on the 27th and kids will have a 4 day Memorial Day weekend.  The last day of school is June 16th and the students will be released at 10:30.

The JH kids will be busy finishing their state testing. They have science tests this week and Mrs. Skoubo will spend most of next week testing JH math students. They will work through another round of test 6/6 - 6/9. Finally, the 8th-grade graduation ceremony will be held June 13 @ 6 p.m.

High School students will also be working through different tests and end of year requirements. Some of them will be taking a Healthcare field trip to learn more about the growing need for professionals in the Health Care arena. Class Day for classes 7-12, will be June 9 starting at 1:30 in the gym and all family members are invited. The seniors last day is June 3rd with graduation on June 11 @ 2 p.m. in the gym.

The J/H and H/S bands, under the direction of Mrs. Bailey, will be performing their Spring Concert June 1st in the gym. Finally, Gear Up will be holding their last Family Night of the school year June 1stat 6 p.m., right before the concert. Come and enjoy some snacks, learn a bit about your student's academic career, and enjoy the concert afterward!

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