Raymond Central High School

January 2022

From the Desk of the Superintendent...

I hope that this newsletter finds all of you relaxed and rejuvenated after an enjoyable holiday season. The new year is the time for setting goals and resolutions. I would encourage all parents and guardians to spend some time discussing with your children their academic resolutions for this second semester. Help them to set one or two realistic goals with some simple, yet measurable, checkpoints along the way. It is important that we help our youth understand the importance of working towards reasonable plans without adding elements of stress to their plates. It is indeed a fine balance.


While the holiday season can be joyous, for many it can also be a challenging time. There are many reasons why we need to do our best to focus on the positives in our lives and minimize the negative information and influences. The health insurance company that the school uses for their employees has a wellness plan that includes monthly challenges and competitions that encourage preventative health measures. The focus for the month of December was on gratitude. New scientific research is starting to explore the brain's long term link to gratitude and that research helps to explain the benefits of gratitude to our mental and physical well being. I am sharing the website that they provided to us as a resource that you might find helpful if you want to further explore the benefits of gratitude. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/#


The board of education has scheduled a board workshop for Wednesday, January 5, 2022 to further discuss plans to move forward with the information gleaned from the feasibility study. The purpose of the meeting is to take the 60 page study and create an executive summary that we can use to provide information to our patrons that will be user friendly while still capturing the critical information from the feasibility study and other resources. The board also plans to discuss how best to disseminate the information to the public and get feedback from patrons. The goal of the board is to create the best possible educational environment for our district and a key aspect of achieving that goal is the determination of the operational structure that will best support that goal.


One of the greatest challenges for schools today is that of staffing. Like most businesses in our country, the supply is not keeping up with the demand. The Nebraska Department of Education surveys all of the 438 districts/systems (244 PK-12 public schools, 17 ESUs and 177 nonpublic school systems) in Nebraska annually to obtain information regarding qualified teachers. For the 2021-22 school year the survey results report 482 positions as unfilled with fully qualified personnel, and 68 left vacant. Of those 482 positions, 138 positions (28%) were in districts/systems with less than 500 students. There were 143 districts/systems with unfilled positions at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. The top five endorsement areas that were unfilled in Nebraska are as follows: Special Education, Language Arts, Elementary Education, Science, Career Education Areas. At Raymond Central Public Schools we were fortunate enough to have a retired person fill our vacant Industrial Technology teaching position for the first semester but we are unable to find a candidate to fill that position for the second semester at the time of this publication. We will continue to advertise and recruit candidates but we will likely not be offering industrial technology courses in the second semester. This trend of worker shortage extends to the area of non-certificated staff as well. We are currently short a van driver and would like to add an additional route driver. As this continues to be a very competitive market, with schools vying for the same candidates from a limited pool, it becomes even more critical for our school district to stay competitive in the race. We will need to stay competitive in the areas of compensation, benefits, working environment, facilities, and community/parent support.


With the expiration of the DHM in Lancaster County, all buildings in the district will be using the following masking protocols unless otherwise indicated by isolation and/or quarantine guidelines:

  • For staff and students who are fully vaccinated, face coverings are OPTIONAL.

  • For staff and students who are not fully vaccinated, face coverings are RECOMMENDED but not required.

I am asking all parents/guardians to have a conversation with your child(ren) about the importance of respecting and valuing each individual person’s choice regarding whether or not they decide to wear a face covering. Please read the New CDC Guidance regarding isolation and quarantine below in this newsletter to better understand when face coverings ‘may’ be required to be worn.


I am looking forward to continuing our work together in the second semester. While I have my fingers crossed for no weather cancellations, it is unlikely that we will stay free of the dreaded winter weather that Nebraska generates. Please contact your respective building office if you are not receiving the emails, phone calls, or texts through the BrightArrow instant messaging system so that you will receive school cancellation notices in a timely manner.


Sincerely,

Lynn Johnson, Superintendent



New CDC Guidance

The Three Rivers Public Health and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department have provided interim guidance for student and staff exclusion, isolation and quarantine for COVID-19 based on new CDC guidance. The CDC is expected to update their K-12 School Guidance in the near future but this is the guidance that we will be following until that is released. As the pandemic has progressed, local public health guidance has changed to reflect new science and practice on preventing and controlling COVID-19 in school settings, including the availability and uptake of vaccination and treatment options.


Quarantine and Exclusion From School

Raymond Central Public Schools will follow the recommendations from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and Three Rivers Public Health when making decisions regarding exclusions from school.

School Exclusion

  • “Normal” exclusion policy criteria (fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicines, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent cough, etc) will be used to determine if a student or staff member will be excluded from school. In addition, if a student or staff presents with recent loss of taste or smell, they will be excluded and asked to take a COVID-19 (PCR test). If the student or staff chooses to not be tested using a PCR test, they will be managed as a positive case of COVID-19.

  • Excluded students or staff may be asked to test for COVID by the school or referred to a health care provider before returning to school.

  • The student or staff person may be allowed to return to school when symptoms subside in accord with our normal exclusion policy.

Protocols for Staff and Students with COVID 19 - Isolate

  • If a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19, they need to stay home for 5 days from the date the sample was collected.

  • If positive students or staff do not have symptoms or if symptoms are resolving (as identified in normal exclusion), they can return to school on day 6. However, they must wear a mask through day 10 starting on the day the test sample was collected.

  • If a student or staff cannot wear a mask, they will be excluded and should be isolated for 10 days.

Protocols for Managing Close Contacts - Quarantine

  • Students and staff who have on-going high-risk exposure to a positive individual who is unable to isolate (i.e. household member) should remain at home until the positive individual completes 5 days of isolation. They can return on day 6 and wear a mask through day 10 while continuing to screen for symptoms.

  • For close contact exposures that are not high-risk, the students and staff members will need to wear a mask for 10 days while at school or participating in school activities and should, if possible, be tested (PCR test) on day 5 after the exposure.

  • If symptoms develop, students or staff need to stay home and will be excluded and asked to test using a PCR test. They will be asked to follow the protocol above that best depicts their situation (i.e. normal excursion or isolation).

  • If a student or staff cannot wear a mask, they will be excluded for 10 days.

Classroom and/or Core Group Transmission (core group is a classroom, a team, a bus roster, etc)

If transmission is strongly suspected in a core group within an incubation period (10 days), the following actions will be followed:

  • Exclude all persons that test positive and follow isolation guidance above.

  • Require masking for all students and staff that potentially had close contact for at least 10 days.

  • Monitor for additional cases and contact public health for additional guidance.

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Elementary Art Shout-out...

Enjoy a small glimpse at what our elementary artists were busy creating throughout the first semester!
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FFA News...

Congratulations to all members who participated in District LDEs in December for FFA! (Picture attached)

Natural Resources Speaking: Sarah Lange-- District Runner-up & State Qualifying

Creed Speaking: Erika Donahue 4th purple & Carlee Wolfe, blue ribbon

Parliamentary Procedure: District Champion & State Qualifying

Conduct of Chapter Meetings (CCM): District Runner-up & State Qualifying

Jr. High Quiz Bowl: District Champion


Our December FFA Meeting included a friendly Gingerbread House making contest, congratulations to Jaelynn Kliment, Erika Donahue, Hailee Nelson, and Ben Kliment on winning with "Uncle Eddie's Campsite"!


A Big Thank you to all the community members who ordered fruit from the Central FFA Chapter. We are blown away by the amazing support of our community and cannot say thank you enough!


Important upcoming dates for FFA:

January 13: Chapter Meeting @630pm

January 27: District Livestock Judging & CDEs

February 10: Chapter Meeting @630pm

February 20-26: National FFA Week

RC Volleyball Post Season Update...

Congratulations to the following volleyball players on their post season honors:

Emaree Harris:
*1st team all conference and Honorary captain
*1st team All-Area (Wahoo Newspaper)
*Honorable mention all state: Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald
* Committed to Rockhurst University to further her academic and volleyball career

Autumn Haislet:
*2nd team all conference
*Honorable mention All Area (Wahoo Newspaper)
*Honorable mention all state: Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald
* Committed to Doane University to further her academic and volleyball career

Hannah Kile:
*2nd team All area (Wahoo newspaper)
*Honorable mention all conference
*Honorable mention all state: Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald
* Committed to Concordia University to further her academic and soccer career

Madi Lubischer:
*Honorable mention all conference
*Honorable mention all area (Wahoo newspaper)
*Honorable mention all state: Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald

Band Update...

The band had seven students accepted to participate in the Wayne State College Festival of Honor Bands. Two more were selected as alternates. That is all nine people who auditioned!


Accepted

High School

Josie Hain - Flute

Josie Lahm - Flute

Rosalie Tvrdy - Clarinet

Armin Barr - Tenor Saxophone

Morgan Lahm - Trumpet

Gareth Mills - Tuba

Junior High

Marissa Tvrdy - Trombone


Alternates

High School

Asher Lahm - Baritone Saxophone

Junior High

Lindsey Morris - Trumpet


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What's New With the Yearbook?

This year the Journalism Team is taking on a challenge like we've never done before. This year will be the Inaugural year of having a yearbook that includes EVERYONE in the district! What does that mean?? Well, we decided to include both elementary schools, the preschool, the junior high, and the highschool in ONE book! If you have students in more than one building, you can buy one book and have everyone's photo included! (Elementary yearbooks will still be available for families with only elementary students! Please contact Elementary staff if you would only like an elementary yearbook!)


Soooo...Don't delay!! Order your Yearbook TODAY!!!


Yearbook Order Forms for the 2021-2022 Yearbook are available in the office or in Mrs. E's room. There will be NO extra books ordered, so please make sure you get yours ordered now!



Pricing is as follows:


$60 per yearbook from January 1, 2022 to May 20, 2022



Senior/Business Ad space is also available! Please email:

rcentraljournalism@gmail.com for more information or with any questions!


SENIOR PARENTS--If you have not already done so, please email a senior photo and a baby photo of your graduating senior to: rcentraljournalism@gmail.com

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Little Fillies Dance Camp Information

With the winter season approaching, the High School Dance Team is preparing for our annual dance camp. Due to COVID-19 and subsequent guidelines, the camp will be different than in previous years. The camp guidelines for masking will follow the school’s policy at that time. If the camp has to be cancelled, your money will be refunded unless you wish to keep the t-shirt. If you have any questions about the information below, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at cpolak@rcentral.org or by telephone at the high school.
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JH Girls Basketball

Junior high girls basketball will begin January 5, 2022.

Coach Mike Henderson says, "We currently have 30 girls signed up to participate this season."

If you're interested in being part of the team, go talk to Coach Henderson!

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Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament Results

The girls team beat Conestoga and Weeping water to win the Holiday Tournament at Weeping Water. Next home game is January 7th versus Arlington.