Summer Principal Message

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 10:03am

I hope you and your family are enjoying the summer.  After the rapid shift to a virtual platform for continuity of learning in the spring, everyone was ready for a summer break.  As you may already know, our school system has spent these months in work groups to address what school will look like for the school year 2020-21.

First, please make sure you have noted the school system calendar changes. School begins for students on September 8, 2020.  The adjusted calendar is definitely an important bookmark for families.

Schools will operate virtually for Semester 1.  The student schedule incorporates a 4x4 semester schedule, which allows students to take 8 courses, instead of the 7-course model that we have traditionally followed.  To complete this schedule, students had already included alternates in their original course requests and the scheduling program has pulled these requests into each student's courseload.  Once the scheduling process is completed, HCPSS will release student schedules and there will be a DROP/ADD timeframe during which students can work with counselors to make adjustments.  At this time, I do not have that date to announce.  However, I do want to share that our schedule has added additional sections for some of our highly popular electives, which allowed  students who had been on waiting lists to be scheduled into these courses (to include computer science courses, food & nutrition, forensics, music theory, and others)..

The additional class available in the 4x4 schedule also created the opportunity to expand the elective selections at RHHS to include the following:

  • African American Literature
  • Anthropology and World Religions
  • African American and Latin American Studies
  • Speech
  • Advanced Composition
  • AP European History
  • Physics E&M

For those students who would like to have scheduled time for study and work completion, high schools will offer a study course first semester and an AP test prep course second semester.  These two course offerings are non-weighted, although attendance and grades will count.  Students who might select one of these courses should be able to work independently in a structured setting.  Additional tutorials and math/language arts seminars are provided for goal/content specific needs and students can register for these courses in consultation with a counselor; these courses are helpful for students who may need continuous math or English Language Arts instruction for a full-year.

Many of you have asked about athletics and extra-curricular activities as well as the SAT administration scheduled for August.  At this time, HCPSS is hoping to make these decisions shortly.  We also do not have an update for the format or date for new student orientation and back-to-school night.

Refunds from field trips is an important update and I apologize for the complicated delays.  HCPSS guidelines require us to receive all refund monies, with a two-week deposit window to follow.  Working with the vendors and agents during a pandemic has been challenging since most of these trips did not include refunds in the contract language.  The good news is that students will be receiving refunds for every one of our trips, minus the administrative fees that the travel companies are charging us and some fees associated with hotel and transportation cancellations.  At this point, RHHS is still waiting on refund checks for our music trips so that we can process and mail those to you as soon as possible.  Other refunds that have already been mailed include the senior passport, the NYC field trip and the art field trip.

Our last big hurdle before school opens in September will be textbook returns and yearbook pick-up.  Once student schedules are finalized, issuing a new set of textbooks will need to be coordinated, although some digital sources may supplement instruction in the upcoming school year.  If you've used any of the extra time at home for cleaning, hopefully, you and your student have located and put aside all school materials so the turn-in will be an easy check-off with no fees for lost items. Canvas will still be the primary vehicle for instructional materials, assignments, calendar and grades so every student should be able to fully utilize this platform.

Please continue to celebrate the Class of 2020 as they begin a post-secondary journey that for many of them is different than the traditional college drop-off.  Also, remember to ensure that your children are practicing social distancing and wearing masks, since these factors may be norms for hybrid or face-to-face school settings as we move forward.  

Stay cool, be safe, and support the wonderful school community of RHHS!

With Hawk PRIDE,

Kathryn McKinley, RHHS Principal