RCS News: Principal Leander's Desk

I believe in creating an innovative environment for learning

What's happening in the classrooms

This year the focus at RCS has been on readers workshop and just over the past month there has been a HUGE change in how the students are learning to read. When you venture in to the classrooms many times the halls seem quiet and I wonder to myself, "where are the kids?" As I walk into kindergarten you will see students engaged in reading on the floor as they read through the bags in their books. Through the first grade door Mrs. Drouin has students reading on kindles or iPads, out of their bookbag, or with her in a small group. As the students are reading she is writing down areas she will work on with each student individually in the weeks to come. In grade two, Mrs. Carnie has the student sitting around her on the carpet and asks specific questions that the student share with their peers in a "turn and talk" session. In third grade, just yesterday the students were shopping to find books that are just right into their book bags. They used a sheet that identified areas such as the title, genre, author, and their thoughts about each book, the students had just a couple of minutes to quickly glance through the books. In fourth and fifth grades the students are working around focus lessons and reading just right books out of their book bags. Mrs. Knechtel may be caught reading aloud and having students share their thoughts to develop an anchor chart and then work in small groups to identify areas she is teaching in their books. In sixth grade the students are reading many books. Mr. Snell has developed a beautiful library that identifies specific genre areas that the students will want to read deeply. His library offers many choices for students to find books that "spark" their interest. So I assure you, although RCS seems quiet there is an amazing amount of learning taking place.

Second Steps Bullying Program

This week the guidance counselor and myself began teaching the Second Steps Bullying Prevention Program. Although RCS is a very loving and caring school, it is still important for students to have the tools to be able to identify bullying, stop the behavior, and understand the aspects of bullying to help others. This week we began in grade 5. We discussed the actual bullying law. The students were surprised about the types of behaviors that were actually considered to be bullying. The behavior must be repeated and only the principal can decide if an event would be considered bullying. Bullying can happen outside of the school walls and on weekends. It can happen on the bus, in the cafe, in the hall, or with our electronic devices. I believe in our students and I know this will be a powerful program that will give them the tools to be successful inside and outside our school walls.
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