Newsletters from the Elementary School Principal
Dear RCS Families, 11-3-14
Here at the RCS Elementary, we work together as a team, or a cord of three strands, helping children to become all that God intends them to be. The three strands of this cord are the Lord Jesus, our RCS Staff, and our RCS families. Not one of us can do the work of discipling children alone because discipling involves prayer, insight, knowledge, ideas, support and love from multiple places of influence. In short, we need each other!
I want to thank you for your involvement and partnership at RCS! Each and every day I walk through the hallways and see parents who serve the Lord by serving our students. I see parents who meet with students in small groups to help with their academics, who grade papers, who cut items from construction paper, who copy pages on the copier, who supervise lunch and recess as a Lunch Angel, who create beautiful bulletin boards, plan class parties and so much more. Thank you for being a strong strand in the cord of three strands.
One of my goals is to have strong communication between RCS Elementary and our families. This is why I write newsletters, have a Principal’s Table Talk every month, and am intentional about chatting with many family members on a daily basis. Your thoughts and ideas are valuable to me as a leader of this school, and I use your input to make RCS a better place for all students and staff. Again, thank you for being a strong strand in the cord of three strands.
During the month of November there are two specific opportunities for you to provide input and strengthen our shared mission here at RCS …
The first is to participate in the next Principal Talk. It will be on Friday, November 7, at 8:30am in the Elementary School Library. I hope you will accept my invitation to join me.
Secondly, all RCS families are asked to complete a survey during the month of November. Your input is vital as we make plans to better serve children and families. I am anxious to continue to learn ways that I can be a better servant to you and your children, and this survey will capture the collective wisdom and input of our families. It’s important to me that your input is included! The survey results will also be submitted to the Association of Christian Schools, as a part of the accreditation process that RCS is currently participating in with them. Would you take 10 minutes to complete the survey by clicking on the link below? Thank you in advance for your willingness to take this survey to help me/us in our service to you and your children.
Again, thank you for the privilege of serving Christ by serving you and your precious children!
Mrs. Patty Hoppe
“A Bible search in the New American Standard Bible found 94 instances of the word family. The normal usage, in both Testaments, was what we now call the extended family. The words or phrases translated into English as family actually mean tribe, or those living under the same roof. The same word in Exodus 12:4 for household family is used of a much larger group, the house of Israel, in Isaiah 5:7. The expectations placed on “families” were not for the biological mother and father alone; they were the responsibilities of nurturance, integrity, and consistency that were placed on a larger, connected group. This is part of serving one another.”
“In the New Testament, the word household is not a synonym for nuclear family; it represents an extended family. That is why it made sense in Ephesians 2:19 for Paul to call the church the household of God.”
-Excerpt taken from “It Takes an Extended Family!” by David K. Wilcox, PhD
We here at RCS are partners with families in the academic and spiritual formation of their children. We take seriously the call to help children learn to love their God with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves.
As you participate in Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 23rd and 24th, please know that your child’s teacher is committed to partnering with you in prayer and also committed to teaching strategies that help in the Christian nurturing of your child. Come to the conference with a willingness to support for your child’s teacher, and a word of encouragement. Ask your child’s teacher what you can be doing at home to support the learning that is happening in the classroom. Most of all come to Parent/Teacher conferences knowing that the RCS staff is your extended family!
What an incredible 3 weeks of school it has been! There are so many exciting events happening at RCS Elementary School that I wish you were able to see all of them. I know that is impossible, so I will report 3 thrilling happenings in this newsletter.
First, the Buddy Bench is serving children who need a buddy at recess on our east playground. At times, children find themselves alone on the playground and the Buddy Bench allows them to sit and either find another child on the bench to “hang out” with, or show others that they need a buddy. Many of our students have felt included and happy at recess due to the Buddy Bench. Thank you to Mr. Stults, our art substitute, for painting the Buddy Bench.
Next, RCS students are practicing PAWS behavior on a daily basis. PAWS stands for Personal Best, Attentiveness, Working Hard, and Serving Heart. Every morning I talk to students about God’s heart for PAWS behavior and how they can practice those behaviors at school. This year, students are earning PAWS recognition and their names are being announced over the loud speaker. Along with this recognition, small PAWS awards are pinned to the RCS Elementary Life Skills Board by the staircase in the elementary school. Stop by and read the names of the students who have shown PAWS behavior. The staff and I are very proud of these students.
Finally, I am happy to announce that our weekly chapel has been high-energy, Spirit-filled, and full of praise. Students are bringing their Bibles every week as we journey through the books of the Bible with their new,
Please join us on Fridays from 1:00-2:00 PM in the REZ Main Sanctuary for Elementary Chapel. Follow the list of guest speakers in the RCS Friday Fun Facts.
I continue to feel so blessed by God’s goodness and faithfulness toward RCS. It truly is an amazing place to learn, love, and grow.Humble to Serve, Mrs. Hoppe
School supplies are in the stores, children are finding out who their teacher will be, families are hanging out at the RCS playground and everyone is gearing up for a new school year. We are all ready for a new beginning!
The Bible has a lot to say about new beginnings and one of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This verse reminds us that God is in the business of new beginnings because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. This is GOOD NEWS! Here is some other “news” at the elementary school:
The Elementary Office: Stop in and see how the office has been remodeled to better serve staff and families. I want to thank the REZ Fellowship Custodians for all of the hard work that they put into getting this project ready before school begins. Thank you to Jim Cox and his cleaning crew for getting our building clean and shiny for all of us.
The Elementary Hallways: There is now new carpet in every hall at the RCS Elementary School. The new carpet adds warmth and a sense of “newness” to our building.
New Kindergarten Room: The elementary technology lab has moved to the second floor of the middle school building and the former technology room is now a kindergarten classroom for our half-day kindergarteners. The room has new furniture, carpet, paint, bulletin boards and lighting. Be sure to stop in and look at it the next time you visit.
New Families: We welcome 113 new families to the RCS family, grades K-12. The elementary school welcomes 182 new students to our school. This number includes our new kindergarteners. There are 2 tracks of full-day kindergarten, 2 tracks of half-day kindergarten and 3 tracks of grades 1-5 for a total of approximately 400 students.
New Staff: Please attend Parent Orientation Night on August 14th from 5:45-7:30 PM to welcome the new and returning RCS Staff Members.
Please continue to encourage your child/children to anticipate a new and exciting school year. Tell them that all of the teachers are getting ready to welcome them and bless them on August 15th. Mark these dates on your calendar and we all look forward to seeing you for another blessed year here at RCS. I am so thankful to be able to serve children and families as the Elementary Principal here at RCS and sincerely thank you for your love and support. – Mrs. Hoppe
August 14th: Individual student testing. Call the school office at 612-0672 to set up a 20-minute appointment for your child to meet with his/her teacher. Students may bring their school supplies at this time.
August 14th: Parent Orientation Night for parents from 5:45-7:30 starting at 5:45 PM in the REZ Fellowship Main Sanctuary. Parents may bring school supplies at this time.
August 15th: FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
August 29th: Parent Volunteer Training in the elementary school library 8:20-9AM
This was the first year of a full adoption and implementation of a new Math series published by Houghton Mifflin and our Terra Nova test scores show that our students grew at every grade level! The table below shows the Math Composite Scores for 3 years. (Since this is the first year Kindergarten students took the Terra Nova test, there is no data listed for 2012 and 2013.) This is cause for great celebration by all!
While looking at the table, it is important to track a group of students, or a cohort, to calculate their growth over the past 2 years in Math; the colors represent the cohorts. For example, this year, second graders had a Composite Score of 85 and last year this same group of students had a Composite score of 65 (indicated in yellow), thus showing a 20 point gain in Math from 2013-2014; the last column of the table shows a +20. You can follow each cohort to see the academic growth over the past 2 years.
Every cohort group of students made academic gain in Math this year and it is surely something to be celebrated! The new Math curriculum introduced new vocabulary, new routines for both daily work and homework along with more rigorous problem-solving strategies. Our students rose to this new learning-challenge. Our teachers taught the Houghton Mifflin curriculum with fidelity so that there would be consistency in instruction at every grade level and the positive results show in the data. I am deeply thankful for a professional, hard-working staff who accepts nothing less than academic excellence.
I would like to thank you, as parents, for your part in the Math academic growth as well. You came to Math Night, spoke to your child’s teacher about homework, asked great questions and discussed Math with me at the Principal’s Table Talk time. You contributed to our Math success as well.
Finally, hats off to our students who did their personal best to show what they know in Math. I am so proud of each and every one of them for reaching the high academic bar that was set for them this year.
Yes, it was a year of adjustment and hard work, but it was worth it! Let’s thank the Lord for His goodness to all of us for having His hand of involvement on RCS.
It is hard to believe that this is the last newsletter that I will be writing for this school year! I am approaching the conclusion of my first year as the Elementary Principal here at Resurrection Christian School and what a year it has been! One of our school board members asked me to describe what it has been like to be the principal here and without hesitation, I responded with the word, joy.
Webster defines joy as “a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.”
Resurrection Christian School has been a source of great joy to me for the following reasons:
- Teachers who love their students and are helping them become men and women of God
- A superintendent, Mr. Howlett, who leads with integrity, gentleness and empowerment
- Teachers who teach engaging, well-planned, and meaningful lessons
- Educational Assistants who selflessly support our classroom teachers
- A staff that does whatever it takes to meet the needs of all children
- Parents who serve in and out of classrooms
- Daily hugs from students
- The work of the Holy Spirit in students’ lives
- A school that is truly a family
- The smiling faces of Dana and Jeannette who serve our students and families in the front office
- … and much, much more
I look forward to many more years of joyful service to the students, families and staff here at RCS. May you have a relaxing, family-filled, Christ-centered summer! Blessings to each and every one of you! – Mrs. Hoppe
It’s been said that a teacher hasn’t taught until the student has learned. I totally agree with this statement, and it’s one of the reasons why students take the Terra Nova Standardized Test every April at Resurrection Christian Elementary School. The Terra Nova Test assesses the knowledge and skills each student has acquired in a given school year. Teachers plan and teach content skills throughout the school year, and then the Terra Nova test results reveal to them how well those skills have indeed been taught by them. Terra Nova results also let teachers know if their students have mastered the content skills and knowledge that are expected to be mastered at their grade-level. As a result, it helps highlight those areas where individual students may need re-teaching or even enrichment in order to thrive at their grade level.
Terra Nova testing will take place this year from April 7-18. Unlike last year, students will be testing more days, but for much less time per day. It’s very difficult for children to take standardized tests for long periods of time, so by having students spend less time testing each day, they are less likely to acquire “test fatigue.” It’s our desire to create the best possible environment, allowing students to truly show what they know when they take their tests. The Terra Nova testing schedule will be sent home to you and will be communicated through the electronic Elementary Friday Fun Facts.
Here are some ways that you can support your child for the upcoming Terra Nova testing:
1. Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep every night.
2. Encourage your child to do their best and remind him/her that they are still loved, accepted, secure, and significant no matter how they score on the test.
3. Do not schedule appointments that require your child to leave school during the day while the Terra Nova testing is being done.
4. Encourage your child to show what they know!
Here are the test-taking skills that your child will review with their teacher. I’d like to encourage you to review them with your child as well:
1. Try to answer all of the questions.
2. Work carefully.
3. Do your personal best.
4. Fill in all the bubbles completely.
5. Check your work and ask, “Does my answer make sense?”
6. Remember that this is your time to shine and show all that you know.
At RCS we’ll continue to teach the whole child, and seek to monitor each child’s emotional, social, physical, spiritual, and academic development on an ongoing basis. Terra Nova is a tool that will be used to learn how each child has grown academically during the 2013-2014 school year, yet it’s not the only tool that will be used. Among other things, a child’s heart, happiness and security cannot simply be assessed by a standardized test. The Terra Nova Test will give us valuable information, but it will never be able to capture a multi-faceted child of God … your child. It’s important that students work their hardest in taking the test so that others can clearly see how much they know and how well their teacher has taught. Thanks for your partnership in the teaching-learning process, especially as we enter into this season of Terra Nova testing.
This year I have promoted the theme of how 3 strands is not easily broken and one of those strands is the vital role that you, as parents, play in helping our children become academically prepared. With team work, we can help each and every child to become proficient, fluent readers who not only are able to decode text, but also learn to think about what they are reading and become lovers of reading.
When my own children were pre-school age, I found it easier to read to them than when they became school-age. I often thought that they didn’t need me to read to them when they became older and that it really didn’t matter much if they heard me read to them. I was wrong! Reading to children of all ages helps them develop a rich vocabulary, increases critical thinking skills, and a general love for reading.
Please take time to click on the link below to read more about the importance of reading to your child. I assure you that this article is worth the time to read and will give you practical steps on how to do it.
Mrs. Jessup, our Elementary School Librarian, is happy to help you choose quality pieces of literature to read aloud to your child if you need ideas on books. Just e-mail her at email@example.com for read-aloud book ideas.
Our mission statement here at Resurrection Christian School is to help all children become Boldly Christian, Academically Equipped, and Globally Prepared. Currently, our fifth-graders are reading and discussing the book, Case For A Creator for Kids by Lee Strobel to help them become boldly Christian. (Lee Strobel was our keynote speaker at the RCS Fall Gala.) In his book, Lee Strobel clearly helps children understand the well-researched, reliable, and eye-opening investigations to answer the question, “Did God create the universe?” Our students are learning the truth found in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” By studying the truth of Genesis 1:1, our children are learning to be boldly Christian in a world that doesn’t embrace the infallible word of God and they are learning how to develop a biblical worldview.
I highly recommend that you read the books that Lee Strobel has written with your child including, Case For Faith for Kids, Case For Christ for Kids, and Off My Case for Kids:12 Stories to Help You Defend Your Faith. These books can be used as materials for a family devotion or simply during your family time. I assure you that you will have rich discussions together as you help your child become Boldly Christian and that you will strengthen their biblical worldview in the process.
Remember that, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”(Ecclesiastes 4:12) Together, we can disciple our children and help them to be equipped to understand what they believe and why they believe it. We need to work together because together, our cords are stronger.
Below is a picture of some of the fifth-graders in Mrs. Miller’s class who created a timeline of when our earth was created by God.
I pray that your Christmas was a time of bonding together with family and friends and that 2014 brings you closer to our Lord, Jesus and to others.
The Elementary Staff continues to provide a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking in all subject areas. Recently, I read an article written in an ASCD (Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development) publication that I then shared with teachers on the power of asking the powerful question, “How Do You Know?” Although this article is primarily written for teachers, I believe it is a great resource for parents. Asking a child, “How do you know?” builds metacognition, or the ability to think about one’s thinking and to build learning strategies. Please take a moment to read the following article: