February 23, 2021
Dear Ridgefield Families,
Today, we welcome back our second cohort (Tuesday/Friday) of eighth-grade students, completing middle schools’ in-person return to hybrid learning. Just moments ago, Clark County Public Health released the weekly COVID Activity Rate...137.0 per 100,000. As I shared last week, a rate below 200 allows us to bring our high school students back. With great enthusiasm, we will welcome the first of two cohorts of Ridgefield High School students back to the building on Tuesday, March 2.
When RHS students return on Tuesday, they will experience a six-period day. I am pleased to share that VRMS students will also shift to the six-period day, beginning on Monday, March 1. You can find the updated daily secondary student schedules for both hybrid and Ridgefield Remote on the lower left of our Learning in 2021 webpage.
You may be asking yourself, “Why change the middle school schedule?” The District decided to implement a six-period day for many reasons. Naturally, it closely aligns with a typical traditional school day for all secondary students and staff. In a year that has been anything and everything but normal, movement toward a return to normalcy is imperative for our students' and staff’s well-being. A growing body of research suggests that our counter-measures (masking, social-distancing, proper hygiene, etc.) effectively contain COVID, reducing the risk associated with attending six class periods in one day. Most importantly, it allows all secondary students (whether learning through Ridgefield Remote or in-person hybrid) to have class with each of their six teachers twice weekly. This is a significant instructional benefit for our students.
As we move forward with in-person instruction for secondary students, families may hear the term “simulcasting” and wonder what this means. Simulcasting is when a teacher has students present in the classroom while at the same time teaching students through Zoom. For example, on a given Monday, teachers will work with Group A students in the classroom while on Zoom with Group A students who have chosen to remain in Ridgefield Remote.
The District has pursued simulcasting because it will allow for the least amount of schedule disruptions for students and teachers. This is our initial foray into simulcasting, and as is the case with most first attempts, we will undoubtedly run into bumps and hiccups. We ask for your grace and patience as we press forward with this new learning to better meet our students’ needs. To all the staff that have voluntarily jumped into this new delivery model...a HUGE thank you.
I am overwhelmed with the sheer number of wonderful winter photos shared last week. Thank you for answering the call! Please continue sharing photos of your students via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org . This week's student photo challenge - first day photos.
Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.
Dr. Nathan McCann