Alt. Ed. Delete: more than just a hallway hello

A peep into the wonderfully rich world of RV PREP

Mrs. Meekins-Montgomery has been Director of RV PREP since its inception

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Mrs. Meekins-Montgomery has been Director of RV PREP since its inception

Mrs. Meekins-Montgomery, Director of RV PREP

When was the last time you made lasagna with the school secretary or sandwiches with security?  

Have you pushed a wheelbarrow with the principal or made kimchi in Science class? 

What about meme-ing history or learning Russian during your Math class? 

Can your English teacher rap?


Sounds like you missed a typical Thursday at RV PREP.

Tucked in the middle of the fields in Eastampton sits a small school. In the back of that small school, there is a lively, spirited and connected community of learners. That community is RV PREP – Rancocas Valley’s Personalized Readiness and Education Program.  

RV PREP has been in existence for four years and each year it sees changes both big and small.  But the one thing that remains consistent is the relationships that are built in the community among the staff and the learners.  

As you walk down the hallway of RV PREP, you’ll notice that four of the classrooms have colors, symbols and a name on them. These four classrooms are the home base for the teams that make up the RV PREP CommUNITy. While the team names and colors were chosen by the students during Years One and Two, the accompanying artwork and door designs are the result of the collaborative efforts of the very talented Team Dempsey and Furno, two of RV’s art teachers.

Team rooms are the launching pad for the day; it’s like homeroom but slightly more amazing.  It’s where the PREP magic begins. In addition to morning announcements and goal setting and other clerical activities, students have the opportunity to participate in team and commUNITy wide challenges. Over the years we’ve had attendance challenges, door decorating contests, credit accrual races and Fun Fridays down in the gym. The team rooms give all PREP learners the opportunity to connect to PREP and build a sense of commUNITy and belonging. As the year progresses teams become stronger as team leaders and learners continue to connect.

In addition to the connections that team leaders and learners make, history teacher Mr. Green noted that “when you work with students in such a concentrated environment, you get to know them on a different level.” Instead of a class of over 20 students, the classes at RV PREP are a little smaller so that the learning can truly be personalized for each student. The team leaders / teachers are given the opportunity to spend time with each of their students and to truly get to know their strengths and weaknesses.  

We don’t see our students for a quarter or a semester, we have a full year or even a multi-year investment in each of the students that walk through the door.  

“Our teachers have the time to get to know us and they seem really interested in what we have to say, what we are doing and how we are improving,” said one RV PREP student.

Whether we are working side by side completing a math project or outside planting flowers, our team leaders and learners are given the opportunity to collaborate, support and create more than a “hallway hello” as they move throughout the learning environment.  

“The teachers at PREP make you feel important as soon as you walk in the door – the front door or even the classroom door,” said another RV PREP student. 

Learners and leaders are given the opportunity to share experiences while participating in events, activities and challenges throughout the year. After returning from a trip to Washington Crossing Park, a student remarked that they never thought that they’d go bike riding with their teacher and learn Science and History at the same time.  

As the director of RV PREP, I have an amazing amount of respect for my kiddos. Additionally, I know that I have an amazing group of leaders that are dedicated to supporting the learners that attend PREP.

At RV PREP, we are Four Teams, but one commUNITy.