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The American Dream

Rousseau’s building-wide theme this year is “Hopes and Dreams.” Listen as a few of our students talk about what “The American Dream” means to them!

The American Dream

Principal’s Notepad: October 2010

Dear Rousseau Families,

This week, Project TRUST (Teaching and Reaching Using Students and Theater) from Lincoln High School presented their award-winning sexual abuse prevention program “TOUCH” to our students. This is the same theater group that presented the “Be Nice” bully prevention program at Rousseau School 2 years ago.    The “Touch” personal body safety program has been a favorite within Lincoln elementary schools for the past 17 years.

The highly energetic and entertaining TOUCH program talks with children about the continuum of touch we may experience: touch that is safe and good, touch that is confusing or embarrassing, and touch that is not ok with us because it leaves us feeling hurt or bad or scared. The show ends by talking about safe good touch again, thereby completing the continuum.

TOUCH uses high school students as actors and a professional in the field of child development and sexual abuse prevention as the moderator.

The interactive nature of the TOUCH program gives children the opportunity to rehearse responses to uncomfortable situations and provides a supportive environment for children to learn to say no to touch that they don’t like, to get away, and to tell someone.

A follow-up activity guide is included in your child’s Friday Folder materials today. Please feel free to contact me, Rousseau School counselor Kelly Thieman, or the program’s director, Susan Letheby, at 476-2424 if you have any questions or would like further information about how to talk with your child about this important subject.

Have a wonderful and safe fall break!

Most sincerely,

Sue Braun

Rousseau Website Updates

You likely noticed that the Rousseau website went through some big changes over the past summer, but the updates did not stop there! This month there have been some significant additions to the site aimed at offering as much timely and useful information to parents as possible.

  • Staff: The staff page has been reconfigured and many staff members have added “profiles” that tell our community a little more about them. Click on a teacher’s name to view them, or scan across to the end of their row to see if they link to any classroom or grade level websites.
  • LPS Parent Center: Along the top of the page you can now find the ‘LPS Parent Center’, which contains quick access to many of the LPS resources useful to parents like Forms, District news, and various student services.
  • Sidebar: Links have been added to the sidebar of most pages that connect you with student meal purchasing, LPS’Pedia, school newsletters and other frequently accessed information.

Transportation Safety Reminders

Bicycles

School policy recommends that only students in grades 4 and 5 be permitted to ride bicycles to school. Students are expected to follow correct safety practices and are asked to walk their bicycles on school grounds. Racks are provided on the northeast side of the school. Please lock them up on the side nearest to the school so people can easily walk on the sidewalks. Bicycle locks are highly encouraged along with bike helmets.

Walking

Parents who walk their children up should wait for the crosswalk guard to signal for them to cross.

Driving

Children should ONLY enter and exit from two cars in front of or two cars behind the marked crosswalk in the drive through. Children should avoid walking between parked cars. If parents need to get out of cars, please pull over to the curb or parking space. Having students ready to exit the car immediately will keep traffic moving.

4th Grade at Spring Creek Prairie

The 4th grade recently spent a day at Spring Creek Prairie on a field trip. Thanks again to our parent volunteers for spending the day with us!

  • Mr. Baker
  • Mrs. Swearingen
  • Mr. Schlueter
  • Mr. Kohl

From the Principal’s Notepad

Dear Rousseau Families,

WHEW! Can it really be the end of another school year? This is the time of year when, stopping to catch our breath, it’s important to look back and reflect on all we have accomplished before setting goals and charting the course for next school year. I am incredibly inspired and couldn’t be more proud when I hear each grade-level team share their results of a year of hard work and dedication on the part of teachers and students. What we know by looking at the results is that more students at Rousseau School are achieving at higher and higher levels. How does that happen? It happens because of an intense focus on learning. It happens because teachers are clear about what we want students to know and be able to do, and because we use frequent assessment to monitor progress along the way. It happens because of strong instruction that helps students meet rigorous district and state standards, and extra time and support that’s provided if they’re not quite there yet. I believe we’re getting better and better results because teams of teachers collaborate, share, and plan and parents support school and learning at home. It’s been a very good year for learning and growing and I thank ALL, students, teachers, and parents, who do their part and more to make it happen!

We’re making progress!! Renovation will continue at full speed throughout the summer with nearly every area of the school building involved. As a result, the main office will be relocated to the far northeast corner of the building. Summer office hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The geothermal well field is complete and soon the lower playground will be sporting a new crop of beautiful green grass, ready for play in August!

In keeping with our focus on quality teaching and learning— right up to the final bell! – your help in assuring that the last week of school is safe and educational is appreciated. In anticipation of the final days, please see that your child does not bring shaving cream, silly string, markers, hair dye, body glitter, or any other nuisance items to school. I will contact parents should students bring such items or come to school dressed in a manner that might cause disruption to the learning environment. Our goal for the last week of school is a business-as-usual climate. We will continue to expect students to conduct themselves as they have all year – in a safe, respectful, responsible manner.

Our heartfelt THANKS & BEST WISHES to the following staff members who will not be returning to Rousseau School next year:

  • Mrs. Dee Reifschneider
  • Mrs. Carin Appleget
  • Mrs. Mary Gourlay
  • Mrs. Chris Grantham
  • Mrs. Jody Rudd

The following staff members will be in new assignments for next year:

  • Mrs. Kristi Schirmer – Coordinator
  • Mrs. Nancy Coren – 5th grade
  • Mrs. Shelley Mattson – 2nd grade
  • Mrs. Stephanie Schultz – 2nd grade
  • Mrs. Paula Smith – Resource (returning from a leave of absence)

Thank you, again, for your kind support and active involvement in our important work at Rousseau School – to help students LEARN at high levels, THINK interdependently, and LEAD with character. We couldn’t do it without you! This summer, keep school skills sharp by including daily time to read and write in your child’s busy schedule AND… find plenty of time to rest, relax and have fun together. Be safe! See you in August.

Warmest regards,

Sue Braun

Technology: Year in Review

by Chris Pultz, Rousseau Tech Coach

It was a year of growth and change at Rousseau School. Clear examples of this are the students who progressed in their academic, physical and social development the past 10 months. More changes could be over seen with the the sound of the hammers, saws and drills of construction workers. Less obvious but equally important has been the growth and change in the area of technology integration by teachers. The building is in the midst of a maturation process that began with technology as a pull-out special subject area and moves towards an approach that treats the classroom as a digital learning environment.

It’s not “technology” if it was invented before you were born.

Students today don’t know a world without powerful laptops, the Internet, or pocket-sized devices that access it through touch screens. As adults this is all very new and amazing to us, but to our children it is no more amazing than a remote control or an 8-track tape. As teachers, it is our job to learn about these advances and how they can enhance learning. This is a noble goal, one we are working toward at Rousseau, but evolution in any process takes time.

The first year of change in approach at Rousseau focused on getting teachers more comfortable with technology. They were assisted with planning lessons that put technology into the hands of students and learned about some tools and resources that they may not have been aware of before. This was a big deal. The next year will focus on making this less of a big deal, and more of how we teach. A greater portion of next year’s staff development will be about creating the environments to help teachers and students take advantage of the substantial digital resources available to them in Lincoln Public Schools.

Shelley Blake-Plock, teacher & education blogger said recently “We are probably the last generation that will make the distinction between being online and not being online.” This is a powerful statement, and one that drives home the importance of this change in philosophy at Rousseau. If we are doing our job, it won’t be too many years before students will reminisce and say things like “Do you remember when we had to go to a room at the end of the hall to use the computer?”

Congratulations!

Congratulations go out to:

  • Kelly Mitchell & Lisa Trobee, 4th grade teachers at Rousseau, who received their Masters Degree at Nebraska Wesleyan’s graduation ceremony on May 15, 2010.
  • Alex R., a 5th grade student here at Rousseau placed 2 in the Water Conservation Poster Contest. A copy of his poster will be displayed on billboards around Lincoln. Way to Go Alex!!
  • Representing Rousseau School at the Annual Gold Star Banquet were Peter J., 4th grade student; Janis Hiatt, Diane McDonald & Shelley Clayburn, Character Council Sponsors.
  • Our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to 2009-2010 PTO Board Members; Jenni Jex, Lori Tackett, Kim Cook and Melanie Whitmore for your time, hard work, and dedication to Rousseau School.

Lost & Found

Are you missing jackets, coats, mittens…? I think I know where they might be!

Please stop by the table in the main hall and look through our “found and forgotten” items. We’ve amassed quite a collection! Items not claimed by June 4th will be donated to a children’s charity.