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R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe – Where the ordinary becomes the extraordinary

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By RSF Education Foundation

Schools across the country are challenged with a major transition to the new Common Core State Standards this year.  In a letter to parents Superintendent Lindy Delaney wrote, “These standards reflect a high level of rigor, focus and coherence.  They are a substantial step up from the 1997 California State Content Standards.”  Many schools must take already strapped resources to transition to the new standards.  At R. Roger Rowe School (Ranch School) we are fortunate that we are not an ordinary school.  We were able to add teachers and programs this year that will enhance our children’s education and help ease the transition.  This is largely due to a generous grant from the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation (RSFEF).

Grant increased to $1.1 million

This year the RSFEF increased its pledge to the Ranch School to $1.1 million, up from the $1 million the RSFEF has contributed to the school the previous three years.  This allows Superintendent Delaney to continue to offer small class sizes, specialized teachers, and special programs such as Art, Music, Computers, Robotics, Drama and Athletics.  “What the Education Foundation does most of all is allow students to have more touch points with the teacher every day,” remarked Superintendent Delaney.

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This year the grant enables Ms. Delaney to enhance an already strong curriculum by doubling the time students spend in differentiated math classes (Math Plus), adding advanced math classes in grades 3-5, adding new teachers, such as two new literacy support teachers, expanding our Kind to the Core Program (which encompasses community service learning and acts of kindness activities), and purchasing additional technology so that students have more access to 21st century learning.

Lynn Frank, chair of the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation (RSFEF) noted, “The goal of the Foundation is to continue to enhance, encourage and support through financial assistance, as well as, volunteer participation, the Rancho Santa Fe School District, its administration, its faculty and its programs.  I strongly believe that a Five-Star Education is where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.”

Building 21st Century leaders

The RSFEF’s Five-Star Education program for 2013/2014 includes:

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•Small class size – average of 18 students;

•Specialized teachers – for Art, Athletics, Drama, Math, Music, Science, Spanish & Technology;

•Literacy Excellence – specialists further reduce class sizes to a less than 10:1 ratio and assist classroom teachers employ the Columbia University Reading & Writing Methodologies;

•Integrated Science – a program that uses the best practices of traditional & innovative teaching including hands-on experiences for grades K-8;

•Differentiated Mathematics – a program to meet the needs of all students where specialists further reduce class sizes and offer enrichment and intervention periods for grades K-8

The Ranch School also integrates the Education Foundation’s Kind to the Core Program throughout the school’s curriculum.

“The philosophy is to combine strong academic performance and strong character development throughout every element of the educational mix,” noted Dana Knees, a RSFEF board member who initiated the program.  Children at the Ranch School are learning to be responsible 21st century leaders every day.

“Because our school is the only school in the district, every dollar contributed goes to our school and benefits our children directly,” added Mrs. Frank.  The RSFEF relies heavily on contributions from the community and families and prides itself on spending very little money on expenses.  Of the $1,140,000 we raise, only $40,000 is expenses.  96 percent of funds provide for teacher salaries, and 4 percent is for enrichment activities, including: Red Ribbon Week, Science programs (such as Science Discovery Day, Oceans Week, the Tech 21 Lab and enhanced Robotics programs), materials & equipment (for Art, Music, Technology, Drama & Athletics), Field Day, Kind to the Core Community Service Learning Program, and other opportunities.

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Where your passion for the school meets your ability to give

The RSFEF is asking that each family contribute their “Fair Share” cost per child of $1,709 ($1,140,000 divided by 667 students).  This year the Cap & Gown level is $2,000 per student and the Benefactor level is $3,000 per student. The Foundation also relies heavily on the philanthropic contributions of the Scholars’ Circle.  This group comprises 20 percent of the school’s families and local businesses who make multi-year commitments of $35,000 or more that fund 50 percent of the total grant to the school.

Through Red Envelope Friday, the RSFEF has $662,555 cash in the door with 55 percent participation.  “We still have a long way to go to meet our grant obligation,” Mrs. Frank noted.   “We rely on contributions of all sizes.  We ask that you give at the level where your passion for our school meets your ability to give.”

Help us retain this extraordinary Five-Star Education

Please contribute to the RSFEF today.  We encourage all school families to participate.  Community and corporate donations are also encouraged.  For questions or more information please go to www.rsfef.org or contact the Education Foundation at 858-756-1141 x208.  The difference is you!


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