Thursday, September 27, 2018

Homecoming 2018

October 1 - 5, 2018

Homecoming is a special time at Rivercrest. We are a district with strong traditions that foster Colt pride in both our current students and our alumni. I am sure we can all recall a fond memory from a past homecoming. As a student at Rivercrest, I remember the excitement of planning how to dress for the designated days, deciding who would compete in the mini-Olympic events, writing a class skit, and decorating the class float for the mini-parade around the gym. Though
some of the events have changed through the years, the same level of excitement is enjoyed. Please feel free to share your positive homecoming memories. I've shared a couple of mine in the above pictures!

Photo from @RivercrestSD on Twitter on RivercrestSD at 9/25/18 at 1:12PMThe student body had a great voice in this year's planned activities. I appreciate the creativity and simplicity of the designated days. Thought was given to provide everyone with an opportunity to participate. Costumes aren't elaborate, and the main idea is to have fun. I particularly like the "Snack Attack" event where each class is challenged to bring 40 snacks to add to their class count homecoming points. The food items will support the district's Backpack Project. I think this says a great deal about our student body! # ColtPride

I look forward to high levels of student participation. This is a time to have fun, get in the spirit, and support our school. An overview of our activities is listed below.

Monday -
  • Holi"day" - Dress as a holiday-inspired character. 
  • Class Color Day - Wear your class colors in order to be counted!  Beginning with the senior class, the colors are as follows: black, white, blue, orange, pink, and green. Elementary class colors are as follows: PK-blue; K-black; 1st-gray; 2nd-green; 3rd-black; 4th-green; 5th-red; 6th-blue.
  • Mini-Olympics @12:05 in the gym
  • Squad Day - Dress as a duo or a "squad"! Suggestions include peanut butter & jelly, M & Ms, etc. Keep it simple in the elementary if you like by finding a buddy and wearing the same color t-shirt.
  • Male Cheerleaders/Powder Puff @12:05 in the gym
  • Dress for Success - Dress for  your dream career.

  • Red & Gray Day 
  • Court Presentation/Pep Rally @ 2:40 at Cortez Kennedy Field at Colt Stadium
  • Alumni Tailgate & Pep Rally - Tables and chairs will be made available on the new bus lot on the Rivercrest campus for any graduating class. We hope all classes celebrating their reunions will make this their gathering spot. You may bring your grills and tents. Please do not bring any glass containers. Our cheerleaders and band will lead the pep rally at 5:45!
  • Football Game - We play Highland for the big game. The homecoming court will be presented at 6:30, and the game will begin at 7:00. If you haven't been to a game at Colt Stadium on Cortez Kennedy Field aka "the Tez" this is a perfect opportunity!
  • Memorial Service -Plaza next to the cafeteria. The ceremony will begin at 9:00.
Please encourage your student to participate, and I hope you all will plan to attend the football game. I think it is important to celebrate our traditions and build upon those strengths for future generations. After all, #WeAreRivercrest!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Do I have to go to school today?

Are you familiar with the poem "Sick" by Shel Silverstein?  It begins:
“I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps."
Missing 10% or more of school for any reason – excused or unexcused  - is defined as chronic absenteeism. It is an indication that a student is academically at risk due to missing too much school. This starts as early as kindergarten. Chronic absenteeism is a warning that students are headed for academic trouble and possibly even dropping out of high school.

Good attendance = more success in both the work force and in college.

Chronic absence – missing 10 percent of the school year or more – affects the whole classroom, not just the students who miss.  (  The time can accumulate quickly!

Arkansas' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan identifies Student Engagement as a School Quality and Success Indicator. Each Arkansas student can gain a full point on the Student Engagement indicator by missing less than five percent of school days in a year. A student is absent if he or she is not physically on school grounds and is not participating in instruction or instruction-related activities. This amounts to missing about 18 school days during the school year. Coming to school late and checking out early also has an impact. 

Students are expected to be at school for 178 days of instruction each year. Teachers work to plan lessons and activities to facilitate learning for each of those days. In answer to the question “Is my child going to miss anything if I don’t send them today?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Check this out!

The Hamilton Project has an interactive map that displays information regarding school chronic absenteeism. As you hover the mouse over states, school districts, and schools, the rate of chronic absence by student and school district will appear.  

Good school attendance supports the following:

  •          Hope – for a better future
  •          Faith – that school will help you or your child succeed
  •          Capacity – resources, skills, knowledge needed for future 
      We all know that student attendance is vital for student achievement.  Chronic absenteeism is a solvable problem. I appreciate your support in promoting good student attendance at school - each and every day.  #WeAreRivercrest

BTW - You can finish the poem by clicking here.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Communication, Communication, Communication

Image result for communicationIn the Rivercrest School District we are working to improve our communication with our stakeholders. We have spent quite a bit of time reviewing what works well - as well as what doesn't work well.

Open house this year was in a meet-and-greet format. We have received positive feedback regarding that change. Our required Title I meeting was held separately, and we distributed individual student score reports from our state assessment on that evening. We didn't get quite the turnout we had hoped for, so we will work to improve that format for next year. Our required public meeting is September 11th at 5:30 in the Parent Center. This is a board meeting where district information is shared. Stakeholders are welcome to attend. The public meeting will be followed by our regular monthly board meeting.

One of the major changes we made was adjusting our school calendar. The 2018-2019 school calendar (developed in January) reflects our Parent-Teacher Conference schedule. During the first and third quarter, conferences have been set in the middle of the quarter rather than at the end of the quarter. We hope this will give parents an opportunity to have conversations with teachers in an early intervention method. We want your support in helping our students achieve at high levels.

Now, I realize that we have scheduled an "away" junior high football game on that same night. So our system isn't perfect, but that is something we will address when we plan the 2019-2020 school calendar. I appreciate your understanding that we are involved in a continuous cycle of improvement, and we don't always get it exactly right the first time. However, we will learn from our mistakes and make the proper adjustments moving forward (just like we do with students at school).

We have several other methods of communication as well.
  • Home Access Center - This allows you to check your child's grade at any time. 
  • Remind - This is a messaging system used by teachers as well as the district.
  • District Web Page - This is the official information page for the district. Here you will find links to key information as well as news.
  • Facebook - This is our social media presence. 
  • Twitter - Another avenue for quick bits of information. We are currently promoting these hashtags:  #WeAreRivercrest and #ColtPride
  • Instagram - I admit that I don't know much about this media!
All district employees have a school e-mail address, and we encourage parents/guardians to contact the school with any questions or concerns - or to share good news about their child's learning experiences! Each teacher has a daily planning period, and individual conferences can be scheduled as needed. Many teachers have web pages of their own, and some teachers share newsletters as well. In the elementary, "red folders" are sent home daily with students. 

We strive to have open, clear communication with our stakeholders. It is important for you to know what is going on in the school. It is important for you to have conversations with your child's teachers. Your partnership is vital to your child's success. Thank you for your support!