Helpful Hints from Returning Families
Website/Student Handbook (download here)
Flex Day Activities and Driving
Almost everything that you want to know can be found on the website. Much information is accessible only to our community. For example, you have to log in to see the student/parent directory under the PASTA tab. The RCHS Student Handbook is linked above and under the Student tab and is also available here. Your student likely has a hard copy of it. In the handbook, you will find all of the relevant information on policies and procedures for absences, discipline, academics, grading policy, Flex Days, Ex Days, etc. You signed that you read it in the initial paperwork that you completed when you committed to Raleigh Charter and it is well worth consulting if you have any questions.
RCHS doesn't do things exactly like other high schools and one thing that is a little different is RCHS's take on homeroom, which is called Advisory. Advisory serves as a home base, and your student is likely to stay in that advisory with the same teacher for the whole time he or she is a student at RCHS. It is a mix of all grade levels to support the school's sense of community.
On the website - the "School Calendar" has event information much of which is only accessible when you are logged into the website. The printable basic calendar (under the "Calendar" tab, select Year-At-a-Glance) contains teacher workdays, holidays, Flex Days, etc. Also, if you have another child in Wake County Schools, their calendars are available to compare for vacations or other scheduling needs at wcpss.net
These occur about once/month on Thursday and Friday when the students' 6 classes are EXtended to allow for longer class periods, so that there are 3 long classes (1st, 3rd, 5th periods) one day and 3 long classes (2nd, 4th, 6th) the next.
Flex Days (two days/semester) are a complex combination of field trips and class activities - sometimes your student will go with all the other students in their grade level, sometimes it will be a topical trip with, say, their Spanish class. Community Work days (one day off campus/semester) are dissimilar in objective, but similar in driving needs. Since RCHS has no buses, we depend on parents to drive for these field trips. Everyone should drive for these activities at least once a semester. In doing so, you will directly benefit the school, and you'll come to know a group of RCHS students for a day and a teacher or two as well. Bring a book or a laptop or take part in the field trip activity.
Recent Flex programs have included traveling to the Raleigh City Museum to learn about the history of civil rights in Raleigh, visiting Prairie Ridge Ecostation to collect samples and sketch flora, learning about contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and bringing a fraction-based learning program to local schools. Community Work Day activities include visiting local sustainable farms such as Coon Rock, working to promote healthy relationships with Interact, and creating craft projects at local retirement communities. You do not have to participate in activities if you are a driver, but just know these are worthwhile activities for you to help support. We do ask that you remain at the field trip location when you drive. PASTA also provides lunches to Flex Day drivers and volunteers including outside presenters so consider assisting with a dish in addition to driving, or if you're unable to drive.
All students have lunch at the same time each day; that is, there are no staggered lunchtimes, as in many schools. There is no lunchroom - students eat either outside on the patio, or in a DLA (Designated Lunch Area), a classroom set aside for the unique RCHS dining experience. Each day of the week, a different outside vendor provides the food for purchase with various RCHS clubs and organizations providing the work to set up and sale in return for a portion of the profit. Vended lunches generally include wraps, pizza, burritos, Chick-Fil-A, and Jersey Mike subs, but students do not have to buy these offerings, and can always bring their own lunch. There are also snack type foods available for purchase in a designated room as a back up – but not every day. Note that on Flex Days, vended lunches generally are not offered – check with your student; they should be aware.
One benefit of belonging to a small school is that our sports teams are open to a wider range of students and abilities, and are perhaps more akin to intramural or club sports one would find in a college setting. Cross Country, Swimming, Track, and Golf are the RCHS co-ed sports opportunities; all other teams are gender-specific, and vary by season. All sports require a physical before participation. Check the RCHS web page for news about try-out schedules each season.
Fall Sports: Men's Soccer, Women's Tennis, Women's Volleyball, Cross Country (Women and Men). Winter Sports: Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and Swimming (Women and Men). Spring Sports: Women's Soccer, Men's Tennis, Track (Women and Men), and Golf (Women and Men).
Traffic is often overwhelming at carpool times and you should adhere strictly to the requested flow – enter the parking lot from Washington Street and move counterclockwise to the designated drop off / pickup location in front of the building. Consider a carpool, city bus, or TTA bus. Remember that our teachers volunteer as traffic monitors, so be patient, thoughtful and respectful as you wind your way SLOWLY through the carpool line in the afternoons. If your student drives to school, encourage him or her to be courteous and mindful of neighbors and to obey traffic laws. How we present ourselves to neighbors
is a great way to reflect a positive image of our fabulous school.
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