September 18, 2020
Greetings Husky Families,

Thanks to so many of you who have joined our virtual grade level gatherings these past two weeks. We are looking forward to the final meetings on Tuesday with the parents of the Classes of 2024 and 2025. We appreciate the questions and insights you have offered, and we thought we would use this opportunity to share some of our responses with the larger community.

First, we want to explain the intention behind our different schedule for this year. Last spring, the Academic Leadership Team began working on a schedule that provided optimal flexibility for all the uncertainties of our time. The new schedule cycles through the A-G block cascade every Monday-Tuesday and then again everything Wednesday-Thursday. It is possible that LA County will allow students to return at some point this year but with restricted numbers. For example, they may only allow 50% of students on campus at a given time. Should such a restriction take place, our schedule allows us to have a cohort to attend in-person on Monday-Tuesday and another on Wednesday-Thursday. Thus, the schedule is equity minded. Friday would neatly round-out this potential by providing all students an opportunity to attend each class before the weekend while the school can properly administer a deep clean of the campus. I can assure you that we are checking LA County updates daily and this schedule gives us the confidence to swiftly return students to campus as permitted.

In addition, there was concern expressed about the ways the 80-minute blocks are being utilized by our teaching faculty. While faculty are required to stay on Zoom for the full duration of the 80 minute classes, direct teacher-driven instruction has been limited to 40-minutes. The remaining class time is spent reinforcing or exploring the concepts introduced during direct instruction. These include interactive activities that may encourage students to move and work without a computer. Breakout rooms are encouraged to group students and break up classroom activities. We want to be careful as it pertains to the amount of time students are looking at screens as our guidance states for every 45-minutes students are in class, a break must be provided. We will continue to meet twice each week with grade level advisors to review student progress and assess the emotional well-being of all students, particularly as it pertains to screen time and Zoom.

Finally, please know that college guidance for high school students and families is a four-year process. During freshman and sophomore year, we offer workshops to help students gain self-awareness, identify career interests, and understand college options and the admission process. During junior year, we meet with parents and students to ascertain the family’s specific needs and higher education goals. We also provide opportunities for families to interact directly with colleges through college counseling events, such as Selective College Night (flyer and RSVP linked below), College Admission Case Studies, and programs on college planning for neurodivergent learners. Additionally, we have numerous college representatives visit our schools in the fall to meet with students. We encourage and want parents to partner with us, to be fully engaged in the process. We believe that through collaborative and thoughtful guidance, students gain confidence about the college application process and clarity about their post-secondary goals. Burnadean Dyment, Director of College Counseling, and Caitlin Castania, College Counseling Office Assistant, are here to assist our families through this important process.
Lastly, as you may have heard, the State recently announced that schools could bring ELL students or students with specialized educational plans to campus for one to one and small cohort instruction. However, the County of Los Angeles has made additional stipulations that the maximum number of students on campus at any given time is 10% of the population - for us, that’s 20 kids in small isolated cohorts. Due to mandated stable cohort size, the student population that adheres to this structure currently are our younger students at REACH. Seven of these students started school on campus Monday and remain in a contained stable cohort. Our advisors have identified additional students who have specialized educational plans and require one to one support and they will start next Monday. We plan to have more students on campus as the number allowed increases in the time ahead, as quickly and as comprehensively as possible in an environment that manages the risk for everyone involved.

As always, if you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Very Sincerely,

David

Pictured Above: Show your Husky spirit virtually next week by taking part in our first Spirit Week of the year! Have fun with the theme each day and screenshots will be taken in advisory. Go Huskies!
2020 Arts Invitational - October 2 & 3
Morning Meeting Link - Monday, September 21
We will be meeting as an entire school via Zoom on Monday, September 21 at 8:00 AM. A link to the Zoom meeting can be accessed below and a reminder e-mail will be sent that morning to all students. Please note, these meetings will use a different Zoom link each week.
Things To Know - Read This Section Every Week!
2020 Invitational - Visual and Performing Arts: Our fall performance is a Visual and Performing Arts Invitational representing some of the biggest talent on campus. The mix of live and recorded performances will be presented via webinar on October 2 at 7:00 pm, and October 3 at 2:00 pm. There is limited “seating,” so reservations are required. A registration button was provided under David Maher's letter, however, you may also visit our "Announcements and Events" page by clicking the button below to access the link as well.

Selective College Night - Princeton: On Thursday, October 8, Princeton University has partnered with our college counseling department to provide a virtual conversation regarding the college application process. Please register by October 7 to receive the Zoom link. The registration link can be found lower on this letter or by clicking the "Announcements and Event Details" button below.

Upper School Sailing: Those interested in upper school sailing can practice on Mondays/Wednesdays from 3:30 - 6:30. Regattas are postponed until January or later, so this trimester is a good time to try it out with no pressure to compete. These practices will take place at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro. Please click the "Announcements and Events Details" button below for more information.

PE and School Spirit Wear - Last Day To Order!: We are pleased to announce the opening of our Husky School Store for Rolling Hills Prep, Renaissance, and REACH community. You can find clothing, spirit wear, and even PE clothes by clicking the button below or visiting the link on the "Announcements and Events" page of our website. Though PE uniforms are not mandatory for students during distance learning, they will be necessary at some point when we return to campus. Happy Shopping!


Grade Level Gatherings: The last two gatherings for the 8th and 9th grade will take place on Tuesday, September 22. 8th grade will have their meeting at 5:00 PM, followed by 9th grade at 6:00 PM. Families in both of these grades should have a Zoom invitation invitation in their inbox, but additional reminders will be sent on Tuesday.

Spirit Week - 9/21 through 9/25: Although the daily themes for spirit week are depicted in the banner image of this letter, you may also access spirit week information on the "Announcements and Events" page of our website throughout the week. Go Huskies!
Selective College Night - October 7 | 6:30 PM
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.
Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance School | RollingHillsPrep.org | RenaissanceSAS.org