Rochester Community Schools Update - October 21, 2022

Dear RCS Families,

Rochester Community Schools values and appreciates the strong partnerships that ensure our students have the best education and supports possible. Together with our teachers, administrators, staff, parents, caregivers, and community members, we can continue to foster learning environments that are filled with hope and inspiration to meet the academic, social, emotional and physical needs of our students.

RCS instructional leadership teams and district administrators meet regularly to collaborate and explore opportunities to enhance teaching and learning across the district. Recognizing that student voice is an important part of that process, 5th through 12th graders recently participated in a round-table discussion where they shared about the importance of character and citizenship—two of the six “C’s” included in our work with deep thinking (character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking). The students’ passion and insight truly demonstrate their thoughtful commitment to caring for each other and making the world a better place.

We are proud to showcase the student panelists, who are pictured above. Video highlights of the forum will be shared next week.

RCS students have extensive opportunities for growth and enrichment beyond the classroom.

Outside of school hours, RCS students enjoy participating and competing in extracurricular activities. Some of the many opportunities for RCS involvement include 75 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) varsity teams; 90 sub-varsity athletic teams; intramural activities; robotics and STEAM programs; hundreds of student clubs; choir, band and orchestra performance groups; and 1500 enrichment class offerings each year.

At this point in the fall athletic season, we recognize our teams who have completed their events and share our best wishes with those advancing to playoffs and the next level of competition.

Congratulations to the Rochester Adams High School girls golf team, 2022 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 state champions!

These athletes made history as the first Rochester Adams girls golf team to win a state championship. In a two-day tournament, they captured the state title to win by 47 strokes. We will be recognizing our state champions and their coaches at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.

LOCAL ARTICLE: Rochester Adams Girls Golf WINS State Championship.

RCS hosted a reception prior to Monday’s Board of Education meeting to formally congratulate our 21 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists and 41 commended scholars.

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized assessment administered nationally through the College Board that measures knowledge and skills in reading, writing and math. By taking the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of their junior year, students have the opportunity to meet the requirements for the esteemed National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.

Parents and caregivers were beaming with pride as we honored the accomplishments of their scholars. We hope students were able to take it all in and appreciate the moment, knowing how much they are supported and loved.

At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, members of our curriculum team shared how elementary students across the district are developing mathematical mindsets through the implementation of our new comprehensive K–5 curriculum resource, Bridges in Mathematics.

Bridges offers families support through their website: Bridges Family Support. Here, parents and caregivers can access general information, including an overview, frequently asked questions, and specific support by grade level.

In Bridges classrooms, students play an active role in their own learning as well as in the classroom community. They talk about math by sharing observations, explaining their thinking, and asking questions; use hands-on activities, along with a variety of math tools and visual models, to understand how mathematical concepts work; build stamina for solving complex problems that require perseverance; and play games in small groups to have fun practicing what they learn.

The safety and well-being of our school community is always our priority.

High school principals, Pasquale Cusumano (Rochester Adams), Josh Wrinkle (Rochester), and Brian Shelson (Stoney Creek), along with school liaison officer Deputy Dan Prachar, provided an overview at Monday’s Board of Education meeting of the district’s continued efforts to enhance school safety and security. A video of the meeting is available on the district website; the safety and security portion begin at 1:03:15. Written context was provided in last week’s community update; that information is also available on the RCS website.

One of our best defenses against harm aligns with the strong relationships and trust that have been cultivated between RCS students, staff, and our community partners. We continue to encourage students to talk with a trusted adult if they see, hear, or experience something that doesn't seem right. Community members can also report information using the Talk to RCS feature on our website or anonymously using Michigan's student safety program, OK2SAY.

At RCS, we do not take for granted our strong partnerships with the Rochester Police Department (RPD) and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), who are an important part of our school family. It is with sincere gratitude and appreciation that we continue to recognize OCSO Deputies Gooch, Haglund, and Prachar and RPD Officers Drehmer and Chisholm for their dedicated service to Rochester Community Schools. We also recognize the efforts of RPD Chief Schettenhelm, OCSO Rochester Hills Substation Commander Capt. Yeisser, and Oakland Country Sheriff Michael Bouchard who protect and serve our community.

RCS Safety Leadership Summit

We are currently working with our community partners to provide an RCS Safety Leadership Summit, which is tentatively planned for February 2023. We envision this community event to be an interactive and engaging forum, which offers a variety of free resources to support the safety of our students, staff, and families. More information will be provided as details become available.

Our district’s commitment to wellness continues. In a partnership with PTA Council and the Rochester Education Association, Rochester Community Schools will be reintroducing our Wellness Weekend during the Thanksgiving recess, from Nov. 23 – 27, 2022. All students, staff, and families are encouraged to use this time to refresh, relax, unwind, and enjoy a well-deserved break with family and friends. An additional Wellness Weekend is also planned for March 11-12, 2023.

The next Board of Education work session is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., with a special meeting at 6:30 p.m., at Hart Middle School, 6500 Sheldon Road, Rochester Hills.

Work sessions are not televised or recorded. Regular board meetings are broadcast on Comcast channel 19, WOW channel 15, or RCS Cable TV. Video recordings are then posted online, generally within 48 hours after the meeting.

Unfortunately, there has been a continued issue with Comcast sound quality that is beyond the district’s control. CMNtv provides video support for Rochester Community Schools and the cities of Rochester and Berkley, among others. It has been reported that both city channels continue to have problems with Comcast’s video and audio feed as well. Comcast is in the process of updating their government and education systems throughout southeast Michigan; however, they remain behind in their efforts to provide support. WOW appears to work as expected. Last week a technician from WOW met with district administrators to update their system and install a new line.

The Rochester Community Schools Foundation was established to provide funding for the enhancement of educational opportunities for all RCS students.

The RCS Foundation seeks charitable contributions from individuals, groups, organizations and corporations to strengthen academic programs, the arts and athletics. Grant opportunities are available for teachers, administrators and staff three times a year, in the fall, winter and early spring. After a formal review process, the committee then makes recommendations for approval of funding at the RCS Foundation Board of Directors meeting.

The RCS Foundation has announced that it is awarding its first round of grants for the 2022-23 school year, where 11 schools have received a total of $27,053 to fund 13 grant proposals. We remain grateful for the generosity of our community who support RCS students.

Legacy donors partner with the RCS Foundation to create and provide RCS high school seniors with scholarship opportunities.

The process to apply for scholarships through the RCS Foundation begins on Nov. 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 27, 2023. For more information, please visit the RCS Foundation website.

Please mark your calendars; we have a great lineup of high school theatre programs this fall.

• Rochester Adams High School is presenting Clue, Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 4-5. Click HERE for tickets.

• Stoney Creek High School is presenting Radium Girls, Nov. 10-12. Click HERE for more information.

• Rochester High School is featuring Anything Goes, Nov. 17-20. Click HERE for tickets.

As we enter into the weekend, we share our sincere gratitude with our entire RCS community for a commitment to wellness that enables RCS students to learn and be successful in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your building administrator or use the Talk to RCS feature on the district website.

Thank you for your support.

Dr. Robert Shaner

Rochester Community Schools Mission

To provide a quality education in a caring atmosphere for students to attain the necessary skills and knowledge to become lifelong learners and contribute to a diverse, interdependent and changing world.


October 24, 2022, Rochester Community Schools

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