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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 28, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, My apologies for the delay this evening! I promised my boys I would spend some time with them on this beautiful day. We played basketball (I lost badly) and we built a mini pinball machine (I have to admit, it turned out much cooler than I expected). I hope you all got some time to enjoy the glorious spring weather with your loved ones. Since it's Saturday, I'm going with just shout-outs and FAQs. Unless there's any critical news, I think I'll do that tomorrow as well. So keep emailing me these wonderful affirmations of the extraordinary RPS team! Click above to read more!

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 27, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, First, a quick housekeeping note this evening. I received feedback that the red color I use to highlight important or time-sensitive information is hard for color-blind people to see. I was told that orange is much better so that's what I'll be going with from now on. I also want to address a few questions I've received about our effort to close the digital divide in our community by purchasing computers for students who cannot afford them. First and foremost, this is about equity. Thousands of Richmond families do not have the resources to purchase a computer for their children. As a result, they neither have access to RPS online learning materials – which we're enhancing significantly over the next couple of weeks – nor the countless others provided by organizations around the world. Click above to read more.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 26, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before getting to the shout-outs today, I want to talk about health – mental health. This is an incredibly stressful time for us all. I've received messages from students who miss their friends, have anxiety about their grades and graduation, and are worried about their own loved ones getting sick – all while still dealing with many non-coronavirus challenges in their lives. I've spoken to parents and caregivers who are worried about losing their jobs, paying rent, and providing 24/7 childcare for their children. And I've heard from countless teachers and staff who have expressed how hard it's been to cope with the abrupt separation from their students while also dealing with their own family struggles. Sadly, things are likely to get even harder over the next several weeks. Given this, I have an urgent request: if you need mental health support, reach out. And please do so now. As I've shared before, there have been times in my life when I've needed such support. No shame in that. The only shame is not asking for help when you need it. Towards that end, I want to draw everyone's attention to three resources:

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 25, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before we dive in today, one request: please let everyone in your networks know about my RPS Direct messages so that they can sign up if they're not getting them. Here's the link to do so. Thank you! Shout-outs! Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net. They make my day, and I hope they make yours, too! Shout out to Coach G (Mr. Galloway) at Westover Hills Elementary! Each day he posts a fun video about fitness or nutrition on Class Dojo, and he really got through to kids in the last week of school with active lessons on germs and how they can be transmitted.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 24, 2020 (PM)

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, My apologies for the delay in sending today's RPS Direct. We just needed a bit of time to digest the guidance just issued by the Virginia Department of Education. As I see it, here are the three main headlines: 1. Current high school seniors who were on track to graduate when we closed WILL receive their diplomas this year. This includes all of the following groups of students: Seniors who were enrolled in a course for which they needed a standard or verified credit in order to graduate (verified credits are earned by passing a required course and also passing the associated SOL); Seniors who had successfully completed a course required for graduation, but had not yet earned the associated verified credit; Seniors who had not passed a required student-selected SOL test; Seniors who were enrolled in or had previously completed a course leading to a CTE credential necessary for a Standard Diploma but had not yet earned the credential; Seniors who had not yet completed a United States and Virginia history course (additional alternative coursework may be necessary - more details to come);

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 24, 2020 (AM)

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Just a quick note to let you know that my RPS Direct will come out a little later than normal today, as we're receiving additional guidance from the Virginia Department of Education later this afternoon and we'll need a couple of hours to digest it all. I'm hoping to have something out by 8 pm. Thank you for your understanding. Also, as I shared yesterday, to help us gather and respond to your inquires efficiently, please submit them through this page on our website. We've already received over 300 questions! With great appreciation, Jason

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 23, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As the Governor just announced, all schools in the Commonwealth will be closed for the rest of the school year. As disruptive as this will be for students, families, and staff, I believe it's the right decision given the healthcare crisis we're facing. I applaud the Governor for taking this bold step now. I just got off a call with all my colleagues across Virginia and our State Superintendent, Dr. Lane. He shared that the Virginia Department of Education is going to provide local school divisions with guidance about a host of topics – including graduation, course credits, and grades – tomorrow. As soon as I receive this information and have a chance to digest it, I will share it through my RPS Direct.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 22, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before we get to today's shout-outs, I want to draw everyone's attention to some changes I announced on Friday about how we're distributing food (see the next section). I keep repeating this because it's the most important thing we're doing right now. Please share the flyers below with everyone in your networks. I also want our employees to note two updates in the "Information for RPS Employees" section at the end of the email. Shout-outs! Shout out to Coach Cherry at John Marshall High School for leading an Instagram Live workout for staff this morning! We can’t wait for her to go live and lead a workout on the @jm_justices page! Click above to read more!

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