New Start Date, E-Learning Policy Updates. Community Letter

Good Morning RMCA Community, 

I wanted to share a couple of school COVID Related issues with the community.  Last night the RMCA Board of Directors held a special session to approve two measures: a calendar change to push the student start date back, and an adoption of our Remote Learning Policy.  Both Measures were adopted.  

The new student start date for the 2020-2021 school year will be Monday August 17th.  I requested that the Board of Directors change the start date in order to provide teachers additional time to plan for lessons in the event of school closure and move to remote learning.  Many schools and districts have moved their start date back to provide more time for staff and to allow health measures to take effect on the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.  With current directives from the state and El Paso County, a COVID related short term closure this year seems probable and would take place immediately.  Our teachers need to be prepared and well planned in this eventuality.  They will be using this extra time to extensively plan our learning strategies and content for the new school year.  I will continue to communicate with the community concerning any potential changes to our Return to Learn plan and school calendar.  

Last night the Board of Directors also adopted a new Remote Learning Policy.  This policy was a new expectation from the Colorado Department of Education regarding attendance taking and educational process for all Remote Learning that may take place this year.  For those of our families who chose the Remote Learning option, attendance documentation is now mandatory for every school day of remote learning.  Students must participate in some fashion of educational engagement in order to be counted present each day.  We will have more information about the daily process of our remote learning program as we move closer to the start of the year.  We are currently hiring personnel to take on these class loads and will have those teachers reach out to families to onboard them into that learning platform.  

Due to the Governor’s recent mask mandate, RMCA has altered our mask policy to align with state mandate.   All RMCA staff members will still be required to wear masks while on campus.  The order requires people in Colorado who are 11 years and older to wear a covering over their noses and mouths, so students 11 years and older will be required to wear masks while at school.  While it is recommended that students who have not yet reached their 11th birthday wear masks that will not be required while at school. This order may change prior to the start of school.  RMCA’s stance on this issue is that we will follow state and local mandates and go no further than what is ordered of schools.    

I know that this is a trying time for our community and I appreciate all the kind words and thoughts that the community has provided the school staff as we are working through this.  Please know that all decisions and policies made are based, first and foremost, with the safety and best interesting of your children in mind.  We will continue to alter our plan as new guidance comes forward and as the situation in our community changes.  RMCA is the best choice for your family and students and it is our pleasure to serve you during this time.  

I will continue to update you as these orders and policies change.  Thank you for your patience and grace.  

Principal Mac