Dear RMCA community,
Thank you for your continued support as we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in our area. The board and school administration continue to be attentive to public health updates as well as official recommendations and mandates. We want to do our part to cooperate in efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19 as well as support our families.We will plan to continue communicate with families and staff as long as this public health emergency continues.
On Wednesday, you may have heard that Governor Polis issued an executive order to keep all school buildings--public and private--in Colorado closed through April 17, 2020. Per our planning and previous communication, we are planning to implement remote instructional learning starting on Monday, March 30, and continuing at least through Friday, April 17.
Remote instructional learning will look a little different for each grade, with some grades using videos for select subjects. Others will rely primarily on written plans. Regardless,teachers will be available on a daily basis to answer questions and to give feedback on the means and ends of daily instruction. The goal will be to help our students stay on schedule with continued growth in character, habit formation, and academic skill. To that end, lesson plans will not just be about'getting things done' but will be as much concerned with helping the boys and girls of our community continue to grow in "wisdom and stature" as well as academic skill and habit.
If your family did not pick up materials last Friday, be looking for an announcement next week on when you may return to campus to pick up your child's/children's texts and resources.
Expect to receive communication next week, March 23-27, from your child's homeroom teacher on how we will begin supporting you at home starting on Monday, March 30. As you may have read in Ambleside International's newsletter sent out earlier this week (read here),our desire is to equip each family with instructional support and resources for your child's whole-person growth, keeping in mind the following four goals:
Keep It Simple
Keep It Joyful.
Here are a few FAQ'S that may be on your mind.
Q: How long will RMCA's campus remain closed?
A: We will be in communication withour school nurse consultant as well as remain observant of public health/government mandates on school closure. At this time, we hope to reopen classes the week of April 20th-24th. We will be in communication with families on at least a weekly basis on any further developments.
Q: What can I expect from my child's teacher in supporting his or her growth at home?
A: Each homeroom teacher, and select specialists, will be sending daily/weekly lesson plans for a select number of subjects to start on Monday, March 30th. These may include videos and other online resources for some grades/subjects. Each homeroom teacher will also be sharing resources on habit and character formation. These resources are a must read for any year for parents as they apply to home life as much as they do to the classroom. Each teacher will also be available daily to answer questions and to give guidance.
Q: Will events scheduled during the school closure (e.g. standardized testing, exams, concert) be rescheduled?
A: It is our desire to continue to offer as many opportunities to share in community and engage in growth as possible. We will be in communication in the coming weeks on how we will reschedule and/or cancel planned events for the remainder of this school year.
Q: What about tuition? Are families expected to continue to pay for tuition during this extended closure?
A: As a non-profit, independent school, RMCA receives no public funds. Most of our expenses are paid through tuition with additional fundraising going toward specific goals(e.g. tuition assistance, library, Staff Christmas Blessing). Our staff salaries and operational costs are met solely from these funds. It is the board's and administration's desire to continue honoring our obligations to our staff so that they can support their own families. That cannot happen without our enrolled families finishing out paying this year's tuition. Therefore, we ask all families to honor their tuition contracts so that the school can continue to meet its obligations.
If a family is under financial hardship (e.g. salary reduced/cut due to loss of hours), then individual families are asked to contact the administration to dialogue about options.
Online resources for families: We invite you to take advantage of these online resources to help 'redeem the time' with your students over the next couple of weeks and even beyond. Feel free to share other resources that you find with your friends and grade-level parents.
Encourage each member of your family to spend extra time reading and sharing about what they are reading. If you are running short on books in your house, remember that your local library checks out online books for free! Kindles and other electronic reading devices typically offer classic literature for free or at a very reduced rate. Consider this rule-of-thumb for balancing watching screens and reading: have your child spend at least 2 hours reading a 'living'book for every hour spent with a screen. Doing this will continue to engage with worthy authors and stories and not undo the habits that they have been learning since August.
For some wonderful book recommendations, check out Ambleside International's Online Library: https://www.amblesideschools.com/library/asi-reading-list.
A site with ideas on how to host a special reading time with your child: https://poetryteatime.com.
A classic site on the what, how,and why for family read-alouds: https://readaloudrevival.com.
This site contains a number of virtual museum tours and other educational resources: http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com.
"Redeem All This ExtraTime" Online Course: A free resource for parents from the ColsonCenter/Breakpoint: The Colson Center is hosting short, online courses each day this next week on "a crash course on biblical worldview and culture," with the purpose of cultivating a more God-centered approach to reality in ourselves and our children. The courses are free; you only need to register here: https://breakpoint.org/redeem-all-this-extra-time.
Be Encouraged: Finally, we invite you to keep in mind the following words of Psalm 91:1-3, as each of us leads our individual families in what it means to be 'us' in times of crisis and anxiety:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He willcover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
Board of Directors Chair