Rio Rapids E-News Jan.


February 2, 2018



Happy Friday, Rio family!
We are in the 2nd day of our “Forum”, a weekend of spiritual emphasis, which you’ll read about below. So far, we’ve been richly blessed by the guest speaker and group discussions.

With rainy weather and colds on campus, we are looking forward to our spring sunny skies. First quarter is well underway and we encourage students to get a clean start on the semester by checking grades and projects on Renweb.

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

This Week at Rio

“Forum”-a Spiritual Emphasis Weekend

Our campus ministries team strives to foster intrinsic motivation and rich spiritual-living amongst those whom we serve. We work toward this by creating opportunities designed for reflection that will, hopefully, develop our students into leaders. On a biannual basis, we host a weekend of spiritual emphasis. We’ve titled this program “Forum”, designed to encourage conversation, deeper thought, and student engagement.

Professor Jim Roy. Src:

This weekend, author, professor, and speaker Dr. Jim Roy from Pacific Union College’s education department is our featured speaker. He has been unpacking the ideas of choice and faith, the crossroads of where they meet in the heart of each individual. First, Dr. Roy presented the difference between artificial intelligence, and real intelligence and how God created us to be thinkers, not merely machines created with the gift of choice and a will. When he finished, the students divide into small groups so they could spend the largest portion of the time discussing questions such as how Professor Roy’s thoughts applied to our lives right now.

Our campus ministries team has been pleased with the level of engagement and the thinking produced by our students. We hope to continue encouraging our students to think meaningfully about their own spirituality and their relationship with Jesus Christ.

-Mr. Handal, Chaplain

Guest Speaker/Parent Shares Civil Rights Experience

Last Monday during Martin Luther King Day, parent Philip Belser was invited to share his riveting story with Rio students of what it was like to grow up in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. Mr. Belser, the youngest of eight children, had a mother who firmly believed in human equality and instilled this value in all of her children. As a black, poor teenager in Birmingham, AL, Mr. Belser witnessed the daily mistreatment of the African Americans in his community and described ordering a sandwich at the local diner, only to be told to go to the back to pick it up while the white people sat at the counter. He joined the movement in several events including a sit-in, and the march in Selma, even though his mother did not approve. Mr. Belser shared the fears as a young man, witnessing church members’ homes being bombed and baring the brunt of police brutality with attack dogs, while trying to maintain an attitude of nonviolence as taught by Dr. Martin Luther King.

As he spoke to the students he said, “When I look at you students at Rio, I think of a ‘Rainbow Coalition’. I wish my school would have looked like this. This is the dream Dr. King had.”

We are deeply appreciative to Mr. Belser for sharing his emotional experiences and will strive for that unity that Dr. King embodied.

When Students Get Sick

As illness spreads through our county, we as a school want to take all the possible precautions to prevent germs from spreading. Last Thursday, Nurse Riddle spoke to the student body and advised students to wash hands frequently, stay in the dorm and rest,and drink water if sick, and to use plenty of hand sanitizer throughout the day. Several students have come down with an illness in the past two weeks. If a student is not feeling well, he or she should contact the dean and get on sick list and NOT go to class. While in the dorms, the student must stay in his/her own room and are encouraged to rest. The deans check on sick students regularly and are in contact with parents, making sure the sick student has a hot meal and over the counter medicine if needed. Teachers will work with the student to make up what they missed and students will receive an Excused Absence in Renweb if they are on sick list. If you live nearby and have a sick student, we are asking that you take your
student home for a couple days to give them some time to recover.

Please call the dean’s cell phone if you are concerned about your student’s health or wellness during this season. Our website ( provides more details about medical care at Rio.

-Dean Handal, Dean Meyer, Rika Meyer

Senior Parent Tributes

The 2017-18 school year is halfway over and your seniors are approaching their high school graduation! We have several senior ad options if you would like to purchase ad space in the Rio Yearbook to show your senior how proud you are of his or her achievements. In the ad you can place pictures and a message to your senior. The yearbook staff will design the ad with the info you provide. The payment, your message, and pictures must be submitted by February 12th. Please see Becky Renslow’s email for more info/pricing. Email any questions to brenslow<at>

Spanish Trip

Spanish students went on a field trip last Sunday to the De Young museum in San Francisco. They learned about the Aztecs and their culture in an exhibit called “Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire.” The students witnessed never-before-seen archeological discoveries, paintings, ceramics, and sculptures from the Aztec tribe. After the museum trek and group photos in the DeYoung tower, the group ate at a local Peruvian restaurant.

-Mrs. Mahoney, Spanish teacher

Navigate Begins for Juniors

As semesters change so do students in Navigate, the career and college readiness program. Freshmen and sophomores have completed their 30 minute, weekly Navigate meetings for 1st semester. The Juniors just started their first Navigate session on Monday January 22nd. This semester Juniors will not only research careers and colleges but look at the process for admissions, learn about sending standardized test scores to colleges, build a resume and discover what scholarships they can apply for now–as juniors. The weekly 30 minutes class is intended to keep juniors informed and help gain momentum as they make plans for life after high school. Students desiring to attend selective colleges, get high standardized test scores, or receive scholarships are encouraged to continue working on these themes outside of class.
-Mrs. Brassington, School Counselor

Students Attend Career Symposium

Last Friday seven upperclassmen attended a symposium for primary and behavioral healthcare careers at Sonoma State University. With over 400 high school students from around Sonoma County our students learned about careers beyond the typical doctor, nurse, and psychologist. The keynote speaker from UC Davis addressed racial disparities in the healthcare industry. Afterwards students attended various workshops and chose between prevention or treatment station rotations. During breaks students collected freebies while talking with exhibitors from regional colleges, hospitals, and non-profits. Some students returned to Rio with new questions to ponder. Others returned with questions settled. Either way the day was a success! The symposium encouraged them to pursue a career the primary or behavioral healthcare field!
-Mrs. Brassington, School Counselor

Spartans Win Victory in PUC Basketball Tournament

Src: PUC Facebook

The Lady Spartans won a close victory against El Dorado last Saturday night in the PUC Basketball Tournament. They led the game but El Dorado began to close the gap in the 3rd quarter. With lots of teamwork, successful foul shots and some layups by newcomer Yudi M., the Lady Spartans won their trophy together with Coach Benson.

The men’s team had an uphill battle against Sacramento Adventist Academy for the championship game. While they trailed them and nearly caught up during the second quarter, the rest of the game was a battle to keep up with this challenging team. Tired but happy, the men’s Spartans took 2nd in the overall tournament, but as of last night are now #1 in the Small School’s Bridge league after a surprise win last night against Cornerstone Christian.

Upcoming Dates:
Click HERE to view and subscribe to our school calendar.

Jan. 27-Staff Variety Show

Feb. 2-4-Freshman/Sophomore retreat at Leoni

Feb. 3-Music Off Campus

Feb. 6-11-Home Leave

Feb. 12-Classes Resume

Feb. 12-15-Small Schools Bridge League Basketball Tournament at Hanna

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