Family and Community Update 05/20/20

May 20, 2020

Dear RPS families and community, 

As we close out the school year today, we understand that it leads to many emotions as this has been far from a traditional school year.  It also leads to many uncertainties regarding what the future of education and activities will look like.  

We know several questions exist regarding our typical summer activities, summer school, what education will look like in the fall, and whether or not there will be a fall sports season.  I will address these topics with the information I have at this time, but please know the information is fluid and often changes by the week, sometimes by the day due to the uncertainties of COVID-19 and what it brings to our country.  

Summer weights:

NSAA schools are permitted to open weight rooms for voluntary strength and conditioning sessions starting June 1, 2020. Again, keep in mind these guidelines are very fluid and subject to change at a moments notice. Prioritizing the health and safety of all students and staff must remain the focus of each NSAA member school. These requirements must be followed when conducting voluntary strength and conditioning sessions: 

  • Maintain social distance by being 6 feet apart.

  • Follow gathering guidelines of groups of 10 or fewer students including coaches. A group of 10 or fewer in the weight room and a group of 10 outdoors conditioning simultaneously is permissible. 

  • Groups of 10 or less must be pre-determined. Once groups are determined, students may not switch from one group to another. Interaction between groups shall be avoided.

  • Sessions can only include weightlifting, running, and exercises designed to promote physical fitness. Sport-specific drills are not permitted, and sport-specific equipment may not be used.

  • Implement diligent and effective cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces following the guidance of the CDC.  

  • With these restricted guidelines, Riverside will NOT be able to provide summer transportation for strength and conditioning sessions.  Students interested will be responsible for their own means of transportation. 

Our activities directors and coaches are in communication with our 9-12 students regarding how the summer program will look at Riverside and how high school student-athletes can sign up.  It is the responsibility of each NSAA member school to comply with the above requirements. Due to these tight restrictions, we have decided as a school district that there will not be any community or alumni use of the weight room, gym, or any Riverside facility and/or equipment over the summer months or until further notice. 

 Additionally, NSAA member school-sponsored camps, clinics, and open gyms are prohibited in any sport at this time. Any further official updates will be posted on the NSAA website as well as the NSAA and Riverside social media platforms.

Summer school and summer services:

With the current Loup Basin health restrictions in place regarding our area, in-person summer services will start June 8, 2020.  At this time, the only summer services that will be offered include Extended School Year Services for ages 3-21 as per an IEP, Birth-3 Continuous Services as per IFSP, and summer services for individuals who prequalified for the Reading Improvement Act program. Families will be notified by our administration and/or resource teacher if your child/children qualify for these summer services. The state health guidelines will be adhered to while offering these services. Our traditional summer school that has been open to all area families will NOT take place this summer. 

What happens this fall?

At this time, there are no guidelines as to if we will have in-person or virtual education this fall. The local health departments in consultation with the Department of Education and the State of Nebraska will watch data as the state starts to loosen health restrictions over the summer.  A date of “late June to early July” was stated as to when a final decision will be made regarding school openings for the fall.  As an administrative team, we are making potential plans for when and how the 2020-2021 school year will start.  We are planning for different scenarios including a traditional school year, a traditional school year with a modified calendar, an e-Learning (online learning) start, a hybrid of e-Learning and physical attendance, and a staggering attendance where students attend on alternate days to keep below state-mandated numbers. These decisions will be guided by and aligned with recommendations from state and local leaders. We just don’t know what the pandemic will do or what the state will mandate at this time, but we are working hard to be prepared for any and all options that may be presented to us. We are hoping for a normal school opening and planning for all other scenarios. I would be remiss if I didn't ask our families to think about and discuss a plan of action should virtual education continue in the fall. 

We will continue to make announcements as information becomes available and if any pre-planned activities change. We know our parents have turned into homeschool experts and our communities have become a lifeline for providing optimism and hope for everyone. We are just so appreciative and proud of all your efforts.  We are better together, and I am so proud of the things happening in our district and our communities!

Stay safe and stay well…

Ms. Kaczor

Ms. Stephanie Kaczor, Supt.