J. B. Fisher Elementary School

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"RPS Direct" Emails from Supt. Kamras

  • RPS Direct Update - June 6, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, We learned late yesterday that an RPS employee who was present at Broad Rock Elementary School on June 1 has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was asymptomatic at the time and is currently in isolation at home, per CDC guidelines. For health privacy reasons, we cannot release the name of the staff member, but please keep this individual and their family in your thoughts and prayers. At the direction of the Health Department, we encourage anyone who was present at Broad Rock Elementary School on June 1 to self-isolate until June 15 (14 days from the date the staff member was present) and to reach out to their primary care provider if they experience any symptoms. Please note that free testing is available from the Richmond City Health District; to register, call 804-205-3501.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 5, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, To close the week, I'm honored to share a reflection from one of our students: Amia Graham, the 2020 Thomas Jefferson HS Valedictorian, and the senior with the highest GPA of any RPS graduate this year. She'll be attending UVA in the fall. As you'll she, she's not only a powerful writer, but she's also a collaborative one; she's included the words of one her of her classmates, Kamari Branch. I'm going to rest a bit easier this evening knowing that Amia and Kamari will soon be in charge. With great appreciation, Jason

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 4, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, We're blessed again to have a reflection this evening from another member of the RPS team, Samara Booker, Elementary Math Instructional Specialist. Enormous gratitude to Ms. Booker for sharing this powerful essay. Before turning it over to her, I want to publicly thank Mayor Stoney and Council Member Jones for introducing an ordinance at City Council to remove the Richmond-controlled confederate statues on Monument Avenue; and Governor Northam for announcing that the Commonwealth will do the same with the Virginia-controlled statue of Lee. Eliminating these glorifications of injustice and inhumanity is a necessary – though certainly not sufficient – step towards creating a truly inclusive and equitable Richmond. Though I recognize not everyone will agree with my position on this, I urge those who do to make their voices heard.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 3, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, We're blessed with another powerful reflection this evening – this one from Gueringe' Richardson, our Secondary English/Language Arts Instructional Specialist. Enormous gratitude to Ms. Richardson for sharing this deeply moving letter with the RPS Family. Quick reminder that Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, will be my guest this evening on RPS Live! at 7 pm on our Facebook page. Hope you can join! With great appreciation, Jason

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 2, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, This evening, we are blessed with a powerful essay from Mr. Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. On behalf of RPS, I want to publicly thank Mr. Robinson for carving out the time and head space to draft this, and for joining me on RPS Live! tomorrow evening at 7 pm on our Facebook page. Please make sure to tune in and please follow Mr. Robinson on Twitter @RodRobinsonRVA to stay abreast of his latest insights and reflections. Click the link above to continue reading Rodney Robinson on How Educators Can Turn Grief Into Action.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 1, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, This evening, I find myself at a loss for words to adequately convey my anguish over the current state of our nation. And so I offer those of someone far more eloquent: Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Below is his column from this weekend's LA Times in its entirety. I urge you to read it. With great appreciation, Jason Click above to continue reading.

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  • RPS Direct Update - May 29, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, A number of you asked that I re-share the resources from the Center for Racial Justice in Education. Here they are. I also wanted to address the growing criticism of those who have registered their outrage about the injustice of Mr. Floyd's death through protest riots. Now, more than ever, the words of Dr. King – particularly the challenging ones – resonate. "In the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?" That's the question we must all confront. Let's make sure that we continue to do so long after the camera crews leave Minneapolis – not only as a country, but also as a school division. What more can we all do to hear – and be responsive to – the voices of those in our community who are most in pain?

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  • RPS Direct Update - May 28, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before diving into today's updates, I want to acknowledge the additional pain that is coursing through our community right now as a result of George Floyd's harrowing death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. The similarity to the Eric Garner case, down to both men's cries – "I can't breath" – is chilling, to say the very least. Nearly 35% of RPS students are African-American young men. The America that they will experience over the course of their lives is fraught with racist prejudices – held consciously or not – that dehumanize them and make deaths like Mr. Floyd's not just possible, but common. We must change that. Our responsibility as educators is so much more than just teaching reading and math. It's about preparing our young people with the knowledge, skills, and social capital they'll need to construct a better, more just world – and doing whatever we can as adults to pave the way for them. Towards that end, I'd like to make a request of my fellow white members of the RPS community: If you haven't already done so, please discuss Mr. Floyd's death – and the long history of racialized violence that precedes it – with your children. Yes, it may be difficult. But families of color don't have much choice when it comes to "the talk" – it's literally a matter of life and death for them. For the entire RPS Family, here's a set of resources for talking with young people about race, racism, and racialized violence from the Center for Racial Justice in Education. Finally, to everyone who is processing this tragedy with great pain, please know that your RPS family stands with you – and always will. With great appreciation, Jason

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