River Valley Academy News

An RVA Family Update

Weeks of December 13, 2021 and January 3, 2022

May peace and joy be yours this holiday season!

We have a full week of school left before Christmas Break. Students have the opportunity to complete much schoolwork in this time.

To celebrate the holidays, RVA will have a Holiday Breakfast on Thursday, December 16. On Friday, December 17, students will work on classes as usual 1st through 3rd hours. If students want to watch a holiday movie for 4th and 5th hours, this is an option for them. Students who choose to complete coursework will be able to do that as well. Since it is the season of giving, students who choose to watch a movie will be asked to make a card for a student in the R1TS (Region 1 Transition Students) program. This program is for Special Services students, aged 18-26.

While there is much to look forward to in December, this time of year can also bring on "Holiday Blues". Here are some tips for staying positive this holiday season.

As always, please reach out with any questions or if there is anything you need. We hope your holiday season is relaxing, and that you find time to enjoy family and friends.

On behalf of the RVA Staff,

Jenny Thompson

Progress Reports

The first progress reports of trimester 2 were mailed out this week! You should receive a Progress Report reflecting 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 the mailing. 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.

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!!

The new trimester also 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. The first update will be early next week!

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 Sessions:
Health Science Careers: Orthopaedic Associates
of Michigan - Surgery Center
(register here)
Tuesday, December 14 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

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


Groundhog Shadow Day 2022 will take place on Friday, February 4, 2022.
This virtual event will have three one-hour sessions at 7:30am, 9:30am and 12:30pm.
Stay tuned for registration information later this year!

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 tryout 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


$70 October 2 - December 17

$75 December 18 - May 1

Order online at: yearbookforever.com

Senior pictures are due by December 10, 2021, and images must be:

Wallet sized

Vertically formatted


Not full length - headshot preferred

Full-color (No sepia or other toned images)

Email digital images 300DPI or greater to jfeeley@rockfordschools.org.

Want to bless others this holiday season?

Rockford Public Schools has some students that are considered homeless. If you would like to assist these families, please contact Stacey Jeannette at sjennette@rockfordschools.org or 616-863-6327 x5309.

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

December 13: Goal setting for weeks 5 and 6 of Tri 2

December 15: Group 3rd hour

December 20-31: Christmas Break

January 5: Group 3rd hour

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

January 12: Group 3rd hour

January 19: Early Release PD/ Group 3rd hour

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!