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                                                                                                Executive Assistant: Holly Cain



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The Graduation Challenge

In my last article I talked a bit about the Public Education Departments new graduation requirements.  For the last several years the PED has been rolling out a plan that ensures graduates are well prepared in several areas.  As a district we have held parent and student meetings to help everyone better understand these new requirements.  All 2014 prospective graduates were tested in all the required areas the spring of their Junior year (March of 2013).  Seniors that are testing now either did not pass the assessment(s) or were not present for testing in the Spring of 2013.  Our high schools have offered intervention classes before and after school to assist these specific students in strengthening their knowledge of the tested subjects.  So far, this fall, to our disappointment, student participation in these offerings has been minimal.    We have just finished another round of SBA retests and next week will begin a round of End of Course Exams retakes.  The school district's challenge is to accurately track each student's progress and make sure all graduation requirements have been met.  With so many opportunities to test and retest, this is a monumental effort for our almost 500 seniors. 

Parents of seniors, do you know the graduation progress of your child?  Do you know if your child is on track for graduation?  Do you know which tested areas they are lacking?  Now is the time to find out. 

Last summer a group of educators, administrators and community members came together to develop a Strategic Plan.  The main focus was high academic achievement for all students, career and college success through rigorous high school courses and encouraging parent participation in their child's education.  One of the Strategic Plan objectives was to set aside time for Parent Teacher Conferences at all grade levels.  The school calendar includes a K through 12 district wide, Parent Teacher Conference day on October 18th.  To better accommodate parent schedules, we will hold conferences on the evening of October 17th from 3:30 until 7 pm.  Teachers will be available Friday morning October 18th from 8 am until noon.  I encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity to visit with our teachers and especially encourage parents of 11th and 12th grade students to make appointments with the high school counselors or administration and inquire about the graduation status of your student.  You will also have the opportunity to visit with teachers and gain a better understanding of requirements and supplemental opportunities for tutoring. 

In an unprecedented show of concern and support, the RISD school board members visited with the entire staff of RHS and GHS last week.  We have the best teachers in the state of New Mexico and we have resources to review data, as well as offer interventions.  Our students must be in attendance and take advantage of the expertise in our teaching staff.  The students, staff, administrators and School Board are in this effort with our parents and community.  It is our job to inspire our kids as much as it is our job to educate.  We are asking parents and community to join us in our efforts.  Every time you see one of our kids, encourage him/her to do well in school. 

As always, if you have questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to email the Superintendent of RISD, Tom Burris at tburris@risd.k12.nm.us or call at (575) 627-2511.   

Tom Burris

Roswell Independent School District
(575) 627-2511

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