May 22, 2017 Family Newsletter

May 22, 2017 Family Newsletter

Message from the Director

Dear Rainier Families,
As we are wrapping-up our school year we are also beginning to plan for next year. We are excited to announce our initial planning. Additionally. some of our faculty members are transitioning to new roles within Summit or in other communities. Please read below to learn more about our planning for next year and help us wish our best to transitioning faculty.
A focus on building positive school culture

As educators, we feel a deep responsibility to do what is best for our students. At Rainier, this means listening to feedback from parents, students, and faculty, looking at our data and results, and consulting external research to make every year better than the previous one. As we reflect on the 2016-2017 school year and look forward to the 2017-2018 school year, our main focus will be building a positive student culture. We have always been a family at Rainier, and we want all of our family members to feel safe, known, motivated, and successful.
Additional Support for Culture and Teachers

Next year we are excited to partner with Summit Public School’s Research and Development Team to host a full time Research Manager. This position will help provide additional support for teachers in developing a stronger culture in their classroom through observation and coaching. This position will also provide us with someone on campus every day that is researching what is working best at other schools and what our teachers and students need the most. We are very grateful that the Summit Public Schools team has chosen to work with us on this special opportunity.

Sazan Ghafur will be transitioning from her role as HCC teacher to take on this role as Research Manager next year. After two years providing support for her students and mentees through consistently setting up a strong classroom culture and thinking about the needs of our learners first, we are excited to have her help push our school culture to the next level.
Doubling down on the role of the mentor

The mentor and the mentor group have long been at the core of the Rainier experience. The mentor group is the family that sticks together, and the mentor is the coach and advocate that has each mentee’s interests at heart. Too often, a student and family’s experience has not lived up to the promise and vision of the mentor experience. Next year we are doubling down on the role of the mentor. Each mentor will be in charge of working with their own students to build habits, culture, and community using some of the curriculum that was developed by our HCC teachers this year. Mentors will continue to check in with each student every week and be the primary point of contact for families. We will be drastically increasing our training and professional development for mentors so that this role is executed at a consistently high level of quality.
Rainier faculty updates

With each year, we are blessed to welcome new faculty into our community at the same time as we are sad to see current team members move on. This year, we are very proud of the following Bulldogs who will be continuing to make an impact at Summit Public Schools:

  • Max Zisman will move into a role managing the Math curriculum for all of Summit Public Schools. We are incredibly grateful for his four years in Rainier’s Math department, and we know that he will continue to do amazing work bringing math to life for all students through rich and meaningful projects.
  • Katie Goddard will be moving into the Research Manager role at Summit Public Schools: Shasta in Daly City. Her role will be similar to the one Sazan Ghafur will have here at Rainier. We are thankful for Katie’s work in teaching history and HCC over her four years at Rainier and we’re excited that she will be bringing her skills and support to Shasta.

Rainier greatly benefited from five wonderful tutors this year. Anwar Darkazanli, Johnny Nguyen, Jose Valentin Ruiz, Kelsey Boyle and April Carrera all signed up to join us through a one-year commitment facilitated by Americorps. As their assignment closes and they move on to great things in the world of education and elsewhere, the tutors extend their gratitude to Rainier families and students for welcoming them into the community. We are especially excited that Ms. Carrera will be working towards her teaching credential through the Summit Public Schools credentialing program learning how to teach with Mr. Quezada as her mentor! Mr. Darkazanli, Ms. Boyle, and Mr. Nguyen will all be doing the same at other Summit schools. Next year, we will be adding more highly qualified teachers. As a result of that shift, we will not be continuing our partnership with AmeriCorps. Next year, Summit Reads, Summit Solves, and PLT will be taught by teachers.

Other teachers will also be moving on from Rainier to pursue different career opportunities. Please join me in thanking and extending a warm send-off to Caitlin Beaven, Van Anh Tran and Eric Cho. We are so grateful to all these teachers for their dedication and hard work at Rainier over the past four years. Please join me in thanking them and wishing all of our departing teachers the best in the next phase of their lives.

Although there will be no replacing the wonderful teachers who are moving on from Rainier, we have attracted an amazing faculty who will bring a wealth of talent, passion, and care to our community. We have hired for many of our open positions and are in the final interview stages with the last few impressive candidates. Please join me in welcoming to Rainier’s teaching faculty Shaila Ramachandran, Hannah Cruetzfeldt, Leila Francisco, Justin Haver, and Katina Bellatyne.


A promise from your school leaders

As Jesse Roe and Edwin Avarca enter our second year working together at the helm of our school and fifth year together as teammates, we are a stable and consistent team that knows our school and community well. We love Rainier. We love you, the students and families who commit to us year after year and work alongside us to prepare all of our students for success in college and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society. We are absolutely committed to providing a world-class education at Rainier and building the safe, fun, and caring community that makes our school so special. We go into the 2017-2018 school year with optimism and resolve, and promise that we will work for and alongside you to make the seventh year of Rainier the best one yet.


Jesse Roe and Edwin Avarca