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Culture and Community Context

Rocky Mountain high school (RMHS) inspires, guides, and supports its students, faculty
and staff to reach their maximum potential in a caring, challenging and safe environment. Such
characteristics are shaped by RMHSs beliefs. These make RMHS provide a strong sense of
culture and community to its students, faculty, and staff. In my opinion, one of the strongest
beliefs that RMHS holds is that of believing in the value and dignity of every student.
When I first started student teaching at RMHS I was a bit apprehensive with the students
when they did not turn in their work on time or when they were late to class. I spent my
formative years in International American schools in Mexico. These schools were very strict and
demanding. Discipline was key and if students were to disrespect authority, disobey rules, or
miss deadlines, consequences were applied. Therefore, I developed a strict persona; one that
always obeyed rules and prioritized academics, no matter the personal circumstance or situation I
went through. However, my cooperating teacher, as well as my students, taught me to be more
flexible and understanding of situations. For example, if a student misses a deadline or is late to
class, it does not mean that they are a bad student. I should not judge any student; instead, I need
to value them for who they are. I have learned that being tolerant and understanding is key in
developing positive relationships with students, as well as in becoming a great teacher.
Additionally, RMHS believes in the importance of self-discovery and equal opportunity
for learning. This is a belief that is experienced and supported every day in the classroom.
Teachers foster a safe and caring environment that allows students to feel confident in their
academics and be successful. Furthermore, it prepares them for lifes work and lifelong learning.
RMHS does this not only by offering outstanding academic opportunities but also by offering

students and staff opportunities for service to society. RMHS empowers all members of society
through participation.
Support Structure for the School
Furthermore, RMHS is committed to excellence for all, as it provides extensive support
from the community, parents, and volunteers. One of the many opportunities that RMHS
provides for the community is Rockys School Improvement Team (SIT), which is made up of
parents, community members, teachers and staff, students, and the principal. It can be said that
RMHS promotes altruism and a culture of supporting the community and our families. They host
multiple fundraisers, with the purpose of helping families in the community who do not have
many resources.
Parents are active participants of the school and they are involved in groups, such as SIT,
Parents Athletic Club, Forensics Boosters, Music Boosters, Drama Parents, and other support
groups. They also volunteer in a variety of ways to assist RMHSs students and staff in their dayto-day activities.
Additionally, RMHS sponsors multiple extracurricular activities that allow the students
and the community to be involved. It sponsors 23 interscholastic sports and similar activities.
RMHS features an extensive music program including bands, orchestras, and choirs that enjoy a
state and national reputation for excellence. In addition, RMHS has an award-winning forensics
program, student newspaper, student magazine, yearbook, and drama program. All of the
aforementioned activities truly motivate students, parents, faculty and staff to be active
participants of the community.

A unique way in which the community is involved with RMHS is through the Wellness
Day Event and the Career Expo. These events invite vendors from the community to come to
RMHS. The most amazing part of these events, in my opinion, is seeing how interactive
community members and students are with one another. I think that these interactions truly help
students grow beyond their academics.
Additionally, RMHS hosts multiple fundraisers, including Adoptive Family, Pennies for
Peace, Soles for Souls, Global Education, Cans around the Oval, and many more. Adoptive
Family is one of the biggest fundraisers that RMHS hosts. In the case of Adoptive Family, the
purpose is to provide for the community, especially around the holidays. RMHS community
gives Adoptive Families food, a fulfilled wish list, each homeroom adopts a family and families
are given gift cards. It is breathtaking and truly fulfilling to experience the beauty of giving
during the aforementioned events. These fundraisers invite the community and students families
to help our community. Especially, to help families who do not have many resources.
Demographic Characteristics of the School
Rocky Mountain High School is ranked 42nd within Colorado. The student body makeup
is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 22 percent. There
are a total of 950 female students and 1016 male students. In total, RMHS has 1966 students
enrolled in the school.
Day to day, RMHS students are encouraged and motivated to build upon the tradition of
excellence that marks the Lobo way. This means that students and staff are unceasingly
courageous and loyal to their school and community. They take maximum advantage of the
variety of opportunities that RMHS offers to grow and learn. Moreover, they develop, sustain,

and continue to obtain a high level of intelligence and ability to learn from experience.
Combined, all of these attributes, abilities, and skills, foster a tremendous strength to represent
the Lobo Way and develop a strong mind and body.
Classroom Environment and the Students
In the classroom, the aforementioned attributes encourage past, future, and current Lobos
to be active citizens of the classroom. Teachers offer commitment to the academic, physical,
social and emotional growth of students. Such commitment is seen every day in the classroom.
With a four-by-four block schedule of four nine-week terms per year, students are allowed to
focus on fewer subjects at one time and take more classes per year. Additionally, this facilitates
greater in-depth classroom learning, fosters positive relationship among teachers and students,
and provides more opportunities for hands-on learning activities to occur.
Regarding my classroom, I have noticed that setting a strong and positive classroom
climate is key. Establishing such a climate allows students to feel accepted and supported, which
enhances their learning. It allows them to strengthen their comprehension, listening, and learning
abilities further. Additionally, I have noticed that getting to know your students learning abilities
allows you to become a better teacher for them and expand their learning. Each of my students
learning ability varies but because I have gotten to know them as a person and as a student, I am
able to cater to their academic needs.
Within my classroom, there resides a comfortable, safe, and respectful learning
environment. It is important point out that is is both thte teacher and the students who contribute
to such an amazing classroom culture. Additionally, students stay on task and actively engaded.
They constantly participate and respond to questions. Another factor that I believe contributes to

the established classroom cultura is that I provide a student-teacher centered approach. I model
isnturciton to help understand what they need to do for the assigned activity or assessment.
Moreover, I encourage students to be active particpants of the classroom. Additionally, I allows
students to work in small groups and constantly change up the activites. The fact that the
classroom is as intricate, allows students to feel comfortable, motivated, and engaged.
Physically, the culture of the classroom fosters and develops students knowledge about
the world. More specifically, about Spanish speaking countries and the wonders that these offer
in regards to history, art, geography, and more. The classroom provides a sense of being
multicultural and encourages students to be sensitive and respectful to cultures different than
their own.
The overall learning climate at RMHS is one that inspires, guides, and supports students,
faculty, and staff to reach their maximum potential in a caring, challenging, and safe
environment. In the classroom, Lobos are continuously encouraged to develop, sustain, and
strengthen a strong mind and body so that they continue being active citizens of the classroom
and overall community.
Schools-wide and Classroom Policies
RMHS does not have a specific school- classroom policy for management. Each teacher
establishes his or her own, as long as they provide a safe learning environment. RMHS is very
proactive on prevention programs, which involve research-based curricula proven successful as
well as school-based programming. Regarding conflict resolution, RMHS utilizes Positive
Behavioral Interventions and Support to promote conduct that support strong character. Their
districts School Resource Officer (SRO) program is a long standing one between the Fort

Collins Police Department, Larimer County Sheriffs Office and PSD. Thirteen on-campus
officers serve as mentors, instructors, and counselors, enforce laws and facilitate conflict
resolution. In addition to the aforementioned, deans and counselors are always present and
visible in the hallways. They work closely with students and teachers. Regarding students with
special needs, RMHS offers appropriate programs and resources that facilitate to meet the
students special needs, as well as particular programs requested. Some students have paras with
them in class. Partial integration is dependent on students abilities or student needs.