As I am sure you will agree, our amazing faculty and staff is working incredibly hard to meet the needs of both On-Campus and Online students. In fact, if they were not the best faculty and staff, then we would not be among the very few elementary schools currently "open for live instruction."
As our teachers have adjusted curriculum, teaching strategies, classroom procedures, routines, and communication, I am writing to ask you as parents to make some adjustments as well to some of our traditional elementary campus policies.
Though RCS teachers desire to help support each family and child, we have found that our campus is in a situation where the amount of requests are starting to take advantage of teacher's time and distract from the learning goals in the classroom. The amount of time that a teacher has to accommodate individual family requests is very limited in normal times, and now when teachers are working simultaneously with students online, in-class, and, in some cases, two on-campus cohorts, it is near impossible. As much as they would like to, our teachers simply do not have the ability to accommodate "day of" changes for individual students nor can they respond to emails immediately after receiving them.
Therefore, we are asking for you to partner with us in these new policies regarding communication, attendance, and teacher prep time in order to offer a manageable amount of work for our teachers and continue to offer the academic and social/emotional education your student needs. Please know that much thought and prayer has gone into these requests and they are ultimately in the best interest of each student.
Digital communication has increased 10-fold this year. Our policy of responding within 24 hours, in the pre-COVID-19 era, must be adjusted. The new policy is RCS faculty will respond within 48 hours. If for some reason you don’t get a response, please resend your email in case it has been overlooked in an overflowing inbox.
Every Wednesday Minimum Days For Elementary Students
Because our elementary teachers have more to prepare to accommodate both “On-Campus” and “Online” students, they need additional prep time. Beginning on January 6, every Wednesday is going to be a minimum day for the elementary students. School will start at 9am and end at 1pm. Not only will this provide teachers much needed prep time, it will also help alleviate some of the screen fatigue that our online students are certainly facing as well.
Absent Work Packets
If a student is absent from school (for any reason, including COVID-19 protocols), a work packet will be available for them by the end of their first day of absence.
Students must commit to "on-campus" or "online" and cannot decide day-to-day which method they will participate in. Therefore, attendance will be marked as follows:
- "On-Campus" students who are on campus and "Online" students who are on Zoom will be marked "present" for that day. If they do not show up as such, they will be marked "absent" (i.e. if an "on-campus" student shows up on Zoom, they will be marked "absent" that day).
- The one exception to this is for “On-Campus” students is if the student is unable to come to campus due to COVID-19 protocols. In these cases only, they will be marked “Present” when they attend school on Zoom.
“Unavoidable” Scenarios due to COVID-19
We understand that it is very likely that your family will have an “unavoidable” scenario due to "life during COVID-19." If this is the case, please call the RCE office and ask to speak with Mr. Huemoeller. He may not be immediately available, but he will call you back as soon as he is able. He will work with you to determine how to proceed and how the campus can accommodate the situation. For example, perhaps due to COVID-19 cases rising, an "on-campus" family suddenly does not have a way to transport their student to and from school, and, therefore, they need to attend school on Zoom. When you call Mr. Huemoeller, he can make the necessary changes to the student's status and verify it is ok to mark your child “Present” even though this is a "day-of" change. The elementary teachers have been told if they receive such requests to forward them to Mr. Huemoeller for his facilitation.
Thank you for partnering with RCS as we move through these unprecedented times. As you may be feeling fatigue from the circumstances, you can imagine that our teachers and staff are as well. At the same time, they desire to continue to offer the same structures: academic rigor, emotional support, and healthy routines that provide effective teaching and learning for our students.
RCS will continue to provide the best Christ-centered education for our students utilizing strategies to fit the unique needs of the times, yet at the same time are committed to supporting our faculty and staff well. With this mindset and the RCS community supporting one another, we will be stronger, more united, and fully committed to our mission of educating our students for daily living and eternal life.