River Valley Academy News

An RVA Family Update

March 19, 2021 Edition

As we march toward Spring Break, every day and every class counts!

Every school day, students should be spending at least five hours focused and working on coursework, if they hope to complete their courses on time and earn credit towards graduation!

It is time to be self-disciplined and put forth our best effort in every class! Assignment(s) should be completed in every class! Let's make the most of the eight full school days before Spring Break, from now through March 31! What we do now, saves time later!

Please let us know how we can help!

On behalf of the RVA Staff,

Jenny Thompson

Wondering if you are going to have enough credits to graduate?? Zero hour and/or co-op can help!

To help students complete credits for graduation, RVA is offering a Zero Hour this trimester. Students will have the ability to work on six classes, instead of five. Zero Hour will begin at 6:45 AM, every day! Students can sign up for Zero Hour here.

Co-op is also an option for seniors. This opportunity to earn credit for working part-time, is for students who already have a job. If you think you might qualify, stop down to the office to check!

Michigan Merit Exam and the PSAT - Spring Testing

MIchigan juniors are required to participate in the Michigan Merit Exam. The MME is comprised of three different tests: the SAT, the ACT WorkKeys, and M-Step testing.

Sophomores will take the PSAT, to prepare for taking the SAT as juniors. Scholarships are also awarded, based on PSAT scores.

Testing in Michigan is scheduled for the week of April 12 - 16, the week after we return from Spring Break.

Please make every effort to have your student in school when required for testing! It is important to get this graduation requirement completed!

Please note the RVA schedule for MME testing week below. All students should be in school all days, except for Tuesday, April 13, when only juniors may be in the building. Sophomores and seniors should work from home, but there will be NO GOOGLE MEETS on this day, as teachers will be proctoring the SAT. Students may message teachers through Schoology as needed, and teachers will respond when they finish proctoring tests.

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Attendance (time and effort) counts!

Attendance will be taken in person and for students working from home for medical reasons, via Google Meet. Attendance rates should be above 90%. Schools are required to track attendance and report to the truancy office. Please check in with your student to make sure they attend over 90% of their scheduled classes! Education still needs to happen, and diplomas still have to be earned! Diplomas are a product of time and effort! Let's make it happen!

In an effort to provide a supportive academic environment to help students reach their goals:

  • students without a documented medical excuse who aren't present in school, will be marked absent.

  • Students with a documented medical reason to work from home will need to keep their screens on for the entire class period. This will allow teachers to monitor student work.

Thank you for putting your best effort into completing classes and graduating!!

How do I know how my student is doing from day to day?

RVA courses are run through either Schoology or Edgenuity. Schoology courses are RPS teacher created and directed. If you want to know how your student is doing in these classes, log in to Schoology. If you need help getting in to Schoology, use this How to Cheat Sheet. Using a parent log in, parents can see messages and course information. However, if you want to see what your student has completed and what grades they have earned so far in classes, the best way to do that is to log in as your student. Students have access to the course gradebook which includes a list of assignments that need to be completed, showing scores earned on work that has been turned in.

Edgenuity courses offer parent updates. If you would like to be signed up to receive these, please complete this form. When the form has been processed, you will receive directions for signing up for the Parent Portal along with an access code. You will receive daily updates. If you want specific information on how your student is doing in Edgenuity, ask your student for their login information. If you log in as the student, you can see a more detailed report.

Good questions to ask your student include:

1. Are you attending all class sessions, whether school is in person or remote?

2. Are you completing at least one assignment in each class session?

3. About how far in each course are you?

4. What are you doing well?

5. What can you do better?

Parents and schools are partners in educating students!

It's that time of year: Here come the graduates! Who will be next??

Carson Keller

Carson Keller chose RVA to try to get ahead in his class work.

When asked what kept him going to complete his degree Carson said, "Me. I kept going because I wanted to. I can finally say I'm done with school."

Of the RVA Staff, Carson said, "Thanks for being overly nice to students. All the teachers here are super helpful...all of them."

Carson enjoys working outdoors and being active. He plans to work this summer and apply to GRCC for the Fall. He is interested in landscaping, construction, and heavy equipment.

Carson, thank you for your faithful attendance and effort. You have worked hard and we are proud of you! We wish you all the best, as you take the next steps on your career path, heading toward a job that you will enjoy!

Graduation is coming, May 20!

RVA is excited to plan for Graduation 2021! We have reserved Ram's Stadium, behind Parkside Elementary, for our outdoor ceremony. As with all events this year, circumstances and weather may affect our plans, but please mark it on your calendar, as we hope for the best!

Jenny will be meeting with seniors in the next weeks, to make a realistic plan for graduation. It will be important for students to buckle down and get the work done, to make graduation happen!

Jobs for Michigan's Graduates (JMG) at RVA!

All seniors are invited to participate in this terrific opportunity! In partnership with Project Northstar and Kent ISD, students can learn about money management, job search and interview skills, and career path navigation.

In addition to the ability to learn these important life skills, students can earn gift cards ranging from $25 to $150 in stackable gift cards! They may even be eligible for up to $10,000 in grant funds to pursue post-secondary/training school expenses!!

Classes will meet right at RVA, during third hour on Tuesdays!

Come find out how Project Northstar can help you transition from high school to college, trade school, or career!

Groups are happening!

Many students have been struggling due to Covid. Depression and anxiety are prevalent. In partnership with Arbor Circle, students are invited to join groups of students to support one another. Topics will be initiated by students and facilitated by health professionals. Topics may include healthy coping skills, 'adulting', and positive choices.

If you feel your student would benefit from this support, please contact the office! You can find out more about Arbor Circle and their counseling services here.

KCTC Virtual Open House is March 25! See details attached below!

KCTC Virtual Visits are up and running! There are 3 steps to get enrolled for next year!

Step 1: Kent Career and Tech Center (KCTC) ran a virtual introduction with us on November 6. You can find more information in this KCTC video introduction. Step 2: The next step is to complete an individual program visit. KCTC offers 29 programs! Each of these programs can be investigated on their website, where you can find videos of the programs in action, as well as information on teachers and hands-on learning labs used.

If you are a junior or sophomore and you are interested in KCTC for next year, please let Jenny know, by signing up using the KCTC Individual Virtual Visit survey. Step 3: After your individual virtual visit, let Jenny know your interest in getting registered for KCTC next year!

Meet the Recruiter Event – Local Health Care Employers

Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

This is a golden opportunity to get job search information directly from local hospital recruiters!

More information and registration at https://www.kentisd.org/educators/career-readiness/students/programs/meet-the-recruiter/

Talk & Tours

Virtual career exploration events designed to increase awareness of diverse careers available in high demand sectors. Meet 4-5 professionals at once. Ask questions!

Upcoming Events

Pharmacy Careers – Meijer Pharmacy
Monday, March 22, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Law Enforcement- Grand Rapids Police Department - New Date**
Thursday, March 25, 2021 @ 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

For full schedule, information and registration visit: https://www.kentisd.org/educators/career-readiness/students/programs/talk--tour-career-series/

Careers in Business

April 13 – May 20
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 3:30pm – 4:00pm
Examples of featured occupations include: CEO, Investment Banker, Consulting Manager, Human Resources, Event Planning and Hospitality, Entrepreneur and MORE.

Website and promotional flyers coming soon!)

New Kent ISD Program


We are excited to be offering a new virtual career exploration program designed to give students grades 7-12 a deep dive into a career pathway of interest. Over 6-weeks, students will have the opportunity to meet 12 career mentors through 30-minute Career Chats. These Zoom-based career conversations allow mentors to share their own career path, information about education and daily work, along with valuable industry insights. Additional Explorers activities include self-assessment and conducting an information interview. Students will can earn a Certificate of Completion for college/scholarship applications. Explorers will help young people make educated career choices.

How are you doing? People care and want to help!

Hand 2 Hand can help with food and toiletry needs.

RVA has an amazing staff, social worker, and mental health liaison who can listen and connect you to resources!

Ele's Place is a community based organization with the mission to create awareness of and support for grieving children and their families. Please find a very helpful guide for parents - how to support teens, as well as a handout titled, How to Help Yourself: For Teens below.

Area Resources

North Kent CONNECT: (adjusted hours due to COVID-19 precautions)

Mondays and Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Community Calendar of Services

Mobile Food Pantries: https://www.feedwm.org/findfood/

Assistance with housing, food, utilities:

contact 211 by phone or text (800-877-1107), text your zip code to 898211

Youth in need of shelter: The Bridge 616-451-3001 or 877-275-7792

RVA/RPS Calendar Highlights

March 23: JMG 3rd Hour

March 24: Group 3rd Hour/ Early Release for students

March 30: JMG 3rd Hour

March 31: Group 3rd Hour

April 1: Spring Break begins

April 12: School Resumes

April 12-16 MME Testing Week

May 20 : RVA Graduation 2021!