It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to what I believe will be an amazing school year!  Although there is uncertainty around COVID-19 and the impact it will have on us all, I embrace this challenge as an opportunity to build a stronger community and forge relationships that will support teachers, staff, parents/guardians and students.  In times like these we need each other, so I look forward to getting to know each of you better over the course of the school year.

During the school year, four guiding principles will define who we are and what we are all about at the Rye Lake MS/HS Campus.  The acronym for those guiding principles is CERT, which stands for Collaboration, Excellence, Respect and Trust.  These are our values!  Thus, whether you enter the building in person or communicate with a member of the Rye Lake community by other means, you should sense a spirit of collaboration and teamwork among teachers, staff and students.  For our goal is to foster and nurture strong relationships that are built on trust and respect, resulting in transparency and openness.  As a matter of fact, we expect these values to be so ingrained in our school community that it becomes a native language, a culture.  As we strive for excellence to reach the whole child (intellectually, social-emotionally, spiritually and behaviorally), we will not waver in holding students accountable for their decisions.  Thus, a corollary to building a strong culture is to create a positive school climate that is palpable.

So, why is CERT important?  Because our mission as educators is to ensure that an educational environment exist where high levels of teaching and learning takes place every single day.  Your child deserves an opportunity to not only reach their Individualized Education Plan goals, but to also earn the highest score possible on the Regents Exam.  Therefore, a BIG GOAL is to create the conditions for that to happen routinely.  You can therefore come to expect that all students will be engaged intellectually, motivated to go beyond their comfort zone and inspired to be a better citizen.  Given the amazing teachers and staff at the Rye Lake MS/HS Campus, as well as the supports available, I believe that the sky is the limit! 

Finally, I invite you to join us on this journey by giving of your time and volunteering.  Your participation and input are invaluable, for you know your better than anyone.  On the other hand, since we spend most of our waking hours with your children, we know them very well also.  Imagine parents, guardians, teachers, clinicians and staff combining all of our varied knowledge about our students collaboratively; students would receive a greater level of support in a proactive rather than a reactive way.   Hence, you can expect greater feedback from teachers/staff via a phone call, email, by letter (or even virtually, if possible) regarding your child’s progress, as well as upcoming events to celebrate those accomplishments.  So, as part of the new school year, let’s kick it off with a CERT.

Once again, welcome!  I look forward to your support and engagement throughout the course of the school year. 




Marvin Elliott, Jr.


Rye Lake MS/HS