• General Updates

    (1) We still need a couple of people for our governing board. Please email dbeck@rockwellhigh.net for more info or to send your resume and a brief letter of introduction and how you see yourself helping the school. Thanks a bunch for considering it.

    (2) With SAGE testing underway, please support students by reminding them the only thing expected is that they do their best. The test is a value to the school in that it helps us teach better. It is not used to penalize teachers and it cannot be used to hold students back. It is simply a way to measure how well Rockwell has taught what the state of Utah expects students to be taught. No more, no less.

    (3) Planning is underway for Summer School. It will take place Monday, June 8th through Friday, July 1st. Courses and rotations will be announced soon. If you are interested in your student participating in Summer School, please email Mr. Beck. Thanks.

    (4) While Saturday School is primarily for attendance make-up, students are welcome to visit with teachers about making up work. It takes place between 8:30 and 11:30. Also, students should be reminded to use Mentoring, Monday through Thursday ( 2 hours each week) to stay caught up. Lastly, teachers are available to help students if they will simply speak up. Math Lab happens on Tuesday and Thursday, 3:05-4:00 and the History Annex takes place on Wednesday, 3:05-4:00. There are plenty of supports in place, it is simply up to students to take advantage of them. (Best bet - get to class on time each period and do your work, but that is the topic for another item.)

    (5) Last, but not least, the effort to reenroll students for the 2016-17 school year is underway. Please get that paperwork submitted as soon as humanly possible. Also, word-of-mouth is the best marketing we have, so please tell your family, friends, and neighbors with 7th-12th graders that we have spaces available for next year. Thanks a bunch.

  • Change the Equation

    Something the administration has been pushing this year with students is the idea of changing the equation. Far too many students and even a fair number of adults are under the false impression that people get something for nothing in this life. There are no free rides.

    The equation that seems to exist is the following: no time + no effort = no success. And that simply does not work. It will never add up. The new equation that needs to happen is the following: time + effort = success. Everyone gets to define success, but the cold, hard facts are that without time and effort, very little of anything worth having or being will be the result.

    As of this commentary, we are sitting at about 6 weeks of the school year left. 6 weeks of classes to attend on time and 6 weeks of honorable efforts to get the work done and learn what is needed to be prepared for what is next. Without that time and effort, the lack of preparation means a lack of confidence to take on what is next, it means that potentially the student will simply give up. Frankly, that just is not an option.

    Please reinforce the idea, the very real prospect that all of us can change the equation from one of mediocrity or failure to one of success. No one gets to define success for us and every person is allotted the opportunity to define what their success looks like. Very little is fair and equal, but the really great surprise is that we all have more say in what we make of our day, of our lives, of our circumstances than we are often led to believe. And it can start with changing the equation. Yes, that simple.

    Let’s all work together to end on a positive note, Rockwell.


From the Director

4/18/16

Dear Students, Teachers, and Parents,

I recently finished reading a book that seemed to sum up my feelings about public education; I liked so many things I reread the parts I highlighted this past weekend. Just want to share some highlights with our Rockwell community.

“No battery of tests can access what most matters in life: Integrity. Determination. Empathy. Resourcefulness. Connectedness. A thirst for knowledge. Passion. Creativity. Adaptability. The aptitude to read not just books but also faces. Confidence and kindness. Respect. These are the qualities that adults who are truly prepared and engaged possess. They are beyond measure. And they are what we must actively cultivate in our children.” (p. 12)

“Human beings learn perseverance well by taking on challenges that matter to them.” (p. 77)

“[Research from Stanford University] has demonstrated that a string sense of purpose is critical for building resilience, vigor, self-esteem, and determination - lack of it can be linked with self-absorption, depression, addictions, low productivity, and unstable relationships. The chance to develop purpose is to often missing.” (p. 81)

Larry Rosenstock, CEO and co-founder of High Tech High, believes “the more we trust young people… the more trustworthy they become.” (p. 162)

“Our children can do their best only when they are physically and emotionally well. Studies have found that the brain actually works better when it’s in a good mood.” (p. 183)

And finally, Nadia Lopez, a principal made famous in coverage given to her in Humans of New York, shared: “I found that the most powerful thing I could do was just sit and talk to kids and once I know about them, management wasn’t an issue, because they knew I cared about them.” It was also crucial to her as a teacher and as a principal that school be a place where each child is seen for her unique gifts, not branded by shortcomings. "So, if a child voices interest in a particular sport or filed of study, she tries to create opportunities for the student to pursue it. It takes only one relationship to make a difference for a student. and it is incumbent on all of us, educators and parents alike, to help put in place the structures that support that. Any adult at school can create a culture of care.” (p. 190)

Give these some time to marinate. Yes, we want students to achieve academically, but we also want them to be the best version of themselves possible. We want them to be good people. And this takes all of us working together to help that happen. We very much appreciate having your students here. Working together we make Rockwell matter. We make it a place we are all glad to be, that we are grateful to have.

Best always,

Darren Beck,
Executive Director
Rockwell Charter High School

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