Help Children Develop A Plan for a Successful School Year

Recently I read an article by Dr. Jan Hittleman on developing a plan (with your child) for a successful school year. I think it offers valuable advice for parents; take a few minutes to read it.
It is my prayer that each and every RCS student has a successful and BLESSED 2015-2016 School Year!

– Mrs. Hoppe

“While most students strive for academic success, many struggle to consistently perform at a level commensurate with their potential. Each year, so many students start out strong, but as the school year progresses they hit a slump and may even struggle to pass their classes at the end of the school year. Too often parents find themselves relegated to enforcer and chief; frequently checking on progress, providing endless reminders to get homework done and make-up missing assignments, which usually leads to arguments rather than desired results. A more effective approach is to use an empowerment strategy in which each child takes increasing ownership of their academic responsibilities, so that when college rolls around, the child has the skills necessary to meet with success. This effort should start early. While some students have unique learning challenges that may require special consideration, by the beginning of middle school if not sooner students should be in charge of their academic life. Parents play a critical role of providing support and advice, but should not be overseeing everything … that’s their job. Consider the following approach:

  • At a positive moment, initiate a discussion with your child about the upcoming school year. • Allow everyone to share what went well and what didn’t in years past.
  • FIRST, offer to change your approach as a parent and encourage your child to provide constructive feedback and more specifically how you can better support your child in the future. Agree to try and implement any/all reasonable suggestions. AFTERWARDS, provide feedback to your child and offer your own ideas and suggestions.
  • After mutual agreement/negotiation, agree to an “Experiment” for a finite period of time (e.g 2-4 weeks) to try and implement the agreed upon suggestions, with a feedback session scheduled on the calendar when that timeframe is reached.
  • At the feedback session, try and focus first on any/all positives and only then focus on areas in need of improvement. Only make modifications that are mutually agreed to and restart the experiment clock. This approach teaches children responsibility, problem-solving skills, and at the same time, reduces conflict and enhances the parent child relationship.”


Newsletter flowers

Here we are; it’s May. If you are like me, you are asking yourself, “Where did this school year go?” It seems like just yesterday that I greeted students on the playground who were wearing new shoes, carrying new back packs and anticipating meeting their new teacher. That was August and now it is May. I truly praise our Lord, Jesus for the ways He has moved in magnificent ways during the 2014-2015 School Year. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the works of His hand at RCS Elementary School:

  • Students and staff smile in our classrooms and hallways.
  • Students and staff love one another with the love of Christ.
  • More students are reading at grade level this year compared to this time last year.
  • Students have learned life skills like honesty, cooperation, appreciation, serving and many more this year.
  • Students have fallen more in love with God’s word by reading their new Bibles.
  • Students have become better mathematicians this year, during the second year of implementation of our new Math program.
  • Parents continue to be part of the cord of three strands that is not easily broken as we work together to disciple our children. Thank you to 150+ volunteers.
  • Many parents are attending “Table Talk” with Mrs. Hoppe each month to discuss RCS and to discuss how we can partner together to serve our children.


The list goes on and on. Would you please take time as a family to praise God for how He is working at RCS? Take this opportunity to praise Him as a family. Recently, a colleague shared the following devotion with me on praising God and I think it is quite appropriate to share it with you.


Thank you for allowing me to serve our Lord, Jesus by serving at RCS. Every day I am filled with abundant life as I lead this school. Thank you for your love, support, encouragement, prayers and hugs.


Wrapped in His Love,


Patty Hoppe



Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’”? Matthew 21:9


The Lord calls forth praise from the lips of precious children to Him. They praise Him for they know He loves them. They praise Him because He cares for them. They praise Him for His goodness. They praise Him for His forgiveness. They praise Him for the beauty of His holiness. Their praise is pure, unsoiled by skeptics. A child has yet to be defiled by the cynical sorts Satan sends to confuse adults. Their authentic air of worship drifts a pleasing aroma into the nostrils of God.

A child is positioned by their honest intentions and trusting hearts to embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Thus, as parents we are responsible to encourage their growth in grace and truth. We teach them songs of praise at an early age so words of worship make their way into the depths of their moldable hearts. ‘Bless the Lord and all that is within me’ will not be soon forgotten by a son or daughter who sings this to Jesus. Yes, praise revels Christ’s salvation.

The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness. Isaiah 38:19

furthermore, make it fun for your child to praise Jesus. Play uplifting and joyful music in the car and at home. A chorus like, ‘Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe,’ is an easy phrase to recall and it reflects the heart of Christ. He says, ‘If you love me keep my commands’ (John 14:15).  A simple and appropriate way for a child to honor their parents is to obey them. Instant obedience is an indicator of a person whose praise to God is life changing.

A family who worships together grows in grace together. Yes, there are times you wonder if all the Sunday morning ruckus is worth the physical energy and emotional stress to get your little ones to church. Absolutely yes, keep your family in a healthy, faith filled environment. Like a greenhouse grows luscious fruit and vegetables, so your child’s heart warms to God in worship. Encourage your child to praise God by your passionate praise to God. He inhabits His praises!

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3, KJV

The RCS Elementary Staff- Called By God

Like every school, RCS has staff changes each school year and this may occur for many reasons. Some staff members retire, move, change grade levels, or are called by God to a new adventure in another place. As you know, change is part of our world. Although I don’t easily welcome change, I am reassured by God that He is still in control by Psalm 115:3. It says,

  Specials team     Kindergarten Team

        “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”



We will soon begin forming classes for next school year and realize we will have some new students and a few new staff members. I have the huge responsibility to make decisions regarding grouping students and assigning them to classes. Every year, I cover these decisions in prayer and ask God to guide me to follow His voice. He has faithfully led me in this process over the past years as an administrator and I trust that He will again as I make decisions for next year. Psalm 100:4-5 is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness:

 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

4th grade team3rd grade team2nd grade team

How can you help me in the process of preparing for next year? First, pray for me and our staff as we start making decisions for the 2015-2016 school year. Next, please be assured that as I conduct interviews for positions, I will follow God’s leading and will not make a decision without feeling God’s peace. I am asking you to trust me, especially for the hiring of staff members who God will call here to serve. Please don’t ask that your child be placed in your/his “favorite” teacher’s class for next year. I ask that you trust whoever teaches whichever grade level, knowing that they have been called by God to teach there. Don’t assume that your child will not have a fulfilling school year if he/she is placed in a new teacher’s class. Thank you in advance for your willingness to partner with me; I truly am thankful for you.

I am always available to talk to you about your child at any time; my door is always open to talk and to pray together. You may also e mail me at any time at phoppe@rcschool.orgif that is more convenient for you. I know that God will continue to lead me and my staff as we plan for next year and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for all of us!

Mrs. Hoppe


1st grade teamEducational team5th grade team