Message from the President November 5, 2020

Fall Departure and Spring Arrival Plans.
November 5, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you to all of you who heeded our advice to leave your sons here over the optional Halloween sign out.  Over 100 cadets stayed on campus – 70-plus more than our September sign out. Movie night Friday and the bonfire Saturday night were major successes. The weekend, to include a community service project, was well planned and executed – thank you to the Commandant’s staff and especially Jamie Burkley, director of student affairs. 
We are 19 days, including weekends, from concluding the fall semester on November 24.   We are attempting to be as diligent as possible with our health and safety protocols, and I trust we will finish this semester healthy and well.  Recent data that I read reveals that only 36% of public schools in America are providing on-campus, in-person learning and only 61% of private schools are doing the same. I continue to be pleased and grateful for what this RMA team has achieved to date in terms of on-campus, in-person learning.  Your ongoing support and encouragement are appreciated.
If you have been taking advantage of the on-campus visitations, note that you have two remaining opportunities – November 6-8 and November 13-15.  There will be no parent visits on the weekend of November 20-22 because of final exam scheduling.
Let me remind you of the plans currently in place for dismissal on Tuesday, November 24 and for the return of cadets in January, 2021. (Of course, subject to pandemic changes.)
November 24 Departure
Departure for ALL cadets will begin at 11:30 a.m. on November 24.  The Dean has scheduled exams for the morning of November 24 meaning that ALL cadets will be taking an exam that morning or performing other required duties. Early departures will not be granted, nor will cadets be permitted to take an exam earlier than scheduled. Obviously, missing an exam would negatively impact a cadet’s semester grade in a significant way.
Sign out will be at the John L. Beaver Fieldhouse. Cadets will take home only what they need for the furlough, and all remaining clothes, gear, etc. will remain at RMA. It is imperative, however, that cadets take their Chromebooks, chargers, backpacks, and notebooks with them in the event we have to re-engage learning and teaching by digital platforms in January.  Digital learning is NOT our plan, but we must be prepared for that contingency should the spread of the virus or government rules dictate.
Shuttles from RMA to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport begin at 12 p.m. (noon) on November 24. Do NOT book flights that will depart any earlier than 4 p.m. as holiday road and airport traffic will increase travel times.  For airport coordination, please email transportation@riversidemilitary.com.
Spring Semester Return
Returning cadets will register for the spring semester on Sunday, January 10, 2021, or Monday, January 11, 2021.  We are staggering the returns in order to be able test each cadet immediately upon arrival and isolate him for at least 24 hours (one cadet per room) until test results are known.  Cadets are urged to travel light – take home only what is needed for the furlough and return with only what can be carried by the cadet—to include their Chromebook and charger they brought home.  
Please note the following arrival times/dates:
Sunday, January 10:   12- 5 p.m.                 Battalion Staff, Headquarters, Delta, Charlie                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (First meal will be Mess III)
Monday, January 11:  2 -5 p.m.                  Alpha, Bravo Companies & Echo cadet leaders
                                                                (First meal will be Mess III)
Wednesday, January 13: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.            ROCs and India Company
(You will receive detailed instructions about this registration process on or before December 8.)
The 6x6 schedule (six days of classes for first six weeks) will be in effect immediately as it was in August-September. Parental visitations on campus are projected to resume only after the first six weeks as we re-create our COVID-free “bubble” across the campus.
As I have said to you often, any plans we make are in effect until such time that the spread of the virus requires us to change plans.  In this case, it is possible that we may have to alter the start of the spring semester from January until a date in February. Our goal remains to conduct education on-campus and in-person, as provided by our contract with you. Any changes that may occur will be in the best interest of the health, safety, and well-being of the faculty, staff and cadets.
Again, I stress, it is our full intent to open on time face-to-face, allow a spring break at some point, and complete the school year in May, so long as COVID-19 is kept at bay.
Staś P.