Hello ROCS! On Wednesday night, January 25, the Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting. Below, you’ll find key takeaways from the evening.

(1) To follow up on the performance update you should have received on Tuesday this week: Yes, ROCS received a D grade last year and was designated as a low-performing school. We attribute much of this grade to pandemic learning loss and the negative impacts of virtual learning. It is important to note that, despite this grade, our students and teachers met their growth goal for the first time in the school’s history. And, we are working hard to do better this year. In fact, our administrators and teachers have already been hard at work exploring the data and implementing strategies for improvement.

(2) We approved multiple new hires for classroom teachers and substitutes. We were thrilled to learn that many of these new staff members are also parents of ROCS students. Thank you for your care and dedication to our school. We think you’re joining the best team of teachers in the state.

(3) We added a new board member (Claire Porter) who was also the school’s founding Principal during its charter application period and first few months of operation. Soon after ROCS opened, Claire took a job at the Office of Charter Schools in the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and had to resign from our board to ensure there would be no conflict of interest. Last year, she left DPI to work as the Head of NC Compliance and School Support at Charter Schools USA. With the conflict of interest removed, she is returning to our Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have her expertise and connections on tap.

(4) We got an update on 2023-24 lottery applications, and they are through the roof! If you have friends or family members who are considering applying, send them to our website for all necessary details. Our next Open House tour is Thursday, February 9th, and the application period ends February 28th. Our move to a bigger building on Sumner Drive next year means we’ll have more seats available in all grades than we have had available since our opening year in 2018 (and more seats than we may ever have again). Especially for students in higher grades who may be looking for a change from their base school, this is an ideal time to get into ROCS. We’ll be adding classrooms in almost every grade.

And last but not least…

We are excited to (finally) announce the likely location
of our permanent school building at 3400 Sungate Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27610.

As a few of you have pointed out, our application for a site review by the City of Raleigh is now publicly available on the internet, showing both the site’s address and potential development plans. While we are, on one hand, thrilled about the location and have been eager to share this news with you for nearly a year, we also want to be clear that this is not 100% certain. We are still under due diligence with the developers and the City of Raleigh. If finances, safety, or other considerations shift, there is still a chance we would not be able to build our permanent home at this site. We’ll let you know when the deal is final, and in the meantime, we hope you’ll share our cautious optimism. Here’s why:

The 27610 zip code is a dream location for our original vision of what ROCS will become. It is the most diverse of all Raleigh metro areas and has one of the lowest average adjusted gross incomes in the state, allowing us to tap into more diverse and sometimes marginalized communities and reach more students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds. In brief, it helps us reach our goal of a student and teacher population that mirrors the demographics of the state. It helps us bring a Public Waldorf education to communities where it would not otherwise exist. Also: It is a large, wooded site with access to a nearby stream and ample outdoor space, but still easily accessible from the 440 beltline. Most charter schools in Wake County choose permanent sites in less populated areas far from the city; we feel fortunate to have found this undeveloped plot of land so close by.

Thank you for bearing with us while we held on to this news! We know it has been a source of uncertainty, and we hope this announcement helps you plan and prepare for the rest of your child’s years at ROCS.

With gratitude,

The ROCS Board of Directors