Newsletters from the Elementary School Principal
Topics include: Dibels scores, math homework and Kindergarten Open House January 21.
Topics include: Veterans Day, Elementary Music Class and Program, Inclement Weather Notification, and Simpler Report Cards.
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.”
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,
CHILDREN PRAISE GOD
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
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,
“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.”
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 email@example.com 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!
One of the values that we have here at RCS is that God made every child with a unique temperament, skills, abilities, passions, interests, and academic abilities. As a result, it has been my desire to provide many opportunities for our children so that they can express who God has made them. I am so excited that the following after-school clubs have been formed for students with different interests. I have listed the sponsor of each of the clubs below. I would like to express my appreciation to these people for giving of themselves so selflessly. They put in several hours each week to build into our children. I truly look forward to what God has in store for future clubs at the RCS Elementary School.
Elementary School Principal
Cougar Chorus: Mrs. Amanda Abell, RCS Music Teacher
Cougar Chorus 4th and 5th graders meet in the Elementary Music room from 3:20-4:20 providing an opportunity to grow spiritually as well as musically. They perform at different locations like local hospitals, senior living facilities and RCS concerts.
Worship Team (Chapel): Mrs. Shannah Grenz-Williams, parent and experienced worship leader
Influencing a future generation on how to develop and use their gifts to serve the Lord. 2nd -5th graders meet Tuesdays for instruction and practice in the Elementary Music room from 3:30-4:40. They then are given the opportunity to lead worship for our chapel on Fridays.
Chessmates: Mr. Bob Bellamy, parent and experienced chess player
They meet on Tuesdays or Wednesdays in the RCS Café and room #153 from 3:45-4:45. Coordinator, Bob Bellamy organizes meetings consisting of teaching time with Candidate Master and multiple-time State Champion, Coach Brad Lundstrom, followed by playing time with other club members. There are optional opportunities to participate in local competitions.
Intramural Wrestling Club: Dr. William Stultz, RCS Wrestling Coach
4th and 5th graders meet from 11:15-11:50 during lunch recess on Mondays and Fridays. This is an opportunity to be exposed to the sport of wrestling or to improve upon the skills they already have.
Lego League (Robotics): RCS HS Robotics Teacher, Mathew Collier and his wife, Kathy Collier
Lego League meets every Wednesday in the modular building from 3:30-5:30. They plan a team presentation, design and build a robot. The team competes in local First LEGO League tournaments. (Sept-Dec)
Running Club Coming In March: Mr. Jason Conrad, RCS PE Teacher, and Mrs. Michelle Graff, 5th grade teacher
Children in grades 1-5 will have an opportunity to run together and prepare to participate in some local runs, including the Bolder Boulder.
With 429 students enrolled in the elementary in Resurrection Christian School, I am continually amazed at how God has made each and every child as a unique masterpiece. Each morning, I greet students as they enter our school and see children who smile, giggle, hug, and skip into school. I try to greet each and every one of them by name, but I have to admit at times, my memory fails me and I resort to saying, “Welcome, friend,” because that is exactly what they are to me. Our Lord, Jesus, forgets no one’s name because He crafted each and every one of us.
…13For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…
I encourage you to remember that your child/children have been crafted by the God of the universe with their own unique temperament, passions, spiritual gifts, personality, abilities and quirks. At times, it is easy to compare children to others and even tell ourselves, “I wish he/she was more like ____.” You may even be tempted to compare your child to other children in his/her classroom and inadvertently pressure your child to be like someone else. Remember that your child has been fearfully and wonderfully made and deserves to be celebrated for just who they are. Your child may not learn how to spell words as quickly as another child; that’s OK. Your child may not run as fast as another child; that’s OK. Maybe your child needs extra support with reading or math; that’s OK. Celebrate who God has made your child because God makes masterpieces.
I end this letter with a poem by Rita Bourland. The poem beautifully communicates how each child is a unique masterpiece created by God. I hope you enjoy it. Pass it on to another parent and lift your praise to our Lord for your child.
Each child is unique,
so eager for acceptance,
all the time.
A child’s needs are simple,
and I will tell you why,
it starts with love
for who they are inside.
To grow and learn
they need the best,
they need to know we care,
they need a firm and loving hand,
they need to know we’re there.
Someday they’ll strike out on their own,
to find their place in life,
they’ll travel, study, see the world,
encounter joy and strife.
But while they’re young and in the fold
they need us by their side,
to navigate life’s ups and downs,
to be a loving guide.
January Table Talk with RCS Elementary Principal Patty Hoppe (2015)
Watch this month’s table talk with Patty Hoppe!
December Table Talk with RCS Elementary Principal Patty Hoppe (2014)
Watch this month’s table talk with Patty Hoppe! Topics include: Dibels Report, State of the School Letter, Pettner Update, and the Elementary Spring Program.”
Happy New Year to you and your family! The RCS Staff is so excited to have your children back at school to start the second semester of the 2014-2015 school year. As I visited every classroom today, I saw children who were smiling and focused on learning. I believe they are excited to be back to school as well and that God is going to do amazing things here at RCS during the remainder of the school year.
A new year typically is a time for new beginnings and adjustments in our lives. This is a good time to be reminded of how you can help your child continue to develop good homework habits.
Recently, I read an article by Dr. Kevin Braney and felt the homework reminders were so good that I’ve decided to share them with you. They are great tips for a students’ work environment, routines, and organizational approach. Dr. Braney says that making little adjustments to your parenting strategy will help maximize your child’s chances of academic success.
Here are Dr. Braney’s suggestions:
- Give your child ownership. Remember that it is your child’s schoolwork not yours. Be available to help your child when asked, but encourage your student to ask for help only after their best effort on their own.
- Reinforce effort. In school as in life, effort is much more important than outcome. Focus less on grades and more on tenacity, persistence, and task completion. Instead of just expecting your child to work hard in school, give genuine positive feedback whenever you see it.
- Be your child’s copilot. Instead of being the problem solver, help your child develop those skills. Look to your child to lead the discussion on approaches to academic work both in school and at home. Offer your suggestions only after your child has fully explored and shared their own.
- Focus on the endgame. The grade in a particular class is far less important than ensuring that your child will go on to be a successful learner in college and in life. By helping empower your child now with developing their own effective academic strategies and problem solving skills, they will be more prepared for success in life.
As our children develop and grow, so too must our parenting strategies. While your child will certainly struggle from time-to-time academically, what’s important is how your child meets the challenge.
Blessings to you and your family,