The RCS 2020-21 School Year Kicks Off Virtually
Submitted by Teresa Hendren in RCS Highlights on August 18, 2020
Redwood Christian Schools (RCS) kicked off it’s 51st school year online via Zoom web conferencing software welcoming 655 students TK through 12th grade. Kindergarten through 12th grade students met with teachers through Zoom for activities such as “Meet Your Teacher,” subject-matter lessons, and even PE!
Currently, Alameda County has been on the County Data Monitoring list for COVID-19. On July 17, 2020, the California Public Health Department shared their guideline that needs to be met in order for students to return to campuses. They explained that counties need to be off the County Data Monitoring list for 14 consecutive days and, if this happens, school can meet on campus (under strict gathering guidelines) on day 15.
On August 3, RCS faculty, staff, and administrators began their “Pre-Season” which included various Zoom meetings from Biblical teaching to technology training to online curriculum development. Dr. Al Hearne, Superintendent of Redwood Christian Schools reflected, “I am extremely proud of the RCS faculty. They are energized, focused, and ready for the new adventure that awaits them. They worked diligently for the past two weeks to get ready to start teaching on Zoom and then immediately transition to teaching a small cohort of students once RCS is allowed to open.” After ten days of preparation, faculty kicked off the first day of school virtually, achieving a feat no teacher has had to accomplish before.
Families and students reacted positively to the new school procedures. Several families posted “first day of school” photos on social media using the hashtag “RCSReady.” Photos included student work stations, new outfits, and even faculty exclaiming the start to an unexpected new adventure.
At RCE, Principal Huemoeller “Zoom-bombed” several classes to say hello. He said, “I saw a first grader remember their password without help! But the best part was to see students, even at home, standing together for Pledges and Prayer.”
The best part of the day for the MSHS campus was that students and teachers were together again. Principal Warner said, “It was an amazing virtual family reunion for all involved! We are also thrilled to have so many new students as a part of our school family!”
The day was met with an unexpected challenge as well. At the middle school and high school campus, the internet began fluctuating at approximately 11:00 am. The fiber cable began losing connection due to the extremely hot weather causing server issues at Comcast. Middle school and high school students reacted as responsible 21st century learners by rejoining classes that lost connection, communicating with their teachers and each other, and persevering through the challenge of having to log in multiple times. Awesome job!