An Address on Coronavirus (COVID-19) by Dr. Michelle Zimmerman

An Address on Coronavirus (COVID-19) by Dr. Michelle Zimmerman

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m. PT, March 23, 2020

The coronavirus has quickly spread globally, affecting communities in all areas. Renton Prep Christian School values the safety of our students and the surrounding community. Already, the virus has affected many in the Renton area, causing us to take serious measures to stop the pandemic from spreading further. To that end, our school has gone to complete online instruction through April 27 (Friday, April 24), per Governor Inslee. We will continue to contact all students and family members to address upcoming updates about the coronavirus and course instruction.

Coronavirus Updates from the Governor

Moving forward, Governor Inslee will continue to provide updates for schools and speak to media. At Renton Prep, we have not received direct confirmation or reported cases of students or staff members diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). However, as a school with fewer than 250 people, we have taken the recommendations of experts to help guide us through this issue. We will continue to provide you with updates of the most current information as it becomes available.

Remote Learning in the Time of Coronavirus

With the help of modern technology, we have been able to entirely shift to remote learning for all students. We began remote learning on March 16th to ensure all students, faculty, and staff stay home and stay safe. Renton Prep has been enabled for remote and distance learning since 2009, and we have made it a priority to be prepared for what’s to come. It is important to us that we are offering families more than deployed academic content. Our school is committed to providing students unparalleled learning experiences to build positive memories and build morale and stability in a time with so much change to our daily lives.

Prepared for Unknowns and the Future

In the history of our school, people in the local area have wondered why we continually work on transformation each year rather than remaining in traditional models of learning. Truthfully, that transformation allows us to shift our perspective as things change overtime. In addition, it’s part of a constant improvement plan as we prepare for unknowns in the future. This does present challenges for staff who are continually learning and growing, but it reduces pressure when an unknown occurs. Those unknowns can range from preparing young people for jobs that do not yet exist, to preparing our staff, students, and families for times like this: where the World Health Organization has identified coronavirus as a Global Pandemic. 

“Where other schools systems are feeling fragility, we are ready to proceed with strength.”  

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman

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We care about the safety of everyone in our building. Although students are no longer on site, our leadership have been working around the clock for decision making, reading the latest information, connecting with medical experts, government officials, school law, experts as professors who are providing ideas for curriculum and staff, connections with education leaders across the nation, preparing for professional development support of our staff to ease their shift to remote learning process, and deep cleaning the school from top to bottom, including fogging used in hospitals. We love our families and we will do everything in our capability to keep our promise to serve the people on our team and school families. . . . #fogging #publichealth #cdc #rentonprep #deepcleaning #dpz #covid_19 #covid #corona #coronavirus #education

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We Value our Staff

We essentially put our faculty through rigorous readiness and preparedness training, not just for trauma informed teaching, but for situations such as this. Those staff who have remained with us are those who have been willing to be flexible. This includes challenging their thinking, pursuing growth and transformation, and remaining professional. We are so thankful for them taking on challenges across time.

An Eye Opening Experience

This coronavirus pandemic has already changed a way of life, including school for so many across the region. This is a perfect example of one of those future unknowns we’ve prepared for. Our staff is ready and able to continue learning remotely, already giving families choice to best meet their needs. Also, our students and teachers have already been trained to use the technology. Our infrastructure has been in place to ensure as smooth a transition as possible should there be a requirement for all schools to cease gathering on site.   

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Flattening the curve to protect against Coronavirus spread presents new challenges. The Governor banned all schools from meeting on site from now through the next six weeks. If you wonder what it looks like for Kindergarten and Kindergarten Prep to prepare for remote learning, watch this video. Crosby was already at home, so his mom, Kayla, sent this video in to the school. It captures the moment while his classmates were training still at school and he connected from home. They talked about how to transition from raising a quiet hand in class to ask a question to typing a “Q” in the video call. Developing protocol and expectations are an important part of a successful remote learning implementation. . . . #remotework #remotelearning #socialdistancing #publichealth #safety #technology #edtech #earlychildhood #showcaseschool #microsoftedu #lowerthecurve #preparednotscared #mieexpert #teachsdgs @kmhuhs2 #seattletogether

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Challenges for Schools

All schools need to juggle difficult decision across time. One is a question of disrupting stability in a traditional system purposefully to prepare for the future, or wait for the future to make major transformation causing a disruption unexpectedly as it is now for many schools. There are trade-offs for both types of choice. We made the decision over a decade ago to go though the challenge of intentional technology disruption to prepare for future unknowns, to best serve our families. 

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We’ve been enabled for remote and distance learning since 2009. In the history of our school, people have wondered why we work for continual transformation each year rather than remaining in traditional models and modes of learning. It’s part of a constant improvement plan as we prepare for unknowns in the future. Those unknowns can range from preparing young people for jobs that do not yet exist, to preparing our staff, students, and families for times like this: where the World Health Organization has identified COVID19 as a Global Pandemic. This Pandemic has already changed a way of life, including school. This is a perfect example of one of those future unknowns we’ve prepared for. Our staff is ready and able to continue learning remotely, currently giving families choice to best meet their needs. Our students have already been trained to use the technology. Our infrastructure has been in place to ensure as smooth a transition as possible should there be a requirement to close all schools for weeks. All schools need to juggle difficult decision across time. One is a question of disrupting stability in a traditional system purposefully to prepare for the future, or wait for the future to make major transformation causing a disruption unexpectedly as it is now for many schools. There are trade-offs for both types of choice. We made the decision over a decade ago to go though the challenge of intentional technology disruption to prepare for future unknowns, to best serve our families. We are prepared. We have a plan. We know what to do moving forward, rather than scrambling to implement new systems, train staff and families. Cognia (formerly AdvancedED) has vetted and approved our plans and we are internationally accredited and STEM certified. We have been recognized by Microsoft and Northwest Council for Computer Educators, Future of Education Technology Conference and The Learning Council for being ahead of the curve. This gives us a chance to focus on the facts, over fear and Planning over panic. Thank you for trusting your family with us and believing in our vision. . . . #disruption #preparation #pandemic #showcaseschool #microsoftedu #throwbackthursday

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Renton Prep Is Prepared 

We know what to do moving forward, rather than scrambling to implement new systems or train staff and families. Cognia (formerly AdvancedED) has vetted and approved our plans and we have international accreditation and STEM certification. Renton Prep has been recognized by Microsoft and Northwest Council for Computer Educators, Future of Education Technology Conference, and The Learning Council for being ahead of the curve. This gives us a chance to focus on the facts over fear, and planning over panic. Thank you for trusting your family with us and believing in our vision. As always, we will continue to update you as new information becomes available. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns. Also, please find resources here.