rolesville elementary classroom

School Feature: Rolesville Elementary School

More than 1 million people call Wake County, North Carolina home. According to the county planning government website, 62 people move to our county each day. We're growing twice as fast as the rest of the state. So you can imagine how much that growth has expanded the Wake County Public School System population.

Despite the county's and school system's growth, Rolesville Elementary School has managed to maintain its status as a ‘small town’ community‐driven school with a population of just over 10,000 people. With Rolesville's smaller population, the community feels more connected and the effect on the school is visible.

gathering of students

Rolesville Elementary School principal, Robert Soutter, describes the school culture, "Our school culture centers around community. We are focused on getting the community into the building, getting our students into the community, and creating a community within the building. What this means here is that every student has someone they can count on in the building. It may be their current teacher, a past teacher, or a staff member they see each day."

In addition to ensuring students have someone to lean on, Rolesville Elementary joined The Positivity Project ( as a partner school in 2018. The goal is to support students in their social‐emotional learning and growth by focusing on 24 character traits. Staff and students start the day focusing on one of these traits and reinforce that trait throughout the month. The hope is that students will connect and use these traits seamlessly at home and school.

When asked what the most important aspects of elementary education are today, Soutter shared that schools are a reflection of the world outside. He believes that school leaders and staff are in a unique position to help students be a reflection of what in the world we desire to see. And, the school has the time to invest in the students so that when they head out into the world, they'll have what it takes to make a difference.

While Rolesville Elementary does encourage students to become well‐rounded individuals, their focus on academics is just as important. Teachers utilize research‐based best practices to ensure students are achieving at their maximum potential. Students are often working in pairs and small groups, actively moving around the classroom, being engaged in rigorous discussions, solving problems, and creating products.

gathering of students

As we reflect on Rolesville Elementary and the community that embraces it, Principal Soutter shared some valuable advice to parents in helping students achieve.

"My best advice for families would be to lean into your child's education. Come to events, sit with your student as they do homework, and ask questions. Sometimes schools can be intimidating because of past experiences or because of the unknown. At Rolesville, we are actively making sure that families feel free to communicate and take part in their student's education…"

To learn more about Rolesville Elementary School, please visit their website at