July 31, 2020
Important: please be sure to enroll with Blackbaud and Smart Tuition now. Both of these systems will be the core tools for information gathering and dissemination as we get closer to the school year. Blackbaud will serve as a significant portal for many of the forms that we distributed in previous years via summer mailings and web pages and Smart Tuition will be used to access payment and account information throughout the school year.

If you require assistance enrolling in either system you may contact:
Greetings Huskies,

I hope all of you are healthy and well and finding some restorative time this summer. This is the first of our Friday Letters, a weekly communication from the School which will attempt to inform, notify and apprise you of our plans and initiatives for making the coming school year truly positive for all of our students and families. There are only 27 more days until we kick off another incredible year for Rolling Hills Prep, Renaissance, and REACH schools!

The Covid-19 Task Force, composed of faculty, staff, trustees and area experts, continues to meet in order to provide counsel and insight on both best practices in distance education and adaptations to our campus for our eventual return. As you know, Governor Newsom has mandated that no school can evaluate a return to campus-based learning until the county has been removed from a “watch-list”, based on certain area coronavirus statistics. In a previous communication, we shared this CA Public Health resource to watch as the situation continues to unfold. Therefore, we are planning to start the year’s orientations and opening weeks virtually, but creatively finding ways to engage and support both returning and new families and students in the best way possible. We’d also like to remind you that our website COVID-19 Resource Page includes all of our communications on the topic, as well as updates and assistance on the topic. 

Whether in the classroom or on-line, on the field and court or in a virtual workout, we remain absolutely committed to student success in all areas. Never before has there been more preparation and planning devoted to supporting academic, social-emotional, and physical needs, and we will continue to do all we can do to provide an environment where kids can thrive.

We appreciate your positive feedback on the transition we made in the spring to distance learning, and with the time we have had to reflect and process, we are making changes and improvements to provide an even more engaging and comprehensive student experience for the fall. These include new platforms (ZOOM, Blackbaud, Kahoot, Padlet, Pear Deck, and more) with enhanced options for classroom interaction, new technology and professional development for faculty and support staff, and an enhanced social-emotional support network for all members of the community, including parents. Throughout the weeks ahead, you and your child will be learning more about our plans to utilize these software and hardware initiatives.  

We are also developing co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to provide the sense of community and fun that is so vital to student success. Although the CIF has delayed fall athletic seasons, we look forward to a robust year of competition and success in all of our sports teams. The full letter from CIF detailing their plans can be found by clicking here.  Look forward to hearing more about all of these initiatives as we progress towards our orientation and back to school week in late August. 

The Arts and Design Department has been diligently collaborating throughout the summer to adapt and restructure the program in ways that will ensure the high quality of Arts education will continue whether we are all together on campus or coming together virtually. The school year will kick off with our long-awaited drive-through 3D Design exhibit . In addition, each teacher is assembling custom designed kits of materials to invigorate hands-on learning at home. We have restructured our music department to ensure the continuity of our voice and band programs ( Click here for more information ), and our performances have been reimagined to allow for online streaming and collaboration. Information relating to auditions will be sent in late August for our first Visual and Performing Arts Invitational in October. 

In the year ahead, we are also re-committed to diversity, inclusivity and equity in our classrooms and in our community. Yesterday, a posthumous letter to our nation written by Representative John Lewis stated: “Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.” As Huskies, we believe in doing all we can to ensure that all are treated with respect and acceptance, and we will continue to foster an environment that reflects our core values. We will continue, as a community, to utilize and adhere to our Guidelines for Inclusive Communication when working through discussions and collaboration in and out of the classroom. We are also continuing to broaden and develop our robust Advisory Program , which explores topics relating to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion as well as mental and physical health, academic success strategies, college process preparation, and more.

This year, we are excited to welcome over 35 new students to our community this fall. Our brand new Admission Buddy Program is now underway, and new students will be contacted in the upcoming days by current students. These Admission Buddies will serve as official hosts to our new students throughout the year and most importantly, during the first few days and weeks of school when many questions arise. It’s one more way we can offer support, insight, and connectedness this fall, and we are looking forward to getting started! 

Finally, next Friday at 4 pm, we are preparing another Town Hall for the community to update everyone on these continued preparations. Information and instructions on joining that virtual gathering will be sent out next week. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the eventful weeks ahead. Thank you as always for your faith in our community and for your ongoing support of our schools.

Wishing you health, wellness, and happiness,

David
R&R Speaker Series
Parent Resources for Student Wellness
Rolling Hills Prep and Renaissance Schools proudly partner with South Bay Families Connected, an organization dedicated to providing meaningful social-emotional wellness resources for parents and students. Additionally, our schools have a dedicated Families Connected page for our communities that can be accessed by clicking the button below.
Support The Husky Fund
Our schools rely on the generosity of our community to fund our staffing, programming, financial aid, and facilities. Additionally, community support and participation is a significant metric used to secure grants and endowments. A gift of any size is greatly appreciated.
Please contact Sue Mathews, Director of Advancement, at smathews@rollinghillsprep.org   or (310)340-4469 with any questions about giving.
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