River Valley Academy News

An RVA Family Update

December 17, 2020 Edition

Grace and Peace to you and yours!

After an exhausting 2020, my hope for you is that you will find time to relax in the busyness of the season and enjoy your loved ones!

May hope reside in your heart as we begin a new year. We have much to look forward to. Welcome 2021!


Jenny Thompson

Hybrid Learning is coming!

Rockford Public Schools is adding another mode of education to its repertoire! Educators believe the best environment for teaching and learning is in person instruction. Remote learning inhibits both teacher and student interactions and peer to peer interactions. During this pandemic, we can mentally benefit from social interactions, and so can our kids! In an effort to increase opportunity for in person instruction with teachers and social interaction with peers, a hybrid approach is being planned.

When safely possible, RPS will have face to face instruction. When circumstances make this ill-advised we will move to Hybrid Learning. If necessary, students will return to remote learning. We have done face to face and remote. Hopefully, we are getting comfortable with both!

Hybrid Learning, as the name suggests, blends parts of both learning modalities. Students will come to school two days a week, and attend class via Google Meet the other three days. This means students will continue to receive live instruction five days a week! Students will be divided by last names into two cohorts: black and orange. The Black Cohort group, students with last names beginning with A-L, will attend school on Mondays and Thursdays. The Orange Cohort group, students with last names M-Z, will attend school on Tuesdays and Fridays. All students will be remote on Wednesdays. Daily schedules will be slightly different depending on the form of teaching and learning we are in. When we are remote, including on Wednesdays during Hybrid Learning, we will follow the remote learning schedule below, which is close to what we are currently following for remote learning.

On Hybrid days, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, we will follow our regular RVA schedule:

1st hour: 7:45-8:54

2nd hour: 8:57- 10:06

3rd hour and lunch: 10:09-11:28

4th hour: 11:31-12:40

5th hour: 12:43 -1:55

On Wednesdays and any other remote days, the schedule will be:

First hour: 9-9:50

Second hour: 10:00--10:50

Third hour: 11:00-11:50

Lunch: 11:50-12:20

Fourth hour: 12:20-1:20

Fifth hour: 1:30-2:20

Having half as many students in buildings will cut down on close contacts and hopefully be less disruptive to teaching and learning. Students should plan to maintain a six foot distance from others while in school, in addition to wearing a mask, and washing hands/using sanitizer frequently. More information on Hybrid learning can be found on the website and is linked here. You will want to keep this information handy, as it has all schedules in it. :) Here is an FAQ regarding Hybrid Learning.

Please watch your email over break for information from RPS about what form of teaching and learning the first week of January will bring for us!

Remote Learning Schedule

Google Meet sessions are currently happening for our students working form home. Students are expected to participate in 5 Google Meets a day, and remain in attendance for the full 45 minute period. Attendance will be taken, and tardies recorded.

Here is the schedule that RFC, RHS, and RVA will follow when we are remote learning:

First hour: 9-9:45

Second hour: 9:55-10:40

Third hour: 10:50-11:35

Lunch: 11:35-12:05

Intervention/small group (teacher may ask you to participate): 12:05-12:35

Fourth hour: 12:45-1:30

Fifth hour: 1:40-2:25

Google Meet nicknames will be the teacher's first name followed by the class hour. For example, if you have Heather for third hour, the code would be heather3.

If any packets or other school items are needed, these can be picked up at RVA. Please let the office know what you need.

Attendance (time and effort) counts!

As RPS has moved forward with remote learning since last March, student participation expectations have increased as resources and remote teaching and learning skills have grown, and as Covid-19 continues to impede traditional teaching and learning. As such, attendance now needs to be taken via Google Meet. Education still needs to happen, and diplomas still have to be earned! As with in person classes, attendance rates should be above 90%. Schools are required to track attendance and report to the truancy office. A letter went out last Wednesday to each family with individual student attendance information. Please check in with your student to make sure they attend over 90% of their scheduled classes!

Hopefully, we will be able to meet in person again beginning January 4. In the meantime, students please take advantage of the opportunity you have to complete courses that will help you graduate on time, or in the time frame you have planned, for those of you planning to graduate early. Your diploma is a product of time and effort! Make it happen!

How do I know how my student is doing?

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!

Teacher Spotlight

Becky Caterino

Becky Caterino has reached many kids in more than twenty years as a math teacher at River Valley Academy. In fact, many seniors mention Becky as a person who helped them get to graduation, with her care, patience, and persistence. Becky enjoys working with students and building relationships.

Becky attended GVSU where she ran cross country and track for three years. She then attended Aquinas to obtain her teaching certificate. She earned her Masters in education also from Grand Valley. Becky has taught math at Montcalm Community College, as well.

Becky went to Grand Valley to be a secretary, like her mom. She was asked to coach track/cross country and needed work hours that would allow her to coach. Becky knew

coaching students in learning is an important part of teaching, and her teaching career path began!

To a high school student considering career and post secondary options, Becky encourages students to think about what they enjoy doing. "Is this a job you want to do long term? What are your likes and dislikes?"

These questions are a great way to begin the career path journey towards a job you will enjoy, as Becky did!

"My Pandemic"

RHS Behind the Rock students created this video regarding their personal experiences. It is worth watching! I think it brings to light the struggles our students have had!

Food for Thought . . .

"Anger is a way to show emotion. Fear, hurt, and frustration fuel anger." - Gerri King PhD. The next time you or a loved one is angry, look for the underlying fear, hurt, or frustration!

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!

Groundhog Shadow Day is coming!

Groundhog Shadow Day
Friday, February 5, 2021

Students will have the opportunity to participate in up to three virtual job shadows, offered by local employers in a wide variety of occupations and career pathways. Employer registration is now open for this great day of career exploration and student registration opens December 15!

This year, we will be offering three time slots running 60-minutes each:
7:30am - 8:30am
9:30am - 10:30am
12:30pm - 1:30pm

Parents/Guardians: We are seeking adults from a wide variety of occupations to join us as career mentors. Please help us get the word out to your employers or consider hosting a session yourself. Visit kentisd.org/groundhog for more information.

Developing Healthy Kids - Handling Stress and Anxiety During Covid 19!

Developing Healthy Kids put together a panel of mental health experts to address questions from Rockford families regarding the stress and anxiety caused by Covid 19. View it here!

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