River Valley Academy News

An RVA Family Update

January 7, 2022 Edition

Happy New Year!!

I hope you and your family were able to enjoy peace and relaxation over break!

Have you heard of the Frest Start Effect? According to experts, we are more motivated to reach our goals when calendar or life landmarks arrive. These landmarks include a new year, new season, new trimester, new month, new week, birthday, break-up, loss, new job, new home, etc. Psychology Today attributes three reasons why the Frest Start Effect is a thing. They are: new identity (old you - new you), confidence boost (put past failures behind) and clean slate. Read the article here for more information!

There is something about a fresh start that makes us excited to do better and to work toward becoming our best selves. I think the keyword here is becoming! Each of us can grow, learn, and improve ourselves. Let's turn the page on what didn't work in 2021 and try something different in 2022, by setting good habits and routines.

Monday, students will have the opportunity to set some fresh goals in each of their classes. We have eight weeks of school until the end of trimester two. We hope students will take advantage of the fresh start of a new year, to set and achieve their goals!

On behalf of the RVA Staff,

Jenny Thompson

Progress Reports

You should have received a Progress Report this week via email.

Progress Reports reflect goals set and progress made toward those goals in the last two weeks. Goals are set with the focus of completing each course before the end of the trimester.

Student GCPs (Graduation Course Plans) were also included in this communication. On the front side of the GCP, on the left-hand side, all of the required courses are listed. Electives are on the backside. Courses your student has completed, are entered. Courses still to complete are blank.

Please let us know if you have any questions! Staff contact information is on the back of the Progress Report.

Parent -Teacher Conferences on January 12!

Please join us for Parent-Teacher Conferences! It is always productive for us to meet, to support students. This trimester, due to Covid, we will be conferencing virtually. Bonnie, our secretary, will be sending you instructions on how to sign up!

NWEA MAP Testing returns!

It is already time for our second round of NWEA MAP testing. Students will test in reading, math, language, and science. We will be looking for growth in skill levels since these tests were taken in September. Tests will be given between January 17 and 28.

Student Leadership Team (SLT) is coming!

We are excited to announce that the RVA Student Leadership Team will begin forming this month! In the past, the RVA Student Leadership Team has baked cupcakes and brought them to other buildings, hosted a Kindness Week, sponsored Mental Health Minutes, created a welcoming committee, planned social events, cooked a school breakfast, wrote for and received grants for school improvement, and helped students in need.

The advantages of participating in SLT are that students can make a difference at RVA, learn and grow as a leader, help others, and be able to include Student Leadership Team membership on their resumes. SLT will meet about every other week for one class period. Students can sign up here.

Virtual Contact Logs

When students are quarantined, they will be contacted by teachers and staff. If they respond to the staff member, it counts as a virtual contact. Virtual contacts are required by the State of Michigan for students not present in school. Two -virtual contacts in a 5 day week are required for attendance. Please encourage your student to respond to Schoology messages, emails and/or phone calls. Thank you!

Does your student suffer with anxiety?

Find out what to do and not to do when students are anxious, what to do when students refuse to go to school, and what steps to take to get them to school! Click the link below!

Zero Hour Opportunity!

Does your student need more hours in the day to get credits earned for graduation? Guess what? We have an extra one now! Students have an opportunity to sign up for a Zero Hour class to help them get to graduation! Students will be expected to come in for the class at 6:45 AM. Signing up will give you the ability to work on 6 classes instead of 5! To sign up, complete this form. Thank you!

Co-op Opportunity

RVA is offering Co-op! Students can earn 3.0 credits for work outside of the school day. They need to have a job to start co-op!

It is a win/win opportunity, as not only are the students being paid, but they are earning elective credit! To get started, students should fill out this form.

College and Career Ready!!

Trimester two brings our College and Career Ready class! Students who have not taken CCR, have more than one class left, need elective credit, are not super-seniors, and are not in ELA Support will be enrolled in this credit-bearing class. Students will look at career options and consider their interests and abilities. They will learn about 'soft skills' employers look for. They will also write resumes and cover letters, practice interviewing, and learn how to keep a job! These life skills will be invaluable to students throughout their careers!

Setting SMART Goals!

First trimester, students and teachers worked on setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) goals every other week, with a focus on what needs to be done to complete each class by the end of the trimester. We found this process valuable, in helping students understand how their work ethic and attendance affect their progress! This trimester, about every two weeks, you will be sent an update on how your student is doing in meeting their goals.

Groups are here!

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 mental 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.

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!

KISD (Kent Intermediate School District) Resources for students and parents

Talk & Tour Career Series

Our Talk and Tours provide a virtual panel of professionals in select industries that share their own career path, the inside scoop on what their jobs are really like, along with their perspective on what you can do to prepare for a career that interests you.

Upcoming Session:
Health Science Careers:
Mary Free Bed

Wednesday, February 16 - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Recorded career videos are now available for student, parent and educator use!

Kent ISD Career Readiness pivoted early in the pandemic and started hosting live virtual career conversations with local employers.

  • These events were recorded and are accessible via a search engine tool on our website.
  • These 30–60-minute career conversations will help educate students, parents and educators about in-demand careers and also expand their knowledge of opportunities with local employers.
  • Search by a variety of criteria including Career Pathway, Program, Age Group and more.

Check them out at KentISD.org/CareerVideos
For more detailed program information, visit our Student & Parent Events main page.

Scholarships/Community Events

Spark Success

  • The goal of Spark Success is to help parents understand the many paths students can take to a rewarding career.
  • The organizers of Spark Success recognize the value of all career pathways and the demand for skilled workers across a wide variety of emerging industries.
  • Over the first half of 2021, an average of 49,000 jobs were posted online per month across West Michigan – more openings than qualified people to fill them!
  • Click here to find the resources you need to help guide your students toward success!

SkillPointe Foundation Scholarships

  • Multiple $1,000 scholarships every month for individuals pursuing technical/vocational training in construction, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, transportation and other fields
  • Application deadline is the last day of every month and a minimum of 2 winners will be notified approximately 6 weeks from entry.
  • Exclusively for individuals wishing to gain a certificate, credential or 2 year degree.
  • For more information and to apply, click here

Scholarship Database
View scholarships and sign up for their newsletter to stay up-to-date

How can I make this year successful?

With Rockford's trimester high school system, students are expected to complete 2.5 credits (5 classes) each trimester, for a total of 7.5 credits each year. As we begin the second trimester, students should again, be completing 5 classes. Trimester 2 ends on March 4, at which time students should have completed 10 classes, which is the equivalent of 5.0 credits. While March 4 seems like a long way off, trimesters are about 12 weeks long, so each week, students should be completing about 10% of each class, to finish on time. Completing this work will require students to make progress on assignments and activities in every class, every day!

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.

Opportunities for Rockford RAMS!


Winter sports information can be found on the Rockford Athletics Website. Winter sports include: basketball, bowling, competitive cheer, dance, gymnastics, hockey, skiing, swim and dive, and wrestling.

Ram's Tale Yearbook 2021-2022

$75 - Order online at: yearbookforever.com

RVA Daily Schedule

First hour: 7:45-9:00

Second hour: 9:03-10:18

Third hour and lunch: 10:21-11:42

Fourth hour: 11:45-1:00

Fifth hour: 1:03-2:18

RVA/RPS Calendar Highlights

January 10: Goal setting for weeks 7 and 8 of Tri 2

January 12: Group 3rd hour/ Parent-Teacher Conferences

January 19: Early Release PD/ Group 3rd hour

January 17-28: NWEA MAP Tests

January 24: Goal setting for weeks 9 and 10 of Tri 2

January 26: Group 3rd hour

February 2: Group 3rd hour

February 7: Goal setting for weeks 11 and 12 of Tri 2

February 9: Group 3rd hour

February 16: Group 3rd hour

February 21-22: Winter Break

February 23: Goal setting for weeks 13 and 14 of Tri 2!/ Group 3rd hour

March 2: Group 3rd hour

March 4: End of Trimester 2! Half-day!

Area Resources

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

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

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

Free Christmas Assistance: Click here for information!

Please reach out with any questions you have or if there is anything you need!

RVA Team - A caring group of educators dedicated to meeting students where they are and helping students grow and succeed!