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Principal's Corner

Principal Amrhein

Welcome to the Principal's Corner. My name is Lauren Amrhein, principal of Bernice A. Ray Elementary School. Each week I post a message here to keep you updated on important topics that are happening at our school.

My weekly posts can also be found in the weekly Ray of Sunshine newsletter which I highly encourage you to view. I also happen to have a twitter feed (in column to the right) where I like to post things that are happening throughout the day. I hope you find all of this information helpful, informative and fun.




Most Recent Post:

September 12, 2022

Dear Families, 

We’re heading into our first full week of school! A few reminders and updates: 

  • We just received notification that the Kids After School Program (KAST) will NOT be running this week. If your student attends KAST, please email the classroom teacher and copy Gwyn Dessert with your student’s dismissal plans for the week. 
  • Breakfast/lunch purchases: If your student is purchasing food at school, they must have a MealTime account and you need to deposit money into the account associated with your student’s name and ID number. If you would like to set up an online payment account, you can do so at MyMealTime.  You can find your student(s) ID# in the top right hand corner of their page in your Parent Portal. We already have quite a few students who have negative balances. If you’re having any issues, please contact the school. 
  • Lunch menus have been updated, so be sure to take a look at the most current menu. (The lunch menu can be found by using this link, then scrolling down to click “View the Menus.”
  • Please observe the 10MPH speed limit in the parking lot to keep our students safe.
  • When walking through the parking lots, please use the crosswalks
  • If your student walks or rides a bike to school, please remind them to walk their bikes across intersections and crosswalks after stopping to look both ways. 

Now, a bit of information about recess! 

Your student may have talked to you about Responsive Recess practices currently occurring across the school. As we continue to engage in the implementation of Responsive Classroom in our classrooms, learning spaces, and other areas of our school, this year we are implementing the same understandings during recess. In following Responsive Classroom’s Core Beliefs and Guiding Principles, it is our intention that students will generalize their understanding of community in all Ray School settings. 

In the first ten days of the year, we are using recess time to build classroom community; experience the different spaces, games, and opportunities around the school; and establish positive and consistent expectations for the spaces and games. After the initial ten days, students will have more choice in selecting where they play, but with a solid foundation about what occurs in each space. 

Why Responsive Recess here at Ray? Recess is important. Play is important. Recess complements the academic experience for students. Through recess, many social, emotional, and creative skills and dispositions that make a student successful in the classroom are supported during unstructured and free play. Engaging in the Responsive Recess model will help to alleviate recess difficulties that can carry over into the classroom. 

Ray School’s Recess Purpose Statement

At Ray School, we believe recess should:

  • be safe, peaceful, enjoyable, fun, playful, and joyful;
  • provide opportunities for all students to be included;
  • increase problem solving skills;
  • build self confidence and self esteem; 
  • provide opportunities for taking responsibility; and
  • grow friendships, empathy, and community.

In order to achieve these worthy goals, recess needs to be deliberately planned and monitored in order to increase student success by making sure there is sufficient active adult supervision; general recess rules are explicitly taught; expectations are taught, practiced, and retaught; recess games are explicitly taught; play areas are opened gradually; clear routines for starting and ending recess are developed; and responses(s) to unexpected behavior are consistent.

We look forward to collecting data around the implementation and outcomes of Responsive Recess as we seek to continuously improve and best serve our students. As always, please reach out with any questions.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend and we will see you soon!


Lauren Amrhein
Follow the Ray School on Twitter: @lauren_amrhein