Raymond Central Public Schools

November 2020

From the Desk of the Superintendent...

There is no denying the year 2020 has been a challenge. It is important we remain diligent in ensuring 6 feet or more of separation between others, wearing masks when appropriate, washing/sanitizing hands often, and avoiding large crowds. We believe that confirmed case levels in our district remain manageable because we are doing our best to follow recommended virus protocols, and our RC students and staff are staying home when they have symptoms or have been in close contact with a person who is testing or is positive. We also continue to work on our own Raymond Central Green, Yellow, and Red learning plan, which has kept our students and staff safe since reopening school sites in August. While our learning plan is aligned with “risk dials” in both counties, it is not the only data point the district looks at when making decisions to keep our staff and students in school. Both the Lancaster County Health Department and Three Rivers Health Department have communicated if the “risk dial” would increase to “red”, they would recommend schools stay open. While this is different from our original reopening plan, schools remain one of the safest environments during the global pandemic. We thank you for your cooperation and diligence to try to keep everyone as safe as possible.

We saw our first snow and ice on October 26th, one of the earliest snows that I can remember. It is evident that we have entered the time of year when we face the months that Nebraska weather can be very unpredictable and cold! The decision to delay, cancel, or dismiss school early is usually a difficult one. As a student, I remember the days of wishing for the coveted snow day, while at the same time parents are hoping the school will be open as usual. Despite these opposing ideas, I remain committed to the safety of our students, staff, and families as they travel to and from school and events.

When there is a change for the worse in the weather conditions, I will communicate with school personnel and other superintendents in the area along with driving roads myself to determine what decision needs to be made. My intention will always be to make a decision as quickly and efficiently as possible to provide the necessary time for students and families to make the appropriate arrangements for child care. At times, it is difficult to determine a reasonable time to make such a call as we sometimes can only base a decision based on a forecast.

If we find ourselves in a situation where school will start late, dismiss early, or be called off, an alert will be sent by a pre-recorded phone call, text message, email from the district office, and posted to the school website. The message will also be broadcasted on the local news stations, primarily Channel 10/11. I appreciate everyone’s flexibility last year with the early dismissal call the day before we had our holiday break.

At the October Board of Education meeting we announced the extension of offering breakfast and lunch to students at no cost. Raymond Central will provide this service for any student in grades Preschool-12th grade. We are currently working on our plan to provide lunches at no cost again next summer.

Not that we are counting, but we are entering the fourth month of school during a global pandemic. While we remain committed to our protocols and procedure to ensure the safety of both staff and students, we will now begin winter activities. Unlike fall activities, winter activities are inside and with closer contact. We will follow strict guidelines in an attempt to minimize the risk of exposure and spread with hopes of playing the entire season(s). Please contact Mr. Brian Gralheer with any winter activity related questions. As a reminder, due to a new Directive Health Measure, attendance at indoor events will be limited to 50% capacity and require masks to be worn.

In the Rule 62 Declaratory Order, the State Board of Education directed the Commissioner of Education to promote innovation and guidance on the provisions of Rule 10 and Rule 14 to school systems and school districts for the 2020-21 school year. Therefore, the Commissioner is providing reasonable flexibility for school systems and school districts as it relates to instructional hours. School systems and school districts may utilize instructional hours for additional professional learning, teacher and/or staff work time, or time for teachers to consult with parents/caregivers. Up to 12 hours per quarter (or 24 hours per semester or 48 hours per school year) may be used for those purposes. These hours should be used throughout the 2020-2021 school year and are not intended to shorten the semester or the school year.

Per Rule 62, Raymond Central Public Schools is looking at utilizing Monday, November 30, 2020 and Wednesday, January 6, 2021 as teacher/staff professional work time. This will provide time for teachers to plan future face-to-face and remote instruction, grading, analyze data, create assessments, collaborate with colleagues, etc. For classified staff, this time will be used for a variety of training, support to teachers, planning, reviewing data, etc. Additional time in 2021 will be revisited after the New Year. The Raymond Central Board of Education will vote to approve these two additional days at the November meeting.

Thanks for your continued support of Raymond Central Public Schools! If you know of someone who would like to become a substitute teacher, we are hiring! Click here to learn more about becoming a “local substitute” through the Nebraska Department of Education.

Policy and Procedure for COVID-19 Mitigation at Raymond Central

It is crucial that parents and guardians communicate with schools to prevent a school outbreak of any communicable disease; this is especially true with COVID-19. Communication is key for social responsibility so the schools can act quickly to make appropriate changes to keep students and staff safe. All information from students and families regarding COVID-19 is strictly confidential. These are truly unprecedented times and we appreciate your cooperation to help keep schools and communities safe.

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19:

  • You must call and alert the building Principal as soon as you are aware.

  • You must remain at home and not attend school or activities.

  • A 14 day quarantine will be required.

  • If siblings/household members attend Raymond Central Schools (PK-12), they must quarantine for 14 days.

  • All members of the household/family will not be allowed at school or activities.

  • If any other member of the household/family becomes symptomatic, they may need to be tested also or begin a 14 day quarantine (call School Nurse/Principal for guidance).

If anyone in the household/family has tested positive for COVID-19:

  • You must call and alert the building Principal as soon as you are aware.

  • A 14 day quarantine period will be required.

  • All members of the household/family will not be allowed at school or activities.

  • If a member of the household/family becomes symptomatic, he/she may need to be tested also or begin a 14 day quarantine from the onset of symptoms (call School Nurse/Principal for guidance).

If a student or student’s household/family member is being tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for test results:

  • You must call and alert the building Principal.

  • You must remain at home and not attend school or activities until a negative test result is received.

If a student or student’s family members have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Contact the Health Department for guidance on contacts.

  • Do not attend school until given instructions by the Health Department AND after you have informed the building Principal or School Nurse.

  • Lancaster Co. Health Department: 402- 441-8006

  • Three Rivers Health Department: 402-727-5396

If you have or plan on traveling out of state, you are required to inform the Principal. Be advised that there may be some restrictions/requirements upon returning.

You Can Still Register!

  • 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 Educational 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/.

Go Mustangs!

Dr. Joel

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We Need Substitute Bus Drivers!

Want to be able to help out the community in a worthwhile way? Want to be seen as a hero to children and parents in our community? Then we have the position for you! Raymond Central's school district is currently in desperate need of substitute bus drivers. Sub drivers are not responsible for a daily route, but are in need to help fill in when regular drivers are absent or are driving for field trips and activities. Please consider being a local hero and contact Dr. Joel at 402-785-2615 or djoel@rcentral.org today!
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RED RIBBON WEEK, which is celebrated annually October 23-31, is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program. Raymond Central Elementary students participated in a poster contest promoting this year's theme, " Be happy! Be brave! Be drug free!" The Ceresco K-2 winner was Cainan Kenning and the Ceresco 3-5 winner was Wesley Bryan. The Valparaiso K-2 winner was Paisley Virgil and the Valparaiso 3-5 winner was Aaliyah Harris. Mrs. Pebley's second grade classroom in Ceresco won the classroom award for 100% student participation! Thank you to our guest judges Ms. Taylor Craig 6-12 art, Ms. Andrea Rockemann K-5 art, Ms. Amanda Ehlers our school nurse and Ms. Traci Hummel 1st grade teacher/counseling intern. A special thank you also goes out to Ms. Amanda Ehlers, for her presentations to each classroom on how to be safe, healthy and drug free.

High School Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

High School students read announcements all week with facts about drugs/alcohol use and how it relates to teens. They also watched a video as well as participated in a quiz. Students also had the opportunity to enter a photo contest for a chance to win an Ipad and $1000 for the school!

DID YOU KNOW? Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t; yet, only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. Red Ribbon Week® (October 23-31), the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the nation, is your opportunity to get the ongoing conversation started. This year’s theme is Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.™ Visit www.redribbon.org to learn more about Red Ribbon Week® and get tips for talking to your kids about drugs. The life you save may be that of your own child or a dear friend.

Red Ribbon Week® 2020’s theme was: Be Happy. Be Brave. Drug FreeTM. At school, students engaged in activities that promote a drug free and healthy lifestyle. Please partner with us and discuss this message at home, at the dinner table, at family outings, and with friends and extended family. Ask your child to show you the flyer he/she received from school about Red Ribbon Week®. Want a fun way to start or continue the conversation about drugs with your children AND have a chance to win an iPad? National Family Partnership is sponsoring a photo contest. This contest is free, simple and you could win an iPad and $1,000 for our school!! Log onto www.redribbon.org and find out more!

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Raymond Central Before and After School Program

New Payment Structure: Civic Nebraska has created a new payment structure for Before and After School programs.

Billing will be based on the number of days within the calendar month that your child attends a Civic Nebraska CLC program. It will still be billed as weeks, with a 2 week minimum each month. We encourage you to bring your child every day so that they get the most from our programs.

At the beginning of each month you will receive an invoice for the prior month. You will get billed for 2, 3, or 4 weeks depending on how many days your child attends during that month. Payment is due upon receipt. We will send the first invoice out in the beginning of October for August and September. Those invoices will reflect any payment we have received as of the invoice date.

Less than 10 days = 2 weeks

11-16 days = 3 weeks

17-22 days = 4 weeks

If you are interested in enrolling your child into the program, contact Kara Nelson at: kara.nelson@civicnebraska.org or go to https://www.civicnebraska.org/raymond/

Coding Club: Does your student have special interest in technology? Coding Club is an awesome opportunity to explore an interest in technology further! The Raymond Central After School Program will have Coding Club on Mondays after school for six weeks beginning November 9, 2020. We will have spaces open for students not enrolled in the program to join club activities. The cost for those not enrolled in the Before and After School program will be $60.00. The form link is below:


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Post Prom $1000 Raffle

Post Prom will once again be having a $1000 raffle. Tickets will be $20 and only 400 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held on December 18th at the home basketball game. If you're interested in purchasing a ticket, you can contact any junior class member.

Hustle 2020

Thank you to the participants and sponsors of the 11th annual HUSTE Walk/Run for the Raymond Central Food Bank BackPack Program. Although the walk/run was virtual this year, we hope to have the opportunity to host a live event next year. A big thank you to all our sponsors: Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ceresco, Ceresco Covenant Church, Grace Lutheran Luther League and Church in rural Wahoo, Ken and Laura Hill, the Varilek Family, Ohnoutka Farms Inc, Aqua Systems, Farmers Cooperative, Raymono’s Pizza Plus, Common Good Farm, and Raymond Central Education Association. Thank you to the many volunteers who pack the food bags each week. With the support of so many, Raymond Central Schools is able to help ensure no child goes hungry. Your continued generosity is appreciated!

----The Raymond Central Food Bank BackPack Committee

Thank you to everyone who donated items to the FBLA Food Drive!

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FBLA Connect with Business

FBLA is collecting area business addresses to help with their Connect with Business State Project. Please fill out this form with your business contact information.

FFA Updates...

Area Land Judging

Area land judging was successful for Raymond Central Ag. Department this year with the 18 people who attended. Rachel Bos got 8th overall and her team of Leslie Bos, Cade Grant, and Braelyn Christensen, placed 3rd in the team portion. Blue ribbons included Leslie, Braelyn, and Cade. Reds include Aleyna Cuttlers, Burke Settles, Ben Kliment and Logan Jelinek. White ribbons are Barrett Walahoski, CeCe Sterns, Hailee Nelson, Tyson Malousek, Brooklyn Maxson, and Olyvia Korthanke. Other participants include Madi Leise, Jaelyn Kliment, and Wyatt Svoboda. The Centrals 3rd placing team got the chance to attend State on October 28th. There were over 180 students and 11 chapters that attended with 50 teams. The event was held near Czechland Lake Recreation Area and hosted by the Lower Platte North NRD.

Isaac White-National Top Proficiency Awarded

We are proud to announce that Isaac White’s Small Animal Production and Care Proficiency was awarded last week at the National FFA Convention a Gold and top 9 rating. Way to go Isaac White!!! His Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) is raising registered American Fuzzy Lops, Mini Satins, Holland Lops, and Jersey Woolie rabbits. Issac graduated from Raymond Central in 2020 and was the Central FFA Chapter President. He received his State Degree this past year and now is attending Iowa State, majoring in Animal Science.

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RC High School Marching Band Receives "Excellent" Rating at Oxbow Invitational

The RC High School Marching Band received an "Excellent" rating at the Oxbow Marching Band Invitational. It was the only contest they participated in this fall due to the pandemic. They also performed at the four home football games this fall. The show this year was "Into the Unknown," featuring music from Disney movies. The band played: "The Circle of Life," from The Lion King (1994), "A Whole New World" from Aladdin (1992), and "Into the Unknown" from Frozen 2 (2019).