END OF YEAR NOTES
I seem to say it a lot, but it is hard to believe how quickly the school year goes. We are in the final week with students and all staff as we bring May to a conclusion and enter the first few days of June. Students will wrap up their studies, activities will draw to a close, and our seniors will complete their secondary academic careers! I would like to review a few things as our year draws to its conclusion.
END OF THE YEAR
The last week of the school year will move very rapidly. Monday, of course, is Memorial Day and school is closed in recognition of the holiday. Tuesday and Wednesday are the last full days of school. Thursday is a half-day for students and staff members are engaged in activities to wrap up the year in the afternoon.
Friday is a staff day with some district-wide activities at the start of the morning followed by activities within the buildings to close out the year. Saturday brings the formal conclusion to the year with graduation set for 6:30 p.m.
Many of our classes and grade levels, especially at the elementary level, had end of the year field trips scheduled during the month of May. Many of these are culminating activities for the students related to some of the curriculum or major concepts for the class or grade.
Each of the buildings has submitted schedules of field trips and the schedules were very, very busy! The locations and scope of the trips was very impressive and offered great experiences for the students.
Stearns County and the city of Cold Spring have major road construction projects affecting the city and school sites this summer. As you are likely aware, especially if you have been to downtown Cold Spring in the last week, construction on County Road 2 (Red River Avenue) has already started as the road is closed at Highway 23.
As soon as the school year is complete (meaning Thursday, June 2), work will begin on the roundabout south of the ROCORI campus. The project start was held off until the end of the school year so that our buses and students could continue to readily access the school. Once the work begins, access to the campus will change.
The campus driveway across the south (main entrance) end of the ROCORI High School and Middle School building will be a “detour” between county roads 2 and 50. Our drive will be the connecting link for city traffic between the two highways. The “speed bumps” will be removed to allow more regular traffic. The parking lot will be closed off to keep traffic manageable.
The use of the driveway also means that the doors on the south end of the building will be locked all summer. We do not want to interfere with traffic or cause traffic issues, so the south end of the building will not be open. Access to the secondary building will be through doors 10 and 11 on the north and east sides of the site.
Graduation has been set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. This year’s group of seniors has provided excellent leadership and been a very positive example in the secondary building. Mr. Guetter shared a little bit of information about the senior class at the Dollars for Scholars breakfast, but more details about their success will be offered during the graduation ceremony!
ROCORI graduation exercises have been very positive experiences during my tenure in the district! Students are very respectful and receive a great deal of recognition through the ceremony. ROCORI staff members lend formality to the graduation program by attending in their own collegiate graduation gowns and honor the seniors as they enter the gym.
The performances of the bands and choirs are a final opportunity to highlight the skills and talents of some of the students. We hear from student representatives as they speak at graduation.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP GROUP
A year ago, Joel Baumgarten, Activities Director at the Secondary site, was actively developing a student leadership program and opportunity. The group has been called "R-Club" and students have been engaged in many good leadership experiences during the year.
Mr. Baumgarten explained that “The purpose of this group is to represent all activities and to train leaders. It is an opportunity for students to have a voice and discuss issues.” The meetings have offered opportunities for mentoring leaders through speakers, character education curriculum and discussion/surveys of issues. Ultimately, this program trains our student leaders to be proactive with issues.
The group has a first formal meeting at the Central Lakes Conference Leadership meeting last August. ROCORI has had the largest contingent of students participating in the leadership program.
OFF THE COURT AND FIELDS
Throughout the course of the year, our activities teams have been very successful both on and off the playing fields. We are well aware of the success of the teams in competition, but many times we don’t fully recognize their success off the field.
Many of our teams have earned academic honors through the year with high grade point averages and consistent performance in the classroom. In addition, many of our teams have been recognized in the Central Lakes Conference for their character with Sportsmanship honors.
These honors are not taken lightly! They are wonderful statements about the quality of students, coaches, and participants in the ROCORI activity programs.
Two weeks ago, the theater department completed a successful run of the musical, “Legally Blonde.” The musical was conducted by Leigh Ann Davis and performed before full capacity crowds from Thursday to Sunday.
About 100 students were engaged in the musical in one way or another—actors and actresses were the most visible, but students were also part of the sound and light crews, construction and movement of sets, serving in the pit band, and working in other ways behind the scenes. The production also included some staff members to fill particular roles.
The ROCORI production was believed to be the first regional presentation at the secondary level of this particular show. Many articles leading up to the show provided background and highlighted the performers. The overall production was well done.
There are a lot of great things happening at the ROCORI School District. We have many programs, activities, students, staff, and issues for which we can be proud!