Principal's Message

  • Principal Priester  

    Principal Priester Reading Aloud  

    Dear Rocket Family,

    Welcome back for the 2019-2020 school year!  I hope each of you are ready to join us as we launch our learning theme this year which is “Blast Off to Proficiency and Beyond: Achieving Our Vision in 20/20”! We have so much to celebrate this year, which includes serving “Remarkable” scholars and the community of 33311 for 60 years. We will continue to strive to enact our vision and attain an “A+” school rating. Our school has made improvements and we are now a “C”.

    Here are a few accomplishments to celebrate and share with you:

    1. Congratulations to our school team for improvements in Mathematics! Our increase in the percentage of students scoring a level 3, 4 or 5 on the 2019 Florida Standards Assessment of Mathematics places our school at 36 out of 2,088 Florida schools. We rank in the top 2% of all Florida schools for improvements in math. 
    2. Ninety percent of 3rd grade scholars made learning gains on FSA Math. 
    3. Forty-nine percent of 4th grade scholars scored a level 3, 4 or 5 on FSA English Language Arts, which is a 30% increase from 17/18.
    4. Sixty-one percent of 3rd grade scholars scored a level 3, 4 or 5 on FSA Mathematics, which is a 35% increase from 17/18.
    5. Eighty percent of 3rd grade scholars made learning gains on FSA English Language Arts, as compared to 57% in 17/18.
    6. Sixty-eight percent of 4th grade scholars made learning gains on FSA English Language Arts, as compared to 19% in 17/18.
    7. Forty-five percent of 5th grade scholars made learning gains on FSA English Language Arts, as compared to 40% in 17/18.
    8. Sixty-seven percent of 3rd grade scholars in the lowest quartile made learning gains on FSA English Language Arts, as compared to 57% in 17/18.
    9. Eighty-three percent of 4th grade scholars in the lowest quartile made learning gains on FSA English Language Arts, as compared to 18% in 17/18.
    10. Sixteen percent of4th grade scholars earned a level 1 as compared to 47% of those scholars earning a level 1 on the FSA English Language Arts in 17/18, which is a 31% percentage point decrease.
    11. The State of Florida recognized our school as a Silver rated PBIS school for our School-Wide Positive Behavior Plan.
    12. We offer a “Gold-Star” rated YMCA After-School Program. I encourage you to enroll your scholar(s).
    13. We offer a first-class art, computer science, physical education and social emotional learning lab to our scholars.
    14. We create a safe and conducive learning environment for our scholars one hundred eighty days of the school year.

    I'll be seeking your participation and input in the conversations and actions needed to improve our student achievement and sustain the momentum that we made in 18/19  with building relationships and partnerships.

    We pride our school on the connections that we have with our families through our home-school connections. We will continue to host events at our school to invite our families to learn how to help their “Rocket Scholar” at home while we continue the traditions of our beloved Rock Island. A focus on building relationships, having an open door policy and providing each parent with respect will continue to be at the forefront of our vision.

    Our leadership team made a spectacular plan for 2019-2020 to be a success, which gave us an opportunity to reflect, plan, focus on the positive, prepare to roll up our sleeves for the work we have ahead of us and begin the work of our Rockets achieving their ultimate level of success. We believe in our school mission and our scholars. Our Rocket family will always strive to develop productive, well-rounded and empathetic citizens for the 21st Century. Our school community will continue to lead our Rockets on a path to success. I hope you join us with the same level of determination to make this upcoming year our best yet. We will “Achieve our Vision in 20/20” as we Blast Off to Proficiency and Beyond!

    Educationally Yours,

    Mrs. Cormic Priester

    Proud Principal of Remarkable Rock Island Elementary School


    December Message


    Our school family has so much to be thankful for during this holiday season. Winter break is upon us and our school will close for the holiday from Monday, December 23rd until Friday, January 3rd. My hope is that all of you will enjoy your holiday and spend quality time with each other.

    I am thankful for many things this holiday. This is my third year at Rock Island and I can hardly express the gratitude that I have to serve such a wonderful community as your proud principal. My tenure here has been enjoyable and rewarding. Over the past three years I have had the privilege of watching your children mature, learn and grow. My heart is full of adoration for all of you that are a guiding force in the life of your scholar. Continue to be their support system and we will continue to be a member of their village. I always share that my responsibility is to build strong leaders for our future. I am pleased to have great a great staff of teachers, support staff, paraprofessionals, security, facilities, food & nutrition and clerical. Most of all I am proud to serve side by side with my wonderful assistant principal, Mrs. Rumble-Wise, who supports all of our school endeavors seamlessly. What are you thankful for? What are you proud of? How can you help enhance the life of a scholar at our school? I challenge you to reflect and to lend your time and talents as a volunteer at our school or donate to some of the extraordinary programs that we have here at “The Rock”. We need you.

    Our Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) clubs began last month. Mrs. Wright, our Art Teacher and Teacher of the Year, led the way by providing an Arts Club to our scholars. We have so many wonderful activities at our school. This year we inducted scholars in to the 5000 Role Model Program, Student Government and National and National Junior Honor Society. We also offer debate and robotics to our scholars as an enrichment activity. We are developing young leaders for the future.

    Do you have a concern or an idea? I invite you to share your thoughts with me. I am always available and I love to hear your feedback. Concern/feedback can be shared via the parent communication form in the front office. Let us continue to collaborate and work together.

    Have you met with your scholar’s teacher? Do you know the status of your scholar’s academic and behavioral progress? If you have not met with his/her teacher this year, then now is the time to arrange a conference. We will host another conference night, however, you may contact his/her teacher to schedule a conference soon.

    Have a wonderful holiday season with your family!

    Mrs. Priester

    Follow me @PrincipalRIE


    “Blast Off to Proficiency and Beyond: Achieving Our Vision in 20/20!”


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