Rochester Community Schools back in session with new technology

Rochester, Ind.--- Kids in Michiana may not want to hear it but school is just around the corner. However, for those attending Rochester Community Schools, the first day of school arrived Tuesday but this first day was sugar coated a bit.

Students at Rochester High School received Macbook Air's, as part of their One to One initiative, to help with their studies and students couldn't be happier.

"It makes it a lot easier for our research projects," Dominic Thomas, Senior at Rochester High School said. "Everybody has their own computers so they can do their research at their own time."

"They're a lot smaller and light weight so they fit into our bags easier," Erika Enyart, Senior at Rochester High School said. "We don't really get books anymore honestly. We're a new tech school so books aren't really in the picture. The computer takes the place of books."

Over at Rochester Middle School they have their own One to One initiative, but instead of a laptop, each student is supplied with an iPad to help with studies. However, there is one new program the faculty is hoping will help with a different area of studies that technology doesn't assist.

"We've started the Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies program at the middle school," Jana Vance, Superintendent of Rochester Community Schools said. "They're talking about what positive behaviors look like because so many times we try to find those negative behaviors and react to them. Our philosophies with other subjects are if a student can't understand math, you reteach it. The same needs to be done for social behavior."

So on the first day of school, faculty took students around the entire school to learn about positive behaviors based on the three letters R, M, S (for Rochester Middle School), with each of the letters meaning respect, motivation and social motivation. Teachers took the students to the bus, cafeteria, library, gymnasium and even the bathroom to show what positive behaviors they are looking for.

"One of the big things I've talked about is using please and thank you," Oscar Haughes, Assistant Principal at Rochester Middle School said. "That gets lost in the homes sometimes. It's a good thing to teach here so the kids are socially responsible. It's just as important as math, science or social studies. We really need to focus on that character education."

As far as the technology aspect, the iPads obviously aren't for leisure. The hope is to keep the kids current in today's ever changing technological world.

"We're going to use them for teaching kids 21st century skills," Chris Ross, Principal of Rochester Middle School said. "We want our kids to not only be competitive here against other students at Rochester Middle School but also in the state of Indiana and all over the world."

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