School Matters, Sept. 16, 2022
Hello Rogers Family,
Welcome to the next installment of School Matters. It is our hope these broadcasts will help keep you informed of important events and initiatives within the district. A transcript of the presentation can be found on our website. Thank you for tuning in for this update and contact us if you have questions.
We are excited to celebrate our students and all of the activities they are involved in during our upcoming homecoming parades. Rogers High School will have a new route for the homecoming parade this year and we hope everyone is able to join the celebration. The school has reorganized the route around the campus perimeter to enable more students, volunteers and their elementary feeder schools to participate in the activity. Staff, students, and volunteers wanted to bring the parade closer to school to help mitigate some of the traffic issues connected with being in such proximity to Heritage High School at dismissal and to increase participation. Being closer to school will also increase our ability to control critical safety factors. It is important to understand this change originated at the school level from students, staff, and community members and not from the City.
The City of Rogers has consistently been supportive of our parades and activities. This type of event, which utilizes public streets, is very complicated and requires a number of city staff to implement it in a safe manner. We have enjoyed a strong and positive relationship with the City and we want to publicly recognize that support. We are fortunate to live in community where the City is such a strong and collaborative partner. The homecoming game against the Fayetteville Bulldogs will start at 7:00 p.m. on September 30. The parade will be held at 4:00 p.m. and will start at the high school.
Rogers Heritage High School will conduct their homecoming activities and parade on Oct. 21. Heritage’s parade route will start at the school and circle through downtown Rogers on their usual route. The parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. The pre-game festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the game against the Bentonville West Wolverines will start at 7 p.m.
We are beginning to experience major issues with securing a sufficient number of bus drivers to run all of our normal routes. Currently, we are covering all of the routes but we are stretched extremely thin. Our transportation department has done an incredible job ensuring we have staff this year but the nationwide shortage of drivers is beginning to be a major challenge. Many of the surrounding school districts have cancelled routes and are running double routes. This means that a group of students stay after school until the first route is completed and the second group gets home very late. We have been able to avoid most of these problems but the shortages are becoming a real struggle for us.
We may experience longer transportation times and more crowded buses as we attempt to meet this new challenge. Many of our drivers are choosing to leave because of disciplinary issues on the bus. For this reason and to ensure safety, we will have more strict guidelines and behavioral expectations on the bus. Students who fail to meet these expectations will lose the privilege of riding a bus. We encourage all parents to talk with their children and take a proactive approach with these new expectations. Actually, these are not new expectations but we will enforce more severe consequences. Please take the time to talk with your children and make sure they understand what conduct is expected. These expectations are not elaborate. We want students to remain in the seats, to talk in a quiet voice, to keep their hands to themselves, to refrain from eating or drinking on the bus, be respectful, and to follow all directions from the driver. We appreciate your help with these rules to help us retain the drivers we have. In addition, we are looking for more bus drivers and encourage all interested individuals to contact our transportation department if you are wanting to drive.
Just a quick reminder that we will conduct an informal community forum at 4:00 p.m. before each board meeting which is the third Tuesday of each month. Often community members attend the meetings and ask questions to the board. Typically, the board will not respond to those questions during a meeting because public comment is designed to be a time for individuals to provide feedback and not an opportunity to interact with board members. However, the informal chats before the meeting will be interactive and the superintendent will answer any question you may have. You can email us if you have a question but can’t attend the meeting.
We are pleased to announce that we have 4 semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. This is an extremely prestigious recognition and we are very proud of our semifinalists. The students include Ella Beeman, Zane Milam, Taryn Harrison, and Charles Zheng. This level of recognition is reserved for those students who possess the highest commitment to academic excellence. These students have worked hard over the years to receive this recognition. Few students possess the ability and dedication to reach this academic summit. It also demonstrates the rigor and quality of the educational program in Rogers. Congratulations to our semifinalists and we wish them the best of luck in the next step of the process.
As always, we will respond to any questions or concerns that parents may have in future broadcasts. We ask parents to contact our communications director if you have questions and want a response. I sincerely appreciate your attention to this broadcast and remember, School Matters!