School Profile: Rocky Hill Elementary
Rocky Hill School, located on the northeast side of Exeter, is a neighborhood school which serves approximately 560 Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through fifth grade students in the Exeter Unified School District attendance area. Administration and staff set high standards for behavior and academics and hold all students accountable. State and local standards drive the curriculum at each grade level and all available resources are used to help each student meet or exceed grade-level standards.
There are 25 regular education teachers, one Reading Intervention teacher, one Resource Specialist, one P.E. teacher, one Music teacher, two Special Program Aides, three Speech Pathologists (through Presence Learning), four behavioral aides, and one full-time librarian. Additionally, there is one special education (AcCEL) county class. Two instructional aides and one non-instructional aide provide support for Kindergarten through 5th grade classes as needed, and five yard duty supervisors help during the lunch hour. In addition, Rocky Hill School has a nurse, a maintenance specialist, two full-time custodians, a P.E. Aide, an office manager, and an office specialist.
Other support is also provided by a part-time school psychologist, staff from Sequoia Youth Services, a Mental Health Counselor (one day a week), and HEART (5 days a week) is also available as an after school enrichment and homework program.
School Enrollment by Grade level and Ethnicity is as follows: TK/Kinder 104, First Grade 81, Second Grade 92, Third Grade 96, 4th Grade 97, Fifth Grade 111, Hispanic or Latino 395, White 201 and Other 3. Approximately 20% of the students school-wide are identified as English Learners; 2% are identified as Migrant students, and approximately 69% of the students benefit from the Free & Reduced Lunch program.
Rocky Hill Elementary School was built in 1994 and is home to approximately 600 students in grades TK-5. The site plan includes thirty-five classrooms/instructional areas, a library, a band/choir room, a Reading Intervention lab, a HEART office, a speech office, a gymnasium/multipurpose room, an outdoor life lab growing center (garden), and a covered eating and student area. Electronic communication, monitoring, and other equipment, most of which have computer support for delivery of services, were incorporated in the original design.
Technology is becoming an integral part of the overall school plan. As part of our District Digital Learning Plan, 100% of our student population have access to devices. All classrooms are equipped with either a Chromebook cart (Grades 2-5) or an iPad cart (Grades TK-1).
In addition, teachers, administrators, and staff have access to the Internet and shared district files. All computers are networked through a Wide Area Network. All classrooms have additional technology support such as projectors, document cameras, laptops, and AV equipment. Each teacher has an iPad, a desktop computer, and a laptop. The multipurpose room has a new built-in sound system which is used by both teachers and administration.
Students at Rocky Hill School attend school 180 days per year. The instructional minutes completed each school year exceeds state requirements in all grade levels. In Kindergarten, students are in session 52,187 minutes. In grades one and two, students are in session 54,242 minutes. In grades three through five, students are in session 59,416 minutes.
Thirty-six early release days have been scheduled for the 2020-2021 school year for the purpose of teacher collaboration and planning. Fall Parent Teacher conference days are September 21-22, and 24-25, 2020. Spring Parent Teacher conference days are March 1-2, 2021.
Other Important Characteristics of the School:
Rocky Hill School is partnered with the community and benefits from active support and involvement of community members. The educational community is extremely proud of the quality of instructional services provided to our students. Each year, our students participate in Reading Revolution, Expanding Your Horizons Conference, Tulare County Spelling Bee, Tulare County Poetry and Prose; educational assemblies are brought in to the school for students i.e.; Rangers in the Classroom, Birds of Prey, Apple Day, and Nutrition Network. Off campus field trips are an opportunity for some grade levels supported by PTO. Other projects or activities include Pennies for Patients, Student Council special days and events, high school cross-age tutors, Dr. Seuss Read Across America Day, and student teacher candidates from surrounding college and universities. Education is infused throughout the school day and in the curriculum and is the model for good decision–making skills and behavior. School-wide assemblies are held each month in honor of students that reflect the selected pillar of character as part of the Character Counts program, attendance awards are presented at the end of the year and parents are an integral part of the celebration. The Parent Teacher Organization meets monthly and parent volunteers are widely available. A fully equipped school garden exists for the purpose of scientific and environmental exploration and instructions, and includes: outdoor covered classroom, gardening sites, and fruit orchard. Students, a lead teacher and our custodian work to keep the garden in quality condition. Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) was fully implemented during the 2013-2014 school year communicating school-wide expectations to students and parents. We are continuing with year 5 of PBIS implementation and use data to make informed decisions. In addition to PBIS, staff has implemented the Time to Teach program during the 2017-18 school year. Good behavior must be systematically taught, consistent, predictable, and enforced school-wide. Discipline and consequences should be clear, concise, enforceable, logical, and proportional. Time to Teach is more than a progressive discipline system. There are five components in the Time to Teach system:
- Self-Control: Teachers need to remain calm and not engage in debate with students. Students’ choices will be honored and teachers will simply follow the behavior flow chart.
- Teach To’s: Staff will use mini-lessons to explicitly teach behavioral expectations.
- Unconditional Positive Regard: Teachers will take deliberate action to build strong relationships with our students.
- Refocus Area: A location where students will reflect on their behavior and how to improve it. They will also know what will happen next if they choose to continue misbehaving.
- Class Arrangement: Each class has a designated place for the Refocus Area with a uniform layout.