Reopening Update


ROBS will reopen in Hybrid 2—a blend of on-campus and distance learning—on Monday, August 24. Hybrid 2 reduces the number of students on campus each day by nearly half, in addition to even stricter infection mitigation measures. 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. You can access an overview of the Hybrid 2 learning model below.

Hybrid 2 Learning Scenario (updated 8-3-2020)

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We track daily the COVID-19 data, including Harris County viral activity and Texas Medical Center capacity status, both subject to fluctuate dramatically before the start of school. We urge families to prepare themselves for the possibility of transitioning in and out of the different learning scenarios throughout the school year, and even before the start of school.
 
 


Email Updates

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • August 3, 2020


    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.
     
    Blessings,
     
     
    Leanne Reynolds
    Head of School
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • July 31, 2020


    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


    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


    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!
     
    Blessings,
     
    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


    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 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


    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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