Dear Rivendell Community,
With the unofficial midpoint of summer having come and gone with the 4th of July fireworks, the staff at Rivendell is starting to get excited about the upcoming school year. While there is much uncertainty in the landscape around us, we are confident that we are uniquely equipped to continue to provide the same high quality, individualized education that you have come to expect from Rivendell over the years.
In order to be prepared for whatever situations arise in the coming school year, the Instructional Leadership Team has been working throughout the summer to develop an approach to the potential scenarios that Covid-19 may present. This group has gathered with a singular focus throughout their hours of work; What preparations can we take to ensure the continual individual growth of our students throughout the entire upcoming school year? We write to you today to provide a few details about the approach that we have constructed.
We are hoping and preparing for our students to return to in-person learning in the fall. We are continually in communication with county and state agencies that will be setting regulations for schools to follow this year. We are required to follow their guidance as we navigate a potentially changing environment. It is extremely likely that these agencies will set ratios related to the number of students allowed to be with one teacher in one classroom while also providing regulations designed to keep us all safe and healthy. It is additionally likely that we can expect these ratios to change as we enjoy our upcoming school year with your children. We are required to follow these guidelines and ratios.
Since the situation with Covid-19 is fluid, we will need to be prepared for quick and fluid transitions between the four phases outlined in previous communications to you. While we must develop plans for the return of a potential remote learning situation, our goal has been to develop this plan to provide in-person instruction for as much of the school year as we possibly can. We have worked through several scenarios surrounding different ways that we can keep our students coming to school, and we are pleased with our ability to make this goal a likely reality for as much of the year as possible.
We have created plans for different ratios of students that we can accommodate in the building. Again, these ratios will not be set by us, so this plan is established to provide us with a path on which to move forward regardless of what the state and county agencies require. Below you will see the four potential phases listed with a brief description of what that phase will entail and the ratios that correspond to each of these phases. These phases are applicable only to our Younger Kids, Middle Kids and Older Kids classes. It is likely that regulations and ratios will be different for Preschool-aged students and we are developing a plan that will likely allow us to keep our Preschool students in school throughout the year.
As you can see, we are able to provide in-person learning at school every day of the week as long as we are in Phases 3 and 4. We believe that the best way to continue to meet the needs of our students is to have them at school as much as we can this year. In order to ensure that we can continue to provide in-person learning five days a week in these phases, we have had to make some changes to our Younger Kids, Middle Kids and Older Kids age groupings at Rivendell.
New Grade Level Configurations
For the 2020-2021 school year Rivendell will be reconfiguring the age ranges that make up our multi-age classrooms. There will be two separate classes in each of these four age ranges.
● Ages for Preschool classes will not change.
● Younger Kids will now consist of Pre-Kindergarten (students who turn 5 by Jan. 1, 2021) and Kindergarten (students who turn 6 after September 15, 2020) students.
● Our Middle Kids classes will contain our First Grade and Second Grade students (students who turn 7 or 8 after September 15, 2020).
● Our Older Kids classes will be comprised of three age ranges; Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade students (students who turn 9, 10, or 11 after September 15, 2020).
Reconfiguring our classes in this way will allow Rivendell the best chance of maintaining in-person learning. It will also provide better learning opportunities for our students as we get back to school after such a long period away. We know that these age groupings will look and feel different, however we as educators believe that this is best for our students’ academic and social wellbeing. Our amazing teachers are prepared to step into these new groupings and provide the best elementary school experience in Fort Collins. Staffing for these different age groups will be announced within the coming weeks.
The Instructional Leadership Team hopes that you can see that we are working hard to be prepared for whatever situation arises this year. While the decision as to which of these phases will be used will not be made by us, we are certainly ready to transition at a moment's notice if we are told that we must do so. We appreciate your patience, your support, and your grace as we navigate these tricky times together. If you have any questions please refer to our FAQ page. If your questions are not answered there, please reach Holly.