Raymond Central Public Schools

April 2021

From the Desk of the Superintendent...

Wow, can you believe April has arrived and winter is finally over? I want to send a special thank you to our bus drivers who are always ready to transport our students to and from school safely, no matter what the road conditions are like. I know there have been several mornings that they had to leave extra early and drive extra careful to ensure the safety of our students and for that, I wanted to recognize their efforts and dedication to Raymond Central. I would also like to extend a thank you to our custodial crew at each building for their time and hard work keeping our sidewalks and parking lots clear of snow and ice.

It was exciting that our students were able to participate in prom this year. I do not believe our students have been able to participate in a school-sponsored dance since 2019, which is a long time ago. We had a great group of parents this year who invested a lot of their own time and money into making prom 2021 a special event for our students. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible for Raymond Central.

More information will be distributed in the next month about graduation which is scheduled for Saturday, May 15. A lot can change in regard to our COVID-19 protocols in terms of our local health department’s directive health measures. Our goal is to provide our graduating students a memorable and traditional event.

COVID-19 Update

This is a reminder that Raymond Central Public Schools will remain wearing masks for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Our local health departments have concluded that students and staff wearing masks will continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the variant strands. We appreciate our students, families, and staff following the protocols that were established at the beginning of the school year to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Over the past two months, 85% of RC staff have been vaccinated with both rounds of the Moderna vaccine. We appreciate our staff’s willingness to voluntarily sign up to receive the vaccination through the Three Rivers Health Department.

Now that spring is in full swing, we will follow the Lancaster County Health Department’s Directive Health Measures as they relate to outdoor and indoor events. We have been operating at 75% capacity for the home baseball events that we have hosted.

Lori Maxwell - Valparaiso Special Education Teacher

Lori Maxwell has submitted her resignation to Raymond Central after serving as a Special Education teacher at Valparaiso Elementary for 30 years. Lori has been an active advocate for all students at Raymond Central and has always gone above and beyond to ensure their success. Lori was also the teacher leader for the School Improvement Team and has always served with the student first mentality. We are sad to see Lori leave our district, however, we wish her nothing but the best in her next chapter of life.

2020-2021 Last Day of School

It is that time of year when the district calculates all of the time missed due to snow days and late starts. While those days are needed to keep our staff and students safe, they also count against us for the required instructional time for accreditation through the Nebraska Department of Education.

We knew this year was going to be one like never before. Raymond Central utilized flexibility granted by the Commissioner of Education and the State Board to provide our staff more time to plan and prepare for face-to-face and remote learning. Because of these days, the Nebraska Department of Education will allow schools who do not meet the minimum requirements for instructional minutes to file a waiver which allows for us to have our last day for students on Friday, May 14th. The last day of school will be an 11:45 AM dismissal for the elementary school sites and a 12:00 PM dismissal for the Jr/Sr High School.

Wednesday, May 12th will no longer be a late start, but instead a full day for students and staff. Our plans for the last day of school remain contingent on the winter weather not returning for the last seven weeks of school.

Overall the key information from this communication is:

  • A full day of school for staff and students on Wednesday, May 12th

  • The last day of school for students will be Friday, May 14th

2021-2022 Preschool Update

Raymond Central is excited to announce the expansion of our preschool program. Over the course of four years, our program has served over 100 students ages three and four years old. Our current structure combines ages 3 and 4 and is limited to 36 students between the two full-day cohorts located at the northside of the Jr/Sr High School. The preschool cohorts are divided into two sections that meet from 9 AM to 3 PM on either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Raymond Central does offer preschool transportation, however, it is limited to 14 students as we utilize a midline bus.

Starting the fall of 2021, Raymond Central will create a program dedicated to our three-year-old students. The district has hired a highly qualified teacher to serve as the lead for this new program. Mrs. Jacki Barry will continue to serve our four-year-old students. We are currently looking at options and what space will be utilized or constructed for the three-year-old program.

Right now we have 36 four-year-old students enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year and 14 three-year-old students. The four-year-old program is at capacity, however, we do have additional space available for the three-year-old program. If you would like to enroll a three-year-old student or know someone that has a student, please contact the Raymond Central District Office at 402-785-2615.

We are excited to see our preschool program grow and as a result, hire an additional teacher who will help prepare our youngest Mustangs for their RC journey.

I hope everyone has a fantastic month of April with more sunshine and warmer temperatures. May will be here before we know it which means graduation is right around the corner!

Go Mustangs!

Dr. Joel

EIR Grant/STEM Update

During the 2020-2021 school year, Raymond Central has begun work on an EIR (Education, Innovation and Research) Grant in partnership with ESU 2 and Schuyler Public Schools, that will continue to unfold over the next 4 years. This grant is aimed at increasing the awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) for students and teachers. The awareness and training in these areas will be used to enhance the learning and culture for students and teachers at Raymond Central Public Schools.

As part of the process, 16 Teacher Innovators were selected to be trained as STEM leaders in our district. We have 7 teachers from the elementary schools and 9 teachers in the middle and high schools.The teachers have taken part in 5 professional development trainings and will complete a total of 11 coaching days with a trainer / coach from Discovery Education, one of the resources allocated to help with the work on this grant. During these training sessions, teachers are working to learn more about STEM and how it can be integrated into the already great instructional practices taking place in our schools. Through their work, an emphasis is placed on not only the subject areas of STEM, but also the other side of STEM; Students and Teachers Engaging Minds. We will also be developing our work around the 4Cs of Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking, and defining what those components will look like a part of the culture of learning at Raymond Central.

The administration team has also been afforded the opportunity to work with a coach to guide the work of defining what a STEM culture looks like in the classroom and in the district as a whole. They will be meeting with their coach throughout the process of the grant to gain more knowledge about what the components of that culture are and how best to support the teacher innovators in that journey in their classroom.

Another part of the EIR Grant is dedicated to provide information and opportunities to students in relation to careers and fields of interest that have components grounded in STEM. We have several students who are now working with STEM mentors from outside the district that meet monthly to expose our students to possibilities that may be of interest to them. We will be looking to expand the number of students involved in this program moving forward as well as provide them with camps and activities that will continue to give them chances to learn more about STEM.

Congratulations, Scott Tvrdy!!

Scott Tvrdy has been selected as one of the 10 Kiewit Scholars for the Fall of 2021! There were 320 applicants for this scholarship. According to the scholarship, "the new Kiewit Scholars program is intended for a select group of incoming students who will have a unique educational experience that will fast track their future career."

With this scholarship, Scott will receive full tuition and fees for four years, full room and board for the first year, a study abroad trip stipend, and a guaranteed summer internship at Kiewit.

Congratulations, Scott! You worked hard and you deserve this!

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New District Hires for 2021-2022

Pending Board of Education approval, Raymond Central has offered (and they accepted) the following district positions for the 2021-2022 school year. We are excited for them to join our team and look forward to meeting them over the summer and into the next school year.

Amanda Coufal will be our new full-time Director of Special Education. Amanda comes to us with fifteen years of special education classroom experience (14 years in David City and 1 year in Waverly) and two years of special education administrative experience within the Grand Island Public Schools District.

Caitlin Roussan will be our full-time school psychologist. Caitlin has served as a school psychologist for Lincoln Public Schools for the past three years and served in a similar role for ESU1 for two years.

We are currently advertising for a full-time Speech and Language Pathologist if you know of anyone!

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One Day Without Shoes

FBLA is partnering with the People City Mission and Cornhusker Bank to collect shoes for One Day Without Shoes. Please bring your new or gently used shoes to the high school from April 5-April 17.
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Find Your RC Volleyball Team Camp Forms Here!

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Boys Basketball Information

Boys basketball Mustang Skills camp info:

2nd-5th Grade June 3-4, 12-1:30 pm

6th-8th Grade June 7-8, 12-1:30 pm

9th-12th Grade June 3-4 and 7-8, 9:30-11:30 am

Cost: $20 for 2nd-8th Grade; $25 for 9-12

Click below for the form.

Open gyms:

JH/HS Boys: Wednesday and Friday Mornings at 6:45 AM

Open to community: Sundays 4-6 PM

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Junior High Choir Performed at Malcom Music Contest

The Junior High Choir attended the Malcolm Music Contest on March 19 and received a Superior rating! They performed "Jubilate!" composed by Carolee Curtright and "River in Judea" arranged by John Leavitt.

Junior High Band Performed at Malcolm Music Contest

Junior High Band received a 2+ rating at the Malcolm Music Contest on March 19th. The 6th grade band received a 2+ as well. Ratings are on the following scale:

1 - Superior, 2 - Excellent, 3 - Honorable Mention

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2021 Prom Royalty

Prom King: Skylar Sterns

Queen: Grace Mueller

Prince: Lucas Buresh

Princess: Ellie Hula

Duke: Mitch Albrecht

Duchess: Megan Lange

Special thanks to all of the parents and staff that made this night possible for our students! Preparing for Prom and Post Prom is no easy task and without all of your help, this night would not have happened. Thank you so much!!

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Raymond Central Unified Track Team to Compete

The Life Skills class and their (regular ed) partners will be participating in the Ashland-Greenwood Unified Track Meet again this year! We will have 5 - 7 athletes (we are still working this out) as well as their unified partners, each competing in four different track events. We didn't get to participate last year for obvious reasons, but we are excited to be competing for the third time this year! The event is on April 28th.
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ATTENTION: Last call for old yearbooks! If you would like to purchase one of these gems, they are $5 a piece. Please email Mrs. Enevoldsen at cenevold@rcentral.org. You can send money to school with one of your students or you can drop off a check in the office. Here is what we have left: