Dear RCCS Families,
We began this school year focused on ensuring that our scholars would have the BEST year ever and with your support and collaboration, this is what we were able to accomplish! Our school’s mission is to build within our scholars the character and discipline necessary for them to achieve academic excellence in high school, college and beyond. With this in mind, we set out to implement initiatives and establish a learning environment that provided our scholars opportunities to grow both academically and socially.
To assist in our mission to build good character and social competency, we introduced leadership opportunities that focused on teaching the importance of community service and citizenship such as Student Council, C.H.E.E.R.leaders, Peer Leadership, Junior Coaches and Safety Patrol. We held monthly Community Service Projects run by our Student Council which resulted in RCCS donating to local organizations such as the Community Food Bank of NJ. In addition, RCCS established a full on-site Child Study Team complete with a new School Psychologist, a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC), and a School Social Worker. We also hired a new School Behaviorist with the understanding that a child’s behavior can either be a catalyst or a barrier to academic achievement. With this in mind, we began the school year with a roundtable discussion about the correlation between social emotional competency and school success which resulted in the implementation of a new Social Emotional Learning curriculum known as Second Step. We also added the “Bucket-Filling” philosophy to enhance our schoolwide Responsive Classroom “whole child” teaching approach. We used the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment, an online platform that allows teachers to measure, strengthen, and support social emotional competence, to track our scholars’ SEL growth to see the impact of our new leadership opportunities, the weekly Second Step lessons (aligned to the DESSA SEL system), and our new “Lunch Bunch” social skills groups. As a result of these new initiatives our scholars have truly grown both in their social competency and in their understanding of how important leadership and service is to our community as a whole!
With regard to academic achievement, RCCS sought to increase the percentage of scholars who demonstrate proficiency or advanced proficiency in both English Language Arts and Mathematics. With this in mind, we supplemented our ELA curriculum to increase reading skills with online programs such as Explode the Code, Reading A-Z, Lexia and also integrated Wilson Fundations into our daily 90-minute literacy blocks using literacy centers to differentiate instruction. We implemented a READ180 / Systems 44 After-School Program to provide additional interventions on behalf of our struggling readers and ELLs. Also, for the first time at RCCS, we departmentalized Grades 3-4 to allow teachers the opportunity to focus on one subject area and be better able to plan / implement targeted, differentiated, rigorous instruction in ELA, Math, Science / SS. We actively engage in ongoing assessment to track scholar progress and implement intervention strategies / programs when data shows it is needed. This year we also redesigned our Intervention & Referral Services Committee to include our School Social Worker, CST representative, SPED Teacher, Classroom Teacher, School Behaviorist, Principal and Parent(s) to ensure that we were providing comprehensive services to our scholars most “at risk” both academically and socially.
We have had a very productive school year which could have been cut short by the COVID19 crisis if we would have allowed it. Instead RCCS continues to provide daily full day (8:00am - 3:15pm) online home instruction using our Acellus online platform which provides rigorous, differentiated instruction / assessment in all subject areas and Google Classroom / Hangouts & Zoom so our teachers can provide direct, rigorous online instruction! We continue to provide SEL lessons online, and our Zoom Class Meetings and Virtual School Spirit Days keep us connected! We still plan to have more Virtual School Spirit Days, as well as, a “Virtual Moving Up Ceremony” for our kindergarteners and a “Virtual Celebration of Excellence” for our 4th Graders. Details to follow!
This year was an extra special year and for an extra special reason… our school’s charter was fully renewed! This could not have been accomplished without the cooperation & support of our RCCS families and we thank you so much! We miss our scholars and look forward to the time when we can all be together again! In the meantime, please stay healthy and well. J
Yours in Learning,
RCCS OCTOBER 2019 Newsletter
RCCS NOVEMBER 2019 Newsletter
RCCS December 2019 Newsletter
RCCS January 2020 Newsletter
RCCS February 2020 Newsletter
RCCS MARCH 2020 Newsletter
RCCS Newsletter April - May Edition 2020