A Message from Dr. Mark Ribbens
At RCA we are dedicated to the physical safety of everyone in the building, and as a performing arts school, we are also committed to providing an emotionally safe place where young people can take chances and grow as performers.
Over the last year we’ve endured the horror of school shootings, including what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and we’ve heard and read the stories of students committing suicide in part due to the bullying they experienced in school. Both types of events make me reflect on our bigger purpose at RCA- creating and maintaining a safe place for students.
Like all schools and districts we have been reviewing our safety protocols and practices. We continue to review our plans, drill them and refine them with the hope that if we ever face a physical threat to our students and staff, we will be prepared to keep people safe.
A more common experience for students is bullying or other interactions that make school a place that does not feel safe. So it is important that we take steps to make sure RCA has a positive school climate where bullying is rare or nonexistent.
The Safe School Climate Plan is on this web site, but I’d like to articulate the steps we take to create and maintain a positive climate.
Creating a positive climate begins when we first meet students and model respectful behavior in our interactions with them. It is part of my presentation to parents at our audition orientation. It continues at the beginning of the year at our all school meeting, in which I articulate the responsibility we all bear for our behavior and our actions to keep RCA a positive place. It is also part of my message on our back to school night to parents.
The importance of maintaining a positive school climate is articulated in the classrooms as students take chances as they solo, or perform monologues. Staff members, including me, pay attention to the interaction of students in class and between classes to be sure that students are treating each other with care, and none of us are shy about stepping in when things don’t seem to be going well.
Finally positive school climate is it is in the feedback we receive from students and parents if and when something goes wrong. So, please encourage your child to speak with any adult in the building if they witness or experience mean behavior that could seem like bullying, also, as a parent feel free to contact me if your child reports anything to you. Thanks for your continued support of the Regional Center for the Arts.
Dr. Mark Ribbens