Rocky Grove High School to Offer New Classes for 2018-19 School Year

| August 9, 2018

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – Students at Rocky Grove will see an overhauled schedule this year including new classes in many STEM-related and other fields.

“We have new elective classes that have been developed to offer our student more,” Rocky Grove principal Ed Baumcratz said. “We have new classes in Digital Media (video editing class), Robotics, Daily Living, Business Algebra, and Accounting.”

Baumcratz said Makerspaces – spaces, where students can share ideas for projects and create and work on do-it-yourself projects – are being created in both the high school and elementary school.

“In the high school, this room will house the new robotics program and STEM (STEAM) classes. The high school Makerspace will also offer coding with Raspberry Pi computers, a weather station, 3D printing, and a laser engraver for students.”

Baumcratz also said the district is bringing back more electives in the seventh and eighth grades including Home Economic, Woodshop, and art.

“Our administration believes we cannot drill math and reading to our students all day,” Baumcratz said. “We are trying to improve student morale by offering a variety of courses, having something for everyone.”

Both the elementary and high schools have also purchased Inventionland curriculum for their students. It is hands-on, project-based learning that engages students in learning.

Perhaps one of the reasons Valley Grove School District is looking to add so many “exciting” options is because of the district’s PSSA and Keystone scores.

“The administration is reviewing the PSSA and Keystone data and is very excited with the results,” Baumcratz said. “We can’t wait to compare our scores to the rest of the surrounding counties. Our teachers have worked extremely hard aligning our curriculum and preparing our students.”

Course offerings aren’t the only thing new at Rocky Grove, according to Baumcratz, who said he is excited to start his first full year as the principal of the school. He was hired last fall after school had already begun.

“We’re giving the high school a few upgrades,” Baumcratz said. “The hallways are being painted, old lockers are going to be replaced in September. We are going from 12-inch wide lockers to 15-inch wide lockers. We are trying to brighten up the learning environment for the students. We want the students to feel welcome and inspired to learn.”

Along the lines of making the students feel welcome and inspired, Baumcratz said the school is looking to decorate the bathroom walls and stalls with painted inspirational messages.

“Senior drivers will soon have the opportunity to paint their parking spots as well,” Baumcratz said. “That is something our kids are excited about.”

A point of pride, the recently won PIAA Class 2A baseball championship trophy, will also get a prominent spot in the high school.

“Our state baseball championship and three recent District 10 championship trophies will soon be displayed in the main display case in the high school,” Baumcratz said. “State baseball championship road signs, field banners, and a 4-foot-by-8-foot team photo are being designed to celebrate the accomplishments of our team. We are so proud of them.”

Baumcratz also said the district will be rebooting its website.

“The district purchased a new website through Blackboard,” Baumcratz said. “It will be running before the start of the school year. The goal is to improve communication district-wide. We are also reaching out to parents through social media by creating a district Facebook and Twitter account.”

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