Dear James H. Blackwell Community:
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share my excitement about being at James H. Blackwell Elementary School. I am a native North Carolinian, a product of an outstanding K-12 public education and have been an educator for twenty-one years.
This year, I look forward to having the opportunity to get to know each and every one of you virtually. I know this is not a traditional opening to school, however my commitment to students, faculty, and teachers is unwavering. We will provide a quality education for your child. Our first day of school is Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at 9:15 AM. We realize these are unprecedented times for all educators across all nations.
As we move into virtual learning I ask that you provide yourself, your child, and us some grace and compassion as we navigate this new platform for learning. In addition, as your child’s partner in education, we look forward to working together, speaking the same language, and carrying the same focus and message throughout our year together, I am excited to present the four E’s:
Equity – Are all children in our schools receiving the attention they need to grow to their full potential? How can we at James H. Blackwell ensure that students are not falling behind because of unequal access to support and resources? Have we provided the professional development and training to ensure that all of our teachers are successful?
Energy – With all that is asked of us as parents, teachers, and administrators it is easy to let our energy flag not shine! Yet it is essential that we find the strength to rekindle our passion for our work, our children and use our energy to motivate and stimulate those around us. A school that hums reflects ownership of learning and success.
Expectations – What expectations have we set for ourselves, our students, and our school? Without setting high standards, there is little chance of ever reaching them. Have we fostered an environment that celebrates a proactive behavior? Are our expectations clear and are they based on data, input and participation? Can we all articulate our expectations and do our expectations focus on the needs of students and their success in the 21st Century?
Ensemble – No one can create a great school on one’s own. It takes a dedicated group of people whose talents and interests are being tapped in the right way. Remember that just as each individual child needs to be nurtured in order to grow and develop, so do we as a faculty, parents and students.
I will be in the office at James H. Blackwell on Monday and Wednesday, so please feel free to call 804.780.1570 or email BlackwellElementarySupp@rvaschools.net. Our door is open for parents, students, and community members by appointments only on Monday (9:00 AM – 2:00 PM) and Wednesday (12:00 PM – 5:30 PM). When you visit us please make sure you wear a mask, utilize our hand sanitizer, and maintain 6 feet distance in the office area.
Student hours in K- 2nd grade is 9:15 AM – 3:00 PM and 3rd -5th is 9:15 AM – 3:30 PM. Every Wednesday all students will be dismissed at noon.
Our theme this year is better together, however, we are stronger and better with all of your support. Please enjoy the rest of your summer and know we are working hard to make 2020-2021 a GREAT year!
Teresa K. Anderson, Ed.D.
Calendar Conversations - Join RPS for a virtual Calendar Conversation to learn about the proposed 2021-22 RPS calendar, ask questions, and ensure your voice is heard. Conversations will be held in English and Spanish via Zoom for each region of the City, click here to learn more and register!
School Calendar Survey - RPS would like your feedback on the 2021-22 calendar and year-round school options as we consider new approaches to post-COVID instruction. Parents and caregivers should fill out this survey and RPS staff should fill out this survey.
Family Support Helpline - Questions about reopening? Call the RPS Family Support Helpline at (804) 780-6195 and learn more about other resources available to families.
"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras
Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy International Women's Day! A special shout out to the eight women of the RPS School Board, led by Chair Cheryl Burke! School Social Work Week – This is School Social Work Week and we're thrilled to recognize the incredible individuals who serve our students and families as school social workers. Please send me your shout-outs for the social workers in your life so we can recognize them this week! National School Breakfast Week – This is also National School Breakfast Week and we know that fueling up with a healthy breakfast to start the day is critical for learning. I want to give a special shout-out to our food and transportation teams who make sure that meals are prepared and delivered to our students every morning. Please send me shout-outs for them as well! Preschool Enrollment – The preschool enrollment seasons kicks off on April 1. If you have a 3-year-old or 4-year-old, we'd love to have you join us.
Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Albert Hill Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Bellevue Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 2/9) Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary School - 3 students (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Linwood Holton Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) River City Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Woodville Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Please reach out to your primary care provider if you have any concerns, or contact the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) by calling their COVID-19 hotline: (804) 205-3501.