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Hybrid In-Person Learning for Grades 4-5 Begins Nov. 11; Middle and Selected High School Students Return to Hybrid In-Person Learning Nov. 23

The Ritenour School District has announced plans to offer hybrid in-person learning for grades 4-8 and selected students in grades 9-12. Recommendations were made based on discussions from the Phase 2 committee of parents, teachers, students, support staff and administrators.   

The decision highlights the following:

  • Elementary school families will have the option of sending their children in grades 4-5 to school for two days a week in-person, with three days virtual beginning Wednesday, Nov. 11. Families will be assigned to one of two in-person learning groups based on the last name of the primary parent/guardian. Group A will be in person on Mondays/Wednesdays; group B will be in school on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Fridays are full virtual days for all students in hybrid learning. 

  • Middle school families have the option to send their students in grades 6-8 to school for two days a week in person, with three days virtual beginning Monday, Nov. 23. Also at this level, families will be assigned to one of two in-person learning groups based on the last name of the primary parent/guardian. Group A will be in person on Mondays/Wednesdays; group B will be in school on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Fridays are full virtual days for all students in hybrid learning.

  • The most vulnerable high school students can return to in-person hybrid instruction beginning Monday, Nov. 23.  This includes students with Individual Education Plans (IEP's) through Special School District, 504 plans, English language learners and students who have been identified by the school’s student support teams as having extremely low engagement with virtual learning. Ritenour will offer all high school students the option for hybrid in-person learning beginning second semester in January of 2021.

  • Families also have the option to keep their children in a full virtual environment. 
    • Families of students in grades 4-8 who did not commit in July to full virtual learning can choose this option by completing the eForm through the Parent Portal no later than Sunday, Oct. 25.  The commitment will stand through the end of first semester (Jan. 14, 2021).    
  • Please note: It is possible that the pandemic conditions in our area could change quickly.  Families and staff should be prepared for any range of scenarios that could happen depending on the nature of the situation and the extent of community spread of COVID-19.

The district had a successful start to the hybrid in-person learning schedule after bringing back kindergarten students on Oct. 7 and students in grades 1-3 on Oct. 12.  
To see how Ritenour is preparing for a safe return of its students and staff, watch this short video.

Phase 2 Key Features of the Hybrid Option:
Families who choose the hybrid option with in-person learning will be assigned to two groups based on the last name of the primary parent/guardian listed in the Parent Portal. Siblings/children in the same household will be kept in the same group. 

Group A: Typically Parent/Guardian Last Name A-K

  • Monday & Wednesday: In-person class at their assigned school.
  • Tuesday & Thursday:  Elementary and middle school students will work on their own at home with online assignments.  High school students will interact virtually with their scheduled classes and teachers.  
  • Friday:  Full virtual day with live instruction for all grade levels.

Group B:  Typically Parent/Guardian Last Name L-Z

  • Monday & Wednesday: Elementary and middle school students will work on their own at home with online assignments. High school students will interact virtually with their scheduled classes and teachers. 
  • Tuesday & Thursday: In-person classes at their assigned school. 
  • Friday: Full virtual day with live instruction for all grade levels.

The transition to Phase 2 for grades 4-8 and selected high school students is as follows:

  • Grades 4-5 Group A: Begin in-person learning on Wednesday, Nov. 11
  • Grades 4-5 Group B: Begin in-person learning on Thursday, Nov. 12
  • Grades 6-8 and selected high school students Group A: Begin in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 23
  • Grades 6-8 & selected high school students Group B: Begin in-person learning on Tuesday, Nov. 24  
    • Note: The district is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 25-27.


What this means for your family:

For families who selected in-person instruction, this means:

  • Students in Group A will attend in-person classes at their schools on Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • Students in Group B will attend in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Siblings/children in the same household will have the same schedule.
  • All students participate in virtual instruction on Fridays. 
  • Transportation will be provided but families are encouraged to drive their children, if possible. More information will be shared separately on bus routes and safety protocols for impacted families.
  • Meals will be provided at school on the days students are in the building. On the days where they are learning virtually, meals will be delivered by bus. If you have questions about your assigned stop, please contact our transportation department at (314) 493-6327.
  • Students’ temperature will be checked at school each day at arrival.


For families who selected the Ritenour Virtual Academy or virtual learning at the high school level:

  • Students continue to participate in 100 percent virtual instruction through the end of the first semester (Jan. 14, 2021). 


What Ritenour Needs Families to Do:


Ritenour has been working for months on health and safety precautions to prepare for the return of students to in-person learning. You can review these precautions on the Ritenour Return to Learning Website. For families of students returning to in-person learning in November, we need your help with the following: 

 * Note that if you have previously signed up for full virtual learning in July, you will not see the eForm in their Parent Portal.

  • All students must wear a mask while on the bus and at school, per the county health department’s mandate. Mask breaks will be allowed when appropriate and it is safe to do so. Please have at least 3-5 cloth masks for your child and have him/her practice wearing them at home for long periods of time.
  • All families must review the COVID-19 symptom list each day. If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms, please keep them home and notify your child’s school office: Fever of 100 or more/chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; and diarrhea. Review the CDC Self-Checker Guidelines...
  • If your child has been tested for COVID-19 but has not received a test result yet or has been asked by their doctor or county health department to isolate or quarantine at home, keep them home from school and contact your child’s school office.
  • At the start of normal school years, each child must have updated household information, health form and other information on record. Typically, these forms are sent home in the back-to-school packets prior to the start of school. Due to the pandemic and the need to go paperless as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, most forms now are being done electronically. Parents/Guardians can now update the important household/student information, as well as the health information and FERPA forms for each of their school age children (K-12) through the Parent Portal. We must have this information in our system regardless of whether you plan to keep your children in full virtual learning or transition them to hybrid learning.

Communication on COVID-19 cases:
Ritenour will communicate with families and staff regarding positive COVID-19 cases in the district only if they are personally impacted or determined to be at risk as per CDC guidelines. Federal privacy laws protect student and staff confidentiality; personally identifiable information on any individuals testing positive or being asked to isolate or quarantine will not be shared. Families and staff can also view an overview and history of cases using the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, housed on the Ritenour Return to Learning website.

We are looking forward to this next step in bringing our students back into the classroom and will take every precaution to keep students and staff safe during in-person learning. As always, thank you for your patience and continued assistance as we work together to support our students and their learning during the challenges posed by the pandemic.