News and Updates

News and Updates
Posted on 03/10/2021

Welcome Back K-3

It was wonderful to welcome back our Kindergarten through 3rd grade students to the school setting on Monday. While a handful of students elected to remain fully remote, the vast majority are here on a daily basis now. We will now turn our attention to phasing in other groups of students with the 4th grade being next in line. Fourth grade will return to in-person learning on March 22!

New Traffic Pattern

In order to reduce the traffic stress on the Valley Road driveway and around the main parking area, we will reopen the Glenbourne drive entrance for K-3 drop offs. If your student is in Grades K-3, please utilize Glenbourne as your drop off point. Students in K-1 will report to their waiting area near their classrooms; students in 2-3 will walk down to the gyms. There will be staff members at the entrance and in the halls to help facilitate this. This change will be effective on Monday, March 15. If you have children on both ends of the age spectrum, choose the entrance most convenient for you.

To help move the drop off lines more expeditiously, please practice unbuckling seatbelts and opening car doors with your younger students. Unless your student has a documented need for assistance, please stay inside your vehicle to keep drop off flowing. Thank you for helping us start the school day safely and on time!

Spring Sports

After extending the sign-up period for a couple of additional weeks, there appears to be enough interest to move forward in baseball and track and field. Unfortunately, there are not enough girls signed up to field a softball team this year.

Coaches will be appointed at next week's Board of Education meeting and they will assume control of their sports schedules at that point. However, this year's season will be abbreviated due to the pandemic circumstances. Practices for these two sports will begin after the spring break with games/meets to be announced. It is expected that the season will be over by the end of May. Middle school sports are following the protocols of the NJSIAA which regulates high school sports in New Jersey.

It is importance to note that there will be no transportation to/from practices and home games/meets. Athletes will be responsible for getting themselves to and from RVA Fields. In addition, we may or may not have transportation to away games/meets depending on team size and bus availability. The coaches will note on their schedules whether parents need to transport students.

Summer Learning Challenge

The Education Foundation has sent out a survey to gauge interest in a summer learning opportunity for students who have completed Kindergarten up through 7th grades. They are calling it the Summer Learning Challenge and it is designed to keep students on track for success in school in the Fall. This program will be offered in the areas of math and language arts (choose one subject or both) from June 28 through July 26. More details and sign-up information will be forthcoming from the Education Foundation after they assess the interest level in our community. Please be sure to fill out the survey (one response per family only) and look for more details soon.

Kindness in Our Community

With spring finally around the corner, I'm mindful that students' social lives are becoming more active and engaged, regardless of the constraints of the pandemic. And perhaps because of those constraints, the use of social media (TikTok, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.) is popular among our students. I'm reaching out to ask you to have conversations with your kids about the appropriate use of these platforms. They can be fun ways to connect with their friends for sure but they are also fraught with the potential for misuse. We are exploring ways that we can hold an informative assembly with older students to share life lessons about the responsibility they have as digital citizens just as we would be if this was a more typical school year.

In the meantime, please be aware of which social media platforms your children are using. Ask them if they and their friends are being safe, respectful and appropriate. Remind them that cyber bullying is considered a serious offense. Here are some helpful websites to use as resources:

Don't Press Send - Katie Schumacher brought her valuable program to RVS a couple of years ago and it's worth revisiting with our current middle schoolers.

Common Sense Media - Answers your questions; has tips for tweens and social media use.

Safe Search Kids - Learn how to use privacy settings.

I know I can count on all of us to continue to teach our children not only about all the possibilities the internet holds but to also give them the tools they need to be safe and smart while they explore and communicate.

As always, I want to recognize all the ways you have and continue to support your child's school experience this year. In three days we will be at the 1-year mark of when school changed radically for all of us. It feels like yesterday that I watched buses leave the campus, not knowing when we would be back and what that might look like. On the other hand, it feels like that was just yesterday; however, we've weathered so much in this last year, it also feels like it's been forever. We've managed to overcome each hurdle creatively and with our students' educational goals and welfare guiding each decision. Thank you for your partnership.

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