August 26th: R-MA's Reopening Plan and The Yellow Jacket Emergency Fund
R-MA is pleased to have a safe and organized start to ON-CAMPUS instruction for the Fall 2020 Semester. Our preparation, committment and resolve are stronger than ever under the leadership of our President, Brigadier General David C. Wesley, USAF, Retired.
General Wesley's expertise has been much sought after during these unique times as evidenced in numerous interviews, including those with:
- WTOP's Neal Augenstein: How Randolph-Macon Academy is prepping for in-person classes
- Enrollment Management Association's Podcast: Fall Reopening: An In-Person Approach
R-MA is proud to provide you with our REOPENING PLAN for the 2020-21 Academic Year. This document serves as a transparent, structured, and organized form of communication to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe. Our success continues to be in our ability to plan effectively and adapt - we are thrilled to see our Fall 2020 Enrollment grow knowing that families have entrusted us with a unique responsibility to provide the quintiessential experience that is R-MA.
Yellow Jacket Emergency Fund
Please consider donating to our Yellow Jacket Emergency Fund. We know that families are facing uncertain economic times, and students need a higher level of finanancial assistance this year.
July 9th: Welcome Back to Campus for Fall 2020!
Randolph-Macon Academy will host on-campus classes for the 2020-21 school year, beginning this August. We believe the central value of an R-MA education occurs on campus and results from personal interactions, and we are committed to returning to that boarding school culture. We invite you to submit your application today to become a member of this year’s student body!
Preparations have been made and are continuing to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Everyone on campus will be required to wear a mask and maintain safe physical distancing. Classroom configurations and hallway traffic will be adjusted to accommodate safe distancing. R-MA has an average of 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio and we are confident social distancing will be provided in all classrooms.
Hygiene and personal responsibility will be emphasized in educational sessions. In addition to the deep cleaning regularly conducted, staff will also disinfect their rooms between classes. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the campus to supplement hand washing.
These are only a few of the measures being put in place to enable our students to safely return to campus for this coming school year. The Admission Office will be happy to speak with prospective families about other safeguards being put into place; call 540-636-5484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Current families and students who have questions should contact Todd Freiwald at email@example.com.
Many questions were raised by parents during the May 20th Zoom meeting with R-MA administration. Since we could not get to all of the questions during the session, the Senior Staff members have provided written responses to these questions. Access the question-and-answer document here. Please keep in mind that this is a living document; it will be updated as events warrant. We will continue to keep you updated.
Last night we released Class Night, recognizing our top students in academics and Air Force Junior ROTC. Join us today at 1:00 pm for the Middle School Promotion and Awards Ceremony, at 7:30 pm this evening for our Baccalaureatte Service, and tomorrow at 9:15 am for our Graduation Ceremony, all on our YouTube channel! We are proud to share our Class Night video here:
A Zoom meeting was held with current parents this evening, giving them an overview of the developing plans for the fall semester and addressing their questions. As the situation continues to change rapidly, all plans are preliminary at this point. However, Gen Wesley did emphasize that the intent of the administration is to hold on-campus classes for the fall semester, so long as we are permitted to do so by the Virginia governor. Staff members are creating policies to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff up on the return to campus. Parents who missed the Zoom meeting may request access to a recording by emailing Christine Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lt Col Michael Starling sent out an updated message about the check-out procedures for June 15-20. Click here to view the full letter.
Our most prestigious athletic awards of the 2019-2020 school year were presented via YouTube Premiere this evening!
Students may return to campus during the window of June 15-20 to retrieve their belongings, turn in laptops, and complete the end-of-year check-out procedures. Students and their families must observe on-campus COVID protocols (wear a mask, check in with the nurses upon arrival, and maintain physical distancing). More information has been sent out to families. Questions may be directed to Commandant Michael Starling at email@example.com.
R-MA has returned from spring break and the new schedule is working well! Our dynamic teachers are continuing to engage students in this all-important sprint to the end of the school year, now only a month away. One fantastic benefit of the new schedule is that the teachers and students have more time to meet individually to work through questions.
We are moving forward with an online summer school, offering approximately a dozen new and repeat courses. Our experience this spring has set us up for success this summer! Our teachers are now well-versed in what works in online learning. In addition, our flight program has become a Hybrid Summer Flight Program, providing ground school online and individually scheduled flight lessons.
As we enter into the end of the year, we are beginning to host awards ceremonies in new ways. Our winter sports awards were announced via a community Zoom call. Our Air Force Junior ROTC awards were presented in a pre-recorded YouTube Premiere event!
On Monday, April 6th, R-MA President Brig Gen David C. Wesley shared this video in a message to all R-MA parents.
Commandant Lt Col Michael Starling expressed his appreciation for the quick departure from campus in mid-March, and addresses questions about returning to campus to collect personal belongings in this note to parents and guardians.
Today Dean of Instructional Leadership and Innovation Tess Hegedus released information concerning the class schedule to take place after spring break (April 20th) through the end of the school year (May 29th). The changes being made to the schedule will allow for less "screen time" while still accomplishing purpose of the students' education: to prepare them for college and for life.
Wondering how online classes are going? We asked some of our teachers and parents for their viewpoints, and wove them into this article.
Click here to read a letter from Gen Wesley to the R-MA community.
March 23rd Update
As you may have heard, today Virginia Governor Ralph Northam directed that all K-12 schools would be closed through the end of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we will not be returning to our physical campus in the coming weeks, our dedication to our students' education remains unchanged. R-MA suspended on-campus instruction prior to the Governor's order to close the schools. We stood up on-line instruction around the globe in less than a week, and those lessons will continue until the end of the current semester. Our seniors will graduate on time with substantially the same subject matter knowledge originally scheduled for this academic year. Our underclassmen will complete their studies on the originally set schedule, with minor variations to accommodate further direction from the Virginia Council for Private Education and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, both of which serve as accrediting bodies for R-MA. Our commitment to our students and their parents will be kept to the furthest extent possible, consistent with the safety of our teachers and staff. We've done that for 128 years and, in spite of the current health crisis, we intend to deliver on that promise again this year.
March 19th Update
In the interest of safety and to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, all R-MA personnel will begin working remotely as of Friday, March 20th. At this time, the return to campus is anticipated to be April 19th.
Please note that the campus is now closed to visitors. If you are interested in visiting the campus once this crisis has passed, please contact one of the following offices:
- Prospective students and families, email the Admission Office.
- Alumni and families, contact the Advancement Office.
- General community members, contact the Office of Communications.
You may also reach individual faculty and staff members via email. All offices will be operating remotely with personnel attending to on-campus duties intermittently as needed. In addition, our wordwide online classes will continue. Security officers and those who cannot complete duties from home will continue alternating work schedules on campus.
For information regarding the Virginia cases or the coronavirus in general, please visit the Virginia Department of Health website or call the hotline at 1-877-ASK-VDH3.
Click here to read the letter from Gen Wesley.
Click here for information from Dean Hegedus and Mr. Ballard concerning online learning, which begins Wednesday, March 18th.
March 12, 2020
Given the rapidly evolving situation with the COVID-19 virus, Randolph-Macon Academy will be suspending on-campus classes at the end of the day on Friday, March 13 and asking students to depart campus beginning that afternoon.
We understand this is not ideal. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our immediate area, but we are guided by several goals: protecting the health of our students, faculty, and staff, and to help slow the spread of the virus.
During tomorrow’s class periods, we will be preparing students to move to a virtual learning environment. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, we start our classes online through April 9th, when the spring break begins.
The timeline below coordinates staff and student actions for their transition home.
Friday, March 13
- Faculty virtual learning environment training/planning 8:00-9:00am;
- Classes will follow with all seven classes meeting for 30 minute periods with faculty instruction on virtual learning.
- Students may begin leaving following the last class at 2:00pm.
Saturday, March 14
- Proceed with SAT administration; families can decide whether to cancel or reschedule their testing.
Saturday, March 15
- Students continue to depart campus.
Monday, March 16 - Tuesday, March 17
- Monday and Tuesday will be teacher work days for faculty to prepare for remote learning and for students to transition back home.
Wednesday, March 18
- Transition fully to online learning following regular class schedule on the current rotation.
Sunday, March 22
- Open House 2-4 pm as currently scheduled, but may move to a virtual platform as necessary. This is the best option for our community as well as individual students at this time.
Those who were interested in their student remaining on campus for spring break will need to plan on their student staying off-campus in the arrangements made for this duration.
No school-sponsored events will be held on or off campus. If possible, we will make up internal events.
At this time, the following major events on our schedule have been cancelled:
- Parade Unit's Florida Trip
- Drill Team's Trip to AFJROTC National Drill Meet in Ohio
- New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
- Leadership Symposium and Tech Pilots Day at Middle School (both March 28th)
As we continue to monitor the situation off campus, virtual learning may last longer as needed for the safety of our students and employees. While students are able to leave things in their rooms, you should be prepared for the long haul and bring things home that would enable virtual learning, particularly your Macbook and charger.
A structured, healthy routine including physical activity would be advised. This will be helpful when campus operations resume.
We will keep you aware as the situation evolves and new information is received. We aspire to return to full-time, in-residence operations as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. Please continue to check this page for updates.
For questions regarding the Virginia cases or general coronavirus questions, please contact: Virginia Department of Health hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3. For the latest public health updates go to: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronav....