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Starting strong, finishing strong

We had a great first semester of the 2021-2022 school year at RCS, which was due in large part to our teachers, staff, administrators and students working together toward the common goals of success and growth. 

At RCS, we have heard the term “collective efficacy” and read about its effectiveness, and this past semester we have worked hard to put this idea into practice. For those who might not be familiar with the term, “collective efficacy” refers to a shared belief that our faculty and staff can have a positive impact on student achievement despite other factors in the students’ lives that might negatively affect their success.

This idea is especially important at RCS, where we have a student population that is 28 percent English Language Learners and has 74 percent of students on free and reduced lunch. Studies have shown language barriers and socioeconomic status can have a negative impact on learning and achievement, but at RCS, we believe in overcoming these outside factors and achieving great things in spite of the obstacles many of our students face — obstacles that are beyond their control.

We take what we have, and we use it to help us grow and succeed. 

Because of the amazing things our teachers and staff are doing in our classrooms, RCS is proving the idea of collective efficacy to be extremely successful – so much so that we have been honored to host two different visits from state educators and state leaders who have come to observe and learn from our teachers.

Our amazing educators have been able to share their knowledge and techniques with others in hopes that more and more students across our state will be able to overcome the outside factors that tend to affect their education and achieve great things despite those obstacles. It’s been an honor to host these guests on our campus, and I am so proud of our teachers for how they continue to stand out through their teaching methods, innovation and the resulting student success. 

As a superintendent, it’s great to work with such a dedicated team of educators who are truly committed to student success and growth. It’s also an honor to have such hard-working students in our district who don’t make excuses when it comes to what they can achieve.

I am looking forward to this next semester and to finishing up the 2021-2022 school year as strong as we have started. 

As always, it’s GREAT to be a Golden Tiger!

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Heath Grimes is the superintendent of Russellville City Schools. He and his wife Amy have three daughters: Leah, Halle and Erin.

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