Rocky River High School – Home of the Ravens!
RRHS Vision: To create a safe school climate where all students can achieve and teachers are empowered to be creative educators.
RRHS Mission: To create a nurturing environment which embraces career readiness, academic proficiency, and global citizenship.
School-wide Goal: To increase integration of literacy best practices across all content areas.
Rocky River High School is located in an urban school district and is situated in a small town called Mint Hill, NC. Rocky River is a new school, built in 2010. The school serves students from grade 9 to grade 12 with a current enrollment of approximately 1700 students: 57% African-American, 28% Hispanic, 7% White, 3% Multi-Racial, and 3% Asian. The demographics of our student population has not changed over the last five years.
The history of this area includes interesting facts about the family that initially owned the land that is now Rocky River High School. Allen Station (the street that leads up to the school) was recognized in 1933 as the focal point of the incorporated small town of Allen. The Allen's, large landowners and farmers, were instrumental in the development of the general store and train depot that popularized this area. A cotton gin, purchased from McCormick, then began processing cotton from the local farmers and was responsible for transporting it throughout the country. Allen Station thrived from the late 1920s to the 1950s. A river, Rocky River, runs through much of our land area. The land and waterways, including tributaries of Rocky River, also comprise an "environmentally-protected area" on our campus. Many of the spirit rocks that are placed in various areas of the campus were found on site. The campus also has rain gardens that filter runoff water through natural filters and then drain the water back into the small river.
Rocky River High School serves students living in east Charlotte. A very small percentage of students reside in the Mint Hill, NC community. As a result, most of the students that attend Rocky River are bused from their east Charlotte neighborhood to the school. Additionally, there are no after school buses and the Charlotte Area Transit buses do not service the town of Mint Hill.
Our staff is comprised of a dedicated group of professionals who strive to make our students lifelong learners. We have about 112 licensed personnel, ranging from Assistant Principals, Deans of Students, a Dean of Counseling, a Social Worker, Teachers, Counselors, an Instructional Accountability Facilitator, an Academic Facilitator, a Technology Facilitator, a Career Development Coordinator, a Career Technical Education Instructional Coordinator, and a school nurse. We have a very experienced staff with more than 70% of our certified staff members remaining in education for over 5 years.
Rocky River High School is proud to operate on the road to becoming the premiere high school of the south. As a vision, Rocky River High School strives to create a nurturing environment where students are prepared for success in the 21st century. Working together with the various communities and a supportive parent partnership, we foster the development of the whole individual and encourage each student to develop to the best of his or her abilities. Our staff takes ownership in seeking ways not only to grow as individual professionals, but also to grow as a cooperative group toward total school success. Our mission is to create a safe school climate where all students can achieve and teachers are empowered to be creative educators. Our school's motto, "Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow" helps us embody our core beliefs of:
- Every student will have a right to a quality education.
- Faculty and staff will have shared responsibility in achievement of school-wide goals.
- All students will be treated with mutual respect and dignity.
- Our school will foster a learning environment that is conducive to academic and personal success.
- Every student will graduate prepared to enter various segments of society and prepared to be a responsible global citizen in the 21st century.
Our school's mission and purpose lives in the visual environment of the school and the daily interactions amongst students, staff, parents and the community. School safety and a positive, affirming school culture allows our students to achieve at their highest potential. Over the last three years, our school has worked diligently to support our students that make behavioral mistakes at school as well as providing positive options and opportunities for students. For the past two years, we have lived and breathed the Rocky River High School Code (Respect,
RRHS). By teaching and modeling behavioral expectations, we have forged strong relationships with our students and enjoy celebrating their successes. Our students also participate in Advanced Placement courses, online coursework, and Career Technical Educational coursework in Business, Marketing, Architecture, Fashion and Interior Design. Our school is clean and orderly. Our students and parents often comment on how our teachers truly care for our students and will work with them to help them overcome various obstacles and barriers.
The power of an authentic high school diploma for a student is unmatched. Faculty and staff daily interactions at Rocky River High School are driven by the commitment we give to our 9th graders every year that they will graduate in four years or less with a quality diploma. This promise is given with confidence because of the systems we have put into place to support students. Five times a year, our administrative team and our counseling team sit together and review the transcript, grades, behavior and attendance of every senior at our school. Students are identified early in the year for interventions and are assigned a mentor that checks in weekly with the student. As a result of this system, our school has averaged a 91% graduation rate over the last four years. In the last three years, our graduation rates are as follows: 92.6% in 2012-2013, 88.9% in 2013-2014, and 91.4% in 2014-2015. Our school's strengths continue to be a focus on community/family, a strong commitment to teaching, learning and growing as a community and a strict policy of positive conduct and behavior. We want to be the premiere high school in the south for any student.
Our school has tracked our college and career ready proficiency (CCR) scores for the past two years as well as our grade-level proficiency (GLP) scores. We experienced an increase in our GLP/CCR scores for two years (13.9%) but experienced a drop in scores during the 2014-2015 school year by 5.3%. We have exceeded growth across the school for the last three years. We have increased our percentage of AMO targets met by 4% in the last year. Over the last three years, we have increased our AP enrollment by over 77 students, from 78 students to 155 students. Our school has also embraced the use of student achievement data to adjust our instruction for students. Using common planning time for core teachers, we have been able to generate aligned, rigorous assessments, track student progress on these assessments, create interventions to support their misunderstandings/enrichment and plan engaging lessons to support student interest and mastery of the content.
Over the last three years, we have reduced our overall suspension rate and increased our student attendance, namely our students with perfect attendance. Perfect attendance has increased by almost 2%. Our suspension rates have decreased by almost 5% with our African-American students showing the largest decrease in suspensions from 27.1% to 20.8% over the last year.
We have also increased our level of participation with our community school partnerships. Our PTSA and Athletic Booster Club sponsors student scholarships of over $2000 annually. Our partnerships with Chik Fil' A, Wendy's and Bojangles has resulted in sponsored breakfasts and lunches as well as over $2000 in donated funds. Our students participate in several mentor groups, including Right Moves for Youth, Men Who Care Global, the Levine Cancer Institute, and a community Lunch and Learn series. These programs impact over 150 students weekly. We also partner with our feeder elementary and middle schools through music programs, athletic events, festivals, open houses and academic course offerings and preparation for high school programming.
Our Areas of Improvement
We have a laser like focus on increasing our student growth and career and college readiness proficiency over the next three years by 7% each year. We are using our Instructional Leadership Team to build out schoolwide literacy strategies across all content areas grounded around four prioritized common core state standards (RL.1; RI.1; W2; S&L1). We want to continue to increase our attendance rates, leveraging our attendance committee to support this initiative. We also want to continue our use of data to maximize our instructional time to support individual student mastery of key content areas. We want to continue our use of data as well as consider how we leverage our time during the school day to support student learning. Additionally, we want to reduce our teacher turnover, especially of our irreplaceable teachers. Providing opportunities for teacher leadership, continuing our work around staff culture, sharing feedback and acting on the feedback from our teacher surveys, and building strong relationships with our teachers will support the overall work of our school.