Riverside School District Blog

A Letter From Our Superintendent

Welcome back R2 family!

Welcome to the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The start of a new school year is always an exciting time, not only for students, but for families and our staff as well. In this spirit, it is my pleasure to welcome the students, families, and staff of R2 back. We are ready to continue the important work of our school mission – providing a quality private STEM education in a public school setting. The first day back for students is Monday, July 30, 2018. Please review the school calendar and other important information you may receive from the schools. As we begin this year, we emphasize our focus on supporting the most critical factor impacting student achievement – the staff that work with students. We will continue the emphasis of providing in-depth professional development during half days and utilizing instructional teams to support collaboration and development relevant to student needs.

We cherish the relationships that we have with our students, their immediate and extended families, and our community. We encourage stakeholders to take full advantage of the opportunities within R2. Our expectation is that every student is timely and in attendance daily, ready, and willing to be challenged while engaged in learning. We expect every student to embrace and be responsible for his or her own learning. We encourage every student to participate in extracurricular activities (student council, community service opportunities, and other clubs/organizations, etc.) at the school, outside of the regular school day, as well as, take advantage of advanced placement and honors classes, after-school tutoring, and athletics. It is our expectation that every parent sign-up for and stay connected with ParentVUE and sign in and monitor a minimum of twice per week to check grades and the attendance status of their child(ren); attend parent teacher conferences; attend a minimum of two student showcases/competitions (i.e. awards ceremony, arts or athletics competitions, etc., and take the time to speak to their child’s teacher(s) a minimum of two times per semester outside of the usual parent teacher conference meetings. This will be a great start for those who are trying to find the time to get involved to ensure increased student achievement and preparation for college success. We are encouraging every parent to increase study time at home. Every student should read one grade level appropriate book per week at home, in addition to his or her regular homework assignments. We want the very best for our students. Parents’ participation is vital to reaching our goal of making sure every student is proficient and performing at or above grade level.

With increased student achievement for all students as our highest priority, we will continue to work diligently to prepare students for college. Our students are really showing progress and we will continue to push for even better learning success throughout the school year. The staff continues to transition to deeper implementation of the common core standards, improved instructional strategies, inquiry based learning, and other best practices that motivate students to learn while keeping them fully engaged. All professional development days are dedicated to intense learning of best STEM practice strategies for all staff. Throughout the year, we will continue the practice of assessing the needs of our students and implementing interventions that increase learning results where needed. We will continue to expand our gifted services such as honors, advanced placement, gifted classes, and dual enrollment. We truly believe that all of our students have the potential to become successful in college and in life.

We recognize that we need wraparound services to make sure students are well rounded. We understand the needs of our students and the technical skills that will be needed in the future. Thus, we will continue to maintain our focus on STEM integration. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for learning and hopefully pursue careers in high paying STEM fields such medicine and computer coding. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life applications that assists students learn. STEM activities and projects provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for students. Making math and science fun and interesting helps the student have an enjoyable time learning.

A focused high caliber STEM education is important in sparking interest in pursuing STEM careers in students. However, teachers do not carry the whole burden of our STEM education. Parents also must encourage their children to pursue STEM activities and increase awareness and interest at home and in extracurricular activities of the merits of STEM education. R2 will continue to ensure our resources, facilities, and science equipment are geared towards meeting the demands of our rigorous and evolving STEM curriculum.

I feel a renewed sense of excitement for the start of this school year because of the energy our students, staff, and parents bring to our school community and all the possibilities that working together provides. Our school district excels because of this collective effort, focus, and commitment. I look forward to the work we will accomplish this year. As always, thank you for your continued support, commitment, and involvement.


Dr. Jaime A. Rivera

Superintendent of Schools Riverside Elementary School District No. 2