NOTES AROUND THE DISTRICT
There are a lot of things happening over the course of the year—especially as we wind down to the conclusion of the 2014-2015 school year. It is hard to believe that we have worked our way through an entire school year already!
As we wrap up the year for students, I would like to share some highlights and information. As you read this, we will have finished our last day for students, completed staff activities, and conducted the graduation ceremony! Our school year will have officially come to its conclusion!
STUDENT LEADERSHIP GROUP
Joel Baumgarten, Activities Director at the Secondary site, has been actively involved in a developing leadership program and opportunity for students. The idea is to create a student leadership group for potential future captains/senior leaders at ROCORI High School.
Mr. Baumgarten explained the background to coaches and activity advisors in this fashion, “It is evident that student leadership of peers is difficult and deserves guidance at RHS. The group we would assemble would be called "R-Club" and if students would complete the requirements, they would letter at the end of the year and hopefully have a good leadership experience.”
The first meeting for the group occurred as we were wrapping up the school year. The meeting to organize the plan for next year was held on Tuesday, May 26. Student leaders were invited to a pizza lunch to talk through the developing program. The goal, which was achieved, was to have about 50 student leaders participate!
Mr. Baumgarten further explained, “The purpose of this group is to represent all activities and to train leaders. It will also be an opportunity for students to have a voice and discuss issues. This group will probably meet 4 times next year but that may develop with each year to meet more often.”
The plans for the group include a first formal meeting for 2015-16 at the Central Lakes Conference Leadership meeting on Monday, August 25, at Alexandria. The meeting in Alexandria is scheduled for a full day.
The next 3 meetings will be designated Friday mornings or during lunches near the start of each of the 3 sports season so the days are yet to be determined. This is a group that will letter "R-Club" if they are actively engaged in all four meeting opportunities.
The meetings will offer opportunities for mentoring leaders through speakers, character education curriculum and discussion/surveys of issues. Ultimately, this is the start to training our student leaders and being proactive with issues.
The opportunity for students and student leadership is very exciting! Mr. Baumgarten has additional information about the program.
Graduation was set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. This year’s group of seniors has provided excellent leadership and been a very positive example in the secondary building. Mr. Jenson shared a little bit of information about the senior class at the Dollars for Scholars breakfast, but was planning to save details of the success of the group for the graduation ceremony!
ROCORI graduation exercises have been very positive experiences during my tenure in the district! 171 seniors were listed in the graduation bulletin. 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 seniors selected James Herberg and Brian Herrig as the teachers of honor for graduation.
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; Scott Fischer and Summer Lardy were the featured speakers.
COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDENS
Although I will share more detail in another article, the district has been involved in discussions about participation in the Community Solar Garden program. Although the process is somewhat complex and has many layers of regulatory steps, the essence of the program is that Xcel Energy is required to increase its use of renewable energy sources within the power grid. In order to “grow” the resource, incentives are offered to community organizations to become subscribers to Community Solar Gardens. “Target” organizations include governmental entities such as cities and schools.
The school district has heard a number of presentations and proposals for Community Solar Gardens. The incentive for schools is that the district may enter into an agreement to be a solar garden subscriber (which includes payments to the solar garden developer) but receiving a credit from Xcel Energy for providing solar power into the grid. All of the proposals and projections that we have seen would allow the district to receive more in credits than it would pay for the subscription.
We will hear more information and are in the process of researching the details, but the ROCORI School District is seriously considering participation in the Community Solar Garden. Everything that we have seen would mean that we have nothing really to lose and only benefits to gain from the arrangements.
As I noted, there are a lot of activities through the spring and end of the school year. As I write, our spring activities are winding down as they complete their seasons. Students have completed their last day of school and have started “summer vacation”! We have just about completed year 47 of the ROCORI School District!