Raymond Central Public Schools

March 2020

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From the Desk of the Superintendent...

Raymond Central will receive a Silver Award at the 2020 Nebraska Healthy Schools Recognition and Education Conference in Lincoln on March 25, 2020! Our district's efforts to support staff and students through implementation of health and well-being has not gone unnoticed by the Nebraska Department of Education. I appreciate the work of the district Wellness Committee that has met multiple times a year over the past three years to develop and carry out our district’s Wellness Policy which the Board of Education reviews annually. I want to thank each of the Wellness Committee members, teachers, staff, administrators, students and families for working together to give support for our well-being and healthy initiatives. While the district will receive the award, it truly is a team effort!

Raymond Central’s new route buses are now equipped with interior and exterior cameras for the safety of our students and drivers. When a school bus is loading, the red amber lights will flash and the stop arm will be out. Please remember to stop a safe distance from the bus when you see this as not obeying the stop sign on the bus is a $500 fine. The exterior camera system provides a clear video showing the vehicle driving through the stop arm and a photo of the vehicles license plate. Please drive alert and think twice before running through a school bus stop arm.

I would also like to give a shout out to Aaron Studebaker who submitted an America’s Farmers Grow Communities nomination for Raymond Central’s FFA. Aaron’s nomination was the only one selected in Lancaster County and as a result, Raymond Central’s FFA will receive $2,500! Thanks Aaron!

Through the strategic planning process and the hard work of many community members, parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, and Board members, new district goals were developed for 2019-2025. In the next several newsletters, I will be highlighting one goal area and include district activities/initiatives that came out of the input from the Vision 2025 roundtable discussions (last year), the RC 360 Superintendent Evaluation, culture and climate survey data, teacher exit surveys, and daily conversations around our fantastic school district. For strategic goal number three, increase district student enrollment, the following performance indicators have been created-

  • Performance Indicator (1): Develop a positive ratio of option-enrolled students through advertising and showcasing the accomplishments of Raymond Central students using a variety of social and media outlets.

In the current state of public school funding, goal three is important. Over the past ten years, Raymond Central has lost over $1 million dollars in state aid that was utilized to offer a high quality education for all students. Today Raymond Central is over 80% reliant on local property taxes, despite seeing an increase in state aid from last year to this year. While the current state aid formula provides money to schools across Nebraska, the top 25 schools receive over 90% of it. This is why we are hearing more and more from Nebraskans in regard to finding meaningful property tax relief without taking money away from schools. One way schools can receive added funding is by bringing more students into the district from other school districts through option enrollment.

For many years Raymond Central has lost more students to other districts than we have brought in. This situation referred to as being “option enrollment net negative”. While schools across the state of Nebraska lose students from within their own boundaries, those who have an “option enrollment net positive” receive more money through the school funding formula as each added student brings in a specified dollar amount. Schools who are reliant on local property taxes have used option enrollment as a way to supplement aid when not receiving a lot of support from the state.

Each year the board of education reviews the option enrollment numbers and charts where students who leave the district live. Since Raymond Central’s school boundary spans over 169 square miles, there are parts of the district that are closer to another school district site making it difficult to keep students. While there are many reasons why students choose to option enroll, it is the goal of the district to decrease the number of students who leave while increasing the students who come in.

Overall we have a slow growth rate in student enrollment as families are moving outside of Lincoln and other large cities. We will continue to see growth as Lincoln moves to the north and our local communities increase housing options. We have a fantastic school district with a lot to offer students (academic and activities) and families who are looking for a smaller school district.

From Last Month-

Raymond Central is excited to announce a new partnership with Civic Nebraska and the RC Foundation. Over the course of two years, RC and the RC Foundation researched how to create and implement a before and after school program for our district. At first the idea was to try and create a program on our own, until we met Civic Nebraska. Civic Nebraska has a large footprint in providing before and after school programs in Lincoln and Omaha. Raymond Central will be the first rural model for the organization with the hope to expand into more communities. The program will be an extension of the school day with a focus on academic support, student enrichment, physical activity, and more! To learn more about our awesome partnership, checkout the website - https://www.civicnebraska.org/raymond/

For April, I will share and discuss the work the district is doing in regard to recruiting, hiring, developing, and supporting the highest quality staff.

Go Mustangs!

Dr. Joel

Principal's Perspective...

Prom 2020- The Great Gatsby

The Junior Class invites the Juniors and Seniors to the 2020 Prom on Saturday, March 28th. Prom will be held at The Champions Club located behind Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. The dinner starts at 7:00 pm with the doors opening at 6:30 pm. The dance will start after dinner with the music provided by Complete Music. The coronation will be at 10:30 pm. The dance ends at 11:30 pm. The meal is a buffet that includes prime rib, lemon asparagus chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, salad, pasta carbonara, italian marinate, and cheesecake bites for dessert. The dinner and dance costs $28.00 per person and the dance only costs $12.00. Please buy tickets from the office starting March 6- March 13. Bring the receipt to Mrs. Hill in room 409 to receive your ticket.

The ACT will be held on April 7th for all juniors. We have a variety of activities for students not taking the ACT (listed below). A more detailed email will be sent out by Mid March! Stay tuned!

Seniors: No School

Juniors: ACT (Dismissed after ACT)

Sophomores: College visit to SCC and Concordia

Freshman: Visit to Duncan Aviation and NWU

8th Grade: Visit to UNL East Campus

6th and 7th Grade: Holistic Health Fair at Raymond Central

We now have tutoring opportunities for students available on Tuesdays and Thursdays in room 407. National Honor Society students will be available for students in grades 7-12. Please encourage your student to attend if they need a little extra help! Our NHS students are a great group of kids and eager to assist our students.

In January, we started allowing students in grade 7 and 8 the opportunity to take home their Chromebook. A Google Form was sent home to parents/guardians to obtain permission for your student to take them home. If you have not yet filled out the Google Form, please fill it out. You do have the option to require your students to leave their Chromebooks at school. There is also the option to purchase a Chromebook sleeve for $15.00 if you wish.

We have recently started a Raymond Central Jr/Sr High Caring Shelves program.

Our goal with this program is to show students that there are people that care about their overall well being and lessen the stressors that may be added to their family. We are in the beginning stages of this program but we have a lot of goals and plans for this program that will have an overall positive impact on students here at RC. If your family is in need or you wish to donate to this program, please contact Allison Stansberry or Tasha Osten.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Allison Stansberry

Jr/Sr High Principal





PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES . . . for the elementary students are scheduled for March 18 and 19. We will again be using the online system to sign up for conferences called www.ptcfast.com. Please register for one 15 minute conference with your student’s teacher. Dual household families should pick a time when all parents can be present. Registration will open on March 2. Please go to the link: https://www.ptcfast.com/schools/Raymond_Central
Please be patient with the system as the site may need some time for processing your information. If you do not have internet access, please stop by the school office before or after school to use one of our computers to register. Internet access is also available at our local public libraries. We will also post the link on the www.rcentral.org website. A conference time and date will be assigned to families who do not sign up by March 9. Students from the same family may not have times/dates together. Assigned times will be open time slots left.

PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES . . . for the junior/senior high school are scheduled for March 17th and 19th from 4:00-8:00 pm. Conferences will be held in the new gym on Tuesday the 17th and in the teacher's classrooms on Thursday the 19th. You do not have to sign up for conference times at the junior/senior high school, but please be cognizant of the amount of people in each line so that everyone has a chance to meet with their student's teacher(s).


The 2020 Census is upon us and there are $675 billion dollars that the government will distribute each year for 10 years based on the 2020 census count. We want Nebraska communities and schools to receive their fair share of funding for things like roads, health services, parks, and emergency services. Census data determines funding for programs and services like Title 1, special education, school lunches, after school programs, Head Start, and more. Filling out the 2020 Census is one easy way to provide resources for children and their communities for the next 10 years. The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the United States and its territories. While all children need to be counted, those under the age of 5 are often missed.
Tips for filling out the 2020 Census:
• Count all children who live in your home whether they are related to you or not.
• If a child's time is evenly divided between two households, count where the child is on Census Day-April 1, 2020.
• Count children who are living in your home on April 1, 2020, even if they are only staying with you temporarily.
• Count newborn babies, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1, 2020.
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Central Players Junior High Candle Fundraiser

Are you a fan of Yankee Candles? Then don't hesitate to contact Mr. Jeff Nelson and the Junior High Central Players Speech Team and get your fix! Fundraiser runs from February 27th to March 17th. Don't wait! Order yours today!

You can email Mr. Nelson at jnelson@rcentral.org


Registration is now open! We are excited to begin a Before and After School Program for students in grades K-5 at each elementary site during the 2020-2021 school year. Learn more about the new Before and After School Programs being offered in conjunction with Civic Nebraska and the Raymond Central Education Foundation. Please check the following links for more information: https://www.civicnebraska.org/raymond/ bitly.com/CivNebCLCs
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Meet the Social Studies Department & our Kindergarten and First Grade Teachers!

The Raymond Central Social Studies Department consists of Mr. Svehla, Mrs. Polak, Mr. Placke, and Mr. Henderson. Kindergarten consists of Mrs. Carlson in Valparaiso and Mrs. Bohac in Ceresco. First Grade consists of Mrs. Peterson in Valparaiso and Mrs. Pebley and Mrs. Hummel in Ceresco. You can learn a little more about them here:

What do you teach?


Polak--Geography, American History, and Psychology/Sociology

Placke--I teach World History and Government

Henderson--Junior High Social Studies

Bohac--Kindergarten @ Ceresco Elementary

Pebley--1st grade in Ceresco

Hummel--1st grade in Ceresco

Peterson--1st Grade


What is your teaching experience? Years? Schools? Subjects?

Svehla--1st year teaching. Student taught in business and technology at Lincoln Northeast and did Special Education at Lincoln Northeast.

Polak--This is my 2nd year here. I taught for 2 years in Omaha teaching 7th and 8th grade Social Studies

Placke--This is my 7th year teaching, 1 at North Platte High School, 5 at Grand Island Senior High, and now 1 at RC.

Henderson--This is my 29 year of teaching. I have been at Raymond Central since 2006. Prior to that I taught at Falls City Middle School and Red Cloud, Nebraska

Bohac--I taught one year at Grandview Elementary in Grandview, Missouri in a developmentally delayed classroom ages K-3. I've taught at Raymond Central Elementary at Ceresco for 22 years. 7 years in Special Ed and 15 years in Kindergarten.

Pebley--This is my 13th year as a first grade teacher. I spent my first four years teaching first grade at Wahoo Public, and I am now in my ninth year as the first grade teacher in Ceresco.

Hummel--2nd year teacher elementary, second career

Peterson--21 years at Valparaiso Elementary

Carlson--This is year 31 at Raymond Central

What are your hobbies?

Svehla--Basketball, golf, piano, working out

Polak--In my spare time I like to bake cookies and read.

Placke--Playing basketball, reading, watching movies, and going to concerts

Henderson--Sports, outdoors, gardening

Bohac--I love to shop, sit in the sun, read, spend time at my kids activities, walk and spend time with family and friends.

Pebley--My absolute, hands-down favorite hobby is napping. :) haha, I also enjoy watching movies, reading, snuggling my babies, and exercising.

Hummel--home improvements

Peterson--Reading, cooking, gardening, traveling

Carlson--watching sports, spending time with family, walking

Who or what influenced you to become a teacher?

Svehla--I have many teachers in my family, and had many teachers as fantastic life influences on me growing up. Some young adults do not have role models in their lives and I have seen it first hand. I wanted to be the role model/influence on students who do not have them.

Polak--I was influenced by my high school teachers: Mr. Stanley taught Physics and Mr. Sayer taught History and Government. They taught me to love learning and that it can be done in an interesting way.

Placke--I really wanted to help young people become better versions of themselves.

Henderson--My parents

Bohac--When I worked at Belmont Pool in the summer I met a little boy with Down Syndrome. We had such a great connection... it inspired me to get my degree in Elementary/Special Education.

Pebley--My husband is the first one who suggested I try some education classes when I was working on my undergrad degree. I honestly never thought about being a teacher, but once I started in on my education classes I knew I had found my passion. The energy I got as soon as I stepped into an elementary building was something I had never experienced. I love the kids, I love watching them make connections, and I love helping them learn how to interact and respond in social situations.

Hummel--Always wanted to be a teacher as long as I can remember.

Peterson--Raising my own children. I took a college class on child development and I wanted to know more which led me to my education degree.

Carlson--I loved learning and I really enjoyed being around children

How do you spend your summer vacation?

Svehla--Golf and basketball. All day, everyday.

Polak--I spend my summer sleeping in and traveling.

Placke--Coaching basketball, running my business, and mowing my lawn

Henderson--Traveling and teaching driver education

Bohac--I spend my summer vacation at the ball fields, sitting by the pool and spending lot's of time with family and friends.

Pebley--Napping, of course! :) Not sure what excuse I will have to nap when my babies don't nap anymore....I also spend lots of time at the lake in Fremont, our cabin at the Ozarks, and traveling up to Montana to spend time with my parents. Most days the kids and I, and occasionally my husband, spend time enjoying our acreage and just being together.

Hummel--Spend with my children, travel and relaxing.

Peterson--Working on my hobbies.

Carlson--I teach the Jumpstart to Kindergarten program, tutor, and I am in charge of the concession stand for the baseball/softball fields in Valparaiso

What's the most rewarding part of being an educator?

Svehla--Seeing the influence you have on a student not just in the classroom, but in their lives outside of school. Implementing the values that you hold near and dear into their lives to make their lives better.

Polak--The most rewarding part of being an educator is learning from my students.

Placke--Being able to help kids the potential in themselves if they just work hard enough

Henderson--Everyday there is something new.

Bohac--My students! I love them as if they are my own. Each one of my students holds a very special place in my heart!!!!

Pebley--Knowing that I am making a positive impact on children's lives is definitely the most rewarding part of being an educator!

Hummel--Seeing a child's face light up when they learn.

Peterson--Working with kids and watching them as they experience their successes as learners. I love to see how they get so excited when they’ve discovered a new skill or worked so hard to accomplish a task and realize that they’ve mastered it.

Carlson--Watching young children learn something for the first time. I also love their energy and excitement for new knowledge. It's contagious!

Finish this statement: If I weren't a teacher, I'd be......

Svehla--doing something with sports. (Or an astronaut)

Polak--the owner of a bakery.

Placke--A world traveler

Henderson--in law enforcement

Bohac--professional shopper... haha

Pebley--a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my kids. :)

Hummel--more broke.

Peterson--A world traveler. I love to learn about new places.


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Plant and Seed Sale

Raymond Central Public Schools will be hosting its annual Plant and Seed Sale! All proceeds from the sale will support the Raymond Central Jump Start to Kindergarten Program held in both Ceresco and Valparaiso, Kindness Retreats for upper elementary students, as well as author visits and presentations!

Plants can be pre-ordered thru April 3 with any participating elementary student. Orders may also be placed online at the following web address: www.janetsjungle.com. (RCPS is charged a processing fee for online orders.)

Orders can be prepackaged for a $5.00 fee per order form. Families may find this helpful if they are picking up multiple orders. Simply add $5.00 to the total and write “prepackage” below the total. Prepackaged orders will be in the lunchroom to pick up on Friday, May 1 after 7PM.

The sale and pick up will take place Friday, May 1 from 7pm-10pm in the Valparaiso Elementary gym. Presold plant orders are guaranteed through 10pm. Plants not picked up will be considered a donation to the open sale.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kendra Carlson or Kris White at 402-784-3301.

Thank you for your support.

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We would love to spotlight our almuni! We want to know what you are up to and how Raymond Central has impacted your life. Please take a moment and fill out the Google form on the following link:


AND...If you have a photo you can send to us, please email it to: rcentraljournalism@gmail.com

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To order a yearbook for grades 6-12 for this school year, please complete the following form for your child or children. This form must be submitted with the appropriate payment in order to be added to the list OR you may order online at www.walsworthyearbooks.com, selecting Buy A Yearbook or Ad and then searching for Raymond Central.

Pricing is as follows:

$60 per yearbook



Number of Yearbooks:



Send Order Form and Payment to RC High School in care of Journalism Department. You can mail in the form and payment or can drop it off at the High School office.

2020-2021 School Calendar Approved

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What's For Lunch?

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