RA Email Communications (COVID-19)

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.

May 29, 2020 at 5:07 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

As a reminder please be sure to fill out the sign-up forms below to plan for ‘end of year’ cleanout. This will be the expected time for ALL students to turn in school-owned material and pick up personal items. There are still quite a few slots left!

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support. Your school leadership is working daily to prepare and provide for your students.

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

RA’s Week of Talent!

Join in the fun - RA's Got Talent Virtual Talents Week (pdf)

Survey Feedback:

While collecting your feedback from the family survey there were some questions that I felt it would be best to answer for the community as a whole. As we do not know answers to many of the unknowns when it comes to the start of school, we are looking ahead and putting various precautionary contingencies in place. We will continue to follow the updates and guidance from DOH, CDC and the Governor's office as we receive them. Updates and information will be shared during the summer months as decisions are made.

*This is NOT an exhaustive list of all questions nor all actions we are taking as a school. This may provide some answers to common questions and concerns. We will try to include answers to questions each week.

Q: If school continues with distance-education in place will there be a more robust plan?
A: YES! The current distance learning methods were planned in a very short time with no enhancement of resources. A long-term need will involve a more thorough delivery of curriculum with time for proper Professional Development. Plans are being explored for contingencies.

Q: If School re-opens will we be notified if students or staff are diagnosed with COVID-19?
A: We will continue to update our school community if any serious, contagious disease or illness should occur. We typically do this when we a high number in a short time (i.e. Strep Throat, Stomach Bug) and will do our best to continue this practice when information is made available to us.

Q: If a vaccine becomes available will it be required for school attendance?
A: This is a decision that comes from the PA Department of Health. School Officials do not have the authority to make these decisions.

Q: If my child is not able to return due to health concerns will they lose a space at RA.
A: No, as long as your child remains enrolled we are obligated to educate them and they remain our student. If they require specific accommodations to meet their health needs plans will be developed with medical professionals’ and parents’ input.

Q: If school re-opens will my child be required to wear a mask.
A: We will be following specific guidelines from PDE in regard to school requirements for face coverings when those guidelines are released. We do anticipate that some level of face covering will be expected. We do not anticipate requiring specific colors, but we will adhere to the dress code pertaining to adornment, patterns or phrases. We will roll out specific rules for our school once we have a clearer picture.

Commencement Plans

This week our initial plans to celebrate the High School Class of 2020 were shared with our seniors and their families. You can see the video announcement here: Class of 2020 YouTube Video.

Details of portions which will be viewable to the general public are forthcoming.

We hope to celebrate with you in person as permitted, either in the late summer, or during the months ahead when our alumni are back in the area. These gatherings, when allowable, will be scheduled at a later date.

District Busing Forms for the 2020-2021 School Year

*Update - Norristown Area School District has notified us that they DO NOT require this form.

Year-End Transportation Forms (Act 372) - Some of our busing districts require their families to submit busing forms at the end of each school year. Please contact the district's Transportation Departments directly to obtain the corresponding forms.
View RA Busing Districts Transportation Dept. Contacts 

**These forms are to be returned directly to the busing district. Please be sure to pay particular attention to the listed deadline to ensure your student has appropriate transportation when we return to school in August.

Moving?

If you have moved or are moving, please be sure to fill out a Change of Address Form. Transportation cannot be changed until the required paperwork is submitted. Please note that changes in transportation can take 3 to 5 business days and transportation in two different districts may not be granted by the district for two separate households.

From the Counseling Department...

Are You In Need Of A Creative Outlet For Your Child This Summer?  The counseling department would like to share another resource with you. Please know that the program is not affiliated with Renaissance Academy but we thought it would be a good resource to look into.

Barnstone Art for Kids is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Phoenixville, PA that uses the Power of Art to foster resilience in children facing adversity. They will be providing free virtual studio workshops this summer. If you have a child that could use a creative outlet this summer then please contact Barnstone Art for Kids. More information about this opportunity is attached.

Don’t forget that you can always reach out to us if you have questions/concerns! Please view our Extended Closure Family Counseling & Support Page for COVID-19 student, family, and community resources. This page is updated as new resources are identified.

Thinking of you all,

Mrs. Fleck (9th-12th grade counselor), lisa.fleck@rak12.org
Mrs. Murtagh (5-8th grade counselor), rachel.murtagh@rak12.org
Mrs. Laurento (k-4th grade counselor), melissa.laurento@rak12.org

Repeat Information:

The following items were included as Repeated Information from previous emails (as a reference):

End of Year Dates for Planning:

  • May 29th - Last day for NEW instruction
  • June 3rd - Last day for make-up / late work to be turned in for grading
  • June 5th - Grades close in the grade book

Technology Support

From May 22nd Email (below):

  • Kindergarten Graduation / Move-up Shirt Ceremonies
  • Chromebooks
  • End of Year Clean Out – Grades K-11
  • Prom

From May 15th Email (below):

  • Summer Updates
    • Extended School Year (to be held virtually)
    • Camps / Enrichment (canceled for the summer)
  • End of Year Planning:
    • 8th Grade Promotion
    • Lower School Awards
  • Yearbooks
  • Junior Class Rings

From 4/14/20 email below:

  • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
  • PBIS Points

May 22, 2020 at 3:01 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

As a reminder, please be sure to fill out the sign-up forms below to plan for ‘end of year’ cleanout. This will be the expected time for ALL students to turn in school-owned material and pick up personal items. There are still quite a few slots left!

A bit of information is repeated this week for two reasons - It is important, and it hasn’t changed… which is a pleasant twist. I think we will all be happy with a little ‘nothing new’ right about now! New information for this week is listed under “New & Updated Information”. Please be sure to review what is not new, as there has been a lot of information shared and it is easy to miss things.

I am again, asking that families fill out a brief survey to help in our planning and to assist as we look to the future. The current pandemic has certainly led to some adjustments and challenges for all of us. We are seeking our community input on issues related to the health and wellness of their children and families; safety in the school setting and needs for which we need to account. The survey is anonymous at this time as we only wish to collect general data. We will likely follow-up during the summer with a collection of specific family needs as we have a clearer picture of what the restrictions and safety measures in the school setting will be for the 2020-2021 School Year. Family Feedback Online Survey.  For anyone who has indicated they would like follow-up, we will get to you in the coming weeks! Thank you!

Wishing you and your loved ones a restful, relaxing extended weekend as we remember those for whom the day is meant to honor! Enjoy your Memorial Day.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support. Your school leadership is working daily to prepare and provide for your students.

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

New and Updated Information

Chromebooks

EVERY student who has a Chromebook in their possession will need to have it with them, for inventory purposes, when they arrive at their ‘clean-out’ time.

Students currently in grades 4th-12th will have the option to opt into the school’s ‘one: one’ insurance program and keep the Chromebook over the summer and into the next school year. This is the program that was previously in place for all 7th-12th grade students. Instructions for this were sent out earlier this week. Please review that email for full detail. 

Kindergarten Graduation / Move-up Shirt Ceremonies

These important milestones will be scheduled for the start of the school year as permitted. Tentative plans are being set for August 19, 2020. If permitted the following schedule will be followed*:

  • 9:00 am ~ Kindergarten graduation ceremony
  • 10:30 am ~ Red Shirt ceremony
  • 11:30 am ~ Light blue/Dark blue Shirt ceremony

*Tentative reception between all ceremonies in the cafeteria.

We hope that August 19th will also be a day that Lower School families can come in to see where their child's classroom is for the school year. More information on that is forthcoming pending allowances. 

High School Prom:

At this time it is apparent, due to the ‘Red’ status of our counties that we will not be able to hold the prom, as scheduled, this weekend. We have a tentative date reserved with the venue, for mid-July 19, 2020. We will not be able to decide if this date can be used until the DOH / CDC provides guidance on rules regarding gatherings this summer. We hope to make a decision by the 1st of June, if it appears we are able to use the venues per their regulations and safety mandates, for the back-up date.

Fall Athletics:

Per the PIAA there will remain a requirement to complete a new physical for any student participating in the sports program. Details regarding this and other registration requirements are forthcoming.

From the Counseling Department….

We are coming to the end of May which also marks the last week of Mental Health Awareness Month. We hope that you all have been taking care of your minds during this time! Just because the end of May is here, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to try some of the activities we suggested.  View Mental Health Awareness  Month 2020.pdf for past and future suggested activities for May.

While searching for resources this week, we found a link to some free online, kid-friendly webinars. Renaissance Academy is not affiliated with any of the programs but we thought it would be good to share with families. Please take a look at the programs before sharing them with your children to ensure that they are appropriate for your child: Event Brite: The Best Online Events for Kids While Parents Work From Home. If you are looking for some kindness projects over the summer for your children then you may want to visit Pillars of Light and Love. They host a monthly kindness project. They also have additional resources on their website that may be helpful to you and/or your family.

We hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend and enjoy Memorial Day! Don’t forget that you can always reach out to us if you have questions/concerns!

Please view our Extended Closure Family Counseling & Support Page for COVID-19 student, family, and community resources. This page is updated as new resources are identified.

Thinking of you all,
Mrs. Fleck (9th-12th grade counselor), lisa.fleck@rak12.org
Mrs. Murtagh (5-8th grade counselor), rachel.murtagh@rak12.org
Mrs. Laurento (k-4th grade counselor), melissa.laurento@rak12.org

Reminders:

End of Year Clean Out 

K-11th Grade - In preparation for the end of year we will have several days of structured time for clean out. Please follow this link to select a day / time for your family.

Online Sign Up for K-11th Grade Clean Out

*We ask that all children in the household make attempts to sign-up for ONE Family Slot and come at the same time.

Seniors Only** - We are planning to have recognition materials and regalia on hand during your Clean Out window. Please select a slot for your Senior to come to the school. Specific instructions are included on the sign-up.

Senior Online Sign Up for Clean Out and Sign Out

**Younger siblings will NOT be able to clean out during Senior time slots.

District Busing Forms for the 2020-2021 School Year

Year End Transportation Forms (Act 372) - Some of our busing districts require their families to submit a busing form at the end of each school year. Please contact the district's Transportation Departments directly to obtain the corresponding forms**. View District Transportation Department Contacts

**These forms must be returned directly to the busing district. Please be sure to pay particular attention to the listed deadline to ensure your student has appropriate transportation when we return to school in August.

Repeat Information:

The following items were included as Repeated Information from previous emails (as a reference):

  • End of Year Dates for Planning
    • May 29th - Last day for NEW instruction
    • June 3rd - Last day for make-up / late work to be turned in for grading
    • June 5th - Grades close in the grade book
    • *Note: Seniors will receive slightly different dates
  • Technology Support Visit Tech Support Info Page
  • From May 15th Email (below):
    • Summer Updates
      • Extended School Year
      • Camps / Enrichment
    • End of Year Planning:
      • Commencement Plans
      • 8th Grade Promotion
      • Lower School Awards
    • Yearbooks
    • Junior Class Rings
  • From 4/14/20 email below:
    • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
    • PBIS Points

May 15th, 2020 at 3:03 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

As a reminder please be sure to fill out the sign-up forms below to plan for ‘end of year’ clean out. This will be the expected time for ALL students to turn in school-owned material and pick up personal items.

I am asking that families fill out a brief survey to help in our planning and to assist as we look to the future. The current pandemic has certainly led to some adjustments and challenges for all of us.

We are seeking our community input on issues related to health and wellness of their children and families; safety in the school setting and needs for which we need to account. The survey is anonymous at this time as we only wish to collect general data. We will likely follow-up during the summer with a collection of specific family needs as we have a clearer picture of what the restrictions and safety measures in the school setting will be for the 2020-2021 School Year. Family Feedback Survey

Thank you for your cooperation and support. Your school leadership is working daily to prepare and provide for your students.

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Get Ready for some End of Year Fun! 

  • May 18th - May 22nd - Join the RA PE Department for Virtual Field Day - all week long! RA Virtual Field Day 2020.pdf
  • June 1st - 5th  - Don't miss out on RA's Got Talent! Check out the plans here and make sure your family is ready to join in the fun! RA's Got Talent virtual talents. RA Virtual Talent Show 2020.pdf

Updates & News:

Yearbooks

Due to plant closures we do not have a firm date of when yearbooks will be available for pick-up. If you purchased an Upper School or Lower School Yearbook you will receive communication regarding these updates.

If you DID NOT purchase a yearbook but would like to, good news! Jostens has allowed us to extend the deadline to May 31st.  Please place your orders at www.jostens.com.

Any questions please email Lisa.Swiggard@rak12.org (lower school) or Anna.Schenkel@rak12.org (upper school)

Junior Class Rings

Students who ordered class rings should have received ‘balance due’ and logn information directly from Jostens. The Josten’s Representative plans to have rings shipped directly to students as soon as their operations are open and able to process orders. Please make payments as due. If your ring is paid it for will be shipped to your home.

Chromebooks

Every student who has a chromebook in their possession will need to have it with them, for inventory purposes, when they arrive at their ‘clean out’ time (K-11th Grade Clean Out).

Students currently in grades 4th-12th will have the option to opt into the school’s ‘one:one’ insurance program and keep the chromebook over the summer and into next school year. This is the program which was previously in place for all 7th-12th grade students. Please look for specific instructions regarding this option, which will be sent out via email early next week.

End of Year Clean Out - Grades K - 11th Only* 

In preparation for the end of year we will have several days of structured time for clean out. Please follow this link to select a day / time for your family.

Online Sign Up for K-11th Grade Clean Out

*We ask that all children in the household make attempts to sign-up for ONE Family Slot and come at the same time.

If You Have A Senior - see below for their specific sign-up. Specific instructions for the process are included on the sign-up page.

For our Seniors

End of Year Clean Out - Seniors Only** - We are planning to have recognition materials and regalia on hand during your Clean Out window. Please select a slot for your Senior to come to the school. Specific instructions are included on the sign-up.

Senior Online Sign Up for Clean Out and Sign Out

**Younger siblings will NOT be able to clean out during Senior time slots.

Summer Updates:

  • Extended School Year - All eligible students will receive instruction virtually this summer. There will not be an onsite program.
  • Camps / Enrichment - All onsite camps, enrichments, programs have been cancelled for this summer. We hope to resume with even greater offerings in the summer of 2021~

End of Year Planning:

  • Commencement Plans - This week our initial plans to Celebrate the High School Class of 2020 were shared with our seniors and their families. View YouTube Video Announcement from Dr. Guarino Buli & Ms. Boyd.  We hope to celebrate with you in person as permitted, either in the late summer, or during the months ahead when our alumni are back in the area. These gatherings, when allowable, will be scheduled at a later date.
  • 8th Grade Promotion - The Michelangelo Team is working to prepare some special surprises for their 8th graders as they prepare for high school. Be on the lookout when you come to clean out your locker! We will also plan a celebration when we are able to return to school.
  • Lower School Awards - Lower School Teams will be presenting some end of year awards virtually on June 8th. Your child’s teacher(s) will communicate with each class regarding timing for these awards.
  • Kindergarten Graduation / Move-up Shirt Ceremonies - These important milestones will be scheduled for the start of the school year as permitted. More details regarding times, locations and allowable gatherings will be shared during the summer months.
  • High School Prom - At this time it is apparent, due to the ‘Red’ status of our counties that we will not be able to hold the prom, as scheduled, in May. We have a tentative date reserved with the venue, for mid-July. We will not be able to decide if this date can be used until the government provides guidance on rules regarding gatherings this summer. We hope to make a decision by the 1st of June, if it appears we are able to use the venues per their regulations and safety mandates, for the back-up date.
  • Shirt Ceremonies, Move-up Days, Meet the Teacher - Our teams are planning to make these important events meaningful and special in different ways. Some of these milestones will be part of our ‘welcome back’ schedule in August. Details and expectations for these events will be announced as they are planned and information becomes available.

From Our RA Counselors

Please view our Extended Closure Family Counseling & Support Page for COVID-19 student, family, and community resources. This page is updated as new resources are identified.

New this week:
  • Community Counseling Resources: 
    • The Center for Loss and Bereavement is offering COVID19- Mental Health Therapy and Support Groups. They provide a wide variety of grief services for children through adulthood. Unique to our current situation, they are providing specialty services for those touched by COVID-19. (From their website) individuals they are able to provide support to:
      • those who have been critically ill with COVID19 and confronted their own dying, and may have recovered with subsequent health losses and/or traumatic memories/stress.
      • the loved ones and companions who will have experienced another’s illness, either in-home or from afar, and been confronted with another’s life-threatening conditions and isolating factors of quarantine, in addition to the potential loss of life.
      • those having confronted cumulative losses and risk to personal safety with exposure to the front lines of the healthcare system – for medical staff and first responders who may carry experiences and memories confronting death and dying that are traumatic and overwhelming”
    • Additional Food Pantries & Community Meals:
      •  St. Ann’s Church - 502 Main Street, Phoenixville
      • Every 3rd Saturday-Food Distribution starting at 1 p.m.
      • Royersford Pantry - located at 410 Washington Street, Royersford
      • Camp Son-Shine - distributing food at 381 Beech Street (Tabernacle Pentecostal Church)
May is Mental Health Awareness Month:

Keep those pictures coming on Facebook! We love getting to see our RA families and how they are taking such good care of themselves (and others) during this difficult time. Mental Health Awareness Month 2020.pdf

District Busing Forms for the 2020-2021 School Year

Year End Transportation Forms (Act 372) - Some of our busing districts require their families to submit a busing form at the end of each school year. Please contact the district's Transportation Departments directly to obtain the corresponding forms**. View District Transportation Department Contacts

**These forms must be returned directly to the busing district. Please be sure to pay particular attention to the listed deadline to ensure your student has appropriate transportation when we return to school in August .

Moving?

If you have moved or are moving, please be sure to fill out a Change of Address pack (visit page below) and return it to school as soon as possible. Transportation cannot be changed until required paperwork is submitted.

Please note that changes in transportation can take 3 to 5 business days and transportation in two different districts may not be granted by the district for two separate households.

Repeat Information:

The following items were included as Repeated Information from previous emails (as a reference):

  • End of Year Dates for Planning
    • May 29th - Last day for NEW instruction
    • June 3rd - Last day for make-up / late work to be turned in for grading
    • June 5th - Grades close in the grade book
    • *Note: Seniors will receive slightly different dates
  • Technology Support Visit Tech Support Info Page
  • Fall Athletics: At this point no formal decisions can be made regarding fall athletics or required physicals. We are expecting guidance on this issue by the end of May and will communicate any updates or required next steps as they become available. 
  • From 4/14/20 email below:
    • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
    • High School Prom
    • PBIS Points 

May 8, 2020 at 3:48 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

This week’s email contains some anticipated updates regarding the end of year clean-out for our students. Please see the specifics below and note that there is one link to sign up for students in K-11th Grade and another link for Seniors only.

I wish to thank the community members who participated in celebrating our teachers and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week! While we could not be together all week, it was wonderful to see the showering of positive words on social media, though emails and such! The administration hosted a special ‘Treat Drive-up’ on Friday and while the rain trickled down it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces… from a good distance, of course. Special thanks to our FSO for supporting and contributing to this special day!

Thank you again, for your continued support and positivity through this challenging time.

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Updates & News:

End of Year Clean Out - Grades K - 11th Only* 

In preparation for the end of year we will have several days of structured time for clean out. Please follow this link to select a day / time for your family.

Online Sign Up for K-11th Grade Clean Out

*We ask that all children in the household make attempts to sign-up for ONE Family Slot and come at the same time.

If You Have A Senior - see below for their specific sign-up. Specific instructions for the process are included on the sign-up page.

For our Seniors

End of Year Clean Out - Seniors Only** - We are planning to have recognition materials and regalia on hand during your Clean Out window. Please select a slot for your Senior to come to the school. Specific instructions are included on the sign-up.

Senior Online Sign Up for Clean Out and Sign Out

**Younger siblings will NOT be able to clean out during Senior time slots.

Commencement Plans are underway and the staff is working hard to solidify details! We expect to make an official announcement sometime next week regarding dates, times, and the exciting plans we are putting in place to help celebrate this milestone year!

From our Counselors:

Is there a child in your life or in your student’s life for whom you have a concern? If you are wondering how you can get safe, supportive help but don’t know who to call? Consider reviewing the Safe2Say resources. Our students in grades 6-12 are familiar with this tool; which can be used by anyone.

Visit Safe2Say Information Page

Mental Health Awareness Month

Thank you for celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month virtually with us! We believe it to be such an important topic every day. Families' lives have changed over the last several weeks, which can cause an increase in anxiety, stress, and depression. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The good news is that we are really in this together and, at some point, we will be back to our regular schedules.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020.pdf

We wanted to share a new resource with you! Please be aware that it is not a program hosted by Renaissance Academy but we thought it was a good topic and a great community resource.

Online opportunity:  Barnstone Art for Kids Presents: Parenting During the Quarantine on Wednesday May 13th from 7-8pm.

An online conversation about children's behavior, the impact of COVID-19, and strategies for how to make this work. To make your online reservation/gain access to the Zoom link, please email: sean@barnstoneartforkids.org

Don’t forget to Be Kind to Your Mind!

Below is a list of a few ways you can take care of yourself and family members during this time.

  • Take a break from all the news stories and social media
  • Take deep breaths
  • Stretch
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Eat healthy
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Keep a routine/schedule
  • Connect with others
  • Create your own support group with other friends and/or family members
  • Try to participate in healthy activities that you enjoy
  • Give yourself time to unwind

Support the Renaissance Aevidum Club by sharing your activities with us on Facebook using the hashtags: #BeKindToYourMind, #YouMatter

Repeat Information:

The following items were included as Repeated Information from previous emails (as a reference):

  • End of Year Dates for Planning
    • May 29th - Last day for NEW instruction
    • June 3rd - Last day for make-up / late work to be turned in for grading
    • June 5th - Grades close in the grade book
    • *Note: Seniors will receive slightly different dates
  • Technology Support Visit Tech Support Info Page
  • Fall Athletics: At this point no formal decisions can be made regarding fall athletics or required physicals. We are expecting guidance on this issue by the end of May and will communicate any updates or required next steps as they become available.
  • From 4/14/20 email below:
    • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
    • High School Prom
    • 8th Grade Promotion & Kindergarten Graduation
    • Shirt Ceremonies, Move-up Days, Meet the Teacher
    • PBIS Points 

May 6th, 2020 at 9:14 AM EDT

Board of Trustees Voting Meeting Agenda

5/7/20 RA Board Meeting via Zoom:


May 4th, 2020 at 2:01 PM EDT

This month's Board of Trustee Meeting will be held virtually on May 7, 2020, 6:30 pm.

To Join 5/7/20 RA Board Zoom Meeting


May 1, 2020 4:45 PM EDT

Weekly News / COVID 19 Update

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

As we enter a new month, we wish you and your families a sense of hopeful positivity. May the new beginnings of the spring season transfer into some bright thoughts and days ahead for you and your students. This time of year, while in school, is punctuated by celebrations, anticipation and joy. As the look and feel of these times has changed for us, we are committed to doing our best to maintain the overarching goal of commemorating all that has been accomplished!

Finally, It would be negligent if I did not also acknowledge that though mere statistics and stories we know families here at RA are being touched in various ways by the illness and pandemic which has brought us to this stage of the year. If your family or circle of loved ones has suffered a loss, due to the COVID-19 Virus, please accept my deepest sympathies. While we do not expect everyone to share these personal stories I wish for you to know that the staff of RA is here to support you and your child should you need anything from you. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you feel inclined.

Thank you again, for your continued support and positivity through this challenging time.

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Updates & News:

Teacher / Staff Appreciation Week

Next week, May 4th-8th is a National Celebration of Teacher and Staff Appreciation. Please consider taking an extra moment to write a friendly email or note to someone who plays an important role in your child’s school life. The small time commitment will surely be greatly appreciated by the staff!

You are also invited to submit a fun video message to anyone on our staff via this FlipGrid link. The final product will be shared with the RA Team at the end of the week!

You will click on the GREEN plus sign… and record your video message. Thank you!

From our Counselors:

Is there a child in your life or in your student’s life for whom you have a concern? If you are wondering how you can get safe, supportive help but don’t know who to call? Consider reviewing the Safe2Say resources. Our students in grades 6-12 are familiar with this tool; which can be used by anyone. See attached:

Mental Health Awareness Month
It’s time to be kind to your mind! May is mental health awareness month. At school we usually take this time to increase awareness about mental health and focus on healthy coping mechanisms. We would like to encourage families and students to still participate in raising awareness regarding this important cause. No matter your age, focusing on your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being.

Are You concerned about explaining mental health to your younger ones? We understand that it may be difficult to find the appropriate words to use to talk to younger kids about mental illnesses. However, starting the conversation earlier may be healthier for them. You just need to make sure to use age appropriate words and remember you know what’s best for your child. For example, talking to younger ones about Mental Health Awareness Month and why they are doing the below activities may sound like this month we are focusing on taking care of our brains.

Just like we exercise to keep our bodies physically healthy, we also should make time to take care of our minds. Remember, it’s important to be kind to your mind!
Each day of the week has a theme to it. Every Monday will be Mental Health Monday. This will be a spirit theme day that focuses on mental health. Together Tuesday will remind us that social distancing can’t keep us from being there for one another. Well-being Wednesday is all about taking care of yourself. Thoughtful Thursday will focus on the importance of being kind to ourselves and others.

We will finish up the week with Fearless Friday by participating in a challenge.
Support the Renaissance Aevidum Club by sharing your activities with us on Facebook using the hashtags #BeKindToYourMind, #YouMatter
Mental Health Awareness Month 2020.pdf

Student Final Grades 2019-2020:

Earlier this week the updated grading procedures were shared via email. They are attached here for your reference. Renaissance Academy COVID-19 Grading Update (pdf)

Lower School Awards Assemblies:

The Lower School Leadership Team is preparing plans to recognize students through virtual Awards Assemblies for June 8th. Please anticipate emails and specifics from your child’s home base teacher and teaching team in regard to scheduling.

8th Grade Promotion / Recognition:

Plans are being explored for the last week of school in June. Please wait for additional information coming from the teaching teams.

Fall Athletics:

At this point no formal decisions can be made regarding fall athletics or required physicals. We are expecting guidance on this issue by the end of May and will communicate any updates or required next steps as they become available.

Repeat Information:

The following items were included as Repeated Information from previous emails (as a reference):

  • End of Year Dates for Planning
    • May 29th - Last day for NEW instruction
    • June 3rd - Last day for make-up / late work to be turned in for grading
    • June 5th - Grades close in the grade book
    • *Note: Seniors will receive slightly different dates
  • Technology Support Visit Tech Support Info Page
  • From 4/14/20 email below:
    •  Google Hangouts/Meets
    • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
    • High School Prom
    • High School Commencement
    • 8th Grade Promotion (updated above) & Kindergarten Graduation
    • Shirt Ceremonies, Move-up Days, Meet the Teacher
    • PBIS Points 

April 29, 2020 at 2:38 PM EDT

Subject: Grading Calculation Update - COVID-19 Closure

Good Afternoon

This update is regarding grade calculations for the Third Trimester of the current school year due to the mandatory school closure.In recognition of the current obstacles being faced globally, we wish to be sensitive and supportive of our families and their diverse needs. Renaissance Academy takes great pride in the establishment of relationships and the individualized support we give our students. As our staff is striving to maintain these standards at this time, we must acknowledge that the recently imposed roadblocks of distance do exist.

Our commitment is to continue to provide the World Class Education you family chose when enrolling your child at our school. In order to do this, we know, we must first ensure that your child  safe, and able to learn. We are providing an adjusted calculation for the third trimester which we feel will help to achieve this commitment while easing some of the stress or anxiety your child may be facing. The adjustments will provide breathing room for students and families who are struggling with the current expectations; while providing a place for those who wish to push themselves.

The below document provides the rationale and process which will be used. The table at the bottom of the document provides a clear matrix for grading. Please feel free to share this with your child as you see valuable

If you have questions or seek additional clarification please contact your principal. 

All the best, 
Dr. Guarino Buli 


April 24, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

I hope the message finds you well and healthy in your home or place of work. Each day I hear from families that are managing the changing times and balancing the new challenges that the past several weeks have given us. I continue to be thankful for all of you in this community; as you provide the motivation and the support to keep my staff striving to do what is best and what they love to do - be there for your kids!

The following dates were shared with our staff this week for planning purposes. I hope it is helpful for you as you continue to guide and support your students while at home.

  • May 29th - Last day for NEW instruction
  • June 3rd - Last day for make-up / late work to be turned in for grading
  • June 5th - Grades close in the grade book

*Note: Seniors will receive slightly different dates

After these dates we will allow for enrichment, team building and time for locker / classroom/ possession clean out. The specific details of this process will be rolled out as we solidify plans and receive guidance from Health Officials. There will be adequate time for families to sign-up to take care of end of year obligations and collect any personal items from the school.

The last official day of school remains unchanged on our academic calendar.

Families will receive additional information, by the end of April, regarding grading policies for the 3rd Trimester as they relate to the instructional changes and many adjustments your students have had to make. We are working to establish what we feel will be a fair, reasonable manner in which to evaluate learning without penalizing our students for the factors that they could not control during this time.

As a reminder if your student is experiencing any issues regarding technology please encourage them to let us know. They can always reach out to a teacher first, but if the issue cannot be resolved please contact our IT Team. The more details you can provide the better we can make sure you get the support of help that is needed. We do have processes in place for emergent needs submit a ticket for Tech help if needed. TECH HELP DESK

It has also been a pleasure to see the families who are able to participate in the social media activities led by our Counseling Team and Fine Arts Teams. Please be sure to check out the weekly suggestions and get in on the fun!

Thank you again, for your continued support and positivity through this challenging time.

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Updates & News:

Are you wondering about using PBIS Rewards with your kids at home? Here are some great tips that might help you!

From our Counselors:

Is there a child in your life or in your student’s life for whom you have a concern? If you are wondering how you can get safe, supportive help but don’t know who to call? Consider reviewing the Safe2Say resources. Our students in grades 6-12 are familiar with this tool; which can be used by anyone. See attached: S2SS Parent Brochure.pdf

Some great community resources for you and your family during this time:  RA Resources for Extended Closure Webpage

Don't forget to share your posts about your Acts of Kindness:

Also in this email:

*Repeat Information* from the April 17th & April 14th RA emails (below), including:

  • Book Fair starts next week on Monday and runs through May 3rd. Orders over $25 (books only) will ship for free to your home. (see order brochures below in the April 17th email)
  • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
  • Student Final Grades 2019-2020
  • High School Prom
  • High School Commencement
  • 8th Grade Promotion & Kindergarten Graduation
  • Shirt Ceremonies, Move-up Days, Meet the Teacher
  • PBIS Points 

April 20, 2020 at 11:37 AM EDT

Subject: Working Eligible Students

If you have a child who is of working eligible age please be advised that there have been some updates on PDE's website related to obtaining Working Papers due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

You can find that information on the PA Dept. of Ed's COVID-19 Working Papers Page.


April 17, 2020 at 5:22 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

As we wrap another week I hope this message finds you healthy and doing well with your families. For those that are working outside the home each day, we thank you for the part you are playing to keep our critical systems running and risking your own safety to keep all of us healthy and safe!

It was nice to see some of our families today during pick-ups at the school. We do not have another date set for this to occur again but will plan a final clean-out and item-return day, in June at the end of the school year. We do have processes in place for emergent needs and ask that you communicate with your principal or submit a ticket for Tech help if needed. Tech Support Page

It has also been a pleasure to see the families who are able to participate in the social media activities led by our Counseling Team and Fine Arts Teams. It has been a true lift of spirits to see that some of our students are finding fun, and creative ways to spend their days while at home. I look forward to what we will see each day!

Thank you again, for your continued support and positivity through this challenging time.

All the Best, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

Updates & News:

Yearbooks

Several families have asked about the possibility of purchasing yearbooks at this time. You are still able to do this via Josten's website. You will search for our school ‘Renaissance Academy’ and be sure to pick the Phoenixville, PA location. You will be promoted to select a Lower School or Upper School Yearbook and complete the purchase on the Josten's Website.

Book Fair - Yes, it still is! 

Happy Book Fair Week! Because we cannot have a live book fair, we are bringing the book fair home to you! It will start next week on Monday and run through May 3rd. Orders over $25 (books only) will ship for free to your home.

  • Elementary Scholastic Online Flyer (expired-deadline passed)
  • K-8 Scholastic Online Book Fair Flyer (expired-deadline passed)
  • Scholastic Preview Videos (expired-deadline passed)
  • Shop Scholastic Online (expired-deadline passed)

Lindsey Engler
School Library Media Specialist

From our Counselors: 

Some great community resources for you and your family during this time!

  • Resources for Extended Closure webpage
  • A Time To Be Kind - People during a crisis may feel like they don’t have control over things but there are still things that you do have control over. Being kind to people can have a positive effect on others and yourself. Kindness can improve relationships and make us feel loved and happy. Let's celebrate the last days of April with Random Acts of Kindness. Attached are recommended activities from your counselors and support services. Don't limit yourself, feel free to add your own.

Thinking of you all and thankful that you are all a part of the Renaissance Academy Community!

- Love, your counselors and support services

Also in this email:

*Repeat Information* from the April 14th RA email (below), including:

  • Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account
  • Student Final Grades 2019-2020
  • High School Prom
  • High School Commencement
  • 8th Grade Promotion & Kindergarten Graduation
  • Shirt Ceremonies, Move-up Days, Meet the Teacher
  • PBIS Points 

April 14, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT

Good Afternoon Families of Renaissance:

I hope this message finds you doing well and taking good care of yourselves during this time. During the ‘Spring Break’ week, many of our students worked hard to catch up on work and are showing such promise and effort to be a success during this challenge! I thank you for your support of them and of our teaching staff.

Please know that my empathy is with you as you work with your many responsibilities as parents, caregivers, supporters and hard-working members of our community. While this is not an easy time for many, it warms my heart to see and hear the stories of support and outreach that come from our communities. Take care to cherish the moments of positivity and sunshine that we have been gifted with, along with the storms that inevitably fill our hearts and minds - both in the dark skies as well as the daily media.

Wishing you all the best for health and safety,
Dr. Guarino Buli

News and Updates:

The following summaries cover some of the most frequently sought information at this time.

Does your child need items from the school?

On Friday, April 17th, we will have scheduled times to pick up items from lockers, classrooms, the school nurse, etc. You may also drop off a library book or other items if needed.

This is NOT a time to clean out for the ‘end of year’ as that will be scheduled for ALL Students to turn in books & school property, in June. You do not have to come this week, this is optional.

We are limiting the number of people in the building at one time. We will be practicing Social Distancing and expect anyone who comes into the building to follow the Governor's requirement to wear masks in public.

Please sign up below for a time to come to the school Please indicate on the sign-up if you need tech support as well!

Google Hangouts/Meets:

As announced previously began with a slow, controlled rollout of this platform in K-3 Classrooms and for Student Services. We are now opening the option up to all teachers/staff to use at their discretion. Please see the linked ‘Opt-Out’ form below. You will only need to fill this out if you DO NOT want your child to participate in Live Online Sessions.

Please complete this form by Friday, April 17th if you plan to do so.

Beginning Monday, April 20th your student may begin receiving email invites to these sessions. They will be delivered via the school email accounts only.

As a reminder, they are optional sessions. It is NOT a requirement for staff to use this format to teach lessons, and students will not be penalized if they are not able to participate at certain times.

Teachers, club advisors, coaches, etc. may begin using this format under the already established guidelines.

*Note if your child is in grades K-2 you have already viewed this form - you do not need to do this again.

Balances and Credits on your child’s portal/lunch account:
The School Business Office is in the process of removing portal fees for trips or events that have been canceled. We are working with vendors to receive refunds or deferments for future events/trips etc.

If you have made a payment for an activity that will not be taking place this school year, your student’s account will be credited and funds will be used to off-set balances or allocated toward future fees. Please allow a few weeks for all accounts to be updated as this is a somewhat manual process.

Student Final Grades 2019-2020:

It must be noted that the majority of our students are doing an excellent job of maintaining their school work. However, we do recognize that circumstances are not typical and learning is not easily transferable for all students, in all circumstances.

We wish to acknowledge the hard work of those who are achieving while not penalizing those who are unable to maintain their former level of study.

The administration will be making a decision to adjust 3rd Trimester Grades. A final determination of what this looks like has not yet been made. An announcement regarding the calculations of the 3rd Trimester will be made by the end of April and will be communicated to all families

High School Prom:

In an effort to maintain some normalcy and allow our kids to ‘be kids’ we are working to create a plan before taking steps to eliminate this year’s Prom. While the current date is at the end of May, we have a second date, tentatively scheduled, for mid-July. We will not be able to decide if this date can be used until the government provides guidance on rules regarding gatherings this summer. A decision will be made and announced a few weeks prior to the May date first, and by the 1st of June, if it appears we are able to use the venues per their regulations and safety mandates, for the back-up date.

High School Commencement:

Recognition materials and diplomas will be on hand and plans for a ceremony will be developed dependent upon guidance and safety mandates in the coming weeks. We are exploring options for flexibility in planning this event. At this time we have not made changes to the date; however, we are aware that will need to be addressed in the coming weeks. If a new date is to be established it will be announced by the end of May with any other information that is available at that time.

8th Grade Promotion & Kindergarten Graduation:

While options are being reviewed these events taking place will be largely dependent on the allowable use of spaces in June. If these ‘commemorations’ are to take place at the start of the new school year, a decision and announcement will be made by the end of May. Plans and format will be determined at a later date.

Shirt Ceremonies, Move-up Days, Meet the Teacher: 

Our teams are planning to make these important events meaningful and special in different ways. Some of these milestones will be part of our ‘welcome back’ schedule in August. Details and expectations for these events will be announced as they are planned and information becomes available.

PBIS Points:

Good News! They are not to be lost!
If your child was ‘stockpiling’ or planning to go on a spending spree at the end of the year - fear not. Please encourage them to keep earning! We will salvage all points from this year and roll them into the student accounts for the start of the new year. Whew! One win for us :)

(Points will appear in account balances during the First Trimester of the 2020-2021 School Year as they need to be manually entered; do not look for them on the first day.


April 9, 2020 at 2:33 PM EDT
Subject: COVID-19 4/9/2020

Good Afternoon,

As many of you are now aware we learned today that the official directive from Governor Wolf’s office is for K-12 Schools to remain closed for business through the end of the 2019-2020 School Year.

While this announcement came earlier than we may have expected it is not an outcome that has not been discussed or imagined over the past few weeks. This announcement has caused some worry, and some sadness, which only punctuates the critical nature of our adherence to recommendations and the need to keep everyone in our school community safe. This announcement does allow us to have a definitive idea of what the next months of our school year will look like, and most importantly allows us to plan with more concrete timelines.

Regarding Teaching and Learning:

The Renaissance Academy will move forward with the Continuity of Education plan and expectations for student learning, as outlined in the email sent on Friday, April 3, 2020. The assignments, activities and teaching expectations will commence on April 13, 2020, as noted previously. Plans for Learning (updated 4/3/20)

Regarding Everything Else:
I know that you now have many questions. The emails and messages I have received are evidence of your concern, your worry and your anticipation of what will happen in regard to your child’s schooling, beyond the educational piece. I am acutely sensitive to the many different viewpoints and areas of personal concern.

I will be working with the Administrative Team, our School Leadership and our Trustees to ensure we validate all of these concerns and honor the traditions and milestones that come with the passing of each school year. Whether your child was about to experience their first prom, walk across the stage at High School Graduation, move from a ‘green to red’ shirt or celebrate any of the MANY, equally important ‘rites of passage’

I hear your concern. In the next several days and week we will share plans to acknowledge and address all of these needs, and many more. You will be made aware of opportunities to support and be involved should you wish to be a part of the plans that may start to take shape.

I appreciate your patience, support, and encouragement during this time, and always.

I hope that you and your families are safe, healthy and well, 
Dr. Guarino Buli 


COVID-19 School Update - April 3

In compliance with the most recent announcement from the Governor's office, Renaissance Academy will remain closed until further notice. Per the announcement we are not yet able to ensure when we will reopen, as further periods of closure may be mandated.

Parents and Guardians: 
This email message comes to you for a variety of reasons. I wish to acknowledge where we are in the current climate of COVID-19, as a school; I wish to give some updates on the progress we have made, and I wish to provide a framework for the weeks to come.

Some of the information below may seem repetitive. This is somewhat necessary as there is A LOT of information from our school as well as many other organizations with which you interact. Everyone is receiving MANY emails and I want to ensure you have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge where we are. In the big picture we, as a school community have made some great strides in the past three weeks. We are at a 99% contact rate with our students in the online environment. THANK YOU to the staff and families who have worked to coordinate this new environment into their living rooms, kitchens, and everywhere else a child is comfortable to learn. From door-step deliveries of needed items to endless phone calls for support, everyone has pitched in!

Are we where we want to be? No! Teachers are planners and empathizers. Teachers are emotional and they are attached to their students. The LAST thing any of us wants is to be separated from our students and wishing we could put our eyes on them, and ensure they are doing ok! BUT, we are here… and we are all doing the best that we can.

The administration has had countless conversations about the issues, complexities, and questions that come to us daily. We are steadfast in the desire to provide the best possible plan that we can create at this time. We are in FULL agreement that nothing at this point should negatively impact your child’s grades or mindset and we are working to create a formula to avoid that at all costs. While ‘teaching and learning’ is our business, safety and mental health are our current priorities for both our families and our staff.

What you see below are the answers to some questions - some we have received, others we have imagined you may have. I hope these answers provide some peace of mind. You will also find a FRAMEwork for learning. This is detailed for both the Upper School and the Lower School. After three weeks of balancing the many needs of our students and our staff, we feel we are able to clearly articulate what the next stage will look like… regardless of how long that stage should go on.

Some Questions to Help You Get Answers:

  • Q: What if I know of a family that still does not have the internet?
    • A: PLEASE contact the principal of your school. We have worked to make contact with all families, so if someone has been missed we want to know - we can help!
  • Q: How do I get Tech Support?
    • A: In most cases, your child’s teacher can answer questions about assignments and platforms. If you need more technical help, please contact IT via this GOOGLE FORM: IT HELP DESK
  • Q: Why are some classes using Google Classroom, and others are not?
    • A: The students in grades 3rd-12th are using Google Classroom. The primary grades, K-2nd do not feel this is the best format for their students and have not moved to this platform.
  • Q: How do I get updates or see what is in Google Classroom?
    • A. If you are a parent or guardian of grades 3rd-12th, you can receive daily updates directly from Google (one email for all classes!) If you are NOT receiving these, please email one of your children’s teachers and ask them to INVITE you as a Parent/Guardian. Once you accept the invitation, you will get updates for all classes.
  • Q: Why are some teachers using Google Hangouts/Meets, but others are not?
    • A: As announced earlier this week, we have begun rolling this platform out slowly. It began with students receiving special services or therapies and is now being moved into regular education classes of grades K-2nd. We are introducing this platform slowly with the acknowledgment of parents for consent. We have chosen to act prudently in an environment that is new to us so that our teachers could feel confident and prepared. We hope to expand to more grades in the coming weeks.
  • Q: Will teachers begin teaching lessons online / live?
    • A: As a school, we will NOT be requiring live instruction. We have provided several means for recorded lessons to be provided, and the above mentioned Google Hangouts/Meets will eventually be an OPTION for staff.
  • Q: What will the Google Hangouts/Meets be used for?
    • A: This is at the discretion of the teachers/tutors. Some may choose to ‘meet’ groups for Q&A or for a review of a concept. Others may use this forum to check-in on tasks and organization. It may also be used for community and team building.
  • Q: Why are you not requiring teachers to provide instruction LIVE?
    • A: It is not our intention to become a provider of online lessons. Our school and our systems are not designed for that format and we do not feel it is best for the overall community to demand staff or students be ‘present’ at a certain time or on a certain day. We are sensitive to the fact that EVERYONE has many new demands on them at this time and requiring ‘live’ participation is not something that we will be endorsing.
  • Q: Will our teachers still be paid, how will we be sure they aren’t going to ‘disappear’?
    • A: Governor Wolf has provided guidance that requires School Districts to continue payments to Charter Schools. Renaissance has continued to pay the salaries, benefits, etc. of all staff during the closure and has no intention of ceasing to do so.
  • Q: How do you know the staff is working? How are they receiving training?
    • A: All of our teams have continued to meet since the first day of our closure. Meetings happen via Google Hangouts and members of the support teams and administration also attend many of these meetings. Staff will earn Act 48 Credit for the continued planning and preparation work they are doing during the closure.
  • Q: Why are you still having ‘Spring Break’?
    • A: In a word - TIRED!

Many of you as parents and many of our teachers have been working TWICE as hard over the past three weeks. In most cases, we are now working long days at one job and managing our kids, homes, etc. without skipping a beat. Many of our families have one or more parents working outside the home, still having to manage their child’s school day on a computer. We are taking this week ‘off’ to allow everyone to catch up. Students can complete any assignments they haven’t had a chance to do, teachers can catch up on planning or grading… and hopefully, everyone can take a little time off!

I sincerely hope the above information is helpful. As always, I continue to welcome your feedback. The principals and I are earnestly trying to take all recommendations into consideration and make decisions that benefit the school as a whole. We are here to help. The positive emails are as welcome as constructive.

All the best for a safe, healthy week ahead. Blessings to any who will be celebrating Easter or Passover in the week to come.

Dr. Guarino Buli

Plans for Learning (updated 4/3/20)  Reminder - During the week of April 6th - 10th no NEW work will be assigned as we expect all of our students to use this time to take a breath, get caught up on outstanding assignments and prepare for the next stage of this journey, whatever that may be. Staff will not be expected to communicate during this week; however, some will be available at their own choosing


April 1, 2020 at 10:18 am EDT
Subject: COVID-19 School Update

Parents and Guardians:

As the days move along we are seeing more consistent interaction and work completion from many students. Please continue to support your students and remind them to do their best!  We are not expecting the current situation to be the ‘same’ as a regular school, and our goal is to bridge the gaps and encourage connections and learning.

We have begun offering Google-Meets for a live format option in the cases of students who need specific services. We will begin using this tool as an option in Primary Grades. Families in K-2 should expect to see a consent form via email in the next 24 hours. This option will be made available to more grade levels, at teacher discretion, in the coming weeks.  

Reminder - During the week of April 6th - 10th no NEW work will be assigned as we expect all of our students to use this time to take a breath, get caught up on outstanding assignments and prepare for the next stage of this journey, whatever that may be. Staff will not be expected to communicate during this week; however, some will be available at their own choosing.  

Renaissance is proud to be working in alignment with the guidance provided by the US DOE and PDE. We feel our approach to providing a continuity of learning to your child is being executed with fidelity and to the best of our abilities. Additional measures are being rolled out in the next several days which will further enhance your child's support and expected services.  

All the Best and Be Well, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

In compliance with  the most recent announcements from the Governor's office Renaissance Academy will remain closed until further notice. Per the announcement we are not yet able to ensure when we will reopen, as further periods of closure may be mandated.  

Current Status In our Buildings:

  • Daily classes - Canceled through April 30th pending re-assessment
  • Parent Volunteers / Visitors - Canceled through April 30th pending re-assessment
  • After School activities involving present students - Canceled April 30th pending re-assessment
  • After School events/education / outside vendors - Canceled April 30th, beyond April 30th on a case by case basis 
  • Field Trips - Canceled through April 30th
  • Staff Professional Development / Travel - Canceled through April 30th *online PD Allowed
  • New programs / Visitors - Canceled until April 30th, beyond April 30th on a case by case basis 
  • Outside community tournaments and competitions  - At CEO Discretion on case by case basis 
  • SLC Conferences - Canceled

Plans for Learning:

Student Continuity of Learning will continue as we enter the long-term anticipation of school closure. We are confident that having this plan in place will better prepare us should the closures continue beyond this initially declared point.

Staff will be assessed during the upcoming week if adjustments should be made and if other provisions are needed.  At the end of this week, the Upper School and Lower School will be providing a revised plan for learning which will take effect after Spring Break.

After three weeks of working with families, making adjustments and reflecting on progress the staff feels most able to move forward with a structure that can provide the continuity of learning regardless of the timeframe ahead of us.

The following repeated information was also included in this communication email to parents. It can be found in the previous emails listed below. These include:


March 30, 2020 at 11:15 am

Good Morning - 
I was made aware this morning that Renaissance Academy has one confirmed positive case of COVID-19 among our staff. While I will not share specifics out of respect for privacy, I do feel it is important for our community to have full transparency on the diagnosis.

The staff member has been isolated from school since we closed the buildings on March 13, 2020, and was not present at either of our two designated pick-up days.
Please make your best personal decisions regarding your health if you have any concerns for yourself or your students.

The staff member is feeling well, remains at home and has very mild symptoms. I know all of our school community joins me in wishing them a swift recovery.

If you have information to share that you feel will benefit our school community, please reach out to me directly.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Dr. Guarino Buli 


March 27, 2020 at 4:05 PM EDT

Parents and Guardians: 
We are now nearing the end of our second week of at-home continuity of learning. We are very proud of the work and determination that our students and staff have put into keeping up good learning practices, managing the new expectations and reaching out for help as needed.

We are directing teachers to be sure that grades for work completed are now being entered consistently. Any missing assignments will continue to be marked as 'missing' and will not yet be changed to 'zeros' Overall grades will begin to reflect, more accurately, the work being done.

Beginning next week, Upper School students will begin to see 'zeros' for work not completed as of March 27th. Staff are instructed to allow for late work, and be flexible as some students are just getting 'connected' but the place holders will begin to hold all of our community accountable. Along with this, the volume of work is being scaled back slightly to allow all students to get caught up and comfortable with past assignments. We understand that some are working smoothly, while others are acclimating to the routines.

In some instances (primarily in the Lower School) students are being given grades for participation and completion to help them adjust to the new routines. In all grade levels, formal assessments will begin to receive final grades and should be a reflection of the student's independent work.

If a specific situation arises and your child needs support, assistance or additional time to complete the assignment, please reach out to their teachers.

During the week of April 6th - 10th no NEW work will be assigned as we expect all of our students to use this time to take a breath, get caught up on outstanding assignments and prepare for the next stage of this journey, whatever that may be. Staff will not be expected to communicate during this week; however, some will be available at their own choosing.

Renaissance is proud to be working in alignment with the guidance provided by the US DOE and PDE. We feel our approach to providing a continuity of learning to your child is being executed with fidelity and to the best of our abilities. Additional measures are being rolled out in the next several days which will further enhance your child's support and expected services.

All the Best and Be Well, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

COVID-19 School Updates - March 27, 2020

Reminder:   In compliance with this week’s announcement from the Governor's office Renaissance Academy will remain closed through April 6, 2020. Per the announcement, we are not yet able to ensure when we will reopen, as further periods of closure may be mandated.

Current Status In our Buildings:

  • Canceled through April 6th pending re-assessment:
    • Daily Classes
    • Parent Volunteers / Visitors
    • Field Trips
    • After School activities involving present students
    • After School events/education / outside vendors - beyond April 6th on a case by case basis
    • New programs / Visitors - beyond April 6th on a case by case basis
    • Staff Professional Development / Travel - *online PD Allowed
  • Princeton Review - Course will be moved to an online format. Students / Families have been contacted directly by the instructor.
  • Outside community tournaments and competitions - At CEO Discretion on case by case basis

Plans for Learning (Updated):

Student Continuity of Learning will continue as we enter Week Three of the Closure. We are confident that having this plan in place will better prepare us should the closures continue beyond this initially declared point.

Staff will be assessed during the upcoming week if adjustments should be made and if other provisions are needed.

Upper School Student Expectations* 

Grading:  Beginning March 30th all assignments due between March 23rd-March 27th will receive a ‘zero’ if they are missing

Moving forward students will receive zeros for work not turned in by the due date; students should reach out to teachers regarding issues meeting due dates and late work may incur a penalty at teacher discretion

Week of March 30th only:

  • In order to help students who are behind, the workload will be cut for this week
  • Core content teachers should only plan to assign 1-2 hours of work, maximum. This is up to the teacher’s best judgment. FA continues with one assignment per week.
  • The overall workload will be reassessed for the week after Spring Break as we learn more about our closure.
  • NO work is to be assigned or due over the Spring Break (4.6.20-4.13.20)

Makeup Work:  Work due from 3/16-4/3 can be made up with NO penalty and turned in by April 13th 

See above grading policies for work assigned and due after April 13th

Lower School Student Expectations*
  • 1 assignment daily, per core subject
  • 1 assignment, minimum, per week, per Fine Art classes
    • Beginning March 30th, Fine Art Assignments will be streamlined into ONE document for easy organization.
  • Assignments not turned in will be marked ‘missing’ with no ‘zero’ to account for students who may become ill and are unable to complete work. Based on the full extent of the closure, reasonable accommodations will be made to allow for make-up work.

Teachers and staff will be expected to reply to emails within the already established 24 hour period, on workdays. Emails sent outside of regular school day hours will be responded to on the next business day.

*All students in grades 3rd - 12th are being provided assignments via Google Classroom.

From our Counselors:


Mar 25, 2020 at 1:45 PM EDT

Subject: School Pick-up Friday, March 27th, 10am - 1pm

Good Afternoon - 
For families who are in need of access to items at school, we will have an opportunity to pick up this Friday, March 27, 2020. Students are NOT required to accompany you to the building to make this pick-up.

Parent Pick up of Chromebooks

This will be in the Main Lobby of the Upper School Building from 10 am - 1 pm. This will be for ANYONE who needs to pick up a Chromebook. ALL grade levels, all students are eligible to come and pick up. Please feel free to spread the word so that we capture as many families as possible!

We ask for your patience in allowing our staff to pass these out in small groups and with adequate space to maintain the expectation of Social Distancing for everyone’s safety.

Parent Pick up of Medication

If you left medication at school, in anticipation of your child’s return, but have now determined you need it at home please plan to pick up on Friday, March 27, 2020, from 10 am- 1 pm. You may enter through the Upper School main entrance and go to the Upper School Nurse’s office. A staff member will be present to help you.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation,
Dr. Guarino Buli


March 24th, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Subject:  RA Board of Trustees Meeting 3/26/20

Good Day, Renaissance Families and staff,

As we embark on our second week of our new endeavor, I truly hope that each of your families are safe and healthy. I am sure that the stress of the new normal is still hanging on, but I am continually uplifted by seeing the happy posts on Facebook. I know we are all longing for the day that we can return to life as we knew it but each of us are making the best of every day we have!

As noted in my communication, last week, the Renaissance Academy Board has decided to host our monthly Board Meeting virtually, through Zoom. This Thursday, March 26th, at 6:30 PM, I invite you to join us.

Instructions on how to join this meeting:

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything or have any questions.

All the Best, 
Dr. Guarino Buli


March 23, 2020 6:17 PM EDT

Greetings Parents and Guardians,

As this Monday draws to a close we know a few more facts about where we stand as a Commonwealth. We, at RA, are reacting to the newest information to the best of our ability and I will try to answer some of the questions I have received; as well as a few that I anticipate receiving shortly.

While we know that your child’s education is important and we are doing all we can to smoothly continue teaching and learning, I want to emphasize that the health and safety of ALL of our Knights is our PRIMARY concern. We will not act in any way that we feel might endanger the well-being of our students or staff and appreciate your patience through all of these days away from school.

As a reminder, NO Student will be penalized for work not yet done, or not done on time. As noted in the first message on Friday, March 13th, teachers will use place holders for assignments to keep track of items, but NOTHING will receive a ‘zero’. If you have a question about this please contact the teacher directly.

All the Best, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

COVID-19 School Update - March 23, 2020

In compliance with today’s announcement from the Governor's office, Renaissance Academy will remain closed through April 6, 2020. Per the announcement, we are not yet able to ensure when we will reopen, as further periods of closure may be mandated.

Some questions related to the above, and our state of affairs:

Q. Will you eliminate all or some of Spring Break? 
A. That decision cannot yet be made for several reasons. We will need the Governor's office to provide a notice when we are allowed to open. As our school is dependent on district bussing, we would need to negotiate for these days, not currently on our calendar. It is most unlikely that we would hold school on the currently scheduled Spring Break Days.

Q. Will you eliminate all or some of the SLC days in late April? 
A. Again, decisions cannot yet be made for several reasons. We will need the Governor's office to provide a notice when we are allowed to open. If we are open at that time our school is dependent on district bussing, we would need to negotiate for these days, not currently on our calendar. We will explore this option if it appears we will be able to open.

Q. Will you administer any of the State Standardized Tests? 
A. No, these tests (PSSA, PASA & Keystone) were canceled per PDE late last week. The days for these tests, if the school is open, will be regular instruction days.

Q. Will you administer AP (Advanced Placement) Exams? 
A. Communication regarding AP Exams was sent to High School Families. Additional follow-up and options for your student, if enrolled in these courses, will be coming out this evening as well.

Q. My child still needs to pick up a Chrome book? 
A. We will have an opportunity to pick up additional Chromebooks. That date/time has not yet been released as we hope to condense any need to access the building and alleviate unnecessary contact among staff, families, etc. during this time.

Q. What is the school’s ‘Goal for Learning’ during this time? 
A. Now that we know we will be managing this system for longer than the original two-weeks, you will see some changes. During Week Two (Week of March 23) things will remain much the same as last week, with some reasonable adaptations. In the upcoming weeks, you will see more new learning and more concrete expectations; with adjustments as reasonable. Our goal is to keep learning GOING, but also to focus on critical information. We know this will not be the same for everyone, for many reasons, and are maintaining our expectation that everyone DO THEIR BEST!

Q. What will happen to funds we paid toward field trips, activities, etc. that have been postponed or may not happen? 
A. All payments to the portal will remain on your child’s account. If the event or activity is rescheduled, the payment will apply to the new date. If the event or activity is canceled we will work to credit your account for future payments. If a refund is needed this will be managed as time allows. No action will be taken on student accounts during the time of the closure.


March 20, 2020 at 4:10 PM EDT

Greetings Parents and Guardians,

Happy FRIDAY!
We are close to wrapping up Week One of this new adventure. Thank you so very much for your patience, cooperation, and feedback during this time. Our staff is truly working hard to make decisions as new information is flowing in every day. Our primary goal right now is to ensure that all of our kids are having continuity of education with some teacher contact, feeling supported and getting comfortable with new and changing expectations.

We do believe we have worked out a few kinks this week, and with your feedback, are in the process of taking care of more. As of today, over 250 of you have checked out Chromebooks for home use; that is in addition to the nearly 500 Upper School Students who have their Chromebooks home each day. I am so proud that we are able to provide this resource to our students!

We are aware that some of our families are still not able to access the internet. By the end of the day, today, the principals will be doing an audit of any students who have not yet ‘checked in’ with a teacher. We will begin reaching out to those families more aggressively to establish the cause. If you are in need of assistance to access an internet connection we will do our very best to help you out. *If you are aware of a family that does not have internet or is possibly missing these communications, please email me directly!*

As a reminder, NO STUDENT will be penalized for work not yet done, or not done on time. As noted in the first message on Friday, March 13th, teachers will use place holders for assignments to keep track of items, but NOTHING will receive a ‘zero’. If you have a question about this please contact the teacher directly.

I am sure many of you heard the news yesterday, related to the cancellation of standardized testing for some students. As I said earlier this week, Renaissance is not in this for the matter of minimums, or checking off a box. We want your child to continue to feel excited and engaged in school and to love learning. The fact that these tests will be removed for this year, does not change my staff’s excitement about teaching and or wanting to continue their best efforts for your child.

All the Best, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

COVID-19 School Update - March 20, 202

In compliance with the stat-wide school closures, Renaissance Academy will remain closed for 10 school days. The re-opening is planned for March 30, 2020. This will be re-assessed periodically and updates will be provided.


Getting Support for Technology:

While staff and students are working at home, we recognize they will have issues and needs related to their technologies. Our IT Team is here to support everyone to the extent that they are able. These employees will NOT be on-site at the school but are able to access resources if needed, to support your technology needs.

There will be service desk hours will be from 8 am-2 pm on weekdays. If, due to parent obligations and work schedules you are not able to access service during that time, appointments will be created for all stakeholders.

For Tech help with class expectations and content, your FIRST action should be to contact the classroom teacher from whom the assignment came. In most instances, they will be able to direct and assist you. If the matter is beyond the teacher’s ability to help, you should contact our IT Team.

Please contact IT via this Technology Service Google Form

If your device is damaged and you are not able to access the Google Form, you can call via phone for support. The support line is 610-415-4279. You will not get a live voice. Please leave a detailed description of your problem and a means to contact you. An IT Team Member will fill out a form on your behalf.

With either method of contact, an IT Team Member will contact you within 24 Business Hours of receiving your request

From our Counselors:

Check Out RA Virtual Spirit Week! Your School Counseling Team misses you! Join in for a Week of School Spirit, from wherever you are! We hope you will share photos on our school, FB Page! RA Virtual Spirit Week - March 23 - March 27.pdf

Also in this RA Communication Email

The following repeated information was also included in this communication email to parents. It can be found in the previous emails listed below. These include:
  • Access to Meals/Food Assistance (Email Dated March 13th at 12:04 PM EDT)
  • Access to the Internet (Email Dated March 13th at 12:04 PM EDT)
  • Current Status In our Buildings (Email Dated March 13th at 12:04 PM EDT)
  • Plans for Learning (Email Dated March 16, 2020 at 8:00 AM EDT)
    • All students in grades 3rd - 12th are being provided assignments via Google Classroom.
  • Resource for Children - Call for Kids Compassion, Weekly relaxation calls available for kids and teens (Email Dated March 17th at 2:45 PM EDT)


March 17, 2020 at 2:45 PM EDT

COVID-19 School Update

Greetings Parents and Guardians,

As we embark on figuring out this ‘new normal’ I want to commend you and your students.  We are only just beginning this method of working with our families and we are well aware that what we put in place on day one will look very different by day three, day five, day ten, and dare I say…… 

The feedback we are receiving is both appreciative and constructive, and I thank you for your honesty.  If you are already feeling stressed by the school learning expectations I ask you to please, take pause! Some of our students have not yet picked up Chromebooks, others are still seeking help with internet connections. NO STUDENT will be penalized for work not yet done, or not done on time. As noted in the first message on Friday, March 13th, teachers will use place holders for assignments to keep track of items, but NOTHING will receive a ‘zero’. 

If you, as a parent, feel that the work is too much or taking your child too long….. STOP, let them take a break, send the teacher a note just as you would if homework were too much any other day of the year. The teacher will do their best to work with you, support and accommodate. Please be reasonable with allowing them to respond to you. 

Also, I see many of you are sharing resources, online game sites, learning platforms that are free, digital field trips… this is all great, however, don’t pressure yourself to add MORE. Stick to what the teaching staff is using, and what your child is familiar with. As time goes by if you feel ready and wanting to add more to your routine that is your choice but this is NOT a competition. Everyone is expected only to do their best. 

I do feel it needs to be said that Renaissance is not interested in meeting minimums, or checking off a box. We do not need anyone to tell us what quality education looks like.  We want your child to continue to feel excited and engaged in school and to love learning. My staff’s excitement for the challenge will help to provide a smooth transition into whatever is in the future. The effort now may seem huge but it will provide a bridge to whatever comes next. We are Building Life Long Learners in partnership with each of you. 

All the Best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

*If we deem it necessary to activate further closure that decision will be communicated via Skylert email and phone messages. Please make sure your current contact information is up to date and that none of the school generated messages are going to your SPAM folders.

Note:  This 3/17/20 email also included  the information which was contained in the March 13th update below. 

Updates to that email:

Resource for Children:

This has been provided by our Aetna, RA’s health insurance provider. It is open to all children in our region. Please feel free to use this resource.