“Rocky Creek Rangers are self-directed learners, caring citizens and positive world changers.” This vision helps all students to develop the World-Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. The mission of Rocky Creek is to collaborate with families and the community to provide an exceptional educational experience for all. Despite some hardships this past year, RCE maintained its values of putting children first, creating a safe environment, showing kindness and compassion, collaborating with each other, fostering high expectations, using critical thinking skills, showing resilience and perseverance, being creative problem-solvers, and communicating that every child has the ability to learn.
RCE continues to implement strategies to help our students socially and emotionally as COVID-19 impacted our students and their families in unforeseen ways. Social and emotional learning (SEL) was implemented into the daily practices of RCE. Morning meetings are strategically planned to check on the well-being of students. A Wellness Team of administrators, school counselors, interventionists, psychologists and teachers meet regularly to discuss student needs and ways to assist students and teachers in the classroom to support academic success and social and emotional needs.
Even in the face of several unusual years, RCE has many successes to celebrate. Mary Jane Britt, 4K teacher, served as District Teacher of the Year. Katherine Merrell, third grade teacher, was selected as RCE Teacher of the Year. Krysten Sidaway, 5K instructional assistant, was selected as RCE Support Staff of the Year. Four teachers attended the Teachers College Summer Writing Project Institute. Several coaches and teachers received grants to support their work with children. RCE participated in helping Relay For Life, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Harvest Hope Snack Packs and Jump Rope for Heart.
Students in 5K through grade five presented their Integrated Coding Projects to parents and invited guests face to face this year. Countless students were celebrated by “ringing the bell” when personal goals were achieved. When the bell rings, all students and adults stop what they are doing to clap and celebrate the student reaching their learning goal. RCE participated in the Special Olympics and the Unified Buddy Program. RCE celebrated the special Olympians with a “send-off” parade joined by their unified buddies. An annual Legacy Walk for former RCE students was held to celebrate their graduation. RCE students were celebrated and recognized with a “Clap Around” ceremony each quarter for classroom effort.
The RCE PTO worked tirelessly to support many projects for students and teachers. PTO supported Ranger Run, field days, fifth grade graduation, fundraising efforts, staff appreciation events and back-to-school supply packets. PTO made playground improvements by installing a turf area, installing a Gaga Pit and supplying new PE equipment. PTO also sponsored teacher grants to purchase classroom books and sponsored several projects in the special education classrooms.
The SIC must be recognized for their assistance in the planning of schoolwide improvement, continuing to support efforts to return safely back to school due to COVID-19, and continuing to work to improve communication between SIC and RCE families and the community. At the final SIC meeting, the team wanted to thank the RCE faculty, staff and families for their dedication, strength, endurance and perseverance through many trials. SIC chose a word for the year that represented the greatness of Rocky Creek Elementary, “Resilience.” The faculty and staff are very grateful to our parents for volunteering their time to support our efforts to improve achievement, social and emotional well-being, and the culture of our school.
Every day during morning announcements we all join in saying, “As we begin our day, let’s remind ourselves of our Rocky Creek Commitments: Rangers are ready to learn; We Celebrate each other; We Exemplify kindness; We Stay safe.”
During afternoon announcements each day, we all join in saying, “As we wrap up our day, let’s join in our vision of what we aim to be here at Rocky Creek: Rangers are self-directed learners, caring citizens and positive world changers! Now, go make yourself proud!”
The Rocky Creek commitments, mission and vision blend exceptionally well with Lexington One’s vision to “Empower Each Child to Design the Future.” We believe wholeheartedly that all students can in fact design the future by living “The Rocky Creek Way.”
Cheryl Fralick, Interim Principal
Shane McDaniel, SIC Chair