Digital yearbook email responses:

Ms. Hildenbrand on the PSSA:

Sure, Najla!

1. I feel that my students have worked very hard this year, and one way to measure
all they have learned is through their performance on the PSSA. It's a chance for
them to "show off" what they've accomplished. That being said, I also consider the
test to be only ONE measure of their knowledge and skills. Sometimes I know a
student has learned a lot in math and reading, but he or she has trouble showing it
on the PSSA. Often, topics I teach are NOT tested on the PSSA. You're not going to
find questions about polar bears or Claudette Colvin. So I guess I'm trying to say
that it's not a perfect measurement of learning, but it's one of the ones I use as a

2. I am glad it exists because it's one way to make sure that students across the
state of Pennsylvania are held to the same standards. That means that students
Najla, you know we've been studying the Civil Rights Era. One of the issues we
studied was education, which was not equal (and still isn't) for students of color.
Remember Brown v. the Board of Education? Well, that didn't fix everything.
Inequality still exists between black and white students, and students who are from
wealthy and poor school districts. With the PSSA, we can find out if there is an
"achievement gap" (a big difference between what students of color are achieving in
school, versus white students). Once we've measured this gap with the PSSA, we can
make sure we get the right teachers, materials and instruction to "close the gap,"
and make education more fair and equal.

3. I think the PSSA will help some children because it will show their teachers
what the student needs to learn. It shows what each student does well, and what
they still find challenging. Children need a lot more than a test, though, and some
schools focus so much on this test that the students lose out on more interesting,
important learning because their teachers just instruct them how to pass the PSSA.

4. I'm not really sure what you mean by "the process." A group of "experts" in
education develop the test. Schools around the state administer the test at the
same time in the spring. Professional scorers grade the tests. Schools receive the
results in the early summer. The results are used by teachers, schools, families
and government officials to decide how well the teachers are teaching the students.
Schools with consistently low scores have to make big changes in order to stay open.
They don't always get the money or resources to make those changes, though.

5. YES! It's pretty boring to administer the PSSA.

If any of my answers are hard to understand, tell me, and I'll try to make them

Ms. Dominguez on school dances


I have answered your questions, and please let me know if you need anything else.

Ms. Dominguez

1. What do you have to do , to be allowed to go to school dances ?

To be invited to a school dance, you must abide by the code of conduct, follow the
design principles, and be an example of the great students we have at RBCS.

2. What is the criteria for dancing at the dance?

Dancing needs to be age appropriate, clean, and safe. I think students need to
know that they can still have fun while still being respectful to the school and

3. Why do we have dances ?

Dances are a great way to reward student achievement and behavior. It's also a
community building time, and allows students to socialize with friends from other
classes. Back in my elementary days, we had pizza parties; I think the dance
parties are way better!

4. If someone were to go to the school dances here at RBCS , would should
they expect to see ?

They should expect to see sweet treats and swift feet! They might even catch a
dance battle.

5. Do the students , and adults enjoy the dances ?

Everyone has a good time. I will always remember when I played Cupid Shuffle, and
students joined in to dance. Even Mrs. Hadgis got down!

Mr. Durant on Detentions


Believe it or not I do not like giving out detentions! If I had it my way nobody
would ever get a detention. Everyone would follow the rules and complete their
homework every single night. But we all know that does not happen. Teachers give out
detentions to correct student behavior. When a student is sitting in detention that
is a quiet time for the student to reflect on the action(s) that caused him/her to
be there. The goal is to correct the behavior so that it does not happen again. What
most students do not realize is teachers do not like to be in detention either! Who
would want to spend time after school in detention, I know not me. But we do it
because we love you and we want you to be successful.

Mr. Nate

Ms. Hadgis on Uniforms

Nancy, Jordan, Justin and other friends:

I appreciate your thoughtful questions, which I will try to answer.

1. We have uniforms so everyone can feel accepted for who they are rather than for
what they wear. We have students coming to us from over 39 zip codes and we want
each of them to feel physically and emotionally safe when they are school. We don't
want them to worry about whether they have the right thing to wear. A uniform
represents our school, our mission and vision and we hope students we want to wear
it with pride.
2. When the school was founded, the Board and Mrs. Byers decided to have a uniform.
3. The jumper is easier for the little girls to wear because often the skirt would
fall off their tiny waists. The older girls often grow extremely quickly and the
upper part of the jumper doesn't fit properly over their torso.
4. I think we could consider having a fall/spring uniform and winter uniform. As the
globe becomes warmer, I see a need to consider some type of uniform that would be
cooler in early fall and late spring. I also think we need a PE uniform that would
allow the girls to wear athletic shorts under their jumper or skirt.
5. The colors were decided when the school was founded. Mr. Byers had blue eyes and
loved the combo of blue and white, so Mrs. Byers selected those colors with the help
of others. Many schools use the blue, white, tan combination.

Justin the uniform was made by a company called Kramers. They probably rely on
people in either China or India to make the uniforms. No, we have never debated the
question of having a uniform.

Jordan, I like the idea of having a uniform because is "levels the playing field."
It allows students to focus on their school work and school activities and they
don't have to worry about having the "right" things to wear.

I hope this answers your questions. If not, please email me more.

Great questions!
Mrs. Hadgis