• State Testing Approaching

    With Rockwell on the state’s Title I Focus School list for low test scores, time and effort has been given to better address the rigors of the test from the teacher side as well as from the student side. Teachers have been diving into data, taking sample tests, and looking at various so-called “soft skills” that are related to test taking. Researcher and writer Annie Murphy Paul’s e-course, “Turning Testing Into Learning” has been made available to all faculty and staff in addition to using our early-out Fridays to learn more about data and how it can help us help students.

    Tests that are approaching are the ACT in early March and the SAGE test about the 21st of March. While administration appreciates the political hot potato SAGE and the Common Core are for many people, Rockwell must comply with the law as part of Utah’s public system of instruction. However, the school’s main desire is to use any assessment results to help improve how we teach so we can be faithful to our commitment to prepare all students for what is next in their lives. Please plan on more information coming home about testing and our use of it as we get closer to the test dates.

    And please plan to attend our Parent-Teacher-Student Conference night on February 18th, 5:30-7:30 pm, where more info will be available and we can let you see a sample of the tests we administer at Rockwell. Never hesitate to email any of the admin team with questions or concerns.

  • General Updates

    (1) We need a couple of parents 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. We genuinely need you to serve in this capacity.

    (2) Students have been challenged to adjust attitude and behavior on a few things: (a) taking better care of our school; (b) regular and consistent on-time attendance to classes; and (c) not accepting failing grades. Please follow up at home. Consequences for disregard of these issues could be a closed campus for high school lunch, restroom doors locked except during the passing time, and students not being able to walk with their class mates at graduation. Please feel free to email me with questions on any of these items.

    (3) Please continue to reinforce the dress code at home. While we do not have a huge issue, like those needing to get to class quicker or those needing to try a little harder, at a small school these things stand out. In fairness, the Rockwell standard is simple: students and clothing need to be in good taste, modest, in good repair, and clean. Everyone agrees to this upon accepting enrollment here, so please comply.

    (4) Cold as it is, spring will be here soon and with it, an increase in PDA. While some students claim parents are okay with their kissing and other physical interactions, we are not. Also, students are invited to avoid foul or inappropriate language and gestures as well as being respectful when called out on any of this stuff. Faculty and staff have been asked not to humiliate students in any situation, but student cooperation is expected and highly appreciated.

    (5) Students concerned about enough credits to graduate or who are struggling with attendance need to put a plan together now. Teachers are willing to work with students as is the admin team, but no effort equals no credit equals no graduation. The equation is simple. Let’s work together to get everyone that has earned the privilege of being a Rockwell graduate to do so at 6 pm on Thursday, May 26th at Thanksgiving Point's Show Barn.


From the Director

2/5/16

Dear Students, Teachers, and Parents,

Here are some things about Rockwell I think all of us should be aware of and appreciate about OUR school:

Our moto is "We are SPIRIT, Service, Pride, Integrity, Responsibility, Inspiration, Teamwork."

Present enrollment is 492 (as of today) in 7th-12th grades.

Fully accredited through June 2019.

95%+ graduation rate for 2013-14 and 2014-15 schools years.

Lowest 25% of schools in the state on SAGE testing (essentially, low proficiency)

About 20% of students in Special Ed or on 504 plans with about 35% are on free and reduced lunch. About 70% of our students have been pushed away or otherwise marginalized at larger schools as self-reported to administration upon enrolling.

We rely on positive consequences with regards to infractions; ISS (in-school suspension), hall monitoring and attendance tracking to reduce out-of-school suspension to avoid academic loss.

Mentoring program at a minimum provides a localized elective credit, study hall support, student advocacy, and development of so-called soft skills; at a maximum, it could be amazingly transformative.

Credit recovery support available through Compass, Summer School, and by virtue of academic projects supervised by teachers and administrators.

Teachers are licensed through the Utah State Office of Education

Teachers participate in a variety of professional development efforts year-round, but especially on early out Fridays as a whole school and in various collaborative teams.

Teachers afforded tremendous autonomy within classrooms, subjects, and grade level teams on decisions about budget usage and how to meet student needs.

We participate in UHSAA for high school sports and activities as a 2A school in Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, Softball, Baseball, and Track and with other charter and private schools for 7th and 8th grade Volleyball, Basketball, and Soccer. Have also been in on Debate and Chess.

Have been 1A and 2A State Drama champs as well as in the top three in those categories for most of our 8 years in operation.

Have been in the top 3 of schools or the sweepstakes winner at the Utah Shakespeare Festival competition for 7 years.

Have been the top school or in the top 3 of schools for the Fairchild Challenge (Thanksgiving Point STEM competition annually) for the past 3 years.

We receive about $5,800 per student in overall funding from the state and feds.

Rockwell has a governing board who oversee operations through an Executive Director they hire with two assistant directors and a Special Ed director making up the admin team.

I’m sure there are other factoids to share, but this suffices. No, we do not get everything right, but no one does. We are happy to work with parents and students who want something different without all the bells and whistles. You get what you get with us - we avoid promises we can't keep and try our hardest to honor the promise of public education in this nation. We work hard and long hours to address each kid's needs regardless of where or how they are in terms of academics and in other ways. Each of them has the ability to learn and their worth is great, not just in terms of budgeting, but in all ways. Ultimately for us, it is all about preparing kids for what comes next in their lives.

I stand by these statements and to the best of my knowledge they are all accurate and true. We are blessed in northwestern Utah County to have solid schools, public charter and traditional public. We are an option among many. All six of my kids have been or are presently here and two have graduated (classes of 2012 and 2013) with our 3rd graduate to happen in May. I am invested in making Rockwell better and simply ask everyone involved to give their best to help it become a school worth having. I appreciate everyone’s efforts to this end and invite you to keep up the great work.

Best always,

Darren Beck,
Executive Director
Rockwell Charter High School

Agenda and Announcements