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Community and Student Engagement

Each week, an RISD campus program or department is featured in an article in The Rockdale Reporter.  You can view the past articles here.

Recent Posts

2017 Nov 8: Parental Influence is HUGE!

Teenage years can be a very difficult time for parents and their children. Research has shown that hormonal changes can alter your child’s perception of the world around them. Peer pressure and the need for acceptance is a very powerful influence at this stage of their lives. Independence is another major desire for teenagers during this time, and they have a hard time understanding that they are not fully ready for all of the responsibilities independence brings. Parents can seem to forget how difficult it was at this age, and how strong the need was to fit in with their peers.  It is essential that parents understand their role in the proper development of their children, and parents must be willing to spend time with their children to help guide them to this understanding. There is a great deal of research that supports the idea that parents and family ties are among the most influential factors in a child’s development and well-being. The following factors have been identified to be highly effective in teen development.

  • Regular family routines (meals, chores, and errands) are linked to a teen’s academic achievement and self-esteem.
  • Teen-parent time together helps motivate education and socialize teens.
  • High parental involvement during high school increases the likelihood that teens will attend college, vote, and volunteer.
  • Teens closely supervised by their parents are less likely to engage in inappropriate relations with the opposite sex.
  • Teens who receive communication and praise are less at risk for delinquency and alcohol or drug use.
  • Teens whose parents demonstrate warm support and simultaneously high demands for appropriate behavior tend to be content, self-reliant, and self-controlled.

In many cases, parents seem to be suprised to know that teenagers still want and need their approval and praise. In a study recently conducted teens were asked what factor most affected their decision about whether or not to use drugs, 40 percent answered that the morals, values, and religious beliefs taught to them by their parents influenced them the most.

Parents, you hold the keys to the appropriate development and success of your child through-out their teenage years and eventual adulthood. Please be there for them and provide the guidance that is necessary for this transition.

2017 Oct 25: Reading -- Beneficial to All

The ability to Read is a major part of all of our lives. We read continuously whether it is books, magazines, street signs, instructions, recipes, the internet and a multitude of other written information we take for granted. How well we read is based on how important it is to us as individuals. This week Rockdale Intermediate Principal Kathy Pelzel describes a number of benefits for reading not only for our children, but for us adults as well...

Reading is important! I think that is one thing that everyone can agree on. However, have you ever thought about what benefits children get from reading daily? Best Books for Kids recently listed the Top 10 Benefits of Reading. (

1. Kids who read often and widely get better at it. - At Rockdale Intermediate students are required to read every night for at least 20 minutes. Parents are encouraged to read with their children and discuss what they are reading.

2. Reading exercises our brains. - It allows our kids to use their imaginations as they are reading. This is much better for our kids than watching tv. Reading is time well spent.

3. Reading improves concentration. - This is something that comes with age. The more you read the longer you are able to focus your attention on what you are reading.

4. Reading teaches children about the world around them. - Reading allows our students to experience life outside of Rockdale. They can visit Mount Rushmore by reading Hanging Off Jefferson's Nose: Growing Up On Mount Rushmore by Tina Nichols Coury or venture to the bottom of the ocean by reading Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy. Reading opens doors to places one may never travel.

5. Reading improves a child’s vocabulary and leads to more highly-developed language skills. - Students learn much more from reading than just content. They expand their vocabulary and learn to form sentences. Reading improves a student's ability to write.

These are just some of the benefits of reading. Taking time out of our busy schedules to read with our children is clearly an investment in their future that can be enjoyable for the entire family. Rockdale Intermediate School is committed to improving reading for all students by providing reading materials that are of high interest for our students. We are able to do this not only through the campus budget but also through the funds earned from our Book Fair. Our book fair last week was a huge success and I'd like to thank the families who supported our effort to provide library resources for our students by making purchases.  These funds are not just an investment in our libraries, but more importantly, it is an investment in our children!

2017 Oct 18: RES Parent Involvement

Parent involvement, as I have emphasized in many past articles, is critical to the development of a child. This week Rockdale Elementary Principal, Alisha Eoff, has more tips on how to be engaged with your child, and help them to succeed in school and later in life.

At Rockdale Elementary School, we encourage any kind of parent involvement.  This week our article focuses on some simple steps that you can take at home to improve your child’s education by getting more involved in conversations about school with your child.  One of the best ways that you can get involved in your child’s education is by simply having a conversation with your child.  It is easy to ask a simple questions such as, “How was your day?”, but we want to give you some tips to take that conversation further with your child.  

One way to do this is through asking to see their Take Home Folder each night.  Each teacher at the elementary uses this as a way to communicate to parents the goings on of the classroom.  Within each folder, you will find class newsletters, educational focuses for the week, daily discipline, take home notes, unfinished homework, and completed work.  We encourage you to look at completed work to find out what your child is learning about and how well he or she is doing.  For example, you could comment on her math homework by saying, “You know a lot about addition and counting money, let’s see if you can count some now.” This not only involves the child, but also shows the child that you have an interest in his or her learning.  

Another way to do this is by asking your child to show you their homework.  Ask them to explain the assignment to you so that they can show that they know what they are supposed to do.  This will help to build their confidence, too.  In addition, you can take some of these assignments and topics to use as a jumping-off point for an activity to share with your child.  For example, several of our classes are going to visit the Rockdale Fair and Rodeo.  While there, they will learn about different animals and their habitats, and their feeding and sleeping patterns.  You could encourage your child to share which animal they liked learning about the most, and read books or attend a zoo to learn more about those animals.  

Not only can you ask your child about academic interests, you can also ask your child about his or her feelings associated things that happen at school.  Some examples might be, “What was one way that you were helpful today?”, or “What made you laugh at school today?”, or “What was the coolest thing that happened today, and why was it so cool?”  These questions will start conversations with your child and will hopefully give you some insight into what their thoughts and feelings are while they are at school.  

Finally, one of the best ways to have conversations with your child is to read with them at night.  This can be a special time with you and your children.  You can turn the television, phones, and computers off, and simply share a book with them.  During the story you can ask questions about what is happening in the story, what may happen next, or why they think the character is acting a certain way.  You will end up having some quality time and great conversations with your child.  

Through thoughtful questioning, looking through their folder, and spending time reading and having conversations with your child, you strengthen the home and school connection.  A strong school and home connection and increased involvement in your child’s education will help them to be more successful.  

2017 Oct 11: Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) Essential to Future

Rockdale ISD's Career and Technical Education Department is dedicated to preparing our students for their future. Ms. Britina Pesak, RISD's CTE Director, has exciting opportunities that can help to insure student preparation and success, and she would like to share some of them with you this week.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is helping our nation address key challenges such as workforce development, student achievement, economic vitality and global competitiveness. Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) are key components to strong CTE programs. They (CTSOs) integrate into CTE programs and courses and extend teaching and learning through innovative programs, business and community partnerships and leadership experiences at the school, state and national levels.

CTE programs are supported at the federal level by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, which provides approximately $1.2 billion dollars in state grants annually to serve more than 14 million students nationwide. CTSOs align with the 16 career clusters and 79 Career Pathways recognized by CTE.

Here in Rockdale, through the work of the longest-standing and community-supported FFA program, thousands of students have benefitted from this agricultural based CTSO. So many Tigers have experienced personal growth during their high school years, graduated with premiere leadership skills, and have gone on to attain great career success due to their active involvement in the local FFA chapter. The blue corduroy jackets are unmistakable wherever they are seen and are a symbol of class and pride.

In recent years, the community has seen the need to prepare students for careers in the growing healthcare industry, and the school district has responded by offering courses in the Health Science cluster. Thanks in large part to a JET Grant by the Texas Workforce Commission, the school has a simulation lab for the health science students to practice skills to become a Certified Medical Assistant. In order to hone these skills and gain leadership qualities, the Future Health Professionals organization known as HOSA is the CTSO for these students.

Students taking coherent sequences of courses in the remaining career clusters offered at Rockdale can demonstrate their leaderships and technical skills in the SkillsUSA CTSO. In this inaugural year of SkillsUSA at Rockdale, we hope to build support for the program where the vision is for all students to learn personal skills, workplace skills, and technical skills.

Nationwide, students who participate in CTSOs demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement and motivation, civic engagement, career efficacy and employ-ability skills than other students. Here at Rockdale, we are very proud of the work of our students in CTSOs and the CTE faculty and staff that work with all students to ensure a positive, lifelong experience.

2017 Oct 4: RISD iTiges Program

The Rockdale ISD iTigers ACE Program has provided many opportunities for our students to experience success and enrichment. These opportunities were not available prior to this highly successful program. This week our Rockdale Elementary iTigers Coordinator Mrs. Valarie Willingham has regarding the RISD iTigers Program and her program on the RES campus.

Many of you know about iTigers at Rockdale ISD.  You probably have a student who attends our tutorials/homework help, after school activities, or before school tutorials.   Maybe you yourself have attended some iTigers parent activities like our ELL parent classes or you’ve taken advantage of our excellent Ed2Go continuing education opportunities.  No? Well surely you have seen iTigers offering children’s activities at community events?  The iTigers program touches so many not only in our schools, but in our community as well.  We are excited to share a few upcoming dates for students, the community, and parents!

Rockdale Elementary iTiger students will be bringing home parent interest surveys this week.  It is important that you fill them out and send them back in before Monday, 10/9.  It is required for us to have these surveys returned.

RISD iTigers will be hosting our annual Lights on After School event to celebrate after school programs.  This year some of our students will be participating in the fair parade and iTigers will have tables set up outside of City Hall with snacks and information about what is going on after school.  Be sure to come by and see us Saturday, 10/21, at 10:00 am.

Rockdale Elementary School iTigers are partnering with Region 13, bilingual/ESL department to host a series of parent-education literacy trainings this fall.  These trainings are geared specifically toward parents of English language learners in grades Kinder, First and Second Grades.  We will be meeting at the Elementary Library from 6:00-7:00 p.m. The trainings will focus on these topics:  Finding the Right Book - October 19 and Vocabulary Development - November 16

Regular Fall RISD iTigers after school classes will end Thursday, 12/7, and morning classes will end Friday, 12/8.  If there is an early release, we will not have iTigers that day.

2017 Sept 27: Balancing High School and Life

The life of a typical high school student in today’s world can be very difficult and challenging. This week Rockdale High School Principal Tiffany Commerford has some helpful tips for those students who, as the old saying goes, have “Bitten off more than they can chew”. 

          I visited with a student this past week that asked why high school isn’t fun.  I asked the student what they meant “fun” and the student said I work 20+ hours a week, I play a sport, have church activities, club meetings, and lots of homework.  My principal answer was you sound overbooked but I know that wasn’t what the student needed to hear at the time, so I shared some strategies for trying to balance scheduling and maybe add a little fun.

          Not only can being in high school be stressful, but playing a sport and having a job as well can double or triple that stress. High school students are very busy people. Many students choose to play two or more sports per year, and have a job on top of it. For adults, it is easy to think that students can handle a lot of responsibilities, but what they don’t understand is that students have many duties. Homework, studying, practices and jobs can be hard to balance, but with the right advice, it can become so much easier.

          The best advice for balancing school and work is to have good communication between your parents, coaches, and managers. If your manager knows that you are playing a sport prior to you getting hired, they will be more understanding about you needing days off, and they can help work around your schedule.

          Knowing when your practices and games are also helps. If you write a list or keep a calendar of all the things you have going on in a week, you can figure out when the best time to complete school work is. Also, it is okay if you need a day off. If there is a day that you don’t have a practice and game, don’t feel obligated to go into work. Take that day off from work ahead of time, as soon as you know you’re free from sports, and just take a break. It can get very stressful at times without balance, so make sure that you allow yourself breaks or “free days” every week to just relax and wind down from all the commotion.

          Another piece of advice I shared, is, make sure you’re still taking care of yourself. It is very important to make sure you are eating right and getting enough sleep each night. Though not all nights allow an early bedtime, take advantage of those that do. If you get a good night of sleep each night, it will make it a lot easier to function the next day.

          Lastly, make sure you still have time for friends, family, and school events. High school is a great time to make memories that will last you a lifetime. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of, so don’t miss out.

2017 Sept 20: It Takes a Village

The community of Rockdale has always risen to the occasion and provided help to those in need in various ways through many generations. This week Rockdale Junior High Principal Ms. Kelly Blair has some important ways she and her staff are encouraging the students on her campus to continue giving assistance to those less fortunate and need our support.

        Over the past several weeks our neighboring communities have been devastated by hurricanes, flooding, and high winds.  Basic needs that we have all taken for granted such as running water, electricity, shelter, food, and water have been stripped from thousands of Texans. Many large organizations and high profile individuals have responded, using their platforms to raise millions of dollars for those affected.  The staggering figures have far surpassed anyone’s expectations.  These stories have been featured across local and national new stations.  Citizen’s across the country have recognized a need and responded financially in a big, big way!  The road to recovery will be long, but thanks to donations, thousands of families will receive the much needed financial support to rebuild their lives.  While monetary aide is a critical aspect of the relief efforts, many who were unable to contribute have equally responded to social, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.  Strangers who have risked their lives to save others, giving their time and resources to members of their community.  Stories like these make me proud to be a Texan!


        So how do stories like these, relate to the small community of Rockdale?  Hundreds of people right here in our own community wake up each day, facing these same physical, mental, emotional, and social challenges.  How can we unite as a community and do our part, to support someone in need today? 


        Rockdale Junior High began the school year with a community walk, in which every student in the city limits was greeted by a teacher at their front door to welcome them to a new school year.  Parents and students alike were pleasantly surprised by such a small act that cost virtually nothing.  This year, we are committed to continuing these efforts and do our part to “raise the village”.  I challenge each of you, to reach out to our schools and contribute what you can for the students of Rockdale ISD.


        RJH will do their part by offering several events involving our staff, students and parents alike.  Our P.E. classes will compete in Jump and Hoops for Heart to raise funds for the American Heart Association.  We will also host a kickball tournament which will raise money for cancer awareness along with a “Skate for Cancer” at our local skate park.  Just before the Christmas break, students will host and compete in a social skill building event called “Rockdale’s Got Talent”.  We will also hold a hot chocolate social along with an ice cream social with proceeds benefiting our RJH community garden.  Throughout the school year, students will participate in a school wide recycling program along with a Water Challenge to bring awareness to environmentalism. 


        So, how can you get involved?  Whether it is time, resources, or simply mentoring a student in need; do your part in raising “our village”.   


2017 Sept 13: Rockdale Intermediate's Parent Involvement

Success at school for any Rockdale ISD student begins at home. The support of parents who are willing to insure their child is ready to learn is vital. The role parents have in the educational experience can have an impact that can last a lifetime. This week Kathy Pelzel, Rockdale Intermediate Principal, has important information regarding parental involvement on her campus.


          This week we would like to discuss parent involvement at Rockdale Intermediate School. There have been a plethora of studies done over several decades on the subject of student success as it relates to parental involvement in the educational process. There are many benefits that can be observed in students with parents who are closely involved with their studies and school life.


          Studies show that children tend to reach higher levels of achievement regardless of racial background, socioeconomic status, or parental education level. These students have better grades, attendance, and complete their homework consistently. They tend to have a positive attitude about school in general and more self-esteem which lends itself to better conduct and productivity.


          All of these things are what every parent wants for their child but how does one participate in the process in a way that achieves these results? There are a lot of ways to get involved in a way that makes your student feel that education is important and that you care about achieving success inside the home. Doing a nightly homework check is a great way to show your student that you are interested in what they have done at school today. Reading with your child and completing their reading log results is some great quality time where you can get lost in a story together. Just talking to your child about what they are learning this week makes them feel that it is important.


          There are also some great ways to be involved at the campus level as well. Simply having lunch with your child in the cafeteria is a really enjoyable way to engage when you happen to have time on a particular day. We have a Campus Education Council that is always looking for more parents. Each semester we have a Family Night and we would love it if every parent and student could attend. The PTO always welcomes additional volunteers. Parent Teach Conferences are an important way to learn about successes and challenges your student is facing. We also hold EAFK and STUCO ceremonies and having parents in attendance makes them much more special for everyone. We always appreciate volunteers and encourage you to communicate often with your child’s teacher.


          The faculty at RIS thoroughly enjoys working with our student body. A strong parent/teacher and especially parent/child communication link with regard to education results in success in all cases. It only improves their education. Contact the office at your child’s campus for more opportunities to get involved!


2017 Sept 6: Anchors Away at Rockdale Elementary

Rockdale Elementary School has their campus “full speed ahead” as they begin their 2017-18 school year. This week Ms. Alesha Eoff, RES Principal, has the spotlight, and would like to share many great opportunities for her students and staff during their educational journey this year.


TREASURED. VALUED. RESPECTED.  LOVED.  Those four words are our guiding compass at Rockdale Elementary School as we embark on the 20217-2018 school year.  We treasure each of our students, value their ideas, respect their individual uniqueness and personalities, and love them unconditionally.  Keeping these principles in mind, our teachers and staff have spent hours this summer to prepare classrooms to welcome our children, to map out a dynamic curriculum, and create a positive school environment that celebrates success and fosters a love of learning.  


Our teachers have worked diligently to strengthen their academic focus this school year.  Several of our teachers attended a Professional Learning Communities conference this summer.  The main emphasis of this conference was to gain the knowledge and skills required to develop quality Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) in our elementary.  We began this process last year, and are continuing to implement what we learned.  We are looking closely at individual student achievement.  We are focusing on what we want the students to learn (the curriculum), and how we assess that they have learned the desired curriculum.  We are not only planning interventions for those students that haven’t met those expectations, but also developing extension activities for those students who have met the expectations.  We are working to develop goals and strategies to meet the needs of all students by looking closely at the achievement of each individual child.


As a school, we not only value your child and his/her education, but we value YOU as well.  Parents, your role in the education of your child is paramount to your child’s success. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to make RISD the best district around. We encourage the partnership between home and school, and do all that we can to ensure the strength of this partnership. We ask that you volunteer, attend school activities, and to keep in close communication with your child’s teacher.  We welcome you into our school and invite you to take part in the many opportunities to join along with us on this exciting adventure.  Research has proven that when parents and schools collaborate together, student achievement soars.  So please keep an eye out for opportunities to join us!


Our staff is committed to providing a learning environment which equips students with skills to help them to flourish and be successful.  We believe that we are responsible for the academic, social, emotional and physical well-being and development of the children in our care.  Our goal is to develop the whole child and enable them to become more independent as they grow, and our school theme is that we are “Anchored in Excellence and Cruising to Success!”.  We strive to be excellent in all that we do, so our children will be successful in all that they do.  We invite you to set sail with us on an unprecedented learning adventure filled with exciting educational experiences that both challenge and excite the minds of our young learners.

An outstanding adventure awaits...won’t you join us?


2017 May 10: Intermediate's Early Act First Knight Rotary Club

The development of effective leadership skills is essential for students at any age. The Rockdale Intermediate School has been involved with a leadership program this year sponsored by our local Rotary Club, and this week Principal and Rotary Club Member Kathy Pelzel has more information regarding this very successful program on her campus.


          Rockdale Intermediate School recently organized and implemented our first ever Early Act First Knight Rotary Club. The club will focus on service learning. It is important that all members of society understand the critical need for community service if we want to create a healthy city, state, and nation. Rockdale Intermediate School believes that even our youngest members can accomplish a great deal if given the opportunity.


          RIS students complete many service activities throughout the school year by providing donations of food/money for Christmas Roundup and cooking desserts for the Senior Citizen Center. Our EAFK Rotary club has set its focus on supporting animals through the local animal shelter and have developed a fundraiser to do so. Below is an announcement from our club officers.


Good Morning,


We are members of the EAFK Rotary club. My name is Karroline Bullock and I am the president. My name is Braden Pickel and I am the president elect.


Our EAFK Rotary club is selling Lucy calendars as a fundraiser. We are trying to raise money to help support PAWS animal shelter. The Lucy calendars are $10.00 a piece. If you would like to purchase a calendar, they are located in the front office at Rockdale Intermediate School.


Thank you for supporting the CAUSE for PAWS!


          Through these projects, our students are able to make a meaningful contribution to the community. Their hard work yields real results for real people with immediately observable success. The satisfaction of helping others through a time of need is a lesson that is not easily forgotten and will pay dividends throughout a person’s lifetime. We are proud of the students’ accomplishments and thank everyone in our community who support the effort through donations that help these children become active and successful citizens of whatever community they live in.



2017 May 3: Economic Development at RISD

Economic Development at Rockdale ISD

            Rockdale ISD's Sari McCoy has worked with the Rockdale MDD to bring a portion of National Economic Development Week to Rockdale High School. Sari has more about this exciting week, and encourages the Community of Rockdale to get involved.

Celebrate Economic Development Week!

            May 8 -13, 2017 is National Economic Development Week. This week is designed to increase awareness regarding the efforts of the Rockdale Municipal Development District to create jobs, develop careers, support local business growth, and so much more! Economic development in Rockdale benefits everyone in the community. Please join in the MDD in attracting new businesses, supporting current businesses, and encouraging tourism in our community. How do you start? Grab your neighbor and celebrate with us next week!

            We are celebrating every day with an event and the entire week with a “Did you know?” scavenger hunt. Starting Monday, community members can pick up game sheets at City Hall, the MDD, or the Chamber office and begin collecting signatures from local businesses. This game with introduce you to products and services that you may not know are available in Rockdale. On Thursday night, turn in your game sheet at the Wolf Park Family Night to be entered into a drawing to win the grand prize!

            The events of the week kick off with a Proclamation and Recognition session during the City Council Meeting at City Hall. Tuesday evening hosts the Ground Breaking Ceremony for Rockdale’s new Industrial Park. Wednesday is Rockdale ISD’s Economic Development Day with the seniors at RHS. Thursday is the Community-wide Family Fun night at Wolf Park. We will have games, food, prizes, and fun for everyone! Friday evening wraps up the week with a Business Social at The Ranch. This evening, community and business members can network, mingle with new customers, and see who wins the grand prize from the scavenger hunt!

            For more information, please visit You may contact the MDD, the Chamber, or City Hall for more information as well. Also, watch for flyers and advertisements around the community. Thank you to the City of Rockdale, the Municipal Development District, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rockdale Downtown Association, Little River Health Care, the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, and the Rockdale ISD for hosting this event.


2017 Apr 19: RISD Early Childhood Center

The Rockdale ISD is very fortunate to be able to offer quality Child Care to our staff, and our staff members are excited to have the center available for their children. Ms. Sari McCoy has an update this week on The Tiger Learning Center.

          Rockdale ISD opened its Early Childhood Center on August 1, 2016. The Tiger Learning Center (TLC) is close to completing its first year of operation. What an incredible year it has been! We are fully licensed with the State of Texas, and are deeply engaged in the process to be nationally accredited with the National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

          The Tiger Learning Center was created to offer early childhood education to the children or grandchildren of the RISD staff members. It is a perfect opportunity for current staff, or potential staff, to rest assured that their children are safe and happy while they are diligently serving the students of RISD.

          We began the year with an enrollment of 11 full-time and 3 part-time students. Currently, we serve 14 full-time and 4 part-time students. We also increased our staff from 2 full-time teachers to 3 full-time and 1 part-time. The students of the Tiger Learning Center are blessed to have exceptional teachers who provide individualized curriculum and developmental activities each day.

          Open enrollment for the 2017 – 2018 school year begins on April 24, 2017. We are excited to expand the TLC and welcome new families and students to the center. Thank you to the wonderful community members who have donated supplies and financial resources to the TLC! Your generosity enhances the learning and development of our children. These little Tigers will be school ready because of YOU!

For more information about the Tiger Learning Center, please contact Sari McCoy or Pam Kaufmann at 512-430-6000.


2017 Apr 12: RES PreK and Kinder Round-up 2017

This week Rockdale Elementary has some exciting news to share regarding their Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration better known as “Roundup”.  Ms. Alesha Eoff, RES Principal, has the details below.

Rockdale Elementary School would like to tell you about an exciting event that we are offering this year.  This year our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students will have our annual Round Up at the Kay Theatre.  The big event will be Thursday, April 20th from 4:00-6:00.  All children that will be four years old before September 1, 2017 will be eligible to register for Pre-Kindergarten, and all children that will be five years old before September 1, 2017 will be able to register for Kindergarten.  To register, you must present:

*an official Birth Certificate

*Social Security Card

*Immunization Record

*Proof of Residency (utility bill)

*Parent Driver’s License

*Proof of Income (Pre-K students only)

All newly enrolled students will be given a free Sno-Ball and will be entered into a drawing for a backpack full of school supplies.  All children and their families will be given free popcorn provided by the Kay Theatre.  Childcare will  be provided from our Pre-Kindergarten Instructional Aides.  This will be a great opportunity for your little ones to meet their teachers and aides, and start to become familiar with them.  We are also grateful that the Milam County Health Department (One Stop Center) will be open at the same time for immunizations for those who need it.  

We have an amazing Pre-Kindergarten program at Rockdale Elementary.  Not only do we have excellent teachers, but also we are fortunate to have a High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) according to House Bill 4.   This grant allows us to increase the quality standards of our Pre-Kindergarten program.  To qualify for this loan, we had to submit an application to TEA and meet the following guidelines.    We had to use a curriculum aligned with the Prekindergarten Guidelines, increase prekindergarten teacher training and/or qualifications, implement student progress monitoring, provide kindergarten readiness results, and develop quality family engagement plans. Our teachers have worked very hard this year planning and training, attending professional development, progress monitoring our children every six weeks, and implementing the TEA approved curriculum guidelines.  In addition to these things, our students have benefitted from having new technology access through IPAD’s for the classroom, as well as the addition of educational software and programs.  Our teachers have also worked on several parent and community engagement pieces such as their most recent Math and Reading Make-and-Take Night at our campus.  Attendees were able to make educational games and activities to use at home with their families, and it provided another opportunity for the community to see the wonderful things that our teachers are doing to help our kids.

The mission of the Pre-K program is to empower, motivate and encourage life-long learners by providing a foundation that nurtures the student’s social, emotional and academic needs. Pre-K is an excellent opportunity for our young learners. Having an extra year to develop a foundation and learn about school is a powerful opportunity for students.  It is our goal to provide a challenging and engaging curriculum for all students in our Pre-K program.  A high-quality pre-kindergarten program impacts the education of four and five year old children in many positive ways.  Research has shown that Pre-K impacts the lives of our students in these ways:  it improves the overall educational outcomes for a community, helps children to learn and read on grade-level, makes them less likely to fall behind their classmates in academics, and drastically improves the likelihood that they will graduate high school  and attend college.

    Our Pre-Kindergarten program embraces and celebrates the diversity of our youngest learners through a variety of hands-on extracurricular activities.  To date, some of these activities include the Pre-K Rockin’ Rodeo, annual Thanksgiving Extravaganza, STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math integrated activities), community field trips, and various family involvement projects.  In the near future, the students will participate in the annual QU weddings, Field Day, trip to Crowe’s Nest Farm, and Water Day.

Our Pre-K students and teachers celebrate personal and academic milestones, such as birthdays and the 50th and 100th days of school.  Our students and teachers work collaboratively to set academic and social goals and to celebrate individual and class successes.  There’s no doubt about it, Pre-Kindergarten at R.E.S. ROCKS!

We would like to invite you to come visit our campus for a tour of our Pre-K classrooms.  I think you will be impressed with the quality of instruction, and the nurturing environment that our teachers provide for our students.  I would like to encourage all parents of children ages 4 and 5 to stop by and pre-register during this exciting Round Up event and start your child on the path to success!  We hope to see you all there!

2017 Apr 5: First Annual NASA Trip

This week Rockdale Junior High has the spotlight, and Principal Kelly Blair has an extraordinary trip to share with you. NASA has been providing our youth with wonder and excitement for many years, and last weekend a group from RJH had the opportunity to experience it firsthand.

           On Saturday, April 1st, 2017, Rockdale Junior High boarded 3 school buses of 200 students, families, and staff members at 7 o’clock in the morning, to go where no other RJH student has ever gone before. The journey began two years ago, when Kristy Kaufmann’s 6th grade class was introduced to a Space Exploration unit in Science. The students in her 2015-­2016 class were eager to learn more about NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, which put a man on the moon, and NASA’s upcoming plans to visit Mars in the near future. To quench their curiosity, the science department began researching the possibility of a school trip to visit Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Despite many budget factors that would work against them, they remained hopeful that Rockdale Junior High would conquer its NASA mission.

          After countless hours of planning and preparation, the science department was able to send 150 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to the Johnson Space Center. When they arrived at NASA, there were so many things to see and do. Many students were entertained by the variety of hands on interactive stations at the entrance. They were allowed to explore the Johnson Space Center, as long as they stayed with their buddy. Many chose to see Human Destiny, which was a video timeline of space exploration, and then rode a rocket launch simulator. Many students explored the Boeing 747 aircraft that carried the space shuttle; a majority of our students had never even seen the inside of an airplane. Students enjoyed the chance to experience the differences in gravity on planets and watch a robot dispense swirled frozen yogurt. They also were able to participate in a demonstration of Newton’s Laws of Motion, explore historical artifacts of space travel, and even touch a real moon rock.

          The students represented Rockdale Junior High and the Rockdale community with honor and pride. Students were able to see their teachers in a different role, make new friends, and add a new dimension to their real world experiences. This year’s trip would not have been possible without the Title I Scholarship from NASA along with parental support. For many of our students, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, they may not have ever had if it were not for the staff volunteers and parent chaperones. The excitement, curiosity, smiles, and memories made all of the time, planning, and money worth it. Upon taking the first steps on the moon, Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The RJH Science team is hopeful that this is only the first of many leaps, not just for their department, but for Rockdale Junior High!

2017 Mar 29: RIS Jump Rope for Heart

Rockdale Intermediate School’s annual Jump Rope for Heart has been completed, and RIS Principal Kathy Pelzel has a report regarding another successful event this year.

Rockdale Intermediate School recently participated in our annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraising event. Each year we challenge our students to raise more funds than the previous year for the American Heart Association by collecting monetary donations from family and friends. This year our students raised over $5,800 for the cause.  Jump Rope For Heart not only teaches students the benefits of physical activity, but also shows them how they can save lives right in their own community.

It is important that all members of society understand the critical need for community service if we want to create a healthy city, state, and nation. Rockdale Intermediate School believes that even our youngest members can accomplish a great deal if given the opportunity. RIS students complete many service activities throughout the school year. Students in our ACE iTigers program help prepare desserts each month for our local Senior Citizen’s Center. Budget cuts for meals for our senior citizen’s meant that Friday meals would no longer be available. Citizens of Rockdale realized how important these meals are and have donated meals each Friday for the past several years. Rockdale Intermediate School is proud to be a part of such a giving and caring community. We have several campus clubs that are currently working on community service projects supporting Rockdale PAWS and surrounding nursing homes. Look for information concerning those projects in weeks to come.

Through these and other projects, students are able to participate and succeed in helping others. They work very hard to provide real results that help real people. The satisfaction of helping others through a time of need is a lesson that is not easily forgotten and will pay dividends throughout a person’s lifetime. We are proud of the students’ accomplishments and thank everyone in our community who support the effort through donations that help these children become active and successful citizens of whatever community they live in.