River Place Elementary Newsletter

RPE Strong -- July 30, 2021


We are excited for the school year! As we enter this school year our focus will be on gaining an understanding and appreciation of our individual and collective strengths. We will use those strengths to come back from all we've been through in the past 18 months and be better and STRONGER than ever. This applies to the work ahead with our students, our teachers, and our community! Together, harnessing our collective strengths, we can move mountains!

What about COVID?

Before we think about the upcoming year, I want to share that last year, we had 0 cases of anyone contracting COVID from school. That's right - 0. We had students and teachers who contracted the illness, but no one caught it from anyone else at school. That shows three things - what we did was effective, and our community was very responsible with one another, and we can continue to be safe. We are confident that we can continue to provide a safe environment if we work together with families on our health & safety practices.

Please familiarize yourself with our LISD COVID Protocols.

You may be wondering what some of these practices will look like at RPE. Here are some of our current plans (as with last year, we know guidance we receive from authorities can change at any time):


Governor Abbott's order from May is still in effect. Therefore, masks cannot be required, but LISD is strongly encouraging students and staff to wear masks.

Health Screener

Frontline will no longer be used for daily screening. However, the expectation is for self-screening to take place prior to entering the building.


While in YELLOW we will maintain spacing to the best of our ability while the kids are eating and be sure to have designated seating assignments. If we reach RED, we will consider systems to limit the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.


While in YELLOW we will have one grade level at a time on the playground. If we reach RED then we will combine fewer classes for recess and use recess zones once again.

General Practices

* We will stress hand washing and hand sanitizing on a regular basis.

* We will continue to be vigilant with monitoring health and encouraging good health practices.

*We put KIDS FIRST always and will do our very best to maintain health and safety and well being for ALL our students.

Small Tweaks

* Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 may move from one classroom to the other rather than having the teachers come to them. They will remain with their classroom groups just as they did last year. If we move to RED stage, the students will stay put in rooms and teachers will move to them.

*Water bottle filling stations and water fountains will be open.

*Quarantines will be handled by the Department of Health.


LISD is not requiring employee vaccinations. We do not have a record of which staff members are or are not vaccinated. I am happy to share that I am fully vaccinated. At this point in time, getting vaccinated and sharing your status are voluntary.


While in YELLOW we will be open to visitors. We generally ask that you not come for lunch in the first few weeks of school any way so that we can teach students our procedures. Teachers would love to have volunteers in classrooms but won't be asking for volunteers until the transmission rates and alert stages lower. We found that holding many of our parent meetings via zoom was helpful for parents. You could hold a quick meeting with the teacher without having to take off work for travel time. We may hold some in person meetings as is necessary to build relationships and make things work for kids.


New Family Orientation

If you are new to River Place this year or have an incoming kindergarten student or came to River Place last year but remained virtual all year, we want to welcome you to visit the building and get a feel for our school, but we will also provide a recorded video option for families who wish to avoid gatherings. I'd like to make sure families understand that we have a large number of new students, so while we have a large space to host (the cafeteria) there could likely be a large group present.

For those wishing to attend on site, New Family Orientation will be at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, August 3rd in the cafeteria.

We will send out a video by Wednesday, August 4th to all families - new or not - with all of the same information we share at our New Family Orientation. Kindergarten parents will get a few extra pieces as we know you have many kindergarten specific questions. You can watch that and get all the info you need.

Finally, we will host a parent chat SPECIFIC to Kinder families on Monday, August 9 from 6:30-7 PM. This will be strictly a question and answer session answering the questions you submit after watching the video or attending in-person orientation. There will be no new information presented. We will just answer questions. If you have no questions, you won't need to attend. Watch for the links to be sent out in our next newsletter.

Open House Tuesday, August 10

At this point in time, we plan to have an in person Open House. (Note that if we move to a red stage, this could change.)

Check your email on the morning of Tuesday, August 10 for a message letting you know your child's teacher. Teachers will include a short video introducing themselves and welcoming their students.

Open House will be on Tuesday.

* 4:30-5:00 Families whose students' last names begin with the letters A-H

* 5:15-5:45 Families whose students' last names begin with the letters I-P

* 6:00-6:30 Families whose students' last names begin with the letters Q-Z

*Please come at the time noted for your family. We have intentionally made three groups so that we keep numbers smaller.

*Masks are encouraged.

*Avoid grouping and congregating and spread out.

*Let's limit this to parents and students. In past years, we have had some families bring extended family members. We will gladly welcome grandparents and others later when the community spread risk is lower.

*PTA, Transportation & Cafeteria will be in the cafeteria.

*Please consider joining our PTA.

*You may bring your supplies on this evening if you like. If you purchased supplies, they will be in your student's classroom.

Class Lists

*Please remember that we do not have direct parent requests for a teacher.

*We took input from families about their children in May and also took input as families enroll.

*Creating class lists is a complicated process that takes hours of time and includes many academic factors of the students within the classroom. There will be no changes to class placements.