The 2015/2016 school year brought a whirlwind of changes to Robert Frost and, according to Principal Leslie Roache, staff and students are thriving.
One of the school’s biggest changes was the addition of third grade to its fourth through sixth-grade roster, bringing enrollment to approximately 500 students.
According to Roache, staff made several accommodations to ease the transition and make sure the younger students feel safe and comfortable at Robert Frost.
“We have each class walk together to recess and also to music at the church across the parking lot,” Roache said. “We also have our teachers escort students to their parents’ cars at pick up time to avoid having them walking around the parking lot.”
Other safety steps include making “lanes” in the hallways and teaching students traffic rules such as walking on the right side of the “road”. “In” and “Out” signs have also been placed on the double doors. These are just parts of our larger Positive Behavioral and Intervention Supports Program (PBIS).
New academic roads are being tried as well. Creative clustering in math classes is providing extra support and personalized learning for students in need of a little extra help. Math classes are each staffed with a Title math teacher and a special education teacher in addition to a regular math teacher.
“We work with students in small groups to get an understanding of their individual needs,” explained Roache. “The teachers are really making it fun and the kids seem excited about math again.”
Fifth & Sixth Graders Prepare for Schlador Street School
Next fall, Robert Frost will have grades 3-5 only. Next year’s sixth and seventh graders will attend the newly renovated Schlador Street School. Fifth and sixth grade teachers are really ramping up their efforts to prepare students for this change.
“Moving on to middle school can sometimes be a difficult transition,” said Roache. “Our teachers are working to ensure students are as prepared as possible.”
Principal Enjoys New Path
As for Roache, who was formerly the assistant principal at Linus Pauling Middle School in the Corvallis School District, she is really enjoying working with both the Robert Frost team and with elementary-age students.
“The kids have such pure joy coming to school and they love their teachers and learning,” she said. “Our staff have embraced all of these new changes and they are doing great things for our students.”