Reopening Update

All Preschool, Lower School, and Middle School students are attending in-person, on-campus instruction, with the exception of families who have opted in to our remote learning program. 

Current School Hours

Email Updates

List of 18 frequently asked questions.

  • October 23, 2020 - Changes to COVID-19 Policies 

    We have updated our COVID-19 policies in keeping with new information from the CDC earlier this week. Our policy reflects the new definition of “close contact” as being within six feet of the infected individual for 15 or more cumulative minutes during a 24 hour period. (Previously, it was 15 consecutive minutes). This change follows last week’s update to our policy outlining how to return to school if your child exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. As a reminder, we will only accept results of a rapid test accompanied by a note from your doctor. Our full COVID-19 policy can be accessed here.
    Communication about Positive Cases and Close Contacts
    With the expanded definition of “close contact,” it is even more likely that students or teachers will be out of school for two weeks at a time or longer. We understand that prolonged absences of your child’s classmates or teachers may cause you concern. Our policy requires us to tell you when there is a positive COVID-19 case on our campus. So if you don’t hear from us, you can assume that their absences are precautionary. For privacy reasons, the School will not be sending out information about the nature of an employee’s or student’s absence unless that person tests positive. In the event of a positive case, we will not reveal the person’s identity. Per our policy, we also will send a separate communication to anyone we determine has been in close contact with someone on campus who tests positive.
    COVID-19 Campus Update
    Two months into the school year, we have not had a positive case on campus. We had one student who tested positive in September but was not on campus at any time while infectious. While our policies may seem extreme, our commitment remains staunch. A precautionary approach is our most effective means of keeping campus open.
  • October 16, 2020 - Acceptable COVID-19 Tests & Staying Healthy

    Acceptable COVID-19 Tests

    With rapid tests gaining popularity in our community and the desire for immediate answers, it is important to highlight some key differences between the available options. There are two types of diagnostic tests for COVID-19:
    • Molecular Test (also known as “PCR”) commonly involves a nasal or throat swab and is highly accurate (with both positive and negative results). Results are usually available between one and five days.

    • Antigen Test (also known as “rapid”) involves a nasal or throat swab as well, and results are available in an hour or less. It is usually highly accurate at detecting positive results; HOWEVER, it has a higher chance of giving false-negative results and cannot conclusively rule out an active infection. As such, negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular (PCR) test.
    If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider for guidance on how to proceed. If an antigen (rapid) test is ordered and it comes back negative, please ask about the advisability of confirming that negative result with a PCR test. Students who receive only a negative antigen (rapid) test will need a written doctor’s clearance to return to school.

    Staying Healthy

    Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-21 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In keeping with CDC recommendations, we are asking our families to get a flu vaccine by the end of October. 
  • October 6, 2020 - Middle School Dismissal

    Dear Middle School families,
    As we prepare to welcome all of our Middle School students on campus next week, we are finalizing some necessary schedule changes. Beginning Tuesday, October 13, Middle School students will dismiss at 3:00 p.m. We realize this schedule change complicates dismissal for Middle School families with Lower School siblings. We therefore will be offering Lower School Extended Stay for those families only. Please read below for details related to the Extended Stay option, revised athletic schedules, and a quick overview of the Middle School learning scenario going into effect Tuesday.
    October 13 Middle School Reentry
    • All Middle School students on campus for in-person instruction, with the exception of families who opt in to remote learning
    • Daily hours 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (7:40 a.m. arrival)
    • Students cohorted by grade level; seventh and eighth grade cohorts may overlap during electives and winter athletics
    • Elective classes transition to in-person instruction
    • P.E. extends to 45 minutes
    • Students eat lunch in identified spaces with their home base 
    • All other current precautionary measures remain (masks, plexiglass dividers, physical distancing, assigned restrooms, etc.)
    • More specifics about your student’s school day will be included in the PA grade-level video recordings. Links to these presentations will be shared in this Friday’s InTouch. 

    Athletics Schedule
    The new Middle School dismissal time shifts athletics practices to 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. In an effort to maintain appropriate physical distancing and cohorting with the available practice spaces on campus, the practice schedule for the remaining two weeks of the fall season will rotate by grade as follows:
         Tuesday, October 13 – Sixth grade
         Wednesday, October 14 – Seventh grade
         Thursday, October 15 – Half day; no practice
         Monday, October 19 – Eighth grade
         Tuesday, October 20 – Sixth grade
         Wednesday, October 21 – Seventh grade
         Thursday, October 22 – Eighth grade
    The winter sports season begins Monday, November 2. We will share more details on tryouts and practice schedules as we get closer to that date.  
    Lower School Extended Stay
    Extended Stay will be offered to Lower School siblings of Middle School students from 2:10 – 3:00 p.m. Students will remain in grade-level cohorts and play with their friends until Middle School carpool begins at 3:00 p.m. Students may bring a nut-free snack from home.
    While there is no fee, families must register to participate. Registration commits your student to Extended Stay Monday – Friday until you notify us otherwise. We are unable to accommodate drop-in registrations at this time. Please complete this registration form by Friday, October 9. Lower School Extended Stay launches Tuesday, October 13 in conjunction with the new Middle School schedule. Prime Time students do not need to register for Extended Stay.

    We realize changes have been coming quickly. Unlike in years past when scheduling decisions were deliberated over months and implemented only at the start of a new year, this year requires frequent and nimble course-correcting. We greatly appreciate your flexibility as we work to get our kids back on campus full-time. 
    Connor Cook, Ed.D.
    Head of Middle School
  • October 1, 2020 - Middle School Reentry Update

    Dear Middle School families,
    As you know, the ROBS Lower School shifted to on-campus learning for all students earlier this week. Having observed a smooth transition, we believe we can safely bring our Middle School students on campus full-time earlier than anticipated. Beginning Tuesday, October 13, all Middle School students will attend on-campus, in-person learning. Families may continue to opt in to remote learning if they wish. 
    Health and safety measures remain at the forefront of our planning (i.e., physical distancing, plexiglass dividers, assigned restrooms, etc.). Full details on what it will look like will be shared in the grade-level PA Meeting videos next Friday, October 9 in the InTouch. 
    Thank you for your ongoing patience and flexibility. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back!
    Connor Cook, Ed.D.
    Head of Middle School
  • September 25, 2020 - Athletics Update

    Dear Middle School parents,
    I'm writing with an update on the remainder of the fall athletic season, specifically with regard to ROBS' participation in intraleague competition. We have made the difficult decision not to compete against other schools this fall, with the exception of cross country. After-school practices for fall sports will go on as scheduled through Thursday, October 22.
    Because this news may be difficult for your child, we want to offer some insight into our decision. The majority of schools in our conference are forgoing games this season, if not suspending athletics altogether. It's hard to compete without an opponent. We also had to consider whether our teams would be adequately prepared to safely compete. In the current hybrid schedule, our teams have been unable to practice as a whole team and will not be able to practice as a cohesive group until a full campus reentry. The target date for a full Middle School reentry is just days before the end of fall athletics.
    The nature of cross country is different. Runners compete individually and can socially distance during meets. Our runners will be able to participate in at least one meet (hopefully more).
    Our fall teams will continue to have a productive season. We are committed to providing a positive athletic experience while helping our kids develop skills for the next level. Practices will focus on skill building, team bonding, and preparation for next year. Intra-squad practices will be held where appropriate. We will not have girls’ volleyball tryouts this year. 
    We will continue to explore ways to safely return to all athletic competitions. Winter and Spring sports are still being discussed, and we will update you when we have more information.

    Jesse Martin                         Connor Cook
    Athletics Director                 Head of Middle School
  • September 24, 2020 - New School Hours

    Dear ROBS families,

    We are eager to welcome all of our Lower School students to campus on Monday as we transition to Hybrid 1. We know in-person learning is best for kids and this transition is certainly a positive step forward. This shift means an additional 150+ cars on campus during arrival and dismissal. In anticipation of increased carpool congestion and based on ongoing examination of carpool processes, we have decided to adjust the daily schedules slightly. 

    All divisions have tweaked their schedules so this change affects all school families. It is not meant to be disruptive. On the contrary, it is designed to make everyone’s on-campus experience much smoother. Long, drawn-out arrival and dismissal procedures are frustrating for our parents and for our kids. A more efficient carpool process allows us to reallocate precious minutes to actual learning time. 

    Please see new school hours here. This schedule goes into effect on Monday, September 28. 

    Reopening ROBS is an iterative process. Will this be the final iteration of our reopening plan? Probably not. But we are committed to doing what’s best for our students and families, even if it means changing course along the way. When we know better, we do better.

    Thank you for your flexibility during this very unusual school year!

  • September 16, 2020 - COVID Case

    Dear ROBS Community:
    Today, we were notified that a ROBS student has tested positive for COVID-19. We must maintain the privacy of the student, but we can tell you that the individual’s last time on campus was Thursday, September 10, at which point the student was not positive. The student had been in close contact with a family member who tested positive on Saturday. The student also underwent a test on Saturday, which was negative. A second, follow-up test on Tuesday came back positive. The student remains asymptomatic. Please join me in praying for a full and speedy recovery and good health for the entire family. 

    We are required to notify the Houston Health Department of any positive case on campus, and we have done so. In coordination with the Health Department, we have determined that no one in our community has been in close contact with the student. “Close contact” is defined generally as (a) being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g. being coughed on); or (b) being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more if it occurred during the infectious period of the case. Out of an abundance of caution, spaces where the student spent significant time while on campus have been cleaned and disinfected. 

    With in-person learning taking place, positive cases on campus are likely to happen. Parents, students, faculty, and staff will always receive an email communication notifying them of a case of COVID-19 on campus. Close contacts (as described above) will receive a separate notice with additional information. Our response plan is predicated on the timely reporting of COVID symptoms and test results. Please continue to let us know if your child develops COVID symptoms or if anyone in your household tests positive. We also ask that you and your family continue following best practices for preventing the spread of COVID such as wearing a mask, social distancing, frequent hand washing, daily screening for symptoms, and staying home if you are sick. Please let me know if you have any questions. As always, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with you as we face this challenging situation together. 

    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
  • September 11, 2020 - Campus Reentry Update

    Dear ROBS families,
    I am writing with an update on our plans for full campus reentry. We are working on a transition to the Hybrid 1 learning scenario, with a target date of Monday, September 28. In Hybrid 1, all Lower School students come on campus every day. Hybrid 1 does not include changes for Preschool or Middle School. We have been encouraged by a successful first three weeks of school, with no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. While we are eager to have ALL students on campus every day, we believe a staggered reentry is the most prudent course of action. If all goes well with this transition, our hope is to bring our Middle School students back full-time shortly thereafter. Of course, we will be closely monitoring the viral conditions in the Houston area and within the ROBS community. Fluctuations in the next three weeks could derail our timetable.
    Strict adherence to infection mitigation protocols will be critical to our reentry plans. A successfully completed wellness screening is required for each child coming on campus before he/she arrives in the morning. When you don’t do it, our teachers and staff are pulled from learning time to conduct the health screenings, which requires reaching out to each student’s parent. If you have not completed the screening before coming on campus, you will not be allowed to drop off your child. You will be directed to exit campus and return when the screening is complete. We send a reminder each morning, and it takes seconds to submit.  
    Life is more complicated right now. If anyone understands that, we do. But we must keep our safety processes airtight. Please help us by making the health screening part of your morning routine.
    Many thanks,
    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
  • September 4, 2020 - Labor Day Message

    Dear Parents,
    As we head into the Labor Day weekend, I want to underscore the School’s expectation of families, even outside of campus. Please refrain from large gatherings, and wear your mask if you are going to be around people outside of your family. We are all a part of the larger ROBS community, and each of us must do our part to keep our community healthy. We have seen no cases of  COVD-19 on our campus during our first two weeks, and we want to continue that trend! 
    May God bless you and your family this Labor Day Weekend. Whether you are a banker, a laborer, a teacher, or a stay-at-home mom or dad, your work matters. God has prepared you for exactly where you are. He expects you to work hard, and He expects you to rest. In Genesis 2, God gave us His blessing to rest by resting Himself.
    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 ESV
    See you on Tuesday,
    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
  • August 23, 2020 - Change the World

    Dear ROBS families,
    The week before school starts is always an exciting time on campus—teachers decorating their classrooms, volunteers organizing back-to-school events, custodians polishing the floors, everyone buzzing in preparation of the students’ arrival. This year, as we know, is different. Virtual orientations replaced Get the Scoop Day. Classrooms have been reconfigured for half the number of students. And the facilities crew has added more than a dozen cleaning protocols and environmental enhancements to their preparation checklist. But the biggest difference about this year is: our excitement is through the roof! Here’s why:
    Reason #1: School is happening
    I will never take this for granted again. We are always eager to welcome our students at the end of a summer. The prolonged time away after last spring’s closure has amplified the enthusiasm exponentially. And it could have been even longer, but for the Herculean effort to open ROBS safely. Scheduling wizardry, Swivl cameras, staff reassignments, health screening software, specially fabricated plexiglass dividers, 10,000+ pounds of sanitizer, coordinated supply pickups – it’s not easy, or even ideal, but it is happening. For this, I am truly grateful.     
    Reason #2: A completely new campus
    Even before the pandemic, we knew it was going to be a busy summer. Construction crews have been working at breakneck speed to complete the new Mosing Middle School building and Sarofim Leadership Center. Amazingly our dream of finishing the project for the 2020-21 school year is unfolding before our eyes. Despite some initial technical difficulties with the new classroom equipment that postponed the Mosing building’s full opening one week, it will be ready for students’ arrival this month!
    Upon seeing the Mosing building this week, a mom who works at the school said it brought tears to her eyes knowing that her child will experience middle school here. It wasn’t until standing in the sixth grade community commons area that she fully realized the potential of an environment on a child’s academic experience. I cannot wait to see the faces of our Middle School students when they walk through the doors of their new school. You can see them too! Follow @robshouston on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
    So many of you contributed to the realization of this vision, and I’m heartbroken we cannot celebrate together in the new space. Please know that we are eager to unveil the finished project in person as soon as we are safely able. In the meantime, be on the lookout for an invitation to our virtual ribbon cutting.
    Reason #3: A spiritually rooted community
    Before the campus closed last March, I met with our faculty and staff for what would be our final time in the sanctuary together. Anxious about the news of a looming pandemic and uncertain of when we would return to campus, my message was blunt: Yes this is hard, but you have something others don’t. You are part of a school grounded in faith. What a privilege it is to lean on God TOGETHER.
    One of the ways we connect to each other spiritually is through our character theme. This year, our theme is Simple Moments Change the World, drawn from Galatians 6:10a: “So seize any opportunity the LORD gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone.”
    This year especially, we must honor each other at every opportunity. Simple, personal decisions every day impact everyone around you. Wearing a mask, keeping a child with a tummy ache home when seemingly unnecessary (and inconvenient), requesting a friend wear a mask... what you do echoes. I empower you to demonstrate habits that safeguard each one of us. Post your simple moments in action on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #changetheworld2021. Let’s BE THE EXAMPLE and change the world.
    Not According to Plan
    As excited as we are to start the school year, we know many things will not go according to plan. Already, we have had to adjust programming for Middle School students the first week of school and change our mask policy three times. I assure you there will be many more changes over the course of this year. We have prepared for every contingency, and yet we know God has plans for us beyond our imagination.
    God is good. It’s going to be an amazing year, no matter what happens.
    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
    Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. -Proverbs 19:21
  • August 19, 2020 - Middle School Announcement

    Hello, Middle School families –
    I am writing with an update regarding our capacity for in-person instruction the first week of school. Despite our best efforts to rush the move into the spectacular new Mosing Middle School Building and fast-track teacher training on the building’s technology systems, we have to delay the full opening of the building one week. Middle School will still begin on Monday, August 24 in a modified format (schedule details below). Our first full day of Hybrid 2 instruction will be Monday, August 31 with group B students on campus and group A joining remotely.  
    Since receiving the keys to enter the building on Monday, August 17, we were determined to be ready for live, in-person teaching as well as simultaneous virtual, streamed instruction in our new, state-of-the-art building. Over the last three days, it has become apparent this goal is simply unattainable. Network connectivity deferments, supply delays, technology training, and other obstacles have compounded an already frantic time of year. Our teachers trained as much as they could ahead of time, but it is like learning to ride a bike by watching a video. Rest assured, our teachers will be ready to provide excellent, cutting-edge instruction (in-person and virtual) on Monday, August 31. Until then, here is the schedule:
    Thursday, August 20: Middle School Supply Pickup (times in back-to-school guide)
    Monday, August 24: First day of school
    Grades 5 & 6 – Group A on campus for tech orientation; Group B no classes
    Grades 7 & 8 – Groups A & B remote learning (8/24 – 8/28)
    Tuesday, August 25
    Grades 5 & 6 – Group B on campus for tech orientation; Group A no classes
    Grades 7 & 8 – Groups A & B remote learning
    Wednesday, August 26 – Friday, August 28
    Remote learning for all Middle School students
    Monday, August 31: Hybrid 2 begins
    Group B on campus; Group A joins remotely
    Remote learning
    For this week only (8/24 – 8/28) remote learning is defined as:
    • live check-in with the student’s advisory via Zoom at 9:00 – 9:15 a.m.
    • asynchronous (recorded) lessons posted on the student’s assignments page
    • optional virtual office hours via Zoom at 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.
    I am very disappointed to deliver this news at this late hour. We would not have waited so long to make this decision had we not intended to exhaust every effort to open successfully on August 24. I thank you for your time and patience… and in advance for your continued patience over the year ahead.
    Connor Cook, Ed.D.
    Head of Middle School
    River Oaks Baptist School
  • August 3, 2020 - Reopening Update

    Dear ROBS families,
    I am writing to update you on our plans to reopen school. Like you, we are intently following the data models tracking COVID-19 levels in our area. While it appears there has been some positive movement, we continue to tighten operations given the severity of current conditions. Specifically, we developed a much more restrictive hybrid scenario (Hybrid 2) than the one in the original reopening plan, reducing the number of students on campus each day by nearly half. Based on current metrics, the ROBS Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to reopen ROBS in Hybrid 2 on Monday, August 24.
    Hybrid 2
    Features of the Hybrid 2 plan vary by division, the details of which are outlined here. The main difference is that Lower School students will attend school every other day and Middle School students will attend every other week. Preschool students will attend every day and be separated into smaller sections. In addition, we have greatly reduced interaction of special area teachers with students in different cohorts, eliminating crossover completely in most cases. Please note the revised daily school schedule as well. It is possible that upon continued examination of local trends, we modify Hybrid 2 even further.
    Reopening Matrix
    This year will be more fluid than ever. I predict we will be moving in and out of the different scenarios all year long. We may even have to pivot to another scenario before school starts on August 24. We will communicate these changes as quickly and clearly as we possibly can. To give you a sense of how and when we might transition, check out our reopening matrix.
    Infection Prevention and Mitigation
    Our learning scenarios are designed to accommodate physical distancing, density reduction, and diminished contact with others. In addition, we have instituted a full complement of infection prevention and mitigation strategies ranging from enhanced cleaning and sanitation to daily health screenings and universal face masks. Many of them were explained in the initial reopening plan, but we have consolidated the information on our reopening webpage.
    Reopening Information
    We so look forward to welcoming our kids on Monday, August 24. Our teachers have a considerable amount of extra training to complete this year. The extra week ensures their proficiency in new health and safety protocols, and it gives families time to make arrangements for Hybrid 2, in which children will be home part of the time.
    You will receive a back-to-school guide on Friday, August 14 with information on everything from carpool routes (through our new, expanded campus!) to revised arrival and dismissal procedures. As a heads up, we will use a software called School-Pass to manage student arrivals and dismissals as well as the required daily health screenings. Information on setting up your School-Pass account and how to use it will be in the back-to-school guide. The guide will also illustrate daily schedules in more detail. Information on an additional waiver for any student who will be on campus this year will be included. Class lists will be posted on August 14.
    Virtual Town Hall Meeting August 5
    I hope you will join me on Wednesday’s virtual town hall meeting. Because this year is so different, I imagine you have lots of questions. Please submit them via this link by 12 noon tomorrow so I can be sure to address them in the town hall. I encourage you to read through this email’s supplementary material before submitting a question. You will receive a link Wednesday morning that will allow you to join the webinar, which begins at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5. We will share the recorded link following the meeting for those who cannot attend.
    Our commitment
    To say that we have prayerfully deliberated over our decision to open school is an understatement. The threat of this novel, uncontrolled virus is very real. And our love for your children is deep and abiding. Our number one priority is to do what is best for them—while considering the safety of our teachers, families, and others in our community. Our commitment to our children’s well-being compels us to balance their full and healthy development against the health risk. With mounting scientific evidence discrediting the notion of children as super-spreaders, we believe the benefits of attending school prevail over the documented risk. We will continue to follow the science and realign school operations as needed over the course of the next year.
    I have shared a lot of information today! It can be accessed at any time on our Reopening ROBS webpage, which now also includes an FAQ section. I thank God daily for your support, patience, and demonstrated flexibility. It is an honor to lead the remarkable ROBS community, alongside the Board of Trustees and Administrative Team, as we navigate this undoubtedly formative period in our children’s lives.
    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
  • July 31, 2020 - 2020-21 Planning Update

    2020-21 Planning Update

    The ROBS Administrative Team has been refining the reopening plan to impose even more restrictive measures in an on-campus scenario. You can expect a full update on Monday from Head of School Leanne Reynolds.  
    Virtual Town Hall Meeting August 5
    We invite all ROBS community members to a virtual town hall meeting at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5 with ROBS Head of School. You will receive a link Wednesday morning that will allow you to join the meeting. If you have a question(s) you would like Leanne to address, you may submit them here.
    Remote Learning Opt-in
    We understand you may want to hear more about our 2020-21 plans before making a decision about remote learning for your family. We have therefore extended the registration deadline to Thursday, August 6—the day after our virtual town hall meeting. This date applies to families who wish to begin the school year with distance learning. Registration commits your child to a distance learning period of at least four weeks. If ROBS moves into a fully remote learning scenario, registration would not be necessary. 

  • July 24, 2020 - Planning Updates

    2020-21 Planning Update

    We realize you are eager to know whether ROBS students will begin the school year on campus, especially following today’s announcement regarding Houston-area public and non-religious private schools. We are weighing the news heavily and tracking daily the COVID-19 activity in Harris County and Texas Medical Center capacity status. We will continue to monitor the conditions over the next few weeks, but we are not ready to commit to a single scenario, especially when we know in-person learning is best for kids. We crafted a variety of learning scenarios precisely so we could respond to the mercurial nature of this pandemic. You can expect a thoughtful, research-informed decision in the coming weeks. Your children’s best interest is at the heart of our deliberations, we assure you.
    Virtual Town Hall Meeting August 5
    We invite all ROBS community members to a virtual town hall meeting at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5 with ROBS Head of School and division heads (email invitations coming soon). They will share more details about our plans for the coming year and answer parent questions. In the meantime, the ROBS 2020-21 Reopening Plan. includes a more comprehensive preview of operational decisions. If you have a question(s) about returning to school not addressed in the reopening plan, you may submit them here.
    Remote Learning Opt-in
    Families who are more comfortable with their child learning from home may opt in to a distance learning program for a period of no less than four weeks. Students at home will participate in real-time, livestreamed classroom lessons as well as complete assigned work. Families must complete the remote learning registration for their child(ren) to participate in this option. Please submit registration by Aug. 1 to begin the school year remotely.
    Middle School Athletics
    There will be no practices for Middle School fall sports before September 8 and no games before September 28. The ROBS Athletic Director, Jesse Martin, is in ongoing conversations with athletic directors from the other schools in our conference, and they continue to adjust athletic schedules as the schools make decisions regarding their reopening plans. We will update you as decisions are made.
    Calendar Updates
    Given the fluid nature of the school schedule right now, all calendar information will be communicated via InTouch. The online calendar has been deactivated for the time being. Please refer back to these weekly newsletters for ongoing updates.

  • July 7, 2020 - 2020-21 Initial Reopening Plan

    Dear ROBS families,

    I am writing to provide an update on ROBS’s plans for the coming school year. In reviewing all the available medical and operational guidance, we believe that we can reopen campus with appropriate modifications for health and safety. We intend to start the 2020-21 school year with in-person, on-campus learning on Monday, August 17.
    I am sharing a working draft of our 2020-21 plan. You will see that we are committed to providing the most ROBS-like experience in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. You will also see that the current context is complex, requiring considerable adjustments to the ROBS we know and love. Unlike many other schools, we have the available learning space on our campus to stay open even in extreme circumstances (barring, of course, a government order to close). We have explored every nook and cranny and anticipated how to reallocate resources to make this possible.
    The plan outlines many (temporary!) changes. Please know that this document is meant to give you a preview of what to expect; it does not blanket the full spectrum of operational adjustments. We are still refining the plan, and it is very likely that elements of it will change as guidance evolves. You can expect more details in a back-to-school guide in August. If you have question(s) about returning to school, you may submit them here.
    Adjusting to the “new normal” on campus may feel strange at first, but I know the ROBS community to be adaptable, resilient, and strong in its faith. Even with masks and physical distance and no hugs (harder for me than others!), there will be fun and learning and shared experiences. The power of human connection is deeper and wider than any plexiglass divider or cloth face covering. We will leave no stone unturned to make this year a great one.
    I will be in touch again in August with further details of the plan. Our offices will be closed until the end of July. The next communication will be the Friday, July 24 InTouch. I hope you are enjoying a safe and healthy summer, and I so look forward to seeing your children at school!
    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

  • June 26, 2020 - Planning Updates

    2020-21 Planning

    We had hoped to have a 2020-21 draft plan to you today, but it has come to our attention that the state will be issuing new guidance for schools very soon. While our draft plan allows for flexibility, we want to make sure it reflects the most accurate, up-to-date regulatory guidance. You can expect to see a full draft next Friday, July 3. Thank you for your patience!

    P.E. Uniform Orders due July 3
    If you would like to order more P.E. uniforms, you can do so here. Orders must be placed by July 3. They will be delivered to students on the first day of school. As a reminder, we have modified the dress code for students in grades 6-8, at least through the first trimester. Our locker rooms do not have the capacity to allow for entire grade levels to change their clothes before P.E. class with proper social distancing so students will wear their P.E. uniforms to school all day. P.E. uniforms from past years are considered acceptable P.E. attire. Grades K – 5 do not change for P.E. class.

    Summer Travel and Health Screening
    We are doing everything in our power to reduce the risk of infection on campus. But we also need families to do their part by adhering to infection prevention practices. We are therefore asking all families to follow CDC travel guidelines this summer, especially in the two weeks leading up to the first day of school.

    All students, teachers, and staff must answer "no" to these questions prior to coming on campus:
    • Are you experiencing shortness of breath, cough, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste/smell?
    • Do you have a temperature of 100.4 or above?

    • Have you been exposed to anyone who was positively diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

    2020-21 Calendar

    School starts on Monday, August 17. Here is a look at the 2020-21 Calendar (updated 6-12-2020).

  • June 19, 2020 - 2020-21 Calendar

    2020-21 Planning Update

    We continue to prepare for the start of school in consultation with our infection prevention specialist and the Educational Task Force. We are weighing everything from classroom configurations to the movement of students on and around campus. The impact to school operations is complex, to say the least! You will receive an adaptive plan with a range of scenarios in the next few weeks. Until then, we want to share a few decisions that have time-sensitive action steps.
    Summer Travel and Health Screening
    We are doing everything in our power to reduce the risk of infection on campus. But we also need families to do their part to keep our campus safe by adhering to infection prevention practices. We are therefore asking all families to follow CDC travel guidelines this summer, especially in the two weeks leading up to the first day of school. All students, teachers, and staff must answer "no" to these questions prior to coming on campus:
    1. Are you experiencing shortness of breath, cough, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste/smell?
    2. Do you have a temperature of 100.4 or above?
    3. Have you been exposed to anyone who was positively diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    Changes to Dress Code for Grades 6-8
    Much of our planning has involved trying to decrease group sizes in closed spaces. Our locker rooms do not have the capacity to allow for entire grade levels to change their clothes before P.E. class with proper social distancing. On the flip side, P.E. is really uncomfortable in a school uniform. Therefore, students in grades 6-8 will wear their P.E. uniforms to school all day, at least through the first trimester. If any student is uncomfortable, he/she may wear regular uniform pants/skirt over the P.E. shorts during the day. As with all of our modifications, we will reassess our procedures throughout the year and make adjustments as we go.
    If you would like to order more P.E. uniforms, you can do so here. Orders must be placed by July 3. They will be delivered to students on the first day of school. New styles are available, but P.E. uniforms from past years will still be considered acceptable P.E. attire. Grades K – 5 do not change for P.E. class. 

    Revised 2020-21 Calendar

    As we shared last week, the 2020-21 Calendar (updated 6-12-2020) has been revised to build in 13 additional days of instruction throughout the year. These days will allow us to make up for learning loss as a result of last year. They also give us a buffer for unexpected closures. All added instruction days are indicated in green on the 2020-21 calendar.
    Key Changes to Calendar
    • First day of school: Monday, August 17: Extra time on the front end of the calendar allows teachers to assess where students are academically and what we need to build into the curriculum
    • Virtual Get the Scoop! Day: Given the risk of large group gatherings, the back-to-school checklist needs will be handled virtually.
    • Fall Fair – Saturday, Nov. 7: To give us a full day of instruction on Friday, Nov. 6.
    • Thanksgiving Break – Nov. 23-27: The Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week will be remote instruction days, giving students, teachers, and families practice transitioning in and out of the ROBS remote learning model.
    • May 24 - 28: Similar to a set of “bad weather days,” these days will be given back if we meet our target instruction hours during the year. We will reevaluate the calendar over spring break to determine the need to have school on these days.
    • The gala will be postponed to April 2021. More details to follow.
  • June 11, 2020 - Planning Updates

    2020-21 School Year – Planning Update

    We are working diligently on a plan to safely return to school this August. We are fully committed to having all students in school all year. We also know that may not be possible, which is why the ROBS Administrative Team is conducting a series of all-day retreats to plan for contingencies, with a focus on 1) the health and safety of our community; and 2) the educational experience of our students. While we have yet to finalize anything, we want to share an update on what we are talking about and how we will be making decisions.
    Infection Prevention and Learning Schedule
    In addition to an intense adherence to state and CDC health guidelines, the School has engaged a consultant that specializes in designing and implementing infection prevention processes for major hospital systems. We will be working with the consultant through the summer as we make operational and educational decisions for next year. Strategies range from redesigning classrooms with proper social distancing to rethinking large gatherings like chapel and athletic events. Some schools around the world have adopted a blended learning schedule, where some students receive instruction remotely and others receive instruction on campus. We are studying the scientific efficacy and operational feasibility of this model as well. Though we are examining any and all approaches, we have not made any final decisions. ROBS will do what is best for ROBS students and families.
    When to Expect a Final Plan
    Our decisions will need to be both thoughtful and fluid, as the viral threat to our community ebbs and flows over the next year. We want you to be prepared for what those decisions could look like, so we are preparing an adaptive plan with a range of scenarios. You will receive a preview of that plan by the end of June. It will include more detailed information on the various strategies and considerations. Information and updates will be shared on Fridays through the month of June—either as part of this InTouch newsletter or from Head of School Leanne Reynolds. All communications have “River Oaks Baptist School” in the email "from" field.

    Remote Learning

    We are preparing for the possibility of interruptions to on-campus learning. In the event that the viral threat to our community necessitates a campus closure, we will move swiftly into a remote learning model. Please be aware that our remote learning program will look a little different than it did in the spring. Our Educational Task Force (ETF) is using the summer to reexamine what worked well and what can be improved. They will also be researching user-friendly learning management platforms and best practices in remote instruction. They will then develop a ROBS remote learning program on par with the excellence of our in-school program.

    Revised 2020-21 Calendar

    Even with a plan to transition to remote learning, we have learned the calendar must allow for additional flexibility. The 2020-21 Calendar (updated 6-12-2020) has been revised to build in 13 additional days of instruction. These days will allow us to make up for learning loss as a result of last year. They also give us a buffer for unexpected closures (a water main break, for example!). The days are built in throughout the year, with the majority at the end of May, similar to a set of “bad weather days,” which will be given back if we meet our target instruction hours during the year. We will reevaluate the calendar over spring break to determine the need for the days at the end of May (May 24 – 28)

    Key Changes to Calendar
    • First day of school: Monday, August 17:Extra time on the front end of the calendar allows teachers to assess where students are academically and what we need to build into the curriculum
    • Virtual Get the Scoop! Day: Given the risk of large group gatherings, the back-to-school checklist needs will be handled virtually
    • Fall Fair – Saturday, Nov. 7:To give us a full day of instruction on Friday
    • Thanksgiving Break – Nov. 23-27: The Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week will be remote instruction days, giving students, teachers, and families practice transitioning in and out of the ROBS remote learning model.
    • The gala will be postponed to April 2021. More details to follow.

    All added instruction days are indicated in green on the 2020-21 calendar

Ambitious academics rooted in abiding Christian values for children age 2 through grade 8

Located in Houston, Texas, River Oaks Baptist School is a private, Christian, co-educational day school for students in preschool, lower school, and middle school. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, Christian character education, competitive athletics, fine and performing arts, and a wide selection of extra-curricular activities.
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