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COVID-19 Updates | The Rock School

July 24, 2020

TRS Community,

We have published our school’s Campus Operations & Instructional Continuity Plan in response to COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 school year.

A few specific notes to consider as you read the plan:

  • we will begin the school year as scheduled on Wednesday, August 12
  • we will not be providing an “online-only” option this year (but will provide synchronous learning options for students who are absent due to sickness or quarantine.)
  • our plan was developed in partnership with a medical advisory team and following recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • we are hosting a virtual Town Hall meeting on Zoom on Monday, July 27, at 7p to discuss the details of our plan and to answer questions.  A recording will be linked here after the meeting.
  • the plan is intended as a general overview and does not necessarily include every procedure that will be put in place in the day-to-day operations of the school.

Our goal is to provide a safe return for students and staff while also preserving the enriching school experience that makes TRS such a special place for all of us.

So it is with great optimism that we are moving forward.  Our staff has reviewed the plan and all of our employees are ready to return to work on August 3.  We look forward to welcoming all of you back on August 12.

Together, #WeAreTheRock.


Jim McKenzie, Headmaster

March 23, 2020

Dear K-12 Parents,

At this time, Florida schools remain closed until at least April 15, though I firmly believe the closures will be extended until the end of the school year (but I hope I’m wrong.)

The Rock School will be transitioning all K-12 instruction to an online format for whatever duration of time the campus remains closed.

Here’s the schedule for the transition:

  • TRS Town Hall – Monday, March 30, 2020 (7p) – join me on Zoom for an overview of our educational program and success tips for students and families. (link coming in future email)
  • Meet the Teacher Day – Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – students and parents can connect on Zoom with their teachers and classmates for an orientation on what to expect in this online environment.
    • Kindergarten: 9:00a
    • First: 9:20a
    • Second: 9:40a
    • Third: 10a
    • Fourth: 10:20a
    • Fifth: 10:40a
    • MS: 11:00a
    • HS: 11:30a
    • Interventional Specialist: 12:00p
  • First Day of (online) School – Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – all instructions and activities begin online

Three Main Goals of TRS Online:

1. simplified, modified instruction

  • weekly format –  assignments and assessments delivered in daily and weekly format so as not to overwhelm students
  • essential curriculum – focused on the key content and most important skills
  • reasonable expectations – we will be flexible as students and parents adjust to the new format; this is new for everybody

2. tech-flexible format

  • Schoology platform for K-12 – all student-teacher-parent communication via Schoology
  • On-demand videos – content that can be watched as needed, not live instruction
  • scheduled online assessments & assignment due dates – to keep students on pace for completion
  • daily live Help Desk available to students and parents and a dedicated email address for 24/7 support

3. connections & community

  • Weekly check-in phone calls from teachers & staff
  • Daily office hours for live interaction with teachers via Zoom
  • Community events and activities held daily via Facebook Live & Zoom
  • Chapel, art, PE, and more will be offered throughout the week

Action Steps:

  • K-8 parents are requested to please come by The Rock School on Friday, March 20, and pick up student materials that will be needed to work from home.
    • Drive-by Pick-up: pull through out lot and let our staff know the name(s) and grade(s) of your children and we will bring them to your car.  Don’t park or get out of your vehicle.
    • Pick-up Times:  11:00 – 1:00p or 4:30 – 6:00p
    • If you are unable to come by tomorrow, we will have a second option available for pick up closer to April 1.
  • Our program is delivered via online platform, but is not intended to be exclusively tech-dependent.  Much of the work can be done offline.  You do not need one device per student in your home, but a student will need more than a cell phone to work from.  We have a limited number of devices available to loan to families with students in grades K-8.  To request a device, click here.  Devices will be available for pick up along with materials on Friday, March 20, while supplies last.
  • Student materials will include logins for Schoology, Open Court, Big Ideas, IXL and other platforms we use.  Take time prior to April 1 to make sure all relevant accounts are active.
  • Designate a place at home for your student(s) to do school.  Be sure it is free from distractions as much as possible.
  • Join me for our TRS Town Hall on March 30, 2020.

A Few Final Notes:

  • High school students are already familiar with this online format and are set for when instruction begins.
  • The original school calendar will be followed for the remainder of the year.
    • School Holiday – Good Friday: April 10, 2020
    • Last Day of School: May 22, 2020
    • HS Graduation: May 22, 2020
  • If your child is a state scholarship recipient, please let us know when you pick up materials tomorrow.  We have scholarship checks that need to be signed and we can bring it to your vehicle at pick up.
  • If you have questions, please direct them to me, not the classroom teacher, between now and April 1.  Our staff is busy this week preparing and then off for Spring Break next week.  I will be happy to address any questions or concerns that you may have.

This is not how any of us expected our school year to end, but we are excited about what we have planned for our students and are committed to providing a positive school experience for every student and family, even if it has to be in an online format for a few weeks or months.  It’s our joy to serve you and your family even in the midst of uncertainty.

Whether we are gathered on campus or online, #WeAreTheRock.


Jim McKenzie


The Rock School