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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Changes are in store for RASD students when school resumes

  • While students have been spending time being less academic over the past few months, school leaders have been actively preparing for the coming year, which officially starts Aug. 19, and administrators recently talked about a few of those coming changes.
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  • Seven.
    Not counting weekends, that is the number of summer vacation days students who are enrolled in the Redwood Area School District have until the first day of school.
    While students have been spending time being less academic over the past few months, school leaders have been actively preparing for the coming year, which officially starts Aug. 19.
    There are some new things taking place at each level of the local school district, and the school-level administrators recently talked about a few of those coming changes.
    One of the changes is the addition of even more technology, and according to Stephanie Flickinger, Reede Gray principal, learning pads, iPads and a mobile laptop cart are really going to enhance learning at the school.
    “Instead of having labs we are taking technology to the kids,” said Flickinger. “They are ready for it. This is where we want to be. We want to continue to create new learning in new ways.”
    Flickinger said the multi-cultural program, which has been a big part of the school in recent years, is going to be incorporated into the music program.
    That, she added, should really be exciting for students and the community.
    At RVMS, there are not any major changes, but Wade Mathers, RVMS principal, said there is going to be a more consistent focus on delivering interventions for students through programs it has already established, including the ICU program.
    “We used ICU to help students who were falling behind to get their work done, but this year we are going to focus on those students who are frequently in ICU to see if we can put systems in place to help,” he said.
    Some of the most significant changes are taking place at the high school level.
    According to Rick Jorgenson, RVHS principal, a new schedule is going to include homeroom time for 25 minutes each day.
    That homeroom time is going to allow teachers to take on more of an advisory role as they work with a group of 13-16 students.
    “The homeroom time is going to have more structure, as advisors talk with each student about everything from grades to attendance each week,” Jorgenson said, adding the same students are going to be with that advisor throughout their high school career.
    One day a week is going to include character education, with another day during homeroom time also focused on activities and student recognition.
    A new attendance policy is going to be implemented. The policy is going to change consequences for those students who have unexcused ab-sences or are tardy.
    Rather than lower grades, detention time is going to be served, as the consequence then becomes more immediate and consistent for students.
    Page 2 of 2 - There are a few new courses being offered at RVHS, including an AP English class which replaces accelerated English in Grade 12.
    As all students are required to take chemistry starting with this year’s juniors, there is a new basic chemistry and an honors chemistry offered.
    Information regarding the upcoming school year can be found on the Redwood Area School District Web site at www.redwoodareaschools.com.
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