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As Distance Learning Launches, Superintendent Composes #MustangStrong Rap In Honor of the New Initiative

Distance Learning launch video MontvilleStrong

Dr. René Rovtar Raps About Learning During Unprecedented Circumstances

The #MustangStrong rap can be viewed here.

March 17, 2020

Distance Learning launched this morning at Montville Township Public Schools. Superintendent Dr. René Rovtar marked the unprecedented rollout in a #MustangStrong rap she wrote, performed, and posted on her Twitter feed @ReneRovtar.

Rovtar’s rap opens with:

“So welcome to 2020/COVID-19’s got everybody in a panic/Things at the supermarket/ Kinda manic.”

She continues by rapping:

“So my Montville folks know/This was hard for me./Close our doors to students/But it’s gotta be/21st Century school for you/You’ve got your Chromebook/You know what to do./Hope to get everybody back to school fast/But we gotta make sure the danger is passed.”

In the week leading up to the decision to close school, Rovtar, and the faculty and staff at MTPS prepared for a possible school closure, but hoped that it would not be necessary.

Distance, or Virtual, Learning  is an educational initiative that, until last week, did not count toward satisfying the minimum 180 day school year requirement. However, MTPS had launched new communications tools at the start of the 2019-2020 academic year that included features that would facilitate Distance Learning. While no one at the time anticipated a need to implement those features, the technology was accessible in the district, and Rovtar and the district’s administration, faculty and staff were confident that the tools could be instrumental in providing meaningful educational instruction.

The district worked closely with state and local agencies to develop a plan for school closure, should it be necessary.

While teaching the regular curriculum, MTPS faculty and staff also trained and prepared to implement the features that would help the district implement Distance Learning. Faculty and staff even created their own remote learning opportunities when a Staff Planning Day was cancelled due to evolving COVID-19 protocols.   

“The fact that we are living our lives in a brand new way certainly presented an opportunity for a short rap,” Rovtar said when she was asked what inspired her to post the fifty-eight second #MustangStrong rap. “People are feeling really stressed out and if this little video can give them a momentary smile, who doesn’t need that?”

“I know our teachers and administrators are working very hard to try and ensure that learning moves forward,” Rovtar said with regards to the new Distance Learning initiative. “Parents are assisting this by supporting students at home. I think our school community is a pretty close knit one. I’m hoping that we will all do what we need to and pull through this.  #MustangStrong definitely applies.”

In her rap, Rovtar also provides some COVID-19 safety reminders:

“Got friends?/Use FaceTime to see them./Go wash your hands/ Cover every cough and sneeze/Use an elbow bump/ Instead of a handshake please.”

Since early in 2019 Rovtar has often been moved to rap about topics that can be stressful, such as snow days.

“My motto is always ‘Work hard, have fun,’” she said.

Yesterday, as the district put final touches on a Distance Learning initiative that has never had an opportunity for a trial run, Rovtar gave a shout out on her Twitter feed: “Huge thank you to our amazing educators for conducting virtual professional development today to share resources and support with colleagues as Montville prepares to launch distance learning tomorrow.”

This morning, in honor of the launch of the district’s brand new Distance Learning initiative, Rovtar posted her #MustangStrong rap which ended with a message to the entire community:

 “I miss you guys/You know I do/But we’ll be Mustang Strong/And we’ll get through/Be safe everybody.”

The #MustangStrong rap can be viewed here.

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