Schools, programs top Rock Hill plans

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2000

PEDRO – New teachers, coaches, reading programs, afterschool activities and a construction project will make this school year an exciting one, Rock Hill school officials said.

Thursday, August 17, 2000

PEDRO – New teachers, coaches, reading programs, afterschool activities and a construction project will make this school year an exciting one, Rock Hill school officials said.

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The district is excited because it looks like a good year coming, superintendent Lloyd Evans said.

More than 150 teachers reported for in-service today. Students will return Monday for the first full day of classes.

Schools have a good faculty and students and staff should be thrilled to see daily progress on the district’s new schools throughout the year, Evans said.

Beaver Excavating is removing thousands of cubic yards of material per day from the construction site to prepare the way for a new high school and consolidated elementary.

The construction project will also turn the current high school building into a middle school. The more than $40 million project is funded through the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission and a local bond levy.

Progress appears to be ahead of schedule, Evans said.

At the high school, the staff is working hard at each grade level to prepare for the year, principal Steve Lambert said.

Students will see five new faces among teachers but won’t have to adjust to new schedules, Lambert said.

"It’s another year and the summer went by quick," he said. "A lot of kids are enthused about coming back but, of course, we’ve got a few who like their activities now."

There are several new coaches at the high school, including Marty Mills for boys basketball and Amy Hughes for girls basketball, Lambert said.

"A lot of it right now is just blending in new staff, and everybody’s excited to get started," he said.

Principals at Rock Hill Middle School and the district’s four elementaries look forward to new grant programs, which will offer even more to students this school year.

The school district received $240,000 from OhioReads – $60,000 for each of four elementaries – to begin an accelerated reader program and a reading recovery program.

Training is Friday for the accelerated reader program, which offers students individualized reading instruction, said Vickie Evans, Rock Hill Elementary No. 4 principal.

Mrs. Evans and the other elementary school principals – Mick Hairston at No. 3, Fred Evans at No. 2 and Jerry Evans at No. 1 – helped write both grants.

Computer software allows students to read at their level, keeps track of books they’ve read and how well they’ve read them, Mrs. Evans said.

"It frees up the teacher and gives them information that allows them to pull aside (students) and individualize instruction even further," she said.

Reading recovery is similar to the accelerated reader program but it’s designed to brings students up to their reading level in 10 weeks, Mrs. Evans said.

That program’s activities will help students go from dozens of books to hundreds of books in a year.

"In the big picture, we’re trying o make things better, and more efficient, so children can learn even more," Mrs. Evans said.

"Things are exciting," she said, adding that every building principal she has talked to is looking forward to a positive year.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars from the federal 21st Century grant program will mean afterschool programs at Rock Hill Elementary No. 3 and Rock Hill middle.

Middle school principal Reggie Arden said hallways will be filled with new things this year, including two new teachers and new students.

Enrollment increased by 20 to 515 this year, one of the largest jumps ever, Arden said.

School day schedules remain the same, except for the afterschool program that will provide enrichment opportunities other than what they can get outside RHMS, he said.

The programs also allow teachers to assist, or tutor, students in individual areas, too, he added.

"We encourage as many as can to take advantage of this."

Arden also encouraged parents to get involved at the school through FORS, Families of Redmen Students.

The parent group is meeting this week and will decorate hallways, he said.

"We’re excited and proud of our school and want to fix it up so it’s warm and welcoming to them," Arden said. "We want to welcome them in for not only learning but also for various life experiences that they can benefit from."

An open house at the middle school will be scheduled after classes start, he said.