RA Email Communications (COVID

The following information was sent via email to the RA community regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  This page will be updated as new emails are send out to keep our families up to date and informed. 

If you have not been receiving the below communication emails, please check your email's spam folder or verify that your email address is correct in your Skyward profile.

January 22, 2021 at 3:45 PM EST - Phased Reopening Update

Good Afternoon - This is the weekly Friday update regarding our phased return of students. I will aim to send this update shortly after 3:30 each week and before the end of the business day at the latest.

Each Friday, we will send notice of the anticipated group for Monday, ten days forward. Whenever possible, we will give projections beyond that if we can. Today we are publishing the next week’s anticipated plans below.

Please await confirmation/communication from your home district regarding transportation. Until that service is confirmed for your student, they will need to arrive by car.

If your child’s schedule or teacher will be changing due to the return to campus of some teachers and staff, you will receive a notification.

We look forward to having our students back on our campus, and thank you for your support and cooperation. It is always my goal to communicate with hones, helpful information. I welcome your questions and feedback.

Best.
Dr. Guarino Buli

Reopening Schedule (Updated 1/22/21)
Student Group   Attendance Status  Return Date
Lower School
Matrix Identified Group 
Confirmed via phone calls
& written letter - Complete
January 19, 2021
Middle School
Matrix Identified Group 
Confirmed via phone call & written letter  January 25, 2021
High School
Matrix Identified Group
AND 
Kindergarten Onsite Opted
Confirmed via phone call with letter pending  February 1, 2021
1st Grade Onsite Opted   Confirmed via phone call with letter pending February 8, 2021*
*Pending prior 2-week  successful rollout
and absence of
unforeseen obstacles

Return Plans Question & Answer Sessions

As a reminder, Dr. Guarino Buli will continue to host live Q&A sessions as we are sure we will continue to have questions and curiosities regarding our plans’ progress. The next two are:


January 22, 2021 at 3:15 PM EST - Weekly News

All School Message:

Good Afternoon - TGIF as we head into a cold and chilly weekend!

As you may have seen via Social Media or heard during our recent board meeting, we successfully had some Lower School Children back on campus this week.

I want to take a moment to share my immense gratitude and pride for the excellent job done to begin this mission and safely bring our students back to school. Many staff members were involved and jumped in to support! Additionally, thank you to our families who worked to get their students to the building, participated in our required screenings, and were patient with all new learning curves! I am hopeful for more days of students returning as we move forward.

As noted in previous weeks’ communications, we will make determinations on a routine basis going forward as we seek to bring more students onto our campus. This information will come on Friday afternoons, as that is when we are most likely to have received the most updated reports from both Chester and Montgomery County. Each Friday’s announcement will be for the 10-day projection forward. This timeline means, today, likely after 3:30 pm, I will send the update for students returning on February 1, 2021.

We hope that as we move forward, we will increase the number of students on campus each week incrementally. We plan to continue in the order reflected in the original phased-return schedule while going at a slower pace than initially planned. Onsite attendance will be Monday-Thursday. Remote programs continue for All students on Fridays.

Also of note, once students begin attending onsite, the building will be physically Closed on Fridays. All staff will be required to telecommute so that our facilities team can fully implement the recommended Covid-19 sanitation protocols. Please do not attempt to come to the buildings on Fridays.

Notes as we begin to phase students back to school:

For those attending onsite:

  • Students in need of transportation may see a lag-time as districts rework their routes. Please do not assume your child has transportation until you have received confirmation with a pick-up time and bus stop.
  • A parent /guardian must complete the COVID-19 Screener in Skyward each day for your child. Please be sure to test this feature and begin using it daily to build that habit! Please Complete ONE HOUR before the start of the school day.
  • A cold meal will be provided for All students at no cost. This offering will be a pre-packaged meal. Students may bring their food as well.

For those remaining online:

  • You may see a change in some of your children’s teachers if that teacher returns onsite. This change will not pertain to everyone, and you will be notified of the difference if your child is impacted.
  • The daily schedule will be phased back to the full-day school schedule for all students (8 am-3:30 pm) as the grade levels return. You will receive an updated schedule at least ten days before the change if your student.

Health and Safety Update From the School Nurse

Please see the attached YouTube video, which reviews Health and Safety Protocols while your child attends Renaissance Academy. Topic includes COVID screening, Medications at school, 5 pm, and proper use and care of Face Masks.

General Dates and Reminders

  • January 25th - Start of National School Choice Week - Be on the lookout for PBIS Announcements and Celebrations!
  • January 26th - Kindergarten Parent Q&A - 5pm 1/26 Q&A Session Link
  • January 27th - General Parent Q&A - 11:30 am 1/27 Q&A Session Link
  • January 27th - NSCW - Wear Yellow (see details below)
  • February 1st - Spirit Wear Day - Show your school pride… and turn on that camera!
  • February 8th - Family online event “Parenting During a Pandemic.”

School Choice Week 2021

What do the Blue, Green, Purple, and Orange Houses have in common? We all support YELLOW!

Yellow is the color of #SchoolChoiceWeek!

House Challenge on Wednesday, January 27th:

  • Have your student wear yellow clothing or accessories to support #SchoolChoiceWeek!
  • Once you see the challenge posted on Facebook the morning of 1/27, upload your student's "yellow" picture in the comments.
  • If your student is On-Campus, we will be sure to celebrate their Yellow and post some photos!
  • Be sure to identify your student's House by hashtag to earn a House point:
    • #BB (Barr-Bergstrom, purple)
    • #HS (Hope-Stephens, blue)
    • #MP (McGunnigle-Petrecca, green)
    • #KF (Kaplan-Finkenaur, orange)

Lands End Free Logo

January 28 - February 3, 2021
Code: CLASS PIN: 2910

Repeat Information:

From the January 15th (2:48pm) Email below:

From the January 6th Email below:

  • Spring Sports Registration Now Open

January 15, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST - Weekly Phased Return Plan

Good Afternoon - This is the soon-to-be weekly Friday update regarding our phased return of students. I will aim to send this update shortly after 3:30 each week and before the end of the business day at the latest.

Each Friday, we will send notice of the anticipated group for Monday, ten days forward. Whenever possible, we will give projections beyond that if we can. Today we are publishing the next three week’s anticipated plans below. Additional grades may be added, but will follow the ORDER of our original proposed schedules.

As noted in the email earlier this afternoon, please await confirmation/communication from your home district regarding transportation. Until that service is confirmed for your student, they will need to arrive by car.

We look forward to having our students back on our campus, and thank you for your support and cooperation. It is always my goal to communicate with hones, helpful information. I welcome your questions and feedback.

Best.
Dr. Guarino Buli 

Reopening Schedule (Updated 1/15/21)
Student Group   Attendance Status  Return Date
Lower School
Matrix* Identified Group 
Confirmed via phone calls
& written letter
January 19, 2021
Middle School
Matrix* Identified Group 
Confirmed via phone call
with letter pending
 January 25, 2021
High School
Matrix* Identified Group
AND 
Kindergarten Onsite Opted
Confirmed via phone call with letter pending  February 1, 2021**
**Pending prior 2-week  successful rollout
and absence of
unforeseen obstacles

*Matrix noted above per approval of Board of Trustees 11/13/2020

Return Plans Question & Answer Sessions

As a reminder, Dr. Guarino Buli will continue to host live Q&A sessions as we are sure we will continue to have questions and curiosities regarding our plans’ progress. The next two are:


January 15, 2021 at 2:48 PM EST - Weekly News

All School Message

Good Afternoon - This has certainly been a busy week here at school. I am happy to share some updates and plans as we continue to manage and plan for the next several months.

I have a few updates and a few reminders, which I hope you will find helpful.

In response to the PDE Updated Guidelines (January 7) and the slight downward local trend we have seen in Covid-19 positivity rates, we have made some adjustments to our plans. This week contact was made with Lower School Families of the students formerly identified on the Matrix, which had been approved by our Trustees in November. This identified group of students has been given the clearance to return to school for onsite support, beginning Tuesday, January 19, 2021. This group includes a small number of students, and we are pleased to be moving forward.

As noted in previous weeks’ communications, we will make determinations on a routine basis going forward as we seek to bring more students onto our campus. This information will come on Friday afternoons, as that is when we are most likely to have received the most updated reports from both Chester and Montgomery County. Each Friday’s announcement will be for the 10-day projection forward. This timeline means, today, likely after 3:30 pm, I will send the update for students returning on January 25th.

We hope that as we move forward, we will be able to incrementally increase the number of students on campus each week. We plan to continue in the ORDER reflected in the original phased-return schedule while going at a slower pace than initially planned. Onsite attendance will be Monday-Thursday. Remote programs continue for ALL students on Fridays.

Also of note, once students begin attending onsite, the building will be physically Closed on Fridays. All staff will be required to telecommute so that our facilities team can fully implement the recommended Covid-19 sanitation protocols. Please do not attempt to come to the buildings on Fridays.

Notes as we begin to phase students back to school:

For those attending onsite:

  • Students in need of transportation may see a lag-time as districts rework their routes. PLEASE do not assume your child has transportation until you have received confirmation with a pick-up time and bus stop.
  • A parent /guardian must complete the COVID-19 Screener in Skyward each day for your child. Please be sure to test this feature and begin using it daily to build that habit!
  • A cold meal will be provided for ALL students at NO cost. This offering will be a pre-packaged meal. Students may bring their food as well.

For those remaining online:

  • You may see a change in some of your children’s teachers if that teacher returns onsite. This change will not pertain to everyone, and you will be notified of the difference if your child is impacted.
  • The daily schedule will be phased back to the full-day school schedule for ALL students (8 am-3:30 pm) as the grade levels return. You will receive an updated schedule at least ten days before the change if your student is impacted.

General Dates and Reminders

  • January 18th - School Closed - Dr. Martin Luther King Day Observed
  • January 19th - First Group - Return to School *See message above
  • January 21st - Board of Trustee Meeting
  • January 25th - Start of National School Choice Week
  • February 8th - Family online event “Parenting During a Pandemic.”

Presidential Inauguration:

As we are aware next week, our county will witness the Inauguration of our 46th President. Every such occurrence of a president taking office is a historical event worth noting. This year we will experience this uniquely given the Pandemic restrictions on the event and our virtual learning environment. I am confident that in some of your student's classes, this event, political process, and the ceremony itself will be the topic of discussion.

The administration is also well aware of the threats of violence regarding this day, as reported publicly by the FBI. Out of caution for our students, we will not allow live-streams of the Inauguration to be shown during classes on this day. Recordings may be viewed after the event if fitting with the curriculum and lessons. If your family wishes to have your students absent from class at some point to view the swearing-in ceremony or other components of the day, please send notice, and it will be coded as an educational excused absence.

Elementary Choir:

Attention All New and Returning Elementary Choir members! Please see the attached choir form by clicking on the link below. The form explains how to enroll your child in the Lower School Spring Choir Program for grades 3-6. Page 1 is the information, choir rehearsal times, and how we will learn our music in the virtual meets/ choir google classroom. The second page is the choir rehearsal schedule, as we will meet every other Thursday during their independent fine art block by grade level.

From the Counselors

Guardian/Parent Night: Parenting During the Pandemic - February 8th at 6:00 PM

We all know that this pandemic has not been easy for adults nor children. We have all experienced some type of loss with the pandemic. Those losses may look different from one another, but no matter what, they are a loss. For example, some may have had financial losses, the loss of a loved one, a loss of “normalcy,” loss of a home, loss of social interactions, etc. This pandemic has been traumatic, and with trauma comes a range of negative feelings for many.

Please join us on February 8th for a presentation hosted by Sean Halloran, Ph.D. from Barnstone Art For Kids. The presentation will focus on the pandemic, effects of trauma, and how to help your child through it. The presentation will begin at 6:00 PM and will be approximately run from 6-7:30 PM. An extra ½ hour will be added to provide an opportunity for questions and answers.

Please join us via Google Meets meet.google.com/jym-tvty-stn. This link can be found on our school calendar, as well.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the school counselors or our social worker.

Sincerely,

  • Lisa Fleck (9th-12th grade school counselor), lisa.fleck@rak12.org
  • Rachel Murtagh (5th-8th grade school counselor), rachel.murtagh@rak12.org
  • Melissa Laurento (K-4th grade school counselor), melissa.laurento@rak12.org
  • Jen Illig (school social worker), jennifer.illig@rak.12.org

Repeat Information:

From the January 6th Email below:

  • Spring Sports Registration Now Open

January 8, 2021 at 4:07 PM EST - Weekly News & Development

All School Message:

As there have been many emails this week, I am not sure what more I can share! I thank everyone for SLC participation and wish you a safe weekend. See below for some general school announcements.

Be well,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Thank you to all that participated in the Lower School and High School RA Winter Competitions. Congratulations to the following winners!!!!

  • Lower School:
    • Landon Wheeles: Gingerbread House
    • Carter and Isabel Arobone: Lights
    • Abby Chestnet: Ugly Sweater
  • High School
    • Michael Henzes: Gingerbread House
    • Julianna Buli: Lights
    • Stella Menzies: Ugly Sweater

General Dates and Reminders

  • January 18th - School Closed - Dr. Martin Luther King Day Observed
  • January 21st - Board of Trustee Meeting
  • January 25th - Start of National School Choice Week

From the School Counselors:

We hope everyone had a restful and relaxing break with their families! As we head into the winter months, we realize this may bring some continued uncertainty or unease feelings. We hope to continue to provide valuable resources to help guide you in creating a positive atmosphere amidst everything that is happening.

To kick off our first note of the year, we want to share our Counseling Department page, which can be found under "Contact Us" on the RA website. Here you will find a few pages of parent resources and a newly added student page. We’d like to highlight our "Community Resources - Where to Look for Help" page. An invaluable tool found on this page is your County Crisis Line. These lines are available 24-7 and can provide in-home or telephone crisis assessments and referrals to keep you and your family members safe during a mental health crisis or event. For your reference. Please see your county’s information below:

  • Chester County: Valley Creek Crisis Center - 610-918-2100
  • Montgomery County: Access Services - 1-855-634-4673
  • Bucks County Crisis - 215-345-2273
  • Berks County: Service Access Management 1-877-236-4600
  • Delaware County Crisis Service - 1-855-889-7827
  • Philadelphia County: Suicide and Crisis Center (215)-686-4420
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line - Text HOME to 741741 or visit the Crisis Text Line website for more information

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support or resources! We are always here to help and thought this resource list would be valuable during times we may not be available.

Upcoming Event: Parenting During the Pandemic - 2/8 6:00-7:30
via Google Meets - Please join us for a presentation hosted by Sean Halloran, Ph.D. from Barnstone Art For Kids. The presentation will focus on the pandemic, the effects of trauma, and how to help your child through it.

From the FSO

  • The first FSO meeting of 2021 will be on January 13, 2020, at 6:30 pm! Find the link to the virtual meeting on the RA FSO page.
  • Like our FSO Facebook page! Find us on Facebook. You can find the meeting agenda, minutes, and recordings here as well as news and updates!
  • Help our FSO (Family & School Organization) by Scanning your Boxtops to the app throughout the year. RA FSO Box Tops page

From the Athletic Department:

2021 Spring Sports Registration:  
Renaissance Academy will continue to use the family ID for our online sports registration. For a student-athlete to be eligible to play a sport, they must register on Family ID for their specific sport as well as have a completed PIAA physical form (dated after June 1, 2020).

Spring Sports Registration is OPEN.

To register, please go to:

  • RA Athletics Website
  • Go to the "More" tab
  • Select "Sports Registration" under Family ID
  • Click on the "Register Now" button
  • Select "Spring 2021 Athletics Registration"
  • Select the sport, complete the required information and submit
  • You will receive a confirmation email once you submit your registration

Registration must be completed before any preseason practices/workouts.

All teams’ schedules, tryouts, and practice information can be located on our RA Athletic Website.

Section 6 of the PIAA physical form must be completed by a physician before practice the first practices on March 8, 2021. This form can be found on our athletic website under the "More" tab, "Athlete Forms",

Please feel free to reach out to kevin.zvorsky@rak12.org if you have any questions.

Land’s End Uniform Sale:

School families can get 40% OFF January 8-15, 2021!.  
CODE: RENEW - PIN: 7319

Development Weekly News

Counseling Department 2021 Campaign

In October, we launched an "Adopt a Family for the Holidays" campaign. We were able to raise over $7,000.00 for our families in need this holiday season. This money was used for meals and gifts. Renaissance greatly appreciates and mindfully stewards every dollar received. Because of support from our Renaissance community, we have made an impact on our community.

We are renewing our request for your support for our Counseling Department at the beginning of 2021. Your support will help continue the excellent work that our Counseling Department has provided to our students and community. The Counseling Department would use new funds generated to purchase new IPads that will introduce healthy coping strategies in their live offices and remote learning due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. They will also provide additional links, online strategy, and tools for healthy coping mechanisms and stress relievers that students could access.

Your support would be much appreciated and help us to support our students’ health and well being.

You can donate and give online.  Go directly to our campaign page to make an Online Donation to RA. (Donation Allocation - End of Year-Counseling Dept.)

All funds generated from this allocation will go to the counseling department and this campaign. 

Help Out the FSO:

  • Coming up in the next is the FSOs Chipotle Fundraiser. Be on the lookout for information regarding this dining event.
  • Box Tops for Education

Upcoming RA Fundraisers

In upcoming weeks, be on the lookout for these upcoming fundraisers:

  • Renaissance Academy Face Mask Fundraiser
  • Annual Golf Outing 2021

Ongoing Fundraisers:

Donating Directly to Renaissance

You can always choose to donate directly to RA by check, cash, and credit card. Please send donations directly to the school mailing address to my attention:

Renaissance Academy Charter School
413 Fairview Street
Phoenixville, PA 19460
Attn: Denise Kozuch-Harakal

or make an Online Donation to RA

As Renaissance Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, all or part of your contribution is tax-deductible. *If donations are to a particular group, sports team, or club, please note your donation.

Employer Matching Gift Program

Please be sure to check to see if your company or organization has a donation match. You may be able to double your donation to Renaissance Academy through your employer.

Recurring Gifts

Signing up for a recurring gift is a great way to help Renaissance Academy by providing steady, reliable funding for students and faculty through a monthly, quarterly, or annual contribution to the school. Simply choose annual gifts on the donation page and determine how to distribute your donation over the next twelve months.

Donations, Sponsorships, and Volunteer Opportunities for Events

Any questions, problems, or concerns for development, please email: denise.kozuch-harakal@rak12.org or call her at 610-983-4080 x409. Call her mobile at 610-428-4072.

Thank you for supporting the Students, Teachers, Staff, and Development with their fundraising efforts.

May you and yours be safe, be well, and stay healthy!
Denise Kozuch-Harakal, Ashley Pufko, and The RA Development Committee


January 7, 2021 at 8:36 PM EST - Evening Updates

Good Evening,

First and foremost, thank you to the families who participated in a successful Second Trimester SLCs today. Ordinarily, I would be announcing over the intercom at this time of the evening to thank you and wish you a safe ride home. The exhausted teachers would be heading out the door to prepare and rest up for the next day of meetings. In this case, separated by miles of distance and internet, I can only hope everyone is safely at home and done with their long day by now!

While I believed the last few days of emails from me would have provided enough Covid-19 updates to last us a week or so, I should have known better. By noon today, we were once again supplied with ‘updated guidance’ and recommendations from PDE and the PA Department of Health. I hope that our families have also seen or heard about this press conference. At the very least, I gained a better understanding of what the school leaders in our communities (as I have listened to this at many School Board meetings in our county!) mean when they say ‘the rules keep changing!’ The ever-changing guidance indicates that we are ALL learning along the way, and even the Public Health Officials are continually re-evaluating their recommendations.

Here are the Updated PDE Guidelines as they were delivered to schools and the public earlier today. Our Pandemic Team, Administration, and Trustees will be evaluating the new guidelines in light of our school’s ability to meet the mitigation and safety standards (which have not changed) as well as the boundaries of the Attestation Agreement to which we committed. I am sure we will begin issuing revisions and plans in light of these changes in the coming days. As always, your patience and understanding are appreciated.

I am also providing the review document prepared by Grace Cavanah, Certified School Nurse. This document is about the note in last night’s email regarding questions and confusion about how the county and state health departments derived Covid-19 rates and percentages. We hope this is helpful to understand the terms and their meanings further. Guidance on Positivity and Incidence Rates.pdf


January 6, 2021 at 9:55 PM EST - News & Updates

This communication has relevant information for all of our families. I will often try to separate information for certain groups to keep the information flow at a minimum. Because the following announcements affect a large sector of our school, the messages are shared with everyone. I hope that transparency will help to streamline the information and avoid any misunderstandings.

Best, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

Staffing Updates and Changes:

For a variety of reasons, we are making necessary staffing changes. Changes in a position related to a reorganization are noted below and likely the by-product of COVID-19 safety considerations. In certain cases, elementary students will experience some teacher changes as we work to safely distance the students intended to be on campus. In other cases, we are not yet ready to announce teacher assignments as parental choices for onsite vs. remote learning are in flux.

The following staff members are new to our school and will take the following roles if they are replacing a current staff member that is noted. If they are a new staff member in a newly created position, that is noted as well. While your child may not interact with all of these staff members, you may encounter their name, and I wish to give you context. Join me in welcoming the following:

  • New Role - Support Staff, Margaret Cavanagh
  • New Role - Support Staff, Emily Keefe
  • New Role - Support Staff, Dynita Maddox
  • New Role - Support Staff, Tina Lynch
  • New Role - Temporary Second Grade Teacher /Kindergarten Support, Jessandra Blankenbiller
  • New Staff: Alyssa Fell, Replacing current Second Grade Teacher, Dawn Wales
  • New Staff: Maketa Jolly, Replacing current Special Education Supervisor, Sarah Pilacik

Pending departure with positions under recruitment - To be hired.

  • Replacing current Kindergarten Aide, Diane Yeomans - Temporary Kindergarten Teacher
  • Replacing Sean Gensert, Middle School Science

In light of the plan to bring students on site, several of our Kindergarten Aides will be assuming teaching roles. This will allow smaller groups of students to meet in our classrooms physically. All staff in teaching roles are PA certified and positioned to lead their class of students. Precise class lists and teacher assignments will be provided to those impacted once all placements have been determined. Thank you for your patience as we work to manage this very complex situation.

Q&A Sessions Regarding Re-opening:

I will begin hosting live sessions to answer questions or provide clarity on the information previously provided. I hope to schedule sessions in the evenings and day time so that flexibility can be provided.

  • Sessions will not be for ‘announcements’ but will recap or explain already provided information.
  • Sessions will not follow a presentation format but will provide a free-form platform for questions.
  • Sessions are intended to be recorded for sharing with the community who may not be able to attend
  • From time to time, other Administrators, staff, health services may also attend sessions.

If there is continued interest, I will add sessions going forward.

Dr. Guarino Buli

Facebook Inquiry:

This afternoon we received a question on our Facebook Page regarding the data being reviewed in the decision-making process regarding re-opening. I want to address the existence of the question here, rather than on Facebook, as I know all of our families and community will not have access to that medium.

The question related to how the COVID-19 Community Transmission percentages are calculated. I am noting here several resources that the school and most schools are using to review and verify this information. The information is publicly available. I want to reiterate that my admin team nor I are trained statisticians or public health officials. We do not generate the reports or the data; we rely on those experts to provide that information for our guidance purposes.

We look specifically at the positivity rate numbers on a routine basis by the County Health Departments. This is the percentage rate of positive COVID-19 Tests among those who were tested. This information is provided on a 7-day rolling average. This is the same measure used by our neighboring districts and PDE to determine if a county is in the Substantial range of transmission. As Renaissance is made up of multiple counties and many districts, we choose to ALSO look at the school districts. As noted in our Health and Safety Plan, we will continue to make decisions based on both the county and district level data. We feel a responsibility given the nature of our mixed enrollment and the likelihood of cross-district contact when children attend our school.

I have also asked Mrs. Cavanagh, our School Certified Nurse, to help create some ‘easy to use’ guides/ cheat sheets on this topic, and we will share those with you as well.

For additional resources on this topic, please see below:

Thank you for your continued support in our efforts to provide a world-class education to your children. Wishing you safety and health,

Dr. Guarino Buli


January 6, 2021 at 10:32 AM EST - Reopening Update

Parents and Guardians:

Good morning. As indicated in our phased re-opening plan, a scheduled return to school for several grade levels begins Wednesday, January 13, 2021. This communication comes as the commitment to communicate our return status by Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

After continued consideration and a thorough review of our current data, I regret to inform you that we cannot move forward with this plan. We will continue to follow the guidance provided and remain remote-learning at this time.

The administration based this decision on PDE and the PA Secretary of Health’s consistent recommendations, which stipulate schools remain in remote learning during a period of ‘Substaional Community Transmission.’ Both Chester County and Montgomery Counties have been in the substantial range for multiple weeks, ranging in the 10+% transmission rates. We are pleased to note that these rates have been steady and have ceased to climb upward in recent weeks. We remain hopeful that we will see these numbers begin to fall with everyone’s commitment to mitigation and safety.

A review of district data shows that our greatest sending three districts are showing transmission levels much higher than the counties as a whole:

  • Springford Area School District 31.00%
  • Norristown Area School District 31.4 %
  • Phoenixville Area School District 27.43%

(Data as of Jan. 4, 2021)

Most importantly, your child remains a high priority for support and intervention. While we cannot have them on campus, we have already begun to implement changes and increased effectiveness, as you have seen since the start of the second Trimester. These efforts included schedule changes, increased support hours with teachers, and the recent hire of multiple additional staff members to provide greater oversight for our students.

Additionally, with your permission, we will expect your child to return to campus at the earliest possible date as circumstances allow. The students will follow the phased return schedule as previously shared, and the dates will be updated per the above.

Going forward, beginning on January 15, 2021, we will review data as provided and make determinations each Friday, preceding the ten days for a grade level return. This notice will allow a full 10-day window during which you can plan for your child’s return. In this scenario, we will communicate notice by Friday, January 15th, to return on January 25th, we will communicate notice by Friday, January 22nd, for the return on February 1st, and so on.

Later today, I will be sending an email that includes staffing updates and changes which may affect your student. Among these will be the announcement of several newly hired staff members who will provide support in the remote settings and manage and maintain safe numbers of students once back on campus. We are fortunate to have secured these roles and are committed to leveraging our resources to better our students’ outcomes.

I will also be sending a list of upcoming Q&A Sessions, during which I welcome your attendance. I am well aware that the information overload can be dizzying, and I hope that making myself available for a live discussion will help everyone in the effort to understand and make the best decisions for their family.

Thank you for your continued understanding, support, and partnership.

In Health and Wellness,
Dr. Gina Guarino Buli


January 3, 2021 at 5:02 PM EST - RA Weekly News

All School Message: 

Happy New Year! Welcome Back to all of our families, students, and staff. I look forward to kicking off the new year with all of you as we continue learning, growing, and celebrating one another’s accomplishments.

Classes will resume remotely on January 4, 2021, per your student’s schedule. Don’t forget; this week will be our Second Trimester Virtual SLCs. All students attend via Google Meets with their parents or guardian. If you still need to sign up, please use the links below.

As we continue to plan and work for a safe return to onsite school, please keep checking emails for updates. For families of students in grades K, 1st & 3rd, we will send an official update of the return plans no later than January 6, 2021. As a reminder, we will continue remote instruction while most of our sending districts (both Montgomery and Chester County) are noted to be in a substantial transmission rate of Covid-19.

Be well,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Re-Opening /COVID Planning:

The information has continued to change and develop over the past several months regarding schools and COVID-19.  View the RA COVID-19 Info & Resource Pages for all School Updates.

In Summary:

  • The current plan includes returning to on-site school for K, 1st & 3rd of families who have elected this option.
  • This plan DEPENDS on the move out of ‘Substainational’ Transmission for key sending districts.
  • Phased Return to School Schedule

*NOTE: Whenever possible, notice will be provided One Week before a cohort’s return date if that date will NOT be kept.*

Version Three of our Health and Safety Plan has been approved, signed, and submitted to PDE: Health and Safety Plan V3.

Attestation Document, required by PDE, regarding compliance with COVID Mitigation efforts. Attestation Ensuring Mitigation Efforts pdf

General Dates and Reminders

  • January 4th - School Re-opens - Remote Instruction
  • January 6th - Notice of re-open plans updated
  • January 7th & 8th - Virtual SLCs
  • January 13th - The anticipated onsite start day for Opt-in K, 1st & 3rd Graders
  • January 18th - School Closed - Dr. Martin Luther King Day Observed
  • January 21st - Board of Trustee Meeting

SLC Sign-up Links:

From the FSO

The first FSO meeting of 2021 will be on January 13, 2020, at 6:30 pm! Find the link to the virtual meeting on our RA FSO Page.

Like our FSO Facebook page! Find us on Facebook. You can find the meeting agenda, minutes, and recordings here as well as news and updates!

Box Tops for Education

  • Help our FSO (Family & School Organization) by scanning your Boxtops to the app throughout the year.
  • Boxtops for Education is now available on the Box Tops for Education app on iOS and Android mobile phones. Download the app to scan your boxtops today. *Shopping for Groceries online? You can still submit your box tops via email to receipts@boxtops4education.com.
  • Some specials are going on right now on the BoxTops for Education Website.

Winter Sports Update:

Varsity Girls Basketball: The season has been CANCELED due to a lack of participants. Any girls that were interested in playing may play for their home district if they would like. If you plan to play for your home district, you must complete the form on Family ID titled "Participation in Athletics in your Home District.”  Family ID Website 

Varsity Coed Bowling: The season has been CANCELED due to a lack of participants. Any family that registered for bowling should have received an email regarding this. We hope to have enough interest to continue bowling next winter.

Varsity/JV Boys Basketball:  At this time, Varsity/JV Boys basketballs are still planning on starting in January. You can find the schedules for both on our RA Athletic Website.

If any changes to these seasons occur, those that registered on Family ID will be notified immediately.

Science Fair

Update - Science Fair Deadline is extended. If your child wants to participate, please see the information below and contact Kimberly Wheeles with questions!

Hello, Future Scientists (And Guardians)! 
We were disappointed last year when the Regional Science Fair was canceled due to the pandemic. I'm SO excited to share that the Regional Science Fair is back this year, as well as the Renaissance Academy Science Fair! Things will be a little different, but the love of science will still shine through our students.

This year, All science fairs will be Virtual! The students will be creating their boards through Google Slides, will have 5 minutes interview slots with the judges, and will still have the opportunity to move onto the Chester County Regional Research Science Fair. They have also adopted this format. No more stress with creating those big science fair boards! Students will now be able to show their technology knowledge by creating through Google Slides!

Please Visit RA's Science Fair Page for information, resources, and deadlines if your child is interested.

Regionals offer a lot of scholarship opportunities, as well as a great experience to be able to see what students from all over the county are creating. What better chance to grow?! I look forward to seeing what our Amazing body of RA students makes!


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