April 13th Raptor News

Welcome Raptor Family!

It has been an amazing year, and we are celebrating all our accomplishments with a Spring Carnival on April 27th from 3 – 7 pm at RTHS – so add it to your calendar and come out to support and celebrate our school and RTHS community!

Please join us for a fun afternoon, which will feature:

  • Games and Activities
  • Entertainment
  • A silent auction to benefit RTHS Raptor Fund
  • A basket raffle to benefit student clubs and sports teams
  • Food trucks

Meet members of the RTHS student clubs and sports teams – there is something for everyone here!

Parents, this will be a great opportunity for you and your student(s) to meet others and experience the culture at the RTHS. The PTSO welcomes you and looks forward to seeing you.

While you are at the Carnival, stop by the PTSO table, become a member for the 2018-2019 school year and check out our volunteer opportunities!

Our school has been built and thrives due to the dedication of our RTHS families. Charter schools like ours are not funded at the same level as other public schools, and we play a part in ensuring our school provides the environment and experience we want our students to have. Get involved with the PTSO! – your experience at this school is directly proportional to what you put in.

Supporting our PTSO is supporting our students and teachers!

August 14th Raptor Events


College Counseling

As the school’s college counselor, I spend most of my time working with seniors. That said, I do welcome conversations with all students and families.  Please do not think that you have to wait until your student is a senior to schedule time with me. I’m here for you at any time.

Best wishes on a smooth transition from summertime to school-time! We can’t wait to welcome your students to school this week!

DUKE Concessions

Please help RTHS and the PTSO by volunteering your time at the September 2nd, 6 pm Duke VS NC Central Eagles football game. Get volunteer hours and watch a Duke football game. Thank you!!

August 7th Raptor Events

College Counseling

I’m so excited about the start of another academic year! Class of 2018 – welcome to your senior year at RTHS!  The fall will be very busy, so we need to hit the ground running. There are many different paths you can take upon graduation from high school, and I want to make sure you create as many opportunities for yourself as you can. I’ll be focusing on helping you apply to a four-year college throughout the fall (two-year institutions have a later application process) and I’d like you to take these steps to get started:

  1. Update your Naviance account
    1. Move your colleges from your “thinking about” list to your “applying to” list
    2. Add any colleges that you are planning to apply to
    3. Enter your test scores into your account (this is in the “about me” tab)
  2. Create a Common Application account
    1. There are hundreds of colleges on the Common App including, NC State, UNC, UNC-W, Appalachian State, ECU, and most private colleges in North Carolina and across the country
  3. Register for the ACT or SAT
    1. Choose the test you did better on and retake that exam
      1. For example, if you score higher on the ACT than the SAT, then you should retake the ACT
      2. All students should take the ACT or SAT at least twice
      3. Your test scores are an important factor in both the admissions process and the scholarship process; an increase in just a few points can earn you a lot more money!
    2. Make sure you send your scores to the colleges on your list
      1. Your test scores aren’t on your transcript and I do not send your scores; this is your responsibility

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need more help. Stay tuned for weekly updates!



Come join us Thursday, August 3rd at 6:15 pm to learn how you can help the PTSO provide funding for our students!  We will be having an interest meeting on working the Duke Concessions during home football games.  The location will be at the school.

Any questions? Email Amy at amybhale@mac.com.  Thank you!

February 20th Raptor Events

Student Government Association News

Parent Help/Donations Needed
  1. March 31, Retro Party –   (Name still under consideration). The SGA will host a retro party featuring an arcade of vintage video games such as PacMan, pinball machines, other video machines, Atari in the music room. The theater will host the dance party featuring music from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. It is a costume party, so everyone is encouraged to dress in the decade apparel of your choice. What do we need from parents? Think of each decade as you do spring cleaning, garage sale hunting and thrift-shop shopping. Each gallery will be decorated in the theme of a different decade. We have movie posters from the various decades, Trivial Pursuit boards, 45s and 33s vinyl records. We’ll need lava lamps, peace symbols, boom boxes, tie dye, disco balls, grunge rock posters, nearly anything you can think of. PLEASE label everything so we can get them back to you. You do not need to start sending things in yet, but please let me know what you have so I can let the kids know who are designing the activities.
  2. May 13th, Prom at Noah’s –   We’ll not be hiring a professional caterer this year as kids will be going to dinner beforehand. Even so, we’d like to have donations of party platters from parents from Chick Fil A and other restaurants. I’ll send out a Sign-Up Genius as we get closer. I think the kids are pretty much set on other decorations, but I’ll let you know. The kids would like a photo booth in addition to the professional photographers, if someone would like to donate the rental of the photo booth.
  3. May 25th — possible date,  PTSO and SGA student appreciation day –   We’ll be having a professional hula dancer and fire show come in on that day. We’d like to have a number of activities going on and will have a soccer World Cup battle between German and Spanish students. While this is going on, we’ll need an army of parents to help transform the school grounds into a Polynesian paradise. Again, this might mean spring cleaning, major thrift shopping, Craigs List searching, and Ebaying on our collective parental parts. What we need is anything Hawaiian. Grass skirts, limbo bamboo bars, blow-up Sumo wrestler costumes, blow-up tiki gods, decorations galore. We’ll also need major parental donations for food on that day as we will want the kids to enjoy food from the islands as well. Does anyone own a pizza restaurant that could donate Hawaiian pizza (with ham and pineapple, delicious!)? Fruit plates? Spears of pineapple? Have parents who can make cakes such as Hawaiian wedding cake, coconut cream cakes, etc.? The kids have not yet decided on how to arrange this, so parental input is gratefully accepted. Yes, faculty, staff, and kids will all be encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts and outfits that day.

February 6th Raptor Events

Raptors Supporting the Community Through St.Baldrick’s

“Worldwide, 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, And in the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease – more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and diabetes combined.”

ST. BALDRICK’S FOUNDATION is dedicated to funding childhood cancer research. Events are hosted worldwide, with millions of people participating each year. For the last 4 years we at RTHS have been involved, with everyone from students to teachers participating. Now, for the second year in a row, RTHS supported by the National Honor Society will have its own official team to contribute to the foundation, by taking part in one of the foundation’s top events worldwide on Saturday, March 18th, at Glenwood South St.

All students, parents, and staff are invited to join our school’s team, the RTHS Raptors and contribute in any way possible. Ways to get involved include shaving and donating hair, donating money in the name of our team, volunteering at the event, participating in fundraising events at school, and just spreading the word!

Please visit the RTHS Raptors webpage to join the team and take a moment to share the link with anyone interested in contributing!

If you have any questions or wish to join our team, please contact RTHS Raptors 2017 Team Captain, Naome Maasho, at nmaasho@rthighschool.org.

College Counseling News

SUmmer Is Coming!

This past Thursday, the country’s expert climate scientists, I mean groundhogs, awoke to check the status of their highly developed weather technology, I mean shadows, to predict the length of our current winter. The results were a mixed bag and we were left without a firm prediction. There were so many differing opinions. Who to believe? That old stalwart, Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, or our own, Sir Walter Wally, who failed to see his shadow? I’m going with Sir Walter. That means that spring is right around the corner. Break out the shorts and amp up the treadmill; it is time to get serious about the next season. It is also time to get serious about our students’ plans for those long summer days that follow our short spring.

If your student is in 9th grade, you should consider an experience that provides an opportunity to explore a passion or try something new. Talk with your student about their ideas and if they give you a blank stare, take a look at some of the resources posted below. Sophomores might be further along in their journey of self-discovery and the conversation might flow more easily. However, if your 10th grader still isn’t sure about how to spend their summer days, consider putting them to work. By junior year, students should be considering how to take their activities to the next level. Admissions officers love to talk about how they prefer depth instead of breadth when discussing the topic of extra-curriculars. They hope a student has taken the initiative to go deeper into their interests. The summer is a great time for juniors to push themselves a little further and focus more intently on their passions. Finally, our current seniors aren’t off the hook. Even they should be thinking about the time spent between graduation and move-in day. In general the most valuable summer experiences include opportunities to: give back to the community, travel, work, develop passions, make connections and new friends, keep a schedule, improve academic skills and test taking abilities, instill good habits, break comfort zones, and build a resume.

Although he is not yet in high school, my 13-year-old, Bode, has a well-developed passion: swimming. Last summer, he convinced my husband to drive half-way across the country to watch the Olympic swim trials in Lincoln, Nebraska. They spent almost two weeks exploring small towns and doing father-son bonding things like sleeping outside and not showering. Thanks to adventurous grandparents, Bode has been lucky enough to ski in Aspen, CO, and scuba dive in the Caribbean, but if you ask him about his favorite trip, I guarantee he’ll share a story about his road trip with his dad. Summer experiences don’t have to be extravagant or costly; nor do they have to be far away. There are several local options to check out. (Duke Youth Summer Programs; Durham Summer Camps; NC State Summer Programs specifically in Engineering; and Raleigh Summer Camps). And while two weeks with Dad might not be every kid’s cup of sweet tea, the summer should be meaningful in some way.

So, no matter which rodent you believe, #teamwally, summer is just a few months away. If your student’s current plans include video game marathons and tanning, send them my way. I promise I won’t make them go to Lincoln, Nebraska, unless you want me to.

September 19th Raptor Events

Raptor Fund? PTSO? Who needs what?!

Ever wonder what the difference is between these two fundraising groups? Although these are two different fundraising arms, the end goal is the same – to raise funds that will benefit your student at the school!

The Raptor Fund is the annual Major Campaign fundraiser. It is a joint partnership made up of staff, parents and even some Board helpers. The funds raised go to improvements at the school, be they physical or educational. The latest improvement was the extensive PA system and VOIP phones that run it. Future support could be for expanding outdoor spaces and paths, for example. One goal we’re beginning to discuss is building an annual reserve to ease the burden on teachers, so that they can ease back their hours from 60 or 80 to, say, 40 to 60 per week. These funds are, therefore, for large efforts that enable the entire school of students and teachers to succeed. AND this Campaign allows you to just write a check and not have to sell gift wrap or buy anything!

The PTSO is the parent run organization that raises money to support teachers, students and various clubs in the form of grants. The grants help teachers extend their plans to special endeavors, or help students expand their experiences in major competitions. The PTSO funds are also used for staff appreciation events, student appreciation events, some graduation activities and community outreach, and each year it donates a sizeable amount to the school, as an annual gift to the Raptor Fund.

Donations to the these groups are tax deductible and no amount is too small. Some people have given $10 a month (which really adds up!) and some have endowed rooms. All are welcome and appreciated!

College Counseling News


College Counseling Top FAQs:

Grade 12

  1. How do I request my transcript?
    – Log in to Naviance and click on the “Colleges I’m Applying To” link. Add your college to the list (click the little add button on the top). Click, “request transcript” and “I’ve applied.”
  2. How do I send my test scores?
    – Log in to your account on the College Board (SAT) or the ACT and request “send my scores.”
  3. Are my test scores on my transcript?
    – No.
  4. Can Mrs. R help me with my applications?
    – Yes! Remember, she used to read applications for a living (at UNC and Meredith) and can give you advice! She can review your list of activities and offer suggestions about different responses to various questions on each application.
  5. I don’t know how to start my essay. What should I do?
    – Take a look at the Essay Writing Workshop document. Brainstorming about the details you want to share with admissions offices is a good place to start. Make an appointment with Mrs. R to discuss your ideas, or lack of ideas.
  6. What is the Common App?
    – The Common App is a way to apply to several colleges using just one central system. Over 700 colleges accept the Common App.
  7. Should I register with CFNC?
    – Yes! CFNC can provide a lot of great information. Even if you don’t apply to college using CFNC, you can still find info about scholarships and special events.
  8. How do I apply for scholarships and financial aid?
    – Create an account on Fastweb.com and FAFSA. Fastweb can help you find outside scholarships (money not tied to a specific college) and FAFSA can provide you financial aid. Create your accounts now!
  9. I’m not sure that I want to go to college. What should I do?
    – Meet with Mrs. R! She can help you think about your future.
  10. Is it too late to still search for colleges?
    – No way! Aim to complete your search by December though.

Grade 11

  1. How do I sign up to meet with the college representatives visiting RTHS?
    – Please ask permission from your teacher to miss class and sign up on the sign-up sheets outside of Mrs. R’s office. The meetings will take place in various places in school. Ask Mrs. R for help!
  2. Are there events in the community that I should attend?
    – Yes! You should attend the college fair at the McKimmon Center this Sunday from 2 – 4:30 pm.
  3. How do I start my college search?
    1. Think about criteria that are important to you: Location, size, academic programs
    2. Visit colleges in our area to get familiar with different campuses
    3. Meet with Mrs. R to discuss your thoughts about college
  4. I don’t know what I want to study in college. What should I do?
    – You don’t need to know what you want to major in to start your search; think about other criteria that are important to you and find schools with a lot of different academic disciplines
  5. I’m not involved in anything. Will that hurt my chances for admission to college?
    1. Yes! Check out the online club fair and attend a few meetings of organizations that sound interesting to you
    2. Get a job! (colleges love to see work experience)
    3. Volunteer in your community
  6. My grades could be better but I’m worried that it is too late to try harder in school. Should I give up?
    1. No way! Your transcript will include your final grades in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade
    2. Colleges also see first semester grades during 12th grade; now is the time to pick up the pace
  7. College seems really expensive. Is this true?
    – Sometimes. There are a lot of financial options – scholarships, need-based aid, tuition discounts – to help you pay for college, though. Don’t rule a school out just because the cost seems way too high. Talk to Mrs. R.
  8. When should I take the SAT and ACT?
    1. You should take the SAT this spring
    2. You will take the ACT this spring
  9. This year is really hard. I’m planning to lighten my course load next year. Is this is a good idea?
    – Never! Your course schedule senior year is extremely important; you should work extra hard this year so you can shine in tough classes next year
  10. I need some help with the college process. Can I schedule an appointment with Mrs. R.?
    – Absolutely! Send her an email or sign up on the sign-up sheets outside of her office

Grade 10

  1. I’m just starting to think about college. Are there things I should be doing now to prepare?
    1. Do the best you can in school; focus on your academic goals
    2. Colleges will pay attention to your grades in 10th grade, so keep working hard
  2. My math grade is terrible. Does that mean I can’t go to college?
    1. No. One bad grade will not ruin your chances for college
    2. Work with your teacher so that you continue to improve
  3. I know I want to go to Harvard so I’m not looking at any other colleges. Is this smart?
    – Oh no! You don’t want to only have one school in mind – there are so many great schools. Think about why you like Harvard and find other schools with similar characteristics (near a big city, in a cold area, strong academic programs, medium sized, far from home)
  4. What should I do during the summer (yes, I’m already looking forward to next summer)?
    – Something. Anything. It isn’t important what you do, but it is important that you do something (playing video games all day doesn’t count)
  5. Clubs are boring; why do extra-curriculars matter to college?
    1. Colleges are curious about how you spend your time; if you are involved in activities in high school, most likely you will get involved in a variety of things in college (not necessarily the same things, but something)
    2. Colleges want to admit interesting students; find something you like to do
  6. I love drama and I hate all of my other classes. I’m going to study drama in college so why do I need to take a foreign language next year?
    – It is important to enroll in English, math, science, social science, and foreign language every year (if you can and if it works with your schedule)
  7. I’m really quiet and never talk in class. How will my teachers get to know me?
    – Talk with your mentor to create a plan to make connections with your teachers; it is important that your teachers know you
  8. Robotics is my life. I don’t need to go to college, right?
    – Maybe, but maybe you should consider your college options; on average, college graduates make more money than high school graduates
  9. How will I afford college?
    – There are so many options out there: scholarships, grants, work-study, low interest loans, payment plans; college can be very affordable!
  10. Will colleges know about RTHS?
    – Yes! Mrs. R travels to conferences every fall and spring to talk about the great things going on at RTHS. Colleges know about our rigorous graduation requirements and the type of learning that goes on in our community

Grade 9

  1. Who is Mrs. R?
    – Mrs. Ringenbach is the school’s college counselor. Her office is next to the Holodeck administrative suite on the second floor. Stop by and say hi anytime!
  2. I’m only a freshman, why do I need to think about college?
    – It is never too soon to get started. Working with your mentor to create short term academic goals is a great place to begin.
  3. 9th grade doesn’t matter, right?
    – Oh, it matters! Your official transcript will include end of year grades in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. It will also include your senior schedule. Your performance in 9th grade can influence the types of courses you are recommended for in 10th grade. Just do your best and it will come together.
  4. Easy classes means easy As so I’m only going to take easy classes so my GPA will be awesome. That is a good plan, right, Mrs. R?
    – Um, not really (plus I wouldn’t consider any of our classes “easy” – RTHS challenges students at all levels). Colleges want you to challenge yourself. If you are recommended for Honors or AP course, you should strongly consider taking that class.
  5. Should I only apply to highly selective schools like Duke and Stanford?
    – No way! We’ll work together to create a college list that reflects your interests, preferences, and passions.
  6. How should I start my college search?
    – Take advantage of college tours at campuses in our area. Go check out NC State, Peace University, and North Carolina Central. Notice what you like and don’t like about each school.
  7. Will my family responsibilities hurt me when I apply to college?
    – Absolutely not. Colleges like to see you involved in family activities. You demonstrate maturity and discipline when you do things such as make dinner for your siblings, babysit, or work part-time in your community.
  8. I’m struggling with the transition to 9th grade; are my college chances ruined?
    – Take a deep breath. Work with your mentor and ask for help. You will have plenty of college options!
  9. Why do I need to make connections with my teachers?
    – Your teachers love to advocate for you and will write recommendation letters when it is time to apply to college. Learning how to make connections with the teachers you have now will prepare you to continue that process in the future.
  10. Will colleges know about the PLP?
    – Yes! Mrs. R’s job is to tell colleges all about RTHS. She attends national conferences and meets with admissions officers. The colleges will fully understand our PLP program.

Week of September 14

Duke Volunteers Raise Money

Our 37 Duke Volunteers made $15,000 in sales at the first game. This means $1,500 raised for our school. Way to go!

Halloween Dance

The Student Government Association will be hosting a Halloween Dance in Gallery 1 on Friday, October 30th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.. We’ve booked a DJ and a police officer; the rest is in the works!

Please sign up to volunteer as a chaperone. Thank you so much for your continuing support of RTHS SGA sponsored functions.