Dr. Spears, RCA School Board Chairman and local pediatrician, discusses RCA's COVID-19 guidelines in the video below.
The 2020 school year has provided many opportunities for school administrators and faculty to grow and reach students in new and different ways. Riverside Christian Academy’s Administration spent the summer months working on creating guidelines to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and provide students with a safe environment to help them learn without anxiety.
The faculty and school principals also worked on perfecting the online learning platform that the school adopted in the Spring to help students finish out the school year with live instruction from their teachers at home. This new and improved online learning experience is still in place for RCA students who are immunocompromised (or who have family members who are immunocompromised) and any students who need to quarantine themselves because of sickness or exposure to COVID-19.
“We increased our internet capability and upgraded our equipment to meet the requirements of modern distance learning standards on a university level,” said Dr. Laws Rushing, RCA’s President. “We also brought in an IBM consultant to help triage our technological needs for quality solutions.”
RCA purchased a high-definition web camera and Bluetooth headset for each teacher. The headset and webcam are used to communicate with online students through Google Meet. Online students were issued a schedule just like on-campus students, and they are expected to be in class via their teacher’s Google Meet link. The online students can see their teacher, their classmates, and whatever tool the teacher is using to teach their on-campus students (white board or projector screen). All class sessions are recorded within Google Meet, so a student can access the class lecture later if they are too sick to attend class online.
“When we were given a choice to have our son attend in person, or through an online learning platform, we felt that a virtual learning program would best suit our needs. The program at RCA has allowed Caleb to limit his contact with the other students, but has not sacrificed his learning experiences. He attends all classes and interacts virtually — just as if he were there. The advancement in technology and the willingness to participate — by both the RCA faculty and the students — has made this possible. Caleb is really enjoying the virtual schooling — not only is he learning, but he is able to use his computer at school all day!” said Rebecca Student, an RCA parent.
The RCA teachers are also using Google Classroom to make assignments available to online students. The students can access all of their assignments and submit them for grading via the Google Classroom portal.
“Students are able to keep up with their class through the online learning process,” said Adam Rutledge, RCA’s Spanish teacher. “The online students can ask questions and get feedback from their teachers because we are able to help them in real time. Also, the class is able to interact with the online students, so they feel included."
“RCA is setting a new standard of academic excellence in online learning for K-12 institutions. We are meeting the educational needs of every student in our community,” said Dr. Rushing.
Welcome Susan Donaldson, RCA Business Manager!
Riverside Christian Academy has announced that Susan Donaldson has been named as the school’s Business Manager, a newly created position at RCA. Donaldson comes to RCA from Northland Christian School in Houston, Texas, where she has nearly fifteen years of experience in the business office. Donaldson served Northland in various positions, including Business Analyst, Payroll Manager, and Accounting and Human Resource Manager. Prior to her time at Northland, Donaldson owned her own tax practice and served as a tax consultant for a local Houston accounting firm. She also has experience in Government contracting and auditing.
“We are very excited to have Susan leading our business office in this senior-level position,” said Dr. Kyle Spears, RCA Board Chairman. “Susan brings a lot of great experience, which we know will really benefit the school. She will give Dr. Rushing the tools he needs to be even more successful.” RCA recently announced that Dr. Laws Rushing will be the school’s new President beginning in July. “We are anxious to get our new leadership team in place so we can focus on this upcoming school year. We are all aware there will be some unique challenges, and we are all be focused on making this year a success for the students,” said Spears.
According to RCA officials, the school is planning to open August 4th on a regular schedule; however, newly adopted health guidelines will be followed. Spears, a local pediatrician, developed the school’s COVID-19 operational guidelines, which are available on the school’s website. These were also reviewed by Dr. Paul Sain another local physician. Under these guidelines, school officials are hopeful to be able to operate safely within the normal, on-site class schedule; however, conditions are being continually monitored and guidelines will be updated as required.
Because of health concerns, RCA debuted its Distance Learning program to complete the 2019 -2020 school year, with a great deal of success. The school’s one-to-one computer to student ratio allows students to use laptops to receive daily instruction from classroom teachers. Through RenWeb and Google Education software, RCA students were able to participate in daily lectures, receive and turn in assignments, and even take tests on-line.
“Of course, we are hopeful that we can have normal, on-site classes this fall,” said Cara Sain, RCA’s Head of School. “That is what we are planning for. If we need to do something different, though, we are more than ready. Our teachers proved this past spring that we have the capability to continue to provide high quality instruction, and we have even made some improvements and learned some things since then. Either way, we will be continuing to use our on-line tools to enhance our students’ classroom experience and get them ready for the new format that colleges and employers are using now.”
RCA is currently in their open enrollment period. Parents can contact the school’s office to receive more information about the school or to take a tour of the campus.
COVID-19 Guidelines for RCA effective July1, 2020 From the Riverside Governing Board Riverside Christian Academy, William K. Spears, M.D.
Based in part upon guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, the Tennessee Pledge from the governor's office, and the Tennessee Dept. of Education.
And reviewed by Paul Sain, M.D.
The CDC's Considerations for Schools, May 19, 2020 states "Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community". We feel these guidelines will serve to help protect our families, staff, and community from the COVID -19 pandemic while allowing for some normalcy of education and spiritual growth within our facility.
1. Prescreening at home. Parents and caregivers will be expected to refer to the COVID-19 symptom and history checklist and to take students' temperature prior to leaving home. If students have fever (100.4 or greater or answer yes to any of the checklist questions should NOT be brought to school or placed on school provided transportation. Consult with your healthcare provider.
2. Staff, likewise are advised to stay at home with fever or affirmative answers to screening questions. Additionally, at the beginning of the day their temperature will be checked and they will be asked about the COVID-19 check list.
3. Social distancing will be encouraged, where feasible. Classrooms will be arranged to maximize distance and avoid face to face exposure. Chapel locations and division will be modified to minimize numbers and exposures.
4. Lunch will still be served in the cafeteria by servers wearing appropriate protection and seating/spacing will be arranged to maximize social distancing. Lunch tables will be properly disinfected at the beginning of each day and after each use.
5. Items used in classroom will be stored in plastic bags with students' names and are not to be shared. We are investigating possible ways to disinfect shared Chromebooks. Middle and High School students will be asked to wipe down desks with disinfectant cloth at end of class. Cellphones will be stored to minimize cross contamination. Buses will be properly disinfected after each run.
6. PE supervisors will strive to maximize games/ activities that do not involve close personal contact, limit sharing of items, balls etc. and disinfect any items used before and after class with appropriate spray or wipe
7. Dispensers of sanitizing hand gels will be placed throughout the school and supervision conducted to make sure students are using appropriately.
8. Water fountains will be turned off and students will be asked to bring personal water bottles for use throughout the day.
9. Regarding masks, students will only be asked to wear masks when social distancing is not feasible. Each student should have a mask available. Students will be permitted to wear a mask throughout the day if they or their parents desire it. Teachers may wear masks if desired or if close proximity to students is required. Masks will be required for buses and other school sponsored transportation.
In the event of major changes in the area with regards to COVID-19, these guidelines may be subject to modification.
DR. LAWS RUSHING, II
RCA'S NEXT PRESIDENT
Riverside Christian Academy’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dr. Laws Rushing, II will become RCA’s next president. Dr. Rushing’s new position will become effective on July 6, 2020.
“God has been faithful in blessing Riverside Christian Academy after a long search for a new president. Dr. Rushing has had a journey so far that has built in him a deep and solid spiritual foundation and a faith evidenced in his life both personally and professionally. The board believes that he is a man of proven spiritual leadership, integrity, and service that has the heart and practical skills to grow RCA as a greater tribute and honor to God our Creator,” said Dr. Kyle Spears, RCA’s Board Chairman.
Dr. Rushing is a West Tennessee native. He grew up in the small town of Dresden, Tennessee, and was raised in a hard-working family of faith with two sisters and a twin brother. The love of the Gospel was deeply instilled in him early, and he began to preach from a chair at his church at the young age of 11. Dr. Rushing also loved music and songwriting as a teenager. As a young college student, he began to walk a different road as his music career began to excel. He and his twin brother’s talents were noticed by a management team, and the duo was paired with legendary producers. Over time, the brothers recorded in some of the most prestigious studios and performed on many prominent stages. The band developed a following across the Southeast region, but despite the success and promising trajectory of his music career, Dr. Rushing described his life as “spiritually bankrupt”.
Dr. Rushing turned back to the Lord and started over. He began to work in Nashville’s homeless community with the Historic Lindsley Avenue church of Christ, eventually becoming the minister. He has served for nine years leading the ministries and renovation project, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for restoring the beautiful building. Recently, Dr. Rushing created an educational program for the children in the inner city that has served hundreds. Dr. Rushing earned his Doctorate of Education from Trevecca Nazarene University, and has become a leader in a variety of organizations including healthcare, non-profits, churches, and financial institutions. He has served as the Director of Spiritual Care at Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation and Vice President of Nashville General Hospital Credit Union. Dr. Rushing has also worked with several non-profits as a board member, director, and volunteer.
Dr. Rushing has been happily married to his wife Stacey Rushing for over ten years, and they have one daughter, River Belle, who is seven-years-old.
Dr. Rushing’s four main goals for the RCA family are: 1) to instill and encourage Christ-centered living; 2) to continually develop and enhance character and integrity amongst the school family; 3) to pursue academic excellence through continually refining and using the best curriculum, classroom practices, and education processes; and 4) to become a resource for the entire county.
Dr. Rushing also said he would like to focus on a few main areas as he begins his role as President of RCA: financial stewardship, admissions, fundraising, community engagement, enhancing school culture, and family engagement.
“I was drawn to Riverside for the opportunity to minister to students, and to be a force in the formation of a child. As a minister in the inner city of Nashville, I have seen many people in very, very difficult situations. Over the years, I have noticed that the people who have a foundation of faith in their life toolkit have a greater opportunity to overcome trying circumstances than those who do not. I want to be a part of growing and shaping the faith of students when they are young. I believe that is one way that we can change the world. It is all about the next generation. I’m a parent, so the future matters to me. Education is a family practice, and we are the extension of our students’ families. I want to leave a world for my daughter and her generation that they feel safe in and gives them the opportunity to live out faith in a profound way,” said Dr. Rushing. “I also love the way Riverside Christian Academy is organized as a ministry of a local church. A lot of Christian schools don’t have the real backbone of a church. This is really a church ministry that has blossomed into a beautiful school.”
Dr. Rushing and his family were also drawn to the town of Fayetteville itself. He described the town as charming and beautiful, and said that it reminded him of how he grew up.
“I have enjoyed hearing the stories of RCA’s great beginning and its 20-year history, and I am excited to help write the next chapter of RCA’s story,” said Dr. Rushing.
During Spring Break 22 Riverside students, faculty, and friends traveled from Fayetteville to Ft. Defiance, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation to serve on a mission team with local Christian ministers, Terry and Pam Laurence.
“Terry and Pam have been ministering to the congregation at Ft. Defiance for over a decade and have a love for God’s Word, a love for souls and a desire to see people living on the Navajo Reservation turn to Jesus for hope and for salvation,” said Jim Black, RCA Mission Director and Navajo Nation Mission Team Leader.
The Riverside group stayed in Window Rock, which is the capital of the reservation. The group had three main goals while serving on the Reservation: to provide spiritual encouragement for the local Christians, help with facility improvements at the local church, and have fun while learning about the culture and the geographical area.
The mission team provided spiritual encouragement for the local Christians by conducting a three-day Family Vacation Bible School that was led by RCA students. The theme of the event was, “Fix Your Eyes On Jesus” from Hebrews 12:3. The event was well-attended with over 50 people participating in one night. Jim Black and Adam Ragland, RCA’s Varsity Girls Head Basketball Coach, led an adult Bible study each night of the event while the RCA students taught children’s classes. The RCA mission team also visited with and encouraged church members at a congregation-hosted cookout with food and games.
The mission team also made many facility improvements for the church. The team made improvements to the church’s parking lot, relocated the church office and created a space for the minister to meet with families and teach classes, and installed a wall thermostat to regulate the temperature in the building addition. The team also made some repairs to two of the church members’ homes.
The students learned more about the Navajo culture when they visited the Window Rock Park and Navajo Code Talker Monument. The group also spent one day visiting the Grand Canyon where they had a devotional that we led by a Riverside student.
“Our team was disappointed that, while we experienced no problems due to the Coronavirus adjustments being made across the country, we decided not to make our visit to the Manuelito Children’s Home out of precaution. The children’s home is located in New Mexico, and the state had just begun issuing restrictions on schools and restaurants, so we decided to return home a day early. Many thanks to Southwest Airlines for graciously going out of their way to arrange our flights a day early and returning us home safely with no trouble!” said Mr. Black.
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis that has swept over the nation in the last two weeks, Riverside Christian Academy’s administration and board of directors has determined that it is in the best interest for the safety and health of the school’s faculty, staff, and students to transition to online instruction by April 1. The faculty and administration are currently working to make sure that this transition will be as effective and as seamless as possible for students and families.
“While this new format is obviously a significant change to all involved, we are absolutely committed to providing our students with high quality instruction for the remainder of the school year,” said RCA’s Board of Directors.
RCA’s faculty will be using a combination of resources including RenWeb, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom, and Abeka and BJU virtual learning to teach, monitor, and evaluate students for the foreseeable future.
The faculty will continue to post lesson plans and grades via the RenWeb system because the families and students are already used to using their RenWeb family portals for all classroom updates.
In the middle and high school grades students will have at least one live/interactive scheduled session with each subject’s teacher per week through Google Meet. There will be additional recorded lectures that students will be able to watch on their own time. Assignments will be posted through Google classroom, which is managed through the students’ existing gmail addresses.
The elementary teachers will incorporate Abeka ProTeach and Bob Jones TTO (Teacher Tools Online) to work with their students remotely. Elementary teachers will also have daily meeting times when they will have their Bible lesson and give students the outline for the day's instruction.
Riverside's junior Kindergarten and preschool teachers will use a combination of mediums as they institute distance learning. The teachers will record some lessons and post to Facebook, conduct some sessions via ZOOM, and produce packets for parents to pick that will include projects and/or work pages for children to complete.
Coach Travis Creasy is also posting a short daily chapel lesson to the Riverside Chrisitian Academy Facebook page for daily inspiration for students, faculty, staff, and parents.
“We did not expect to leave for Spring Break and not return in a week like normal, but this challenge has been laid on us and we plan to meet it. We are saddened that this school year has been cut short, especially for our seniors, but we believe that good can still come from this situation. It is important to continue to provide the best education possible for our students during this difficult time, and we will do our best to meet that challenge.” said RCA’s Head of School, Cara Sain. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are sick; those who have lost loved ones; the doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines to provide care for the sick; and the leadership of our country, state, and local community as they work to protect the public.”
Dear RCA families,
On behalf of the RCA Board, we are praying that each of you are safe and healthy. As our country is faced with this unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 virus, we are reminded of the love and peace that only our Father in heaven offers. In 1 Peter 5:7 we are told that we can confidently cast our anxieties upon the Lord because He cares for us.
We are so extremely blessed at RCA! God has provided us with the tools and resources we need to begin on-line instruction on April 1. Our teachers have been preparing for this transition and will continue to finalize their plans over the next week and a half.
On Thursday, April 1, we will be ready to provide caring, professional, high-quality instruction for each and every student. Mrs. Sain will be providing frequent and regular communications for you between now and then as your family prepares. On or before Thursday, March 26, she will provide specific details regarding the remote teaching process for elementary, middle, and high school students. We know there will be questions, and we are mindful of the fact that it might take a day or two for the students to get used to the new system.
We want to assure each of you that we feel confident that your child will continue to receive the instruction they need. We ask that you keep all our students, families, and teachers in your prayers - especially our seniors. This has been particularly difficult for them. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will be making announcements regarding upcoming events, including graduation, as the time nears. Please know that we are praying everyday for our school and families, and we are confident that the Lord will guide us through this challenging time.
RCA ALUMNA COMMISSIONED TO PAINT MEMORIAL FOR FHU'S 150TH ANNIVERSARY
Christina Hines, a 2018 Riverside Christian Academy graduate and current sophomore at Freed-Hardeman University, was commissioned by FHU's administration to create a painting to commemorate the university's 150th anniversary.
Christina's painting illustrates the university's theme for the 2020 Bible Lectureship, Our Place in His Story: Remembering the Past, Anticipating the Future. The painting depicts many people who have played a part in the FHU story during the past 150 years, including current President David Shannon, founder N.B. Hardeman, and other past presidents and current student athletes. The painting was inspired by an original photo of one of the university's founders, N.B. Hardeman and the university's student body. The original photo hangs outside Chapel Hall in the Old Main Building on FHU's campus.
"The research I did to prepare for this painting was very rewarding," Hines said. "I learned so much about the history of the university. My hope is that this painting celebrates the history of our university and honors the 150th anniversary of FHU."
Canvas prints of Christina's paintings will be available for purchase at FHU's 84th Annual Bible Lectureship series early next year.
RCA MISSION TEAM SERVES IN SNEEDVILLE
A team of 22 Riverside Christian Academy students, faculty and friends went on a mission trip to Sneedville, Tenn. the weekend before Thanksgiving. Sneedville is located in Hancock County, in East Tennessee which is reported to be one of the poorest counties in the state with most residents living below the poverty line.
The RCA mission team joined a team of 22 people from Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, Tenn., to serve the people of Sneedville. The mission team delivered food to 47 families for Thanksgiving, and worked on several more projects for people who were in need.
Some members of the team did home chores and repairs, including: trimming a tree, cleaning and repairing a shed roof and gutters, and re-setting the catchment barrel on a rain catch that provides water at one home. The team also built a porch rail and replaced boards on a deck. They repaired a living room wall and patched sheet rock, repaired plumbing in two homes, replaced an electrical switch, repaired a garage door, installed a new stove, underpinned a home addition, added an access panel to the crawl space of a home, cleaned the yard of one family in difficult circumstances, and repaired a leaking roof at another home.
The mission team also delivered diapers and toys to a family with 18-month-old twins and a newborn baby and Christmas gifts to a family with seven adopted children.
The culmination of the mission was the worship services the team held in three homes on Sunday morning. The students led worship songs, shared scripture and prayed with the three families who welcomed them for worship services.
“Service is an important part of what we try to instill in our students. Our high school students are required to do 20 hours of community service per year as a part of their Bible class curriculum. Last year we partnered with 2x2 Global to build a mission program to further instill a heart for service in our students. The Sneedville mission is the first of four trips planned for RCA students this year. On Spring Break, a group of students will depart for Ft. Defiance, AZ. to serve on the Navajo Reservation. In June, a group of students will serve alongside a Spanish-speaking church in Ft. Worth, TX and in July RCA students will join members of the Washington Street Church of Christ for their annual mission trip to Valle de Angeles, Honduras,” said Whitney Creasy, RCA’s Assistant Director of Missions.
Dress Down Days:
Monday, 9/9 - Team Day
Tuesday, 9/10 - Decade Day
Wednesday, 9/11 - Pajama Day
Thursday, 9/12 - Character/Meme Day
Friday, 9/13 - RCA Spirit Day
Friday, September 13:
9:00-12:00 ~ activities in the gym, including concessions ($1) and face painting ($1)!
12:45 ~ Pep Rally
6:00 ~ Alumni Reception
6:45 ~ Homecoming Court Presentation
7:00 ~ Kickoff, RCA Knights vs. FCA Falcons
Homecoming Court Representatives:
Flower Girl & Crown Bearer - Hailee & Daniel Creasy
Freshmen - Jessica McWhirter & Will O'Neal
Sophomores - Caroline Hall & Raymond Hunt
Juniors - Katie Hammell & Michael Morris
Seniors - Rachel Hill & Sammy Morris
Queen & Escort - Libby Wright & Riley Hall
KNIGHTS DEFEAT FREEDOM COWBOYS FOR THIRD WIN OF THE SEASON
Riverside Christian Academy's varsity football team won an out-of-conference matchup on Friday night against the Freedom Cowboys from Huntsville, Ala. The Knights defeated the Cowboys 56-20 for their third win of the season.
"We played our best football game of the season Friday night. We had a lot of people contribute to the win. It is very important as we hit the halfway point of our season," said RCA's Head Coach, Travis Creasy.
The Knights' senior quarterback David Black completed 14 of 15 pass attempts for four touchdowns. David connected with his brother Michael Black for two touchdowns, one of which was a 56-yard completion. David also connected with Crutcher Ezell and Sammy Morris for touchdowns through the air.
The Knights' sophomore quarterback Jake Rubelsky led the Knights in the run game with five carries for 149 yards and one touchdown. Crutcher Ezell also scored two touchdowns on running plays for the Knights. RCA scored 14 points on seven two-point conversion attempts; four Knights scored two-point conversions, including: Jake Rubelsky (2), Sammy Morris (3), Shane Morris (1), and David Black (1).
"It was good to see David spread the ball around to all the playmakers. When he is good at distributing the ball we are hard to stop. Jake was able to come in and seal the victory for us. He does a good job of staying ready," said Coach Creasy.
On the defensive side of the ball, Crutcher Ezell, Riley Hall, and Jonathan Knotts led the Knights in tackles. Crutcher had nine total tackles, Riley had eight tackles and one tackle for loss, and Jonathan had seven tackles and two tackles for loss. Raymond Hunt also had seven tackles and a tackle for loss, Sammy Morris had six tackles and a tackle for loss, and Marcus Whitworth had six tackles.
The defense also had six turnovers. Marcus Whitworth and Michael Whiddon each caused a fumble, while Sammy Morris recovered two fumbles, and both of his brothers, Michael and Shane Morris each recovered one fumble. Also, Sammy and Michael Black each intercepted a pass from the Cowboys.
"Crutcher made plays all over the field especially one where he stopped Freedom from scoring a two-point conversion early in the game; that stop helped us push our lead to 10 after our next score. Our defense really settled in, only giving up six more points in the next three quarters. It was a great team effort on that side of the ball as well," said Coach Creasy.
On special teams, kicker Riley Hall had a great game with eight kickoffs for 444 yards with three touchbacks.
"Now is not a time for us to get complacent. We have to take the next step, and that starts with FCA for a playoff spot on Friday night. We need all the support we can on Friday night for homecoming as battle for a playoff spot in our conference," said Coach Creasy.
The Knights will play Franklin Christian Academy on Friday night for homecoming. The game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. with homecoming festivities beginning at 6:45 p.m.
RCA MISSIONS ANNOUNCES 2019-2020 TRIPS, APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN
Riverside Christian Academy's students, faculty, and staff focused on the theme of mission last school year. RCA's administration chose the spiritual theme, "Life is mission, mission is life" to lead the school family into the mindset that a Christian's mission is their life, and their mission is to spread the Gospel.
RCA sponsored three domestic mission trips last year. The first of the three trips was over Thanksgiving break to Sneedville, Tenn. The RCA students delivered Thanksgiving food boxes to people in need and did home repair work and installed water systems for people with no indoor plumbing. On Spring break, another group went to the Navajo reservation in Arizona where they partnered with a local church and did a Vacation Bible School for children and families on the reservation and also did some repairs to the church building.
The most recent RCA mission was to Ft. Worth Texas at the end of May. The RCA students partnered with Siempre Familia, a local Spanish-speaking church. The students organized and administered a Vacation Bible School, hosted a cookout, took meals to families, did some landscaping work, and painted and cleaned in the church building.
The school is sponsoring trips to the same three locations this year with a fourth trip added for the summer of 2020 to Honduras. RCA is partnering with 2x2 Global, an organization that partners with private Christian colleges and high schools to equip them to build a long-term, sustainable missions program. Our desire is to intentionally create a culture of service and missions that not only deepens relationships within that school community, but also has a global impact in the locations in which they serve.
Applications for the 2019-2020 mission trips are open now through September 16.
RCA PRESCHOOL PROGRAM TEACHES THROUGH PLAY-BASED LEARNING
Riverside Christian Academy students, faculty, and staff began the 2019-2020 school year last week, and one of the bright spots in student life is the preschool and junior kindergarten's play-based learning curriculum. The RCA preschool program uses Teaching Strategies GOLD, which is an authentic, ongoing observational system for assessing children from birth through kindergarten. It helps teachers to observe children in the context of every day experiences, which is an effective way to learn what they know and can do. The Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment not only measures the children's knowledge of their ABCs and 123s, but also their fine and gross motor skills, their social/emotional skills, and their cognitive skills.
RCA's preschool teachers still primarily use Abeka curriculum, but they integrate it into play-based learning. They use the GOLD assessment tool to create opportunities within play-based learning for the children to master developmentally appropriate standards. Learning in this setting is teacher-supervised, but child-directed. This method offers the teachers opportunities to observe children in their natural learning style and gently guide them to higher levels through play. An example of play-based learning in the classroom during a space unit may include a cardboard box covered with paper to be decorated as a space ship at the dramatic play center, astronaut figures being added to the block center, solar system posters hanging in the classroom, and space books being added to the classroom library.
"Play-based learning curriculum that teaches children to solve conflicts and work together through play allows us to teach the whole child and not simply work on ABCs and 123s. Children may know every letter and sound, but if they can't solve problems with peers, they are not fully prepared," said RCA's Preschool Director, Angela Steelman. "We are excited to spend the school year with the children in our preschool program as they grow, learn, and play."
SEARCH BEGINS FOR NEW RCA PRESIDENT AS MR. BRYANT RESIGNS
On Saturday morning, Riverside Christian Academy's governing board announced, with much sadness and regret, that James Bryant, RCA's President of nearly six years has resigned. During his tenure at RCA, Mr. Bryant oversaw many improvements, advocated for the school on many different levels, brought an overall increase in enrollment, improved student retention, and an increase in the number of donations for school operations and improvements.
"We are thankful for his years of service to the Riverside family, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Phil Cooper, Riverside Church Shepherd.
RCA's governing board is beginning an immediate search for a new school president; in the mean time, Cara Sain, RCA's principal, will serve as the interim head of school. Mrs. Sain has served in this capacity during times of transition in the past, and is qualified to continue the school's day-to-day operations until a permanent replacement is identified.
"God has blessed RCA with dedicated and caring faculty and staff. We have weathered difficult transitions before because of God's blessings on this ministry and the teachers and staff who continue to serve our students and families and put them first. Riverside has always been blessed with families that believe passionately in the mission of this school, and we trust that God will continue to bless us with their prayerful support. " said Dr. Kyle Spears, RCA's Board Chairman.
2018 VETERANS DAY PROGRAM
Each year RCA honors our country's veterans with a special program and breakfast on Veterans Day. This year, RCA Parent Travis Lopeman did a great job delivering the message.
SUPPORT COACH CREASY
Travis Creasy, our Head Football Coach, Campus Minister & Bible Teacher has been diagnosed with Leukemia and RCA is collecting donations to help towards medical expenses.
ELI PADGETT CHOSEN AS A TOP READER
Eli Padgett was selected as one of Tennessee's Top 100 readers! Eli read over 2,000 minutes in his particiaption in First Lady Crissy Haslam's statewide summer reading competition.
GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY FOR CLARDY-WHITE AG EDUCATION CENTER
Riverside Christian Academy's faculty, staff, school board, students, and leaders from the community gathered with Mr. Charles H. Clardy and Daisy Clardy White to celebrate the ground breaking for the Clardy-White Agricultural Education Center on Monday. Construction will begin in two to three weeks; when the project is complete the Clardy-White Agricultural Education Center will include a barn and a greenhouse that will benefit RCA students for years to come.
"We are thankful for the many ways that God continues to bless RCA each day," said RCA's President, James Bryant.
GOLF TOURNAMENT TO RAISE MONEY FOR SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The family of Quatina Wolaver, a beloved RCA parent who passed away in 2017 from ovarian cancer, has established the Quatina M. Wolaver Scholarship of Hope. RCA friends can support the school by participating in and sponsoring the Scholarship of Hope golf tournament. For more information please click the informational link below. There are also links to print the registration and sponsorship forms.
ELEMENTARY STUDENTS PE CLASS SKATING
Riverside Christian Academy's elementary students enjoyed skating in the gym during their physical education class time last week. Susan Bryant, RCA's P.E. Teacher, taught Kindergarten through fifth-grade students basic skating skills during regular gym class. Mrs. Bryant taught students to skate while promoting safety. RCA’s administration believes that it is important to promote fitness and wellness by providing challenging, fun learning activities in P.E. classes.
RCA PRESIDENT FOR THE DAY
Meet Isaac Thelen, RCA's President for the Day! Isaac is in the first-grade; he will be helping Mr. Bryant with all of the school presidential duties today.
8th & 9th GRADE TRIP
Sixty Riverside Christian Academy students, staff members, and parents traveled to Washington D.C., New York City, and Gettysburg last week, April 8-14. The group toured Arlington National Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, the Museuem of Bible, the Capitol including the House and Senate Galleries while they were in session, Ford Theatre, the National Zoo, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the 9/11 Memorial, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Gettysburg National Park. The group also attended a Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves game while in D.C.
"This was a great opportunity for our students to experience firsthand our country’s rich heritage and many amazing sights. Our nation was founded on faith in God and Christian principles that were evident in so many places we visited on our trip," said James Bryant, RCA's President.
RCA FFA Chapter Participates in Inaugural National FFA Week
Riverside Christian Academy participated in National FFA Week.
The chapter ended the week with RCA's first Tractor Day. Ten tractors were showcased by RCA FFA members and members of the community. Eighth-graders Jimmy White and Alex Thompson along with ninth-grader Levi Ogle drove their tractors to school.
Will Scott from Scott's Orchard recognized the Oldest, Dirtiest, and Biggest Tractors on hand as well.
The Riverside Christian FFA Chapter had a fun-filled week that also included a collection drive for the local animal shelter, chapter scavenger hunt, teacher appreciation treats, and a FFA Reads to Kids day. The FFA Chapter has 30 members on roll for their first year and is excited about what the future of agriculture at their school will include.
RCA STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS
RCA's dual enrollment students participated in two service projects during the week before their college classes began at Motlow State Community College. The students helped work at two community ministries: Hands of Mercy and Clothe Our Kids. At Hands of Mercy, the students loaded two trailers of food to be moved from a warehouse to First Baptist Church. The students also unloaded the food and shelved it in the benevolence pantry and packed over 200 backpack food packages for local children who do not have food on the weekends without the provision of school breakfasts and lunches. At Clothe Our Kids, the students moved clothing donations into the ministry's warehouse, helped sort clothes by size and season, and organized clothing bins.
AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION CONVENTION
RCA's FFA officers went on a field trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in Nashville on January 8. President Trump also attended the convention where he pushed a rural agenda that he said would promote prosperity, and he urged the adoption of solutions by a task force, among them, increasing internet connectivity for rural America. RCA's FFA Officers are pictured here with the United States Secretray of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.