Welcome Back RHS Family!!!
Sun, Aug 20 7:51pm
Redwood Heights Elementary


Dear Redwood Heights Family,

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!

RHS Solar Eclipse update:

  • The teachers decided to view the solar eclipse outside @10:00 am before out 10:15 am recess.
  • We welcome parent volunteers to help us ensure students follow the safety solar eclipse guidelines/rules.
  • All students will have glasses.
  • If you do not want your child to view the solar eclipse, please inform the teacher.

We are all excited to engage with RHS students and families to create memorable learning experiences. For the past two weeks, our dedicated RHS teachers have been in their classrooms, thoughtfully creating beautiful learning spaces for our young scholars.

Every year, I work closely with teachers to create learning themes that help students continue to develop themselves as critical and creative thinkers and collaborators. Last year, we explored “Yes… And” – a philosophy that encourages working together, listening to each other’s ideas, and taking risks to collaborate with more openness.

During the 2017-2018 school year, we will build on “Yes… And” and add in “Focus” and “Empathy,” two concepts that were explored during a two-day summer professional development training at the Stanford Design School. The D School is dedicated to “…inspiring and developing the creative confidence of educators and supporting innovators catalyzing powerful models for teaching and learning” and believes all young people have creative confidence and know they can change the world.At RHS, we have the same belief and want to explore the best teaching practices that nurture the innovator and designer in our students.

At the D School, we looked at education and the classroom experience through the lens of the design process –Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

As we plan for student success, we will intentionally dive into the Empathize concept. During the Empathize phase, the designer has to understand the “user’s world” to uncover the needs of the user. At RHS, this is where the child-centered educator takes deep notice of each student; through relationship building and focused assessment, we come to understand each child so that we can nurture his/her highest potential.

Our first teacher professional development session of the year was a brain explosion. We had so much fun exploring thinking models facilitated by Brooke Toczylowski, Program Director at Agency by Design – Oakland. Agency by Design studies the benefits of maker-centered learning and the pedagogies that support it. We learned about two thinking routines that we will teach our students: Parts, Purposes, Complexities and Think, Feel, Care. You will learn more about these routines at future RHS Parent Education events.

As you know, our RHS vision is for ALL students to find joy and purpose in their educational experience. We are constantly striving to meet every student’s needs through personalization so that every student thrives and excels. To learn more about our approach, please look for my blogs: Spotlight on Learning at RHS that I will share through Konstella and www.redwoodheightsschool.com.

We are thrilled to be on this journey with each of you and look forward to collaborating with you to support our students’ growth and learning!


Cynthia Bagby-Ellison



Photos from the RHS Teacher Professional Development Retreat on August 16, 2017