Rim Country Middle School

Getting students 'ready for success'

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The vision of Rim Country Middle School is that all students will be ready for success.

Being "ready for success" means that students leave RCMS ready to be lifelong learners and good citizens of the community. As a school, RCMS is building a solid foundation of educational and social achievement.

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Frank Larby

Last October, Rim Country Middle School was able proclaim that it was the only school in Payson to receive a rating of "highly performing" from the Arizona Department of Education for 2004. This is the second year that the school has attained this status, and it is the only school in Gila County to be "highly performing" for two consecutive years.

Rim Country Middle School uses a combination of solid academics, parent communication, and community programs to achieve its goals.

Improving communication with parents is an ongoing goal for the school. All teachers have e-mail, which has improved the quality of home communication.

Parents are able to ask more detailed questions through e-mail, and teachers are then able to give detailed responses.

The combination of e-mail communication and the use of EdLine has helped many students and their families. EdLine is an Internet-based program that allows parents and students to view a student's progress in a class, down to the individual assignment level. Teachers regularly post lesson plans on EdLine, and many teachers post assignments.

We have had some students access their school work from locations across the country and even across the globe.

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In the spring of 2004, members of the Rim Country Middle School student council celebrate with benefactors the completion of a new landscaped area near the eighth-grade building.

Complementing the EdLine system is the Phone Messenger. Giving RCMS the ability to contact all parents through a telephone message has been a wonderful tool.

Further enhancing communication to parents, RCMS continues to participate in community meetings. The school has held a number of these meetings in locations such as Gisela and Star Valley. Working with Parent Liaison Blanche Oakland, RCMS held a community meeting for Hispanic parents. This meeting had the highest turnout of any parent meeting we have ever held. Not only were the parents supportive of the schools, but they wanted their kids to attend school for more days, and for more hours per day.

To prepare students for success as lifelong learners, RCMS will continue to focus on a core curriculum that includes math, language arts, science and social studies.

Tutoring services continue to be offered before and after school. To reach all students, RCMS will enhance its focus on students who need additional help through the VID (Varied Instructional Delivery) program. Developed from school board interest, and the result of a district-level committee, the VID program combines computer-assisted learning with a focus on the needs of the individual learner.

To prepare students to be good community citizens the school has developed a number of programs. The Character Counts program continues to be implemented at RCMS.

Each Wednesday, students receive a lesson intended to develop good character skills. Sixth-grade students have all received instruction in preventing bullying at school. All students receive instruction in drug prevention, and in making positive choices.

Enhancing the learning environment for students and staff had been a focus of the school beautification program. Last year, staff, students, parents and volunteers worked to make RCMS more visually appealing.

Outside the classroom, RCMS has excelled in sports with its football and basketball programs dominating the White Mountain League.

Outside of the formal sports program, RCMS sponsors a popular Outdoor Adventures Club, which gives students an opportunity to experience hiking, climbing and camping.

To help build character in students, RCMS sponsors a Builders Club, a service oriented club, in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club of Zane Grey Country.

In addition to these activities, fine arts also are flourishing at the school. Students have access to both chorus and band, and a musical theater class. This year, RCMS began a partnership with the high school and is offering a drama club for middle school students.

The future for Rim Country Middle School is bright. With our focus on success and citizenship, I am confident that we will continue to produce high school students who are ready for success.

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