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August 21, 2017

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As we begin a new school year, one of my goals is to increase communication with all of the high school families. To that end, I have created this blog.  I will frequently post updates as well as suggestions for how to help your child(ren) experience success in school.  Please know that you, as parents, will hear many things in the community regarding the school.  Should you have any questions, or if something does not sound quite right, please contact me at the school or by e-mail.  I am happy to sit down and discuss any concerns that you might have.  By working together with a common vision of helping your child(ren) experience academic success, we have the best chance of success.

 

 

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Picture Day

Yesterday was picture day, and it was great to see everyone dressed in their finest clothing to smile for the camera.  Outward appearance is something that we, as a society, value. It shows, especially on picture day. What I am trying to focus on this year more than anything is not only respecting yourself by the way you dress outwardly through the following of the dress code policy, but also having kindness on the inside. I have stressed with the students that we need to be responsible citizens, and we need to treat everyone with respect. A smiling school picture means nothing if the student is cheering on a fight or promoting bullying or disrespecting teachers. We have a great group of students at Redbank Valley High School, and my mission is to make sure that, although the school pictures are going to show bright smiling faces, the actions of all of the students are as bright and as kind as their outward appearance.

As parents, I am sure that you want the best for your children. We are working diligently to address issues as they arise and encouraging kindness and respect among all. Students are encouraged to stand up for what is right in the interest of kindness, respect, and overall humanity. I appreciate the communication that I have had with many of you, and I look forward to these respectful conversations moving forward. Thank you again for your support of your child’s education.  As you place the smiling pictures in the frames, remember that the best pictures of our children are those that are unable to be seen.  Kindness, respect and responsibility are some of the most beautiful traits to possess.  Please join me in helping promote the importance of these traits to aid our children towards becoming responsible citizens of society.

School Spirit

As we wrap up another homecoming/school spirit week, I wanted to take a few minutes to pause and reflect on the true meaning of school spirit. School spirit, to me, is taking pride in the school, the building, the students, the parents, the teachers, the staff, and administration. School spirit means being proud of where you go to school and celebrating the fact that we are a community united for a common goal. This goal, above everything else, in my mind, is academic success. While success in the areas of athletics and fine arts are also integral parts of the high school, it is the collective knowledge gleaned that will propel students to experience success beyond high school.

Another important area that I think demonstrates school spirit is a community who is united for the one cause: creating lifelong learners. In the past two weeks, there has been a transition to the high school for many students as well as parents.  When communicating with representatives from the school, please keep in mind that we are united for the cause, and understand that rules and regulations are in place for a reason.  Like many communities, we are not always going to agree on everything.  However, it is important to make sure that you are able to explain to your children that while you don’t agree with some of the decisions the school makes, they are still the school, they are part of the community.  All adults in a community need to be respected. Open communication is important for students, parents and faculty members. It is very helpful as we build our school community to build each other up. Talking through difficult situations is one of those ways to do this. If something happens that you find disturbing or that you disagree with, please take a few minutes to breathe, absorb the information, and then send an email requesting a meeting. It doesn’t do any good for anyone to get upset regarding rules and school community regulations.

Open, honest, communication is essential to building a community of school spirit.  Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to communicate with me as I feel that we were able to come to a conclusion.  All of us, together, have a responsibility to our students. We need to be working together to make sure that school spirit is alive and well in the Redbank Valley.

A New Start

Today was the first day of the 2017-2018 school year.  This morning, the faculty, staff and administration at Redbank Valley High School welcomed 485 students into the school.  Following a Tuesday evening orientation, 87 seventh grade students had the opportunity to meet their teachers and tour the building.  After a few redirections, a review of lunch procedures, and some deciphering of schedules, the day ended with the entire student body gathered in the auditorium for some advice from me.  This year, we will continue to follow the motto, ”Have courage and Be Kind”, and have added “Take responsibility and own your actions.”  I am utilizing this blogging format to increase communication with all of the families of Redbank Valley High School.  In the same vein, I want to encourage the students of Redbank Valley High School to be open and honest at all times.  At the end of the day, we are all in this together with a common goal of learning.

This year brings with it a couple of changes.  Mrs. Dinger has taken over the role as the Gifted/Enrichment Education Coordinator. She is organizing academic competitions and designing advanced programming for academics.  In addition, activity period will now take place at the very end of the day so that students who need to be dismissed for extracurricular activities will not miss as much academic instruction.  There are still remediation courses being offered during activity period for students who have not been successful on last spring’s Keystone Exams.  Redbank is still offering the Project Based Assessment (PBA) as an alternative to a proficient score on the Keystone Exams.  This year’s seniors need to pass the test or the PBA as a graduation requirement.

I am looking forward to another successful year at Redbank Valley High School.  Please continue to keep the lines of communication open so that together we can promote academic success for your children.  Remember to remind your children to have courage, be kind and take ownership for their actions and their learning.  Make sure that you like the REDBANK VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT facebook page, and check the website at www.redbankvalley.net for regular updates.