Regents COVID-19 Updates

List of 17 items.

  • 4/21/2020: Finishing the School Year in SOL

    Dear Logic Students and Families,

    As was announced by Dr. Peterson on Friday, we will not return to campus for the remainder of the school year and will complete the year in our current remote format. For me, the announcement was not terribly surprising, but was disheartening. While I knew there was a chance that we would not return to school this year, it has been sad to know it is now official and we will not have the opportunity to see each other and close out the year together on campus. Missing the field trips, awards chapel, and just the general excitement in the building as Summer approaches will be difficult. 

    So, with school now closed for the remainder of the semester, I know there are many questions about how we will close out the school year remotely, and will keep you posted as the plans are finalized. In the meantime, here is some important information about some of the end of year questions, so please read carefully.

    Grades: I have heard some concern from students and parents about how remote learning will impact grades. At the moment, almost all our students are rising to the occasion and doing good work. If students continue to do their part (show up, participate in class, and earnestly complete their work), their grades will not suffer. If a student is struggling due to extenuating circumstances, please let the teacher or Grade Level Dean know right away, so we can work with you.

    Preparedness for next year: Many of you have asked about how remote learning will impact students being prepared for 8th or 9th grade next year specifically in Math and Latin. Rest assured, as long as students are completing the work they are given this Spring, they will be prepared for the Fall. Logic and Rhetoric teachers will work in the fall to calibrate appropriately to adjust to what may be missed in the Spring. However, if students do not complete the work this Spring, they may have gaps come the Fall. Again, do the work you have in front of you and finish well, and we will honor that.

    Finals: We will not be having traditional finals this year. Teachers will create an assignment or test that demonstrates summative learning. These “finals” will be worth anywhere from 50-100 points (rather than 20% of their grade) and will either be due or given the last week of school (May 18-21). Teachers will communicate the details for each class in the coming weeks.

    Registration for 2020-21: For current 8th/rising 9th graders, information was sent in an email on Friday. Please refer to that email or visit this link for more information and also remember to attend the Registration Zoom Meeting Wednesday at 2:00. The link is on the Registration webpage. For current 7th/rising 8th graders, Registration was scheduled for early/mid-May and we will stick to that timeline. Look for an email from me May 1 with more details.

    Textbooks and Lockers: We will need students to come to campus to return textbooks and clean out their lockers. Scheduling this will depend on the amount of people allowed to gather at the end of May. Our facilities team is working on a plan now. When students come to clean out lockers and return books, they will also pick up their yearbook.

    Awards Chapel: We will have Awards Chapel on May 4 via Zoom. I will announce the recipients of each award and certificates will be mailed to their homes.

    Senior Appreciation: Many of you have asked how you can let the seniors know they are loved and appreciated as their spring looks decidedly different than expected. If you would like to help love our seniors please reach out to Carla Smyrl (she heads up our Alumni Network). She has several ideas in the works.

    There will be more questions that come up as we close out the year, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything you are wondering or concerned about. We continue to be thankful for and appreciate your flexibility and patience with us as we navigate these new waters. I hope you all are making the best of the time you have been given. I will continue to pray for you and your families. I look forward to seeing you back in August.

    In Christ,
    Matt Jasinski
  • 4/21/2020: Grammar School — Year End Update

    Dear Grammar Families,

    While we have known all along that not returning to school this year was a possibility, the finality of last week’s announcement still stings. We are all grieving the loss of end-of-the-year activities and traditions (at least in person). I am saddened by the loss of little things like greeting students and parents each morning at the front doors and looking out my office window to see the students running and laughing and playing on the playground. I am saddened by the loss of big things like Grandparents Day and Ephesians Chapel. Even though I am disappointed and missing these things, and you most of all, I am not without hope or joy. I am looking forward to the day we are all back together and I can see all of the smiles on our students' faces and hear their laughter. I am grateful for the time that families have been given to be together - the ability to sit at the table to eat and play and pray together, to take long walks, to slow down. In the midst of all the experiences we are losing, there are so many opportunities for gain. I pray that you and your families gain more than you lose through this time.

    Administration and faculty are working feverishly behind the scenes to finish the year well, and we will continue to keep you updated as the picture becomes clearer. There are several important pieces of information below. Please read carefully:

    Grading - This week, you will begin to receive a weekly communication from your child’s teacher regarding his/her academic progress. Grade reporting will reflect two things, completion and comprehension. First, your teacher will communicate with a completion grade for all assigned work that is submitted. This will help us all keep track of student engagement during this time. The completion grades will be pass/fail. 

    Teachers will also give a second weekly grade reflecting comprehension. This will be a percentage grade and will allow us to know how well the students are comprehending the material covered. As you have seen already, some assignments will be graded by the parent and sent to the teacher; some assignments will be submitted and the teacher will provide feedback on comprehension. For specifics on a given assignment, refer to the weekly communication from your teacher. This data will allow us to properly assess and plan for the students return to the classroom in the fall. We want to make sure that we meet the students where they are when they step back into the classroom so that there are no gaps in their learning. 

    The grades on the final report card for the 4th quarter will reflect your child’s completion grade, not their comprehension grade. This way grades for this quarter will not adversely affect a student’s ability to matriculate to the next grade. The comprehension grades will allow the teachers to plan well for the fall and to communicate to parents areas of learning that their child might benefit from extra practice. In the Parent Coffee and Devotional link provided below, I explain our grading policy. If you begin watching at the 36:30 mark, that is where I begin a discussion of grading in the Grammar School.

    Character Rocks - We are planning on awarding Character Rocks this year just as we have in years past. The difference will be in distribution. We are currently discussing and brainstorming the best possible means of distributing these and will be providing further details as we approach the end of the year. The same will be true for student artwork and other materials.

    Ephesians Chapel and 6th Grade Blessing Chapel - Not being able to have Ephesians Chapel or the 6th Grade Blessing Chapel in person is probably the saddest thing for me. We are currently discussing ways to have a virtual experience of these two chapels so be looking for more details in the days to come.

    Textbook Return/Cleaning out Desks - Once we have details about how we can safely have the students return their textbooks and come and clean out their desks/cubbies/lockers, we will notify you.

    There are a myriad of other details and questions, and we will be keeping you updated as we go along. Thank you for your continued patience, feedback and encouragement. This is such a wonderful community to be a part of, and I thank God for you each and every day. Here is the link to last Friday’s Parent Coffee and Devotional. Our next Parent Coffee and Devotional on Friday, May 1, at 8 a.m.
  • 4/20/2020: School of Rhetoric — Year End Update

    Dear Students and Parents,

    Last week I received an email from a parent asking me if I was only receiving “puppy dog and rainbow emails” with all the emojis included - it made me laugh out loud. The truth is we are at the point in our journey where we are tired and worn down. This is hard and stressful. Personally I am weepy, and frustrated, and angry and also alternately embarrassed by my feelings of assumptions of what I am owed. 

    We must finish the work set before us. 

    Administration and faculty are working feverishly behind the scenes to finish the year well, and we will continue to keep you updated as the picture becomes clearer. There are several important pieces of information below. Please read carefully.

    Grades: I have received questions about transitioning to a pass/fail system. We will not be doing so simply because we want students to continue to work earnestly and try their best through the end of the school year. At the moment, almost all our students are rising to the occasion and doing good work. If students continue to do their part (show up, participate in class, and hand in decent work), their grades will not suffer.  If a student is struggling due to extenuating circumstances, please let the teacher or Grade Level Dean know right away. According to the teachers, grades have not gone down with any sort of significance since work assigned before spring break has been graded. 

    Registration for the 2020-21 school year: In Friday’s Dean email, there was all the information needed to register for classes next year. Please refer to that email for details. Registration is this week.

    Finals: We will not be having traditional finals this year. Teachers will create an assignment or test that demonstrates summative learning. These “finals” will be worth anywhere from 50-100 points (rather than 20% of their grade) and will either be due or given the last week of school (May 18-21). There are no Bible, Rhetoric I, and Apologetics end-of-year tests.

    Textbooks and Lockers: We will need students to come to campus to return textbooks and clean out their lockers. Scheduling this will depend on the amount of people allowed to gather at the end of May. Our facilities team is working on a plan now. When students come to clean out lockers and return books they will also pick up their yearbook.

    Thesis: Our seniors continue to prepare for their thesis. We will know by the end of this week if they will be allowed to present in Knight’s Hall under strict guidelines or whether they will need to present their theses on Zoom. With either scenario, we will not be using community judges this year. There are too many variables and fluidity to add another layer of complexity. The judges will be composed of faculty and staff. 

    Commencement: In the great hope that we can be together in person, the Commencement committee continues to meet. If we are unable to have a traditional commencement, we will have some sort of a graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 23. We are thinking through our options. One option is if we are allowed to gather in large numbers in August, we will have one big graduation/going-away party for all the seniors, their families, and the Rhetoric faculty. 
     
    Senior Appreciation: Many of you have asked how you can let the seniors know they are loved and appreciated as their spring looks decidedly different than expected. If you would like to help love our seniors please reach out to Carla Smyrl (she heads up our Alumni Network). She has several ideas in the works.

    We can do this. Keep sending photos and notes of your kids volunteering, digging sprinkler systems, sewing, reading, having Prom on the patio, etc. My daughter Joanie (strength and conditioning coach for our girls) saw some sisters walking in the neighborhood and asked how they were faring. They answered with, “We love having everyone home!” If we can hold steady and continue to embrace what God has given us I think some (many? most?) of our kids will look back on this time as a very special moment in their life as a family.

    Blessings,
    Liz (or…. xoxooox mrs b)

    And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
  • 4/17/2020: COVID-19 Update — Regents Campus Closed through End of School Year

    Regents Community,

    Although we knew this was a possibility, it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the Regents School of Austin campus will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Texas Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference today announcing an Executive Order to begin the process of reopening the Texas economy. Unfortunately, schools are required to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

    We will continue with the remote learning platform for the rest of the school year, but all on-campus activities including Athletics and Fine Arts are canceled. While remote learning has gone incredibly well due to the work of our outstanding teachers and the commitment of our families, we could have never imagined this is how we would end this school year. I am sad for our students, teachers, and especially our seniors and their families, for the milestones missed or postponed. However, I rest in the sovereignty of God and know we can have a peace that surpasses human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7) in times like these.

    This announcement obviously brings a number of questions. We are working on finalizing plans for the rest of the year, including for Senior Thesis, Baccalaureate, and Commencement. We are still in the planning process and will continue to communicate information as soon as we can.

    This was not the news that any of us wanted to hear, but I am incredibly proud of the resilience of our community through this difficult time. As Christians, we spend our lives waiting, knowing our hope does not lie in cancelled plans, but in the Lord whose mercies are new each morning.

    My mother sent this verse to me, and I wanted to pass it along to you today:

    “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).” 
     
    Soli Deo Gloria,
     
    Dan Peterson, Ph.D.
    Head of School
     
  • 4/1/2020: School of Logic Remote Learning Check In

    Dear Logic Students and Families,

    With the first rotation of classes under our belts, I wanted to take the time to check in with you. By and large, it seems as the first days have gone relatively well. I know that teachers were excited to get to see the students again, and it seems the students were excited to see the teachers and each other. I cannot overstate how much I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility. There were certainly bumps (and there will be more), but everyone handled them with patience and grace, and for that, I’m extremely thankful.

    As we all take a breath today and look ahead to the second rotation of classes, there are few things I want to pass along.
     
    1. As a reminder, we have an SOL Remote Learning Resource webpage to provide help and other information as needed. Please bookmark this page and use it as a reference as you have questions.
    2. I apologize for any confusion over Electives yesterday. Electives will continue to meet through Zoom. Your 2/4 Elective (either E or F block) will meet on Tuesday, and your 3/5 Elective (also E or F) will meet on Friday. For example, if I have Art E24 and Drama E35, then Art will be Tuesday during E block and Drama will be Friday.
    3. You will be receiving a survey on Thursday. Please take the time to fill it out and give us honest feedback about your experience. This will allow us to calibrate as we strive to do this with excellence.
    4. We continue to receive requests for access to the building. Due to the shelter-in-place restrictions, we are strictly limiting access. If you need to access the building for something critical (books, binders, notebooks), please email dcorley@regentsaustin.org by noon on Thursday. Based on the number of requests, we will contact you with a time to come to school on Friday to get what you need.  Please limit requests for access only for essential items for remote learning.
    5. In light of Dr. Peterson’s announcement yesterday extending remote learning until at least May 4:
      1. Grandparents Day canceled: April 9 is now a normal meeting day.
      2. Easter Holiday: Good Friday and the following Monday are still holidays. No class meetings for April 10 and 13. Enjoy the rest.
      3. ERBs canceled: April 14-16 will now be a normal meeting week.
      4. Field trips canceled: April 21-23 will now be a normal meeting week, and we will have meetings that Friday, April 24.
    6. Lastly, and most fun, we’re going to have an all-SOL Chapel, Monday, April 6, at 9 a.m. Yes, we’re going to get all 185 of us into a single Zoom Meeting for a short Chapel. It’s going to be great! After Chapel, you will go to Homeroom to follow-up and check-in. Here is the link for the meeting: SOL Chapel. I’ll see you on Monday!

    Again, I’m grateful for your flexibility and patience. I hope round two goes well. As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.

    In Christ,
    Matt Jasinski
  • 3/30/2020: Grammar School — Upcoming Parent Coffee and Survey

    Dear Parents,
     
    I hope and pray you are all well. You remain, as always, in my heart and daily prayers. 
     
    I know you have all been busy today learning alongside your children how to do this remote learning thing we have been thrust into. There will be ups and downs as we travel the road ahead. There will be frustrations, but there will also be a lot of good that comes from all of this. One of the most encouraging things I have seen today are pictures of parents and their children together as you have started this journey.  
     
    We appreciate your feedback. We want to get better at how and what we deliver. If you have a question or need, please email your teacher, your Associate Head (Becky Walter - K-2; Jen Bryce - 3rd-4th; Kyle Dillard - 5th-6th), or me.
     
    The school will be sending out a survey later this week to gauge how things are going. Please take time to fill out the survey — your feedback is very important to us.
     
    This Friday, I will be hosting a Parent Coffee and Devotional via Zoom. It is scheduled from 8:00-9:00 in the virtual Grammar Zoom Conference Room. Here is the invitation:
     
    TopicGrammar Parent Coffee and Devotional -
              We Are All on an Adventure: Surviving Regents Remote Learning
     
    Time: April 3, 2020, 8:00 a.m. Central Time (US and Canada)
     
    Join Zoom Meeting
     
    Meeting ID: 807 993 931
     
    Please let me or my team know if you have any questions or if there are specific ways I can pray for your family.
     
    Yours in Christ,
     
    Ronnie Long
    Head of Grammar
  • 3/27/2020: A Video Message From Dr. Peterson

  • 3/26/2020: Grammar School Remote Learning

    Dear Grammar Families,

    My hope and prayer is that this email finds you and your loved ones well. You all remain in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your patience this week as we have been hard at work preparing for the new adventure called “remote learning.” The Grammar School faculty and staff have been hard at work this week (and last) learning new technology, planning, and recording lessons so that we can get back to school next Monday.

    This is going to be new territory for us all. We appreciate now more than ever the partnership that exists between the family and the school. We are all going to need extra doses of patience, kindness, and grace. Times like these make us enrollees of the School of Virtue. Some of the most important lessons that we all will learn will be humility, patience, charity, gentleness, gratitude, and joy in the face of difficulty. To be honest, these are the most important lessons we need to learn regardless of the circumstances.

    Below, you will find information that will be helpful as we get started on Monday with remote learning:

    1. Grammar students will not be using Zoom video conferencing for their daily lessons because they will be recorded, but classes may meet occasionally on Zoom for an opportunity for the teacher and students to see each other. I will also be hosting my Parent Coffee & Devotionals through Zoom. Our IT Department will be hosting an optional Zoom training session that will walk you through Zoom if you have never used it before. You should have received an email from IT with the Zoom training session information for Friday. If you did not, please let us know. These are optional meetings being hosted by Chief Technology Officer Bryan Gustin and the IT department to help provide direction and help with the technical side of remote meetings. 

    2. On Sunday evening you will receive an email from your child’s teacher. This initial email will include a link to next week’s Week at a Glance that will contain all lessons needed for next week.

    3. Following that initial email, parents will receive a daily check-in email from their teacher.  This email will not include new lessons, but instead an encouraging daily note from the teacher to the students.
     
    4. In addition to this daily message, each week the grade level Week at a Glance will be sent on Friday afternoons. Within the Week at a Glance, teachers will post daily assignments, video links, and helpful resources. This information will also be linked to each grade level webpage under the Week at a Glance Topics tab. 
     
    5. I will be recording a weekly Chapel message that will be included in the Week at a Glance.
     
    6. I will also continue to host my bi-weekly Parent Coffee and Devotional through Zoom. The first one will be next Friday, April 3. I will send the login information next Wednesday.
     
    As we work through this, we know there will be many questions so please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, the Associate Heads, or me. We are here to help, and we are all in this together.

    Finally, let me share the following prayer:

    O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people.
    Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction.
    You know our weakness.
    You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart.
    O Lord, who loves mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the coronavirus.
    Watch over us and protect us.
    Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus.  
    Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy.
    That we may continue to serve You in peace,
    and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name,
    of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.
     
     
    Yours In Christ,
     
    Ronnie Long
    Head of Grammar School
  • 3/26/2020: School of Logic Remote Learning

    Dear Logic Families,

    I hope you and your families are well and have been able to find joy and peace during the extended Spring Break. I know this has been challenging to everyone in different ways, but these are the times I am grateful for the hope we have in Christ. It is often in times of difficulty and uncertainty that our faith is tested and strengthened, so my prayer is that the faith of all families, students, and teachers will become more rooted in Christ.

    We appreciate your patience as we prepare for this adventure in remote learning. The SOL teachers have been working incredibly hard recording videos and lessons, adapting content, and learning new presentation methods in order to be ready to start school back on Monday. This is a new challenge for all of us, so we greatly appreciate your patience and grace as we navigate these waters together.

    Below is important information for you as we prepare to get things started on Monday:

    1. Your student should have received an email and Zoom Meeting invite for the first Homeroom Meeting which will take place tomorrow, Friday, March 27. This meeting will serve as an opportunity to check in, see faces, and test the technology. Casual Day dress guidelines are expected to be followed on all Zoom calls.
     
    2. You should also have received an invite from Regents IT for an optional Zoom training session to help you prepare to join classes via Zoom next week. These training sessions will also take place tomorrow. 

    3. You will receive an email tomorrow from your Grade Level Dean with more information including a link to a dedicated Logic Remote Learning webpage. It will contain loads of great information, so make sure to open and bookmark it.

    4. Turn your Google Classroom notifications on. Begin checking your Classroom every morning for information. Google Classroom is linked to your Google Calendar so you will begin finding Zoom meetings for each class on your calendar. You will join the class by opening up the calendar invite and choosing “join meeting.”
     
    As we work through this together, there are sure to be frustrations, technical issues, hiccups, and bumps, so, again, we greatly appreciate your grace and patience. I assure you that the teachers and everyone involved are working in overdrive to do this with excellence. Along the way, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact teachers, IT support (remotesupport@regentsaustin.org), or me. We look forward to partnering with you to embark on this adventure together.
     
    Throughout all of this, I have continually gone back to Psalm 43:5: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” We have hope and faith in a great God. I will continue to pray for all of you.
     
    In Christ,
    Matt Jasinski
  • 3/26/2020: School of Rhetoric Remote Learning

    Dear Families,
     
    Thank you for your patience as we navigate new waters this week. The faculty and staff have been working overtime to give our families the best experience possible considering the circumstances.
     
    It was strange and bittersweet on Monday as students came to pick up their things. Several were teary eyed (my seniors), but when I asked each student what the unexpected blessing had been, I heard the most wonderful answers! Here are just a few:
     
    “I’d pay anything to be wearing my chapel uniform.”
    “I’m working on getting better at the guitar.”
    “I baked cookies with my Mom on Saturday and I can’t tell you the last time I did that.”
    “My parents have made a schedule for us.” ~lots of kids said this!  :)
    “I’ve started running in the neighborhood - I never do that!”
    “I’m building a fort in the woods behind my house with a friend.”
    “I’ve started investing in the stock market. Seems like a good time”
    “I’m reading a book. Not for school. It’s been nice.”
     
    It is times just like this when we get the opportunity to find out what we really are made of and what we really believe in. Over the next so many weeks we are going to feel scared, grateful, frustrated, irritable, melancholy, you name it! It is our hope that we can provide some learning, structure, and a bit of community. Below is the information you need to get started on Monday.
     
    1. You should have received an email from IT with Zoom training session information for Friday. If you did not, please let me know. You may or may not need to attend one of the sessions - our students are pretty savvy, but it may be reassuring to tune in. 
     
    2. On Friday you will receive an email from your Grade Level Dean. In their email you will find grade specific information along with a link to a resource page for Rhetoric. It is chock full of good information so make sure you open it and bookmark it!
     
    3. Make sure your google classroom notifications are on. Begin checking your google classrooms every morning for information. Your google classroom is linked to your google calendar so you will find a Zoom meeting for each class on your calendar. You will join the class by opening up the calendar invite and choosing “join meeting.” Casual Day dress guidelines are expected to be followed on all Zoom calls.
     
    I created a screen saver with the following verse, it's been a very good reminder each time I open my phone!
     
    Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
     
    Hang in there, we love you!
    Liz 
  • 3/26/2020: Remote Learning - Technology Information and Resources

    Dear Regents Families,

    On behalf of the Regents IT Department, I want to thank you for your support and flexibility as we move to remote learning. As a department, we are working to make this transition as seamless as possible, and we are here to support you.

    I wanted to share a few important resources as we prepare for remote learning next week.

    Parental Controls
    First, I want to remind you of the importance of installing parental controls on your students’ devices. During this unprecedented time, remote learning allows our students to continue learning, but it also exposes them to potential dangers of the internet. Your students may be on a device more than usual, and we know parents will be balancing helping kids with school lessons while also working from home and may not be able to monitor online activities at all times.

    Please take this time to install parental controls on any devices your students are using, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. To help you, our parent education partner Axis has a great Parent's Guide to Internet Filtering and Monitoring

    How to Use Zoom Video Conferencing
    Ronnie Long, Matt Jasinski, and Liz Benigno will email you later today with specifics of how remote learning will work for Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric students. Logic and Rhetoric students will be using Zoom video conferencing for classes, Advisory, and meeting with faculty during office hours. Grammar lessons will be recorded and not conducted through Zoom, but occasionally classes may meet up in Zoom for the teacher and students to see each other. Parent talks and prayer groups will be conducted through Zoom as well.

    Tomorrow, Friday, March 27, we will have a Zoom training session to get you and your student ready to use Zoom. Please use the following links to join the meeting at the designated time. 

    3:00 p.m.  Zoom Meeting

    We will cover topics including:
    • How to join a meeting
    • How to mute and unmute
    • How to start and stop your camera
    • How to raise your hand during a meeting

    We have developed this Zoom Basics deck for you to reference as you are getting set up with Zoom. We will walk through these slides in the webinar tomorrow. 

    As always, please let us know if you have any questions by emailing remotesupport@regentsaustin.org. We will have extended IT Support hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to help you.

    Thank you,

    Bryan Gustin
    Chief Technology Officer
  • 3/24/2020: COVID-19 Update - Regents COVID-19 Webpage and Q&A

    Regents Families,

    This is certainly an unprecedented time for us as a school, as a nation, and as a world. In the midst of our uncertainty, we trust a God who is sovereign despite earthly circumstances. Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” I pray that we can find comfort in the Lord’s strength and take refuge in His goodness during this time where we are forced to slow down, cancel plans, and rest in togetherness with our families. 

    Today, Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued a Shelter-in-Place order in the city of Austin and Travis County until April 13. All non-essential travel and business operations are restricted, and citizens are asked to refrain from leaving their homes with the exception of essential trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc. This means that the earliest we will return to campus is Tuesday, April 14. We will continue remote learning starting Monday, March 30, until we can return to campus. There is always the possibility that we will not be able to return to campus this school year. We will keep you informed with the latest information as the situation evolves. 

    Our administrators and teachers are working hard on plans for remote learning to begin for our students on Monday, March 30. To keep you informed, today we have launched the Regents COVID-19 webpage. This will provide you with resources on COVID-19 as well as seek to answer your questions we have received over the last week on remote learning, schedule changes and cancellations, and more. We will update this webpage regularly with answers to additional questions. You can also quickly access the link to the webpage through Quicklinks on the website.

    Division Heads Ronnie Long, Matt Jasinski, and Liz Benigno will be in touch this week to give you and your students an overview of what remote learning will look like for each school. Grammar teachers and Grade Level Deans will send out emails on Friday to preview plans for next week.

    Community-elected Board Nominations are still due this Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m. You can find the required documents here. The nomination petition can be "signed" digitally by community members by email or screenshots of text messages. Please email them to asurovik@regentsaustin.org

    Lastly, please continue to be in prayer. Pray for our community, that we would use this change of pace to be purposeful, allowing us to spend more time with God and our families. Pray for the sick, that the Lord would provide healing. Pray for the medical professionals who are working for our safety. Pray for those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, that they would be overwhelmed with a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I am thankful for all of our families and please know that I am praying for you!

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    Dan Peterson, Ph.D.
    Head of School
     
  • 3/13/2020: COVID-19 Update - Presumptive Positive Cases in Austin-Travis County

    Dear Regents Community,
     
    Early this morning, medical authorities announced two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County. They stated they are prepared for the arrival of the virus in our city and urge residents to continue to use caution and practice good hygiene. 
     
    Grammar School and School of Logic has a scheduled early dismissal today, and we will still have school today. Of course, if you feel uncomfortable sending your student to school, please use your judgment to make the best decision for your family and your student. 
     
    Dismissal times are as follows:
    • 11:50 a.m. – *Kindergarten through 3rd grade carpool begins and walkers and bikers are released
    • 12:05 p.m. – 4th through 6th grade carpool begins and Walkers released
      • All Grammar School students must be picked up no later than 12:25 p.m.
      • *Kindergarten will join 1st – 3rd grade carpool for early dismissal. Kinder parents can line up in carpool line with 1st – 3rd grade parents and display their number on the passenger side of the front window or they can park in the lot and walk up to the pickup area to pick up their student.
    • 12:40 p.m. — SOL Released
    Please pray with me for our city, all those who are working toward a cure, and for the families affected by this virus. 
     
    Soli Deo Gloria,
     
    Dan Peterson, Ph.D.
    Head of School
  • 3/11/2020: COVID-19 Update - Post-Spring Break Plans

    Dear Regents Community,

    As we head into spring break, I know there is excitement and anticipation for a time of rest and being with family, while there is also continued concern over coronavirus (COVID-19) and what it means for our school and community. 

    Over the last few weeks, we have monitored the situation closely and pivoted when necessary based on developments, including canceling the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade trips. We have not made decisions yet about spring field trips and events. We will not make decisions out of fear, but we will be proactive and take precautions to protect our community’s safety and well-being.

    With guidance provided by reputable health organizations and educational associations, my senior staff team has been working diligently to prepare plans for possible scenarios upon our return from spring break. One possible scenario is that we will not be able to return to campus immediately after the break. Out of an abundance of caution, faculty have been given Chromebook computers and will be prepared to teach remotely if needed. We want students to be prepared by taking their textbooks home with them, starting tomorrow. Grammar and Logic teachers will help students with what they need to take home. Since Rhetoric students are already off campus, Rhetoric students will need to come to campus to pick up their textbooks. The SOR building will be open this Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13, and then again on Monday, March 23, from 8:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. for students to do so.

    As you can imagine, this possible scenario requiring remote learning will involve a lot of moving parts. We realize you may have many questions about how this might work, and we ask you to be patient with us as we work out the details in the coming days. 

    If you are traveling this spring break, please remember to practice good hygiene techniques like: 
    • Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds or using at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; 
    • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue;
    • Refraining from sharing food and drinks;
    • Avoiding close contact with others who are sick; and
    • Wiping down frequently touched surfaces. 
    We will continue to closely monitor the situation over the break and will keep you updated with the latest information.

    Lastly, I know what is going on in the world around us is scary and unsettling, but it is also a time for us to renew our faithfulness in God’s sovereignty. Director of Advancement Kirk Avery wrote this prayer for us to pray as a community:

    Father God,
     
    Praise You that we are not left to our own wisdom and abilities, especially in anxious times. You are the God of all creation; nothing lies outside of your control. You too are our Redeemer who has given Your life that we might be called children of God. So, with confidence in your sovereignty and comfort of Your love, we have no cause to fear. Help us to act with wisdom in faith as we make decisions for our families and our school. Amen.
     
    Soli Deo Gloria,
     
    Dan Peterson, Ph.D.
    Head of School
  • 2/27/2020: COVID-19 Update - Coronavirus Preparedness

    Regents Community,

    I understand the concern over the coronavirus is high, and the situation is changing rapidly. I want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we are closely monitoring the situation in order to make the best decisions for our community.

    As of right now, there is no imminent threat to Regents School of Austin. The Center for Disease Control issued this response in their situation summary, updated yesterday:

    “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 (coronavirus) is considered low”

    Our 11th graders are set to travel to Europe in two weeks. We still plan to go on the trip and believe it is too soon to make any decisions to cancel or change plans. Again, we are monitoring the situation closely.
    • Our best defense against the spread of viruses, including flu and coronavirus, is prevention. By following these recommendations, together we can reduce the risk of viral infections at Regents:
    • Keep your student from coming to school, and contact your doctor if he or she is experiencing any symptoms. If your child has a fever over 100.0, keep them home until they are fever free for 24 hours without medication.
    • Practice good hygiene techniques like: 
      • Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds or using at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; 
      • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue;
      • Refraining from sharing food and drinks;
      • Avoiding close contact with others who are sick; and
      • Wiping down frequently touched surfaces. 
    We will continue to monitor the information issued by reliable sources such as the CDC, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the City of Austin, among others. We are also routinely wiping desks and common surfaces with disinfectant wipes to provide a clean and safe learning environment.

    As always, we encourage you to use your judgment and make appropriate decisions based on what is best for your student and your family. If you have any questions, please reach out to the nurses’ office. 

    Please pray for those affected by this disease and their families, wisdom for each doctor and nurse working toward a cure, and protection of our school and community.
     
     
    Soli Deo Gloria,
     
    Dan Peterson, Ph.D.
    Head of School
  • 3/20/2020: COVID-19 Update - Regents Response and Updated Information

    Regents Community,

    As you know, this week we made the decision to extend Spring Break until Friday, March 27, and transition to Remote Learning on Monday, March 30, until at least Monday, April 6. 

    Below are a few items that require time-sensitive attention. We are continuing to compile frequently asked questions from the community, and we plan to launch the Regents COVID-19 Response webpage with answers to those questions early next week. We ask that you take the time to review the information below with your student(s) and take necessary action. 

    Picking Up Textbooks
    Campus will be open for set time periods on Monday, March 23, for students to pick up their textbooks if they were unable to do so before Spring Break. Pick-up times are assigned by last name. The schedule is as follows:

    Grammar School and School of Logic (10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

    10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: A-F
    11:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.: G-L
    12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.: M-R
    1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. : S-Z

    School of Rhetoric (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

    8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.: A-F
    10:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m.: G-L
    12:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.: M-R
    2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: S-Z

    A few Regents staff members will be on-hand to ensure proper health recommendations are being followed by everyone on campus. Please only come to campus if it is a necessity. 

    If you are under mandatory quarantine or are currently feeling unwell, please refrain from coming to campus. Please email your division head, and we will work out accommodations to give you your textbooks.

    Grammar School Parent-Teacher Conferences
    Grammar School parent-teacher conferences will continue as planned, but will be done by phone. Scheduled times may need to change. Grammar teachers will be in touch with more information. 

    Checking out Chromebooks
    We have a limited supply of Chromebooks that are available for students to check out, if there is limited or no access to at-home computers. Please fill out this form to reserve a Chromebook. Chromebooks will be assigned on a needs-basis, and then first come, first serve, with a limit of one per family.

    Upcoming Information
    Please be sure to check your email for messages from the school as we move forward. You can respond to this email or email any questions you may have to communications@regentsaustin.org.

    Our faculty and staff will be working hard to prepare for students on March 30. Please be in prayer for our school, city, state, country, and world during this season. We are filled with hope for what is ahead.
  • 3/16/2020: COVID-19 Update - Regents Closing Until Monday, April 6

    Dear Regents Community,

    This is an unprecedented time in history, something that we have never seen in our lifetime. I know this is an unsettling time for our families and our kids, and the days and weeks ahead are going to continue to bring many unknowns. Even in the midst of uncertainty, we have a sure and steadfast anchor for our soul, a hope in Christ, that is certain (Hebrews 6:19). 

    I am writing to you today to share with you the decision to close the Regents campus until Monday, April 6, for the safety and well-being of our community. Our teachers will begin working remotely on Monday, March 23, to prepare for remote learning to begin on Monday, March 30.  

    While I am setting this date, the truth is that we do not know when we will be able to reopen the campus. We need to be prepared that this could last even longer. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and will stay in regular communication with you to keep you updated and informed.

    I know you have a lot of questions about how remote learning will work and what it means for our school and your students. To help us respond to frequently asked questions, please reply to this email with questions you may have or email them to communications@regentsaustin.org. We will be creating a Regents COVID-19 Response webpage to answer as many of those questions as we can. 

    Even if we are able to reopen on Monday, April 6, we are canceling Grandparents Day out of an abundance of caution to protect those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. For Athletics and Fine Arts co-curriculars, TAPPS has canceled all interscholastic competition through April 12, with practices suspended until school reopens. Sixth - eighth grade athletics will be following these same guidelines. We will likely be announcing more postponements and cancellations in the coming days. 

    Last week we began preparations for the possibility of remote learning, with teachers going through training and students bringing home their textbooks. We are incredibly blessed that we are able to pivot to remote learning, and I want to thank Chief Technology Officer, Bryan Gustin, and his IT team for their incredible work to allow us to deliver education remotely.

    I also ask that you bear with us as we enter this uncharted territory together. I know this extended time at home will be a challenge for our families, especially with balancing work and having children unexpectedly at home. But I also pray that it gives our families the time to slow down, reset, and pray together. Please also be praying for the healthcare workers in our community who are on the frontlines. Let’s be a light to others!
     
    Soli Deo Gloria,
     
    Dan Peterson, Ph.D.
    Head of School

Regents School of Austin

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY
Regents School of Austin admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.