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.

Friday, April 9, 2021 at 3:02 PM EDT - RA Weekly News

Good Afternoon,

We have hit yet another milestone in concluding our last trimester SLC of the school year. From hopeful conversations, plans to make the last remaining weeks meaningful to shared relief that the end is near, I know these days are an important time for our staff and students. Thank you to all for putting in the long hours and ensuring that each conversation and plan personally address our students’ needs and success.

In the next several weeks, you will receive updates and information regarding plans for end-of-year closure as well as celebrations. We know this time of year holds a special place in our students’ minds with both the accomplishments they have reached and the opportunities to celebrate. Field trips and parties are not quite the same these days, but our staff has been planning for some equally enjoyable opportunities. We seek some safe yet fun ways to wrap up the year as we look to May and June. Information will come from your child’s teachers or principles as plans are solidified.

Thank you for a successful transition into spring and a solid finish for the remainder of the year.

All the best,
Dr. Guarino Buli

General Dates and Reminders

  • April 12th - Lower School ONSITE students return (students ALREADY onsite)
  • April 12th - Board Development Committee Meeting
  • April 13th - SATs Onsite
  • April 13th - Family Q&A Session
  • April 14th - Board HR Committee Meeting
  • April 14th - FSO Meeting 6:30 pm
  • April 15th - Board Voting Meeting 6:30 pm
  • April 19th - Upper School ONSITE students return (students ALREADY onsite)
  • April 20th - Upper School Band Fundraiser
  • April 27th - Photo Retake Day

Pandemic EBT Info

There will be another round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT) to households that qualify.

You can do a very important thing to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible is to make sure that the school database has your correct address. You can verify your current information in Skyward. If the information is not accurate, contact naomi.siedlecki@rak12.org or janet.tuckett@rak12.org

Households will receive money on their EBT cards (or receive EBT cards in the mail) for their Free and Reduced Students only for days that their students were virtual. If your student(s) moved to in-person in school and is eligible, they will only receive funds for the virtual days.

There will be three distributions of funds for Free and Reduced students:

  • The 1st distribution is due late Spring- this covers the months of Sept 2020- Nov 2020
  • The 2nd distribution will be toward the end of June-this covers Dec 2021- Feb 2021
  • The 3rd Distribution will be toward the end of July- this covers March 2021- May 2021

One way to qualify for these EBT Funds is to be approved as Free or Reduced for school meals. If you have received an email or letter from Food Service any time since July 1, 2020, stating that you are classified ‘free or reduced,’ you don’t have to do anything. If you haven’t received anything and think you may qualify, you should fill out a School Meal Application right away. To fill out an application for the Free and Reduced Lunch and Breakfast Program, please go to www.schoolcafe.com. If you don’t already have an account, you will have to set up a new account and fill out the application.

Please remember that your application is determined (either Free, Reduced, or Paid) your students will still be FREE for the rest of THIS school year.

After the distribution starts and you have questions about the EBT Program, you can contact EBT Customer Service at 484-363-2137.

Ginamarie Hoy, Food Service Coordinator at Ginamarie.Hoy@rak12.org

Attention Emergency Meal Participants:

Effective Friday, April 9th, our pick-up window will change to 9:00 am to 11:00. We are changing the pickup window because of the increasing temperatures of the Springtime weather. There will be no meal pick-up on Friday, April 2, 2021.

From the School Nurse:

If your child has received the COVID 19 vaccine, please feel free to send us documentation to add it to their health record.*This optional vaccine is not required.

If your child is attending school on campus and you are calling them out sick for a day, please notify the school nurse at nurse@rak12.org if their symptoms may be COVID related.

As a reminder, students who need medications at school will need to have the appropriate form completed by both the physician and the parent. A parent/guardian must drop off all prescriptions. You MAY NOT put medicines in your student's backpack to bring to school. Forms are available at rak12.org by clicking on Medical & Health under the For Parents tab.

Did you know your child can be tested at school for COVID should they display symptoms or are deemed a close contact? Please go to Student Testing for the consent form and directions for creating and printing a QR code for your child.

School Sponsored Events / Activities:

Senior Project Support

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in numerous ways; for the children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) it has limited the time they can spend with family, friends, and other visitors. In these challenging times, these visitors have been the highlight of their stay at the hospital. Through my project, Connections Through Art, I am auctioning one-of-a-kind, extraordinary art pieces created by our own RA students and staff.

All proceeds from this event, taking place from April 5th to April 19th, will implement new activities for the children at CHOP and hopefully let them know that they are not alone. Even if you cannot afford to purchase one of our pieces, all donations will be greatly appreciated by me and CHOP. To either donate or bid on a piece of art, please Visit the Online Auction Site

Thanks to all the artists who contributed, and thank you in advance to those who provide generous support.

Ethan Duong, RA Student 

Music Department Support

Put Tuesday, April 20th on your schedule/calendar!! (4-8 pm)Come on out to California Tortilla in Phoenixville! Enjoy GREAT FOOD, long-lost friends, family, excellent spring weather, and 80's music! (They love their 80's theme at Cal Tort). Dine-in, sit on the patio, or order take-out from 4 pm-8 pm. 25% of the proceeds will go to our US Bands to help defer the cost of our future Band trips! The whole RA community is invited! Use the secret word at the counter to have your purchase benefit the US Band Program. (Music). Please see the attached flyers for the menu and details. RA Band California Tortilla Fundraiser & Menu (pdf)

Hope to see you!!

Mr.. Jonathan A. Springer, Instrumental Music Teacher, 4-12 
Renaissance Academy Charter School 
jonathan.springer@rak12.org 
610 983 4080 x 266

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.

Opportunities for our Students!

On Saturday, April 10, in partnership with Harrisburg University and the HU Storm, we will be hosting a virtual Scholastic Esports Summit.

This event is for students, coaches, teachers, parents, administrators, and community members. We are bringing the entire Esports community together!

Attendees will hear from panelists about coaching, high school and collegiate student experiences, academics, have an opportunity to network with others in the community, and speak with vendors.

This is an excellent career readiness opportunity for our students and a learning opportunity for parents and educators.

Registration is now open and is only $5 per attendee!.

To register or if you have any questions, contact Kammas Kersch at kammask@cciu.org.

Student Contest Opportunity (not RA Sponsored)

Good afternoon,

I’m writing to share some information about The Libertarian Party of Chester County’s “Future of Freedom” student essay contest and to ask that you include information about our contest on any list of opportunities you maintain for your school. The contest is open to all students over 13 who are enrolled in grades 7-12 and who live in Chester County.

To participate in this year’s essay contest, students are asked to submit a brief essay of no more than 500 words, describing a local, state, or national law that “shouldn’t be.” Submissions are due by May 1, 2021. Prizes of $250, $150, and $100 will be awarded to first, second, and third-place essays, respectively.

The complete contest rules and eligibility can be found on The Libertarian Party of Chester County Website and questions can be directed to me at vicechair@lpchesco.com.

Thank you in advance for your help; we are looking forward to giving back to the Chester County student community.

Jacquelyn Crane, Vice Chair LPCC -vicechair@lpchesco.com

Repeat Information

The following previously shared information was also included in this communication:

From April 5gh, 2021 Email below:

  • 2021 Yearbook Information (including picture re-take day, 4/27/21)

From March 19th, 2021 Email below:

  • Fall 2021 Sports Registration Now Open

Friday, April 9, 2021 at 3:01 PM EDT - Phased Reopening Weekly Update

Good Afternoon,
The following communication is in alignment with the message sent out on Tuesday of this week.

The current COVID-19 Rates in both Chester and Montgomery County have been in the Substantial range for multiple weeks. This data requires our mitigation plan to be followed, and, as RA has determined, we will remain at 6ft Distancing. We are not able to achieve that level consistently for the next set of age groups. Therefore it is not safe to bring additional students onsite.

Our community and our trustees have consistently supported our efforts to maintain what we feel has been successful mitigation. I appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience as we have continued to follow our plans.

Be well,  
Dr. Guarino Buli

Please note:

  • 5th Grade onsite return - Date TBA
  • 6th Grade onsite return - Date TBA
  • LS K-4 currently onsite groups - Return April 12th
  • 5th/6th Matrix Supervision currently onsite - Return April 12th
  • SAT Testing - No change at this time - April 13th
  • MS & HS Matrix Supervision currently onsite - Return April 19th
  • Spring Athletics - HS Baseball - Return April 22nd
  • Spring Athletics - Girls’ Softball - please refer to the school calendar
  • Planned outdoor activities - No change at this time - please refer to the school calendar

View Phased Return Schedule Table from the RA Reopening page.

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 sessions are remote, via RA Google Meets Q&A Sessions or by phone: ‪(US) +1 402-685-0091‬ PIN: ‪737 983 624‬#

These sessions are open to the school community and recorded for later viewing.

The next session is April 13, 2021, 5:30 pm 

LS Schedule Reminder

As of February 16, 2021, ALL Lower School students follow the Posted K-6th Grade Schedules regardless of their online or onsite placements.


Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9:32 AM EDT - Covid-19 Positive Case on Campus

Good Morning,

While we have not resumed onsite learning since the recent Spring Break, we have had multiple reports of positive cases in our community. We will not report cases of staff or students if they are remaining in remote learning and have had no contact with our campus but we will continue to report cases of persons who were or were expected to be on campus. We will continue to track all cases for necessary quarantine and mitigation.

Over the past 24 hours, we received a report of three POSITIVE COVID-19 Cases regarding a person who has been on our campus. Two of the three have not been on campus since prior to the break. One of the three was on campus with exposure to RA Staff or Students yesterday, April 7, 2021.

Close contacts are being contacted at this time. Anyone identified as a Close Contact (per the CDC definition) will be made aware directly. We will continue the process of contract tracing to determine if anyone else may be a close contact. If your student is considered a close contact, you will be made aware and they will be directed to quarantine.

If your child was on campus or may have been exposed to COVID-19, It is recommended that you observe them over the next few days for any of the common symptoms of COVID-19. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Please visit Chester County's Health Department Webpage for more information and contact your medical provider if you have concerns.

The confirmed positive cases will be reported accordingly to the Chester County Department of Health and sanitation guidelines will be followed by our staff. For more information about our COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan or Sanitation Protocol, see the documents posted on RA's School Reopening Plan Page.

The staff and faculty at RA are taking every precaution in the interest of staff and students' safety, as informed by the Chester County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. If you have further questions about the safety and precautions that we are taking please contact me.

Thank you for your support in our continued efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Thank you and your child for wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, social distancing, and staying home when you do not feel well.

Onsite families are reminded to fill out the Daily COVID Screener at least one hour prior to the start of the school day, or no later than 7 am.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Be well,
Dr. Gina Guarino Buli


Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 2:27 PM EDT - Phased Return Plan Update

Good Afternoon,

Earlier this morning, a communication went to all fifth-grade families. The decision was communicated that the plan to bring 5th grade back on APRIL 12th is on hold at this time. The following bullets are provided to give some specifics, which I hope will answer any additional questions.

This decision was made based on the previously published Health and Safety Plan. The current COVID-19 Rates in both Chester and Montgomery County have been in the Substantial range for multiple weeks. This data requires our mitigation plan to be followed, and, as RA has determined, we will remain at 6ft Distancing. We are not able to achieve that level consistently for the next set of age groups. Therefore it is not safe to bring additional students onsite.

Our community and our trustees have consistently supported our efforts to maintain what we feel has been successful mitigation. I appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience as we have continued to follow our plans.

Be well,
Dr. Guarino Buli

Current Plan- Please Note:

  • 5th Grade onsite return - Date TBA
  • 6th Grade onsite return - Date TBA
  • LS K-4 currently onsite groups - Return April 12th
  • 5th/6th Matrix Supervision currently onsite - Return April 12th
  • SAT Testing - No change at this time - April 13th
  • MS & HS Matrix Supervision currently onsite - Return April 19th
  • Spring Athletics - No change at this time - please refer to the school calendar
  • Planned outdoor activities - No change at this time - please refer to the school calendar

Visit the School Reopening Page to View the Phased Return Table

Reopening Q & A Sessions

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

The sessions are remote, via Google Meets Q &A Session Link

These sessions are open to the school community and recorded for later viewing.

The next sessions are as follows:

  • April 7, 2021 5:30 pm
  • April 13, 2021 5:30 pm

1st-6th Grade Schedule Reminder:

As of February 16, 2021, all 1st-6th grade students follow an 8am-3:30pm schedule regardless of their online or onsite placements. View Plans for Learning Schedule Page.


Monday, April 5th, 2021 at 7:54 AM EDT - Welcome Back & a Few Reminders

Good Morning,
 

SLC Sign-ups - Third Trimester

Attention Emergency Meal Participants:

Effective Friday, April 9th, our pick-up window will change to 9:00 am to 11:00. We are changing the pickup window because of the increasing temperatures of the Springtime weather.

2020-2021 Yearbook for Sale

Now available: Order RA Yearbook Online

Please note: 

  • For this school year only, there will be ONE yearbook produced for K-12. There will not be separate Lower School or Upper School Yearbooks.
  • Books will be mailed directly to students homes, and the cost of mailing is included in the purchase price of the yearbook.
  • Yearbook Photos - Class photos taken during Materials Pick-up will be used in the year book.
  • If you were not able to attend, there is a photo make-up day, April 27th. Retake Day Letter for Parents.pdf

If your child is not able to enter the building you may submit a photo for use in the yearbook: Photos that are sent in are not guaranteed to be in the yearbook.

Photo criteria:

  • Must be taken with a plain background
  • School appropriate attire must be worn
  • Photo should be taken from the chest up
  • No filters should be used
  • Photo should be 300 dpi or will risk the chance of being blurry
  • Email photo, students full name, grade, and homebase teacher to rayearbook@rak12.org

Friday, March 26, 2021 at 1:40 PM EDT - RA Weekly News

Weekly News

Good Afternoon,
TGIF - in so many ways! This sure has been an incredibly long week for some of us. While the more pleasant weather is welcome, it sure does produce a distraction for our students who have spent a good part of the past year doing little else than going to school. I hope that your students can continue to fill their days with safe, healthy alternatives to being ‘stuck inside!’

With the excitement of a break upon us, no one can help but be a little antsy. Even if your student may not have an exciting plan, a break from the every day routines is always welcome! A little extra sleep, playtime, or a chance to change scenery is undoubtedly welcome.

I wish you and your student a safe, enjoyable break from school! A bit of rejuvenation to make the last push to the end of the year is just what we need!

COVID Updates:

As reported earlier this week, we had a person on campus with a positive COVID result. I know this can be unnerving, and I appreciate our community’s patience and cooperation in how the school responded. The team debriefs allowed us to question some practices and seek out areas to tighten our mitigation. I am confident that the processes we have in place are reasonable and continue to feel that if everyone does their part, we will continue to see a low or nonexistent level of spread in our school.

As you see, RA has been extremely conservative in our planning and bringing students onsite. We will continue to move in this manner going forward. You may be aware that some local districts are shifting to less space between students, citing the CDC Revised Guidance. The allowance of this tighter spacing is not something that RA plans to enact at this time. While it is difficult to achieve in all spaces, our plan and intention, and goal will remain at a 6ft distance between students whenever possible.

Our plans to bring more students into school are under continuous review, and the local COVID-19 Case numbers will be a factor going forward. The Phased Re-opening plan (View Schedule on School Reopening Page) reflects this. If the numbers in Chester and Montgomery County continue to rise, we will respond accordingly. We will always do our best to communicate any changes to these plans with adequate notice.

I am also happy to share that approximately 70% of our staff have opted to receive a COVID-19 Vaccination. This is a strictly voluntary, self-reported step in keeping our team, students, and communities safer. We appreciate your patience with the scheduling and management of this effort over the past few weeks.

Wishing you a healthy and safe start to spring, 
Dr. Guarino Buli

General Dates and Reminders 

  • March 26th - Virtual LOL Comedy Show
  • March 29th - April 2nd - Spring Break School Closed
  • April 5th - 7th All Remote Classes K-12
  • April 8th & 9Th SLCs
  • April 12th - Lower School Onsite students return (students Already Onsite)
  • April 19th - Upper School Onsite students return (students Already Onsite)
  • April 27th - Photo Retake Day Retake Day Letter for Parents.pdf

Have you made changes to personal information?

Be sure to check your family’s Skyward Account to ensure the most recent phone numbers, emails, and other important information are up to date!

House Shirt Orders Now Open!

The form closes Friday, April 9th, at 5 pm! The next opportunity to order will be the week of Trimester One SLCs (Oct 2021).

Student Cost:

  • t-shirt $10
  • long sleeve shirt $15
  • hooded sweatshirt $20

Billing:

Families who place an order will be billed on the portal and can pay on the portal or mail in a check payable to Renaissance Academy ('House Shirt" written on memo line/envelope). The shirt charge will post to portal accounts after SLCs, and payment is due by April 30th.

Delivery:

Shirts will be available for distribution the second week of March (barring any unforeseen delays).

Attention Emergency Meal Participants:

Effective Friday, April 9th, our pick-up window will change to 9:00 am to 11:00. We are changing the pickup window because of the increasing temperatures of the Springtime weather. There will be no meal pick-up on Friday, April 2, 2021.

From the School Nurse:

If your child has received the COVID 19 vaccine, please feel free to send us documentation to add it to their health record.*This optional vaccine is not required.
If your child is attending school on campus and you are calling them out sick for a day, please notify the school nurse at nurse@rak12.org if their symptoms may be COVID related.

As a reminder, students who need medications at school will need to have the appropriate form completed by both the physician and the parent. A parent/guardian must drop off all prescriptions. You May Not put medicines in your student's backpack to bring to school. Forms are available at rak12.org by clicking on Medical & Health under the For Parents tab.

Did you know your child can be tested at school for COVID should they display symptoms or are deemed a close contact? Please go to Student Testing for the consent form and directions for creating and printing a QR code for your child.

Music Department Support

Rapido!!  Please put Tuesday, April 20th on your schedule/calendar!! (4-8 pm)

Come on out to California Tortilla in Phoenixville! Enjoy great food, long-lost friends, family, excellent spring weather, and 80's music! (They love their 80's theme at Cal Tort).

Dine in, sit on the patio or order take-out from 4 pm-8 pm. 25% of the proceeds will go to our US Bands to help defer the cost of our future Band trips! The whole RA community is invited! Use the secret word at the counter to have your purchase benefit the US Band Program. (Music).

Hope to see you!!  
Mr. Jonathan A. Springer, Instrumental Music Teacher, 4-12

Repeat Information

The following previously shared information was also included in this communication:

From March 19th, 2021 Email below:


Friday, March 19, 2021 at 3:02 PM EDT - RA Weekly News

News From RA

Please note - Our staff on the CCIU Vaccination Schedule is continuing to receive vaccinations if they choose to participate. At this point, about 50% of our staff is vaccinated. We are grateful to the PDE, CCIU, National Guard, and our state government for making this option available to our team. We expect another large group to participate on March 22nd.

As way of summary regarding our phased re-opening the following was shared at last night's board meeting.

  • Monday - March 22, 2021 - LS Families K-4 will receive a survey to determine if any students who are currently remote, are seeking to return to campus this school year. The feasibility of these requests will be determined based on the responses and current class configurations.
  • Monday- March 22, 2021 - Middle School Families (Grade 7-8) will receive a survey to determine if any students who are currently remote, are seeking to return to campus this school year. The feasibility of these requests will be determined based on the responses and the educational benefit of making changes to the placements going forward.

Neither of the above constitutes a decision or confirmation of on site attendance.

Thank you for your continued patience, positivity, and support of our school during this past year.

Be well,
Dr. Guarino Buli