RANCHO SANTA FE — Last October, when about 50 students at R. Roger Rowe School were recognized by the school board for perfect STAR testing scores, somehow Tiffany Zhang didn’t get the memo about the special evening.
Not letting this special student go unrecognized, the school board recognized her at the May 3 meeting. She shook the hands of each of the board members and the superintendent and was given a certificate.
“She is a friend to all and a delight to have in class,” said Lindy Delaney, superintendent. “We didn’t want her to go unrecognized.”
Afterward, the board moved onto other business.
There will be some minor changes in the middle school schedule in that 19 minutes will be taken out each day, saved up and then dedicated to electives such as Spanish, technology, robotics or other classes. This new schedule will accommodate children who need extra math tutoring who also want to do something fun.
“The teachers love this and it’s great for the kids,” Delaney said.
Sixth-graders will be eased into the concept of middle school by changing classes once or twice a day instead of staying in the same classroom with the same teacher all day.
“It’s more movement for the sixth-graders,” she said. “They will have more responsibility, but they will remain under the auspices of elementary school. This is a good half-step.”
State STAR testing begins this week and school officials hope the majority of students continue to score very high. The goal of school officials is that every student in every grade reach a 90 percent score on the test.
“I think we saw great results last year and we hope to do better this year,” she said.
Delaney said planning for next year has already begun, but she expects some pain in the financial area, one of the reasons being taxes that are expected to be $191,000 less in the upcoming school year.
“We might have to make some cuts and hopefully not too deep,” Delaney said.
The Education Foundation has pledged $1 million next year to help defray the cuts, she said.
“We get less money and want to do more,” she said shaking her head.
Regardless of the lack of funds, she said the robotic program will be expanded. Teacher Dave Warner is excited about the expansion and is looking forward to it.
The board approved the purchase of new computer equipment, including desktops, laptops and iPads.
The board approved the option of a gradual rollout of placing iPads into the hands of every student. The devices will go first to all teachers, all middle school students and 10 will be designated for special education. The cost for the first 410 iPads is estimated to be $304,500. Next year, the devices will be given to the next third of students and the following year the last third.
The school board meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month in the Performing Arts Center at the school. To learn more, visit rsf.k12.ca.us.