R.M. James elementary to stress three R’s, mainly reading

By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers

Second- and third-graders at R.M. James Elementary School will get educated in the three R’s – Reading, ‘riting and rithmetic – but principal Michael Terry really wants to stress the first R this school year.

“Our goal is to make sure that every student is reading on level by the third grade and my personal goal, as principal, is to provide teachers and students with the support they need to meet this goal,” Terry said.

The 2006-2007 school year begins on Tuesday for Portales Municipal School students.

According to Terry, the only area in which the school did not meet the state’s Adequate Yearly progress (AYP) requirements was in the special education subgroup of reading. “We will be focusing on that group to get them caught up,” he said.

Terry said another personal goal of his as R.M. James kicks off the school year is to get students to really think about choices in life and to understand the consequences of those choices. “An example is the ‘Just say no to drugs’ program,” Terry said. “For them to really understand this, they need to understand the consequences (if they don’t say no) as well. That will help them later in life.”

Terry said that the school is expecting a slightly higher enrollment due to preliminary numbers. “If we continue at the rate we are at now, there will be a little higher enrollment,” he said. “We had a big second grade last year that stayed with us and we have a big first-grade coming in as well as several new students.”

Terry said the school always stresses parental involvement and also wants to get some volunteers into the classrooms. In a further effort to keep in touch with parents Terry said, “We are going to put up a new marquee sign to help increase communication with parents.”