Rutherfordton Elementary

Rocket Family Weekly Update - Week of January 4-8

Weekly Note from Mrs. Clement

January 3, 2021

Dear Rocket Families,

As we welcome 2021, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year! While 2020 was filled with many trials and tribulations it was also filled with grace, generosity, and hope. We had to adapt numerous times to the ever-changing health environment and while we are still in the midst of the pandemic that brings daily uncertainties and challenges, I will forever be grateful for all of our Rocket Families, Rocket Staff Members, and our greater Rocket Family Community. I am so incredibly proud and quite humbled by the overwhelming support of our families and community and the continued unwavering dedication of EVERY Rocket staff member as we charted and continue to make our way through unknown territory. While we never know what tomorrow may bring I know that we will face it together to do everything we can for our children.

As a reminder, all of Rutherford County Schools (with the exception of students who attend the Rutherford Opportunity Center) will begin the second semester this Wednesday, January 6, with remote learning. This platform will be in effect for all students until January 19 when those choosing face-to-face learning transition to the hybrid learning model.

In preparation for the transition to the hybrid learning model, we will begin the new semester with any new student and teacher assignments. Students of families that requested remote learning have been assigned to our teachers who have been working as our remote teachers this year (Kindergarten – Caroline Matheny, First Grade – Julia Brown, Second Grade – Mary Partridge, Third and Fourth Grades – Pam Hodge and Fifth Grade – Cameron Calhoun).

Likewise, students who have been remote up to this point, who are now requesting face-to-face instruction, will also receive new teacher assignments. Teachers will contact all families impacted by these changes on Tuesday, January 5. In addition, in the coming days, teachers will also share on their classroom dojo stories class lists for Hybrid Learning A and B days. Every effort is being made to ensure students with siblings at other RES schools attend on the same days. If there are any questions or concerns once assignments are shared please contact me directly. New transportation requests are also being processed which will impact previously scheduled hybrid routes. As such, all bus riders will receive updated pick-up and drop-off times by Friday, January 15.

Additional Updates:

  • I am happy to announce three staff changes. Heather Horne (already on staff as a part-time teacher assistant for the Rocket Academy and part-time receptionist) will join us as a 4th-grade teacher replacing Debbie McArthur who will return to her role as our lead teacher. Ms. Horne completed her studies at East Carolina University and we are thrilled to have her now join our certified staff. While we have tried to maintain as much consistency as possible, each time we move from one learning model to another we have to ensure that mandatory class size limits are in place. Classrooms in grades K-3 may only have 21 students. Ms. McArthur was needed as a regular classroom teacher due to the varying demands for remote and hybrid learning and so we could ensure adherence to those class size limits. She and Ms. Horne will co-teach until January 19 to allow students to transition as smoothly as possible. Also joining our staff as a part-time teaching assistant and part-time receptionist is Ms. Aubree Bell. Our students are already familiar with Ms. Bell who served in Ms. Horne’s role while she completed her student teaching at RES last semester. Please join me in formally welcoming Ms. Horne and Ms. Bell to our Rocket Family!

  • While all of our classroom teachers utilize Canvas – our web-based learning management system that supports both face-to-face and online learning – teachers in Kindergarten and 1st grade will have supplementary packets available for pick-up Wednesday morning beginning at 8 AM.

  • Remote Meal Pick-Ups will be available at Rutherfordton Elementary beginning Wednesday from 10 AM- 12 PM each day. This will be a drive-thru service offered each day with pick-ups in front of the school. During this pick-up, you will be given lunch for the day and breakfast for the following morning. The menu is accessible below.

Finally, if you are not connected to your child’s classroom by Dojo please do connect. If you need a new invitation please let your child’s teacher or me know and we’ll ensure you receive one. I realize this is quite a long update but I very much believe in the power of information and I want you to be as informed as possible. Pleases know the RES staff and I continue to be fervently committed to ensuring our students receive a quality education in a healthy, safe, and supportive learning environment.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am available by Dojo, email (, or by phone – (828) 287-3778.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Michelle Clement


Attendance Reminder

Maintaining attendance during Remote Learning is crucial. As a reminder, below is the attendance policy for remote learning:

  • Attendance will be recorded daily in PowerSchool. A student is considered present if he or she completes the daily assignment, either online or offline or has a daily interaction with the appropriate teacher. A student will not be considered absent solely due to an inability to join an online lesson on a remote learning day. You can contact your child's teacher easily through Dojo. Students can also contact their teachers through Canvas.

  • Students are expected to complete assignments missed due to an absence in a time frame determined by the teacher.

  • Excused absence documentation still needs to be provided via email communication (alternative to parent note) or document scans (doctor’s note, educational trip verification, family death obituary, etc.).

Upcoming Events

Second Semester

  • Begins Wednesday, January 6 with REMOTE Learning for ALL students (PLAN C)
  • Remote Learning - January 6 -January 15
  • RCS begins operating with Plan B (Hybrid Learning) on Tuesday, January 19

Martin Luther King Holiday

  • Monday, January 18 - Holiday for students and staff

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