October News from the Valley

October News from the Valley
Better Together

It’s October and we have one month of school under our belts!  Our students have made a near-seamless transition back to full-time instruction and we couldn’t be happier to have everyone back in the classroom.

October starts with the Week of Respect.  We are all having fun with the spirit days that help to create a sense of community but more importantly, the conversations about all the aspects of respect that are taking place this week will help students find their voices and the ability to be the upstanders we know they’re capable of being.  Some of conversations are stemming from this website which you can check out to follow up at home and reinforce the concepts of respect and good citizenship:  Captain Compassion.  Captain Compassion is part of the new social/emotional learning program we’re using during FLEx Time.  Ask your students about their Second Step lessons and help support their learning!

Our group project this year capitalizes on our theme of the year, #BetterTogether.  We’re talking about how we each individually contribute to our community but also how, using all of our assets together, we’re able to build a society that is inherently stronger, more cooperative and able to accomplish great things.  Keep an eye out for photos on our social media and website.  This picture provides a little clue. 

Last year, while we worked to solve the issues of hybrid learning, we were fortunate to secure Chromebooks for our students in Grades 5 through 8.  While these have been an enormously helpful tool for our students, they have also prompted some frustration when their functionality comes into question.  A few laptops have had technical issues but many more have stopped working due to careless behavior or neglect.  Please help us help your students make the most of their school-issued technology and keep it available when they need it.  Encourage students to keep Chromebooks closed and in a safe spot when not in use for homework at home.  Hold them securely when packing up bookbags or moving around your home.  Invest in the Chromebook insurance so you won’t have to pay to replace your student’s laptop if they don’t follow these suggestions for keeping it safe.  We observe and try to correct careless behavior at school so we need your help at home too.  To that end, we will be ordering very sturdy cases for the Chromebooks to try to minimize damage from dropping and/or rough handling.  Students will be expected to keep their laptops in these cases at all times.  You may want to review the agreement you and your students signed when their Chromebook was issued and please look over the $30 insurance policy offering again as well.  Both of these clearly outline the student’s responsibilities and the family’s financial obligations.  You can find them here, on the website, in the For Parents tab.

I’m happy to report that the Start Strong Assessments that were given last week in Grades 4 through 8 were a big success for the majority of RVS students.  Dr. Lendis will report on the full scope of the scores at an upcoming school board meeting and we’ll add her presentation to the website too, but we were very heartened by how well our students did coming out of the year+ of remote instruction.  It is truly a testament to our Falcon community ... the administrators who fought to keep programs running, the teachers who utilized every tool and opportunity to make learning happen, parents who were supportive and creatively found ways to assist their children and our students themselves for being responsible and open to new modes of education. 

Conferences will take place on October 20 and 21.  You will find instructions on how to sign up for conferences with your child’s teacher(s) in the virtual backpack this coming Friday.  An on-line sign-up will be used again this year, however, you’ll access the sign-up through the Parent Portal. 

And lastly, just a quick word of appreciation to our community partners ... The Home and School Association is busy planning and fundraising for school-wide initiatives and 8th grade end-of-year activities.  The Boonton Township Education Association had a successful, fun Beach Ball which will help fund teacher grants, 4Kids Classes and the spring musical.  And after a bit of a hiatus, the Municipal Alliance Committee is back this Friday with a dance for 7th and 8th grade RVS students.  We appreciate all that these groups do to enhance learning and socializing opportunities in our community.  All that we do together (because we’re #BetterTogether!) provides a balanced foundation for children at Rockaway Valley School.

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