River Valley Academy News

An RVA Family Update

February 19, 2021 Edition

In a year of change and adapting, we are finally able to take some steps towards getting back to 'normal'!

As we look toward the third trimester, it is time for all students to buckle down and finish their classwork! 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!!

Jenny Thompson

In-person learning is here, and is helping us all stay strong and finish strong!

This pandemic year has certainly been unique! In our learning journey, we are taking another step toward 'normal'. As in-person learning is the best way for students to learn and progress, and as we have had a couple of weeks to get used to all being back in the building, it is time that all students, except those with a verified medical reason, need to be in school, every day.

Students who are not in school, excepting those with a documented medical reason, will be marked absent if they are not present in the building.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, or if there is anything you need!

Trimester 2 Ends February 26!

We are down to our last week of trimester two! Students should be working hard to complete all of their current courses by February 26!

Please check in with your students and ask them their plans for completing each course. Information on how you can access records of your student's progress please see the How do I know how my student is doing day to day section below.

Will your student earn 2.5 this Tri?? These students did! Who will be next??

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) comes to 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 coming!

Many students have been struggling due to Covid. Depression and anxiety are prevalent. In partnership with Arbor Circle, Kate Miller our social worker, will be inviting students to join groups of students to support one another. Students were introduced to this opportunity on January 28 and February 2. Topics will be initiated by students and facilitated by health professionals. Topics may include healthy coping skills, 'adulting', and positive choices.

Our first group meeting will be February 22!

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.

Attendance and Tardy Protocol Update

As we continue to support student learning in this pandemic, to make sure we are all on the same page, let's review expectations. RPS believes In-person learning is the best way for students to learn and make progress toward graduation.

Here is what we are expecting:

  1. Students are expected to attend school in person every day!

    1. In person contact is important, not only for academic purposes, but for social and emotional reasons as well.

    2. Many struggle with mental health issues, especially during this pandemic. Routine and social interactions can help us all stay strong!

  2. Students will be marked absent if they are not present, even if they attend a Google Meet from home, unless they have an approved medical reason to be out of school.

      1. Students would then be expected to attend Google Meets from home.

        1. Completing classes is all about time and effort!

          1. Each class takes about 45-60 hours to complete

          2. Students should spend a minimum of 5 hours a day!

When remote learning, students are expected to attend the entire Google Meet class session, to be marked present.

  1. Students must be on time.

  2. Students must be engaged.

  3. Students must reply to teachers when called upon.

  4. Students must complete work in each class.

5. Students must keep their cameras on for the entire class!

Thank you for your support and cooperation, which will help students reach the finish line of graduation!


Due to the snow day on January 26, the PSAT was cancelled. Sophomores will take the PSAT in April, during MME testing week. Juniors with take the SAT at that time. To prepare for these tests, students should log in to Khan Academy and search SAT practice. There are numerous resources there, to help your student do their best on the SAT!

Google Meet Reminders

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

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!

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!

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 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!

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!

Talk & Tour Career Series - Virtual! Kent ISD Career Readiness Team

Our Talk & Tours allow students to get a brief insight into different job clusters allowing them to explore employers, talk to professionals and take a virtual tour.

Upcoming Dates:

Public Safety: Grand Rapids Police Department
Thursday, February 25 - 2030pm - 3:00pm

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

February 22: Social Work Group begins 3rd hour

February 23: JMG 3rd hour

February 26: End of Trimester 2!! - Early Release Day

March 1: Trimester 3 begins!

Group 3rd hour

March 2: JMG 3rd hour

May 20 : RVA Graduation 2021!