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It is my extreme pleasure to welcome everyone back for the 2016-2017 school year. We have some new faces arriving this year to our staff and of course there will be some new students that will be joining us, as well. Let’s make them feel welcome to the Roughrider family and show them how we can continue to work towards our academic and activity goals.
The maintenance staff has been working hard during the summer months getting both schools ready for the upcoming year. We had the gym floor in the elementary school sanded all the way down to the wood, removing years of old finish off and now it has a bright, new finish. The floor looks fantastic so we want to take extra care to make sure that this floor lasts for many, many years to come. We have taken out the broken and uneven sidewalks out of the south and west sides of the school to correct safety and drainage issues. It looks beautiful and functions perfectly. The grounds at both schools are in amazing shape considering the brutal heat we have been experiencing in the past few weeks. Kudos to our maintenance staff for all of the hard work cleaning, painting, mowing, building, installing, etc., that they have completed this summer.
One issue that I would like to address is the correlation between school attendance and school success. Each year we can look back and see that those students who miss a great deal of school are the same students who struggle academically. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but statistically it is pretty clear. You have to be in school to get the material. You have to be in school to learn study skills and social skills. We are preparing students for success in the world. If you speak to anyone who is an employer, one of their main complaints about new employees is their lack of understanding of showing up to work and showing up on time. It seems pretty simple, but too many students are not getting the message. I urge parents to make those needed appointments for the doctor, orthodontist, dentist, etc., on days off of school or at least try to make them at the very beginning of the day or at the end of the day. There is almost never a need to miss a full day of school for a trip to the clinic in McCook or Cambridge. Again, there are exceptions to the rule and unusual circumstances arise. Sometimes there is only one time that an office can fit you in. Been there, done that. Sometimes your doctor is in Kearney or Lincoln, for that matter. We understand, but we do have to follow state attendance laws and we will follow procedures with the Department of Education and the County Attorney. It is very rare for a student to get into attendance trouble towards the end of a semester if they come to school when they are well enough to attend. We understand students could have a lengthy absence in case of a serious documented medical issue. College visits are allowed for juniors and seniors, so ask Mr. Loshbaugh about arranging that.
School for all students begins on August 18, so it is time to get ready. We’ll have a great year and have many successes. Getting an education is hard work, but we’ll have some fun, too. Welcome back!
R. Todd Porter - Superintendent
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