RUSSIA — The 2015-16 has been a great school year so far.
“There are a few changes that I would like to share with the community as we continue to work to provide the highest level of instruction in a positive and caring atmosphere in which students thrive,” said Superintendent Steven Rose. “One of the biggest changes that you will see in all schools across Ohio is the offering of more college credit classes free of charge to all high school students. This year Russia is working with Rhodes State and Urbana University to offer 40 college credit hours at Russia that are absolutely free! Of the students who are currently taking classes at Russia we have 100 percent of our juniors and 93 percent of our seniors earning college credit at Russia.”
His report continues:
With offering such a large selection of college courses at Russia we feel that students who complete their junior and senior year at Russia will have the same advantages as students who leave the campus to take college courses at Edison, but in a more nurturing environment within the traditional high school environment.
One of the big changes implemented this year within our Elementary is a new character education program called Character Education A-Z: Designed by You and Me! The idea behind it is simple. Each classroom is assigned two letters of the alphabet and each week the elementary focuses their attention on a letter of the alphabet that promotes character education.
For example the first week of the program Michelle Muhlenkamp’s classroom had A for appreciation. As a class they decided to show their appreciation to all school employees and wrote letters of appreciation to everyone that helps make this school run, from bus drivers that pick them up in the mornings to the cafeteria staff that provide a healthy lunch for our students.
Jenn Wysocki and her sixth-grade class had the letter D and chose to exemplify the word donate. They collected over 600 books for an at risk reading program in Troy, encouraged all students in grades K-6 to donate their time, and on their day off of school the class went to the St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen and served a delicious meal to approximately 80 people in need. It was truly inspiring to see our students giving of themselves with such a positive attitude.
Kris Poeppelman’s class had F for Friendship. The class decided that in an effort to promote friendship among the students at recess they would make a “Friendship Bench” in which students who feel left out at recess or do not have a friend to play with would know that they could sit on the “Friendship Bench.” This would then be a sign to other students that they need a friend and it would encourage students to invite them to play. Overall this has been a truly remarkable learning experience for our students.
Finally, this year there are numerous changes to standardized testing. This year all testing will be completed by AIR (American Institute of Research) and Ohio has cut all ties with PARCC. This year, students will spend 40 percent less time on standardized testing then last year. These are both steps in the right direction! We still only have very limited data on our test results from last year and the results that we do have are not truly reliable due to the substantial number of students who opted out of testing last year. Initial scores look very positive, but until all the data is released, including data from other districts in the state, it is difficult to measure our success. Traditionally, our students do exceptionally well and I am optimistic this tradition will continue.
In closing I want to thank the Russia Community for your ongoing support of Russia Local School. It is your constant support that makes Russia School what it is today and it is very much appreciated!