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Roanoke Rapids Graded School District’s students, staff, Board of Trustees, families, and community partners had a busy week! 

Here is a quick look at some of this week’s highlights:

Clara Hearne Early Learning Center students embraced the cold temperatures while they learned this week. 

As their teachers read Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner aloud, students listened for rhyming words. 

In other lessons, students read about polar bears and learned how they stay warm in the snow and ice. 

As the picture shows, students had buckets of ice and worked on their fine motor skills while putting polar bears figures in the ice buckets. As one person commented on our social media page, at Clara Hearne with activities like this, you can actually see our students’ brains growing.

Akers Center for Educational Success experienced a week of exciting transitions! 

Seven students returned to their home-based school — at elementary, middle, and high school levels. 

We are proud of the improvements these students have demonstrated! Our high school students successfully completed their first semester exams at ACES.

Belmont Elementary School celebrated their amazing teachers for the remarkable achievement of exceeding growth on student achievement scores from last year’s end of grade assessments. The growth demonstrated by students reflects, not only their efforts, but also the effective and inspiring teaching methods employed in each classroom. 

The following Belmont teachers exceeded growth: Janice Miller, Kim Hyman, and Sydnee Clements in reading and science; Adrienne Powell in science; Alyssa Simpkins in science; and Stephanie Taylor in math and science. 

This week, students in third grade had a Nutrition Education class. 

They learned about carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water and how to choose nutritious foods from each food group to include in their diets.

Manning Elementary School’s kindness club, whose mission is to spread kindness throughout the school and community, delivered snacks to students this week. 

Manning will have 2nd Quarter Awards Celebrations on Friday, January 26th. Grade 3 will be at 9:30 a.m.; Grade 4 will be at 10:30 a.m.; and Grade 5 will be at 1:30 p.m. 

Parents and grandparents are invited to attend, and photo identification is required with the entrance at the side patio door area just before the event begins.

The Ryan Barrett Memorial Foundation is remembering and honoring the memory of RRGSD alumnus Ryan Barrett on his 28th birthday — January 30th — by supplying Manning students — through school counselors — in need with socks, underwear, pants, shoes, snacks, and hygiene items. 

The Ryan Barrett Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, encourages community members to partner with them by giving $28 in memory of Ryan — but no amount is too big or too small — to purchase these items. If you would like to donate, you can give in three ways: 

Venmo @RyanBarrettMemorial

Online at https://www.ryanbarrettmemorial.com/ and select Donate and you can use PayPal or a credit card 

Or gift cards to Walmart or Food Lion. 

Lastly, we are also thankful to the families who supported Manning’s PTO fall fundraiser. Manning PTO purchased headphones and donated them to every Manning classroom.

Chaloner Middle School celebrated Coach Sean McClafferty’s 200th win as head boys’ basketball coach and its January students of the month. 

Grade 6 students are Whenney Campos, Norah Taylor, and Sai Tiwari.

Grade 7 students are Bryson Radford, Tenley Porch, and Abby Wynne. Grade 8 students are Ella Robertson and Esmeralda Maza.

Grade 6 Students of the Month Sai Tiwari, Norah Taylor, and Whenney Campos

Grade 7 Students of the Month Abby Wynne, Bryson Radford, and Tenley Porch

Grade 8 Students of the Month Ella Robertson and Esmeralda Maza

Roanoke Rapids High School celebrates junior Yaqub Tawfiq who won the Shaw-May Post 38 Oratorical Contest and earned $100 and received a first-place pendant, lanyard, certificate, and presentation folder as well as a United States flag and personal copy of the U.S. Constitution. Sponsored by Post 38, 

Tawfiq continues in the District 2 competition. 

On Friday night, both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams won against Bunn.

Roanoke Rapids Early College is proud of its scholar-athletes, who include both students and parents!

Many scholars made the President’s List and Dean’s List at Halifax Community College. 

Our first RREC Student vs. Parent volleyball tournament was held this week and was a smashing success! 

Farm Bureau’s Player of the Month was RREC junior Shaniah Daniels who plays varsity girls basketball.

RREC is in the middle of its application process for the 2024-25 school year. 

Prospective students and families are invited to attend the upcoming information session on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at 6:15 PM at RREC. 

All current families of RREC scholars are encouraged to attend the upcoming RREC PTO meeting at 5:30 PM on January 25, 2024, at RREC.

The Board of Trustees had their January meeting last week. It was the first in the new format with Board Committee Chairs reporting their information items they discussed and presenting action items for the full board to consider and vote on. 

For our Special Recognition this month, we recognized each Board member for Board Member Appreciation Month. 

I was honored and excited to share that our band programs at RRHS and CMS have received a donation of $57,392.37 from the Gloria and Arthur Konig Foundation for new band instruments.

I want to end this week’s column with some things for which I am especially grateful.

I want to thank ALL of our staff for their continued dedication and commitment to ALL of our students’ success as it truly is a team effort. In each of my roles at our Central Office, but especially now as superintendent, I have worked to ensure that our staff collaborate — not compete — with each other: A rising tide lifts ALL boats. 

ALL of our school campuses are important, and EVERY SINGLE ONE of our students is important. 

I firmly believe that we must increase access and opportunities for ALL of our students as scholars, athletes, and citizens. 

I am so grateful for our families and community members who demonstrate their encouragement and support and give their time, resources, and prayers for ALL of our students. Thank you!