J.H. Blackwell Elementary School

Home of the Bears

Principal Davis

  • Welcome to James H. Blackwell Elementary School, the home of the Bears! Thank you for visiting our website to learn more about our school community, including our amazing students, our loving staff, our supporting families, partners, and our exciting programs. 

    As the summer draws to a close, it is my hope that your break from formal schooling opened opportunities for rest, growth, and renewal. As we prepare to receive our students back in the building, our staff eagerly awaits to witness their laughter, energy, and enthusiasm for learning. Our entire faculty and staff are committed to providing every student with a safe, caring, and positive environment that inspires each student to realize and desire to reach their full potential academically and as a member of our community.

    While the 2020-2021 school year was one for the books, our students, staff, parents, and community did an outstanding job keeping each other safe and ending the school year strong with many successes. As we enter the 2021-2022 school year, we will be able to continue to grow together academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally through the introduction of our new theme of “Scholarly Bears Show Your P.A.W.S.” We are going to work to Be Prepared, Accept Responsibility, Work Hard and Show Respect as we move through the 2021-2022 school year.

    We have worked this summer on a recovery plan and a variety of academic and social/emotional supports to make sure our Bears hit the ground running in the fall and are set up for success. We are excited for some of the traditional welcome back activities later this month and encourage families to stay abreast of all that is taking place at Blackwell. It is critically important to have updated phone and email contact information, please use this link to update your contact information.  Also, please remember to visit our website and social media platforms regularly for current news, additional highlights, and upcoming events.
    Facebook: James H. Blackwell
    Instagram: @jhblackwellbears
    Twitter: @JHBlackwellRPS

    I am honored to serve as the principal of Blackwell Elementary School and consider it a privilege to work with all stakeholders to educate and empower our students. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns at ehill@rvaschools.net. I look forward to getting to know each of our Blackwell Bears and all of their families as we journey together in the 2021-2022 school year.

    Bears let’s make it an amazing year!

    In Partnership,

    Ms. Ebony Davis

Division Announcements

  • Free Extended Day Programming - RPS has reopened the parent interest survey for free Extended Day for the 2021-22 school year. Please complete this survey for each student interested.

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  • 2021-22 Bus Stops - Click here to see your school bus route for this year. This information may be updated to accommodate changing needs so please be on the lookout for Remind messages informing you of updates.

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  • New 2021-22 Bell Schedule - The RPS School Board has approved new daily start/end times for students next year, click here to view the new schedule!

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  • Health and Safety Measures for Fall 2021 - Click here to view the updated RPS Health and Safety Measures for Fall 2021 In-Person Instruction. 

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  • Employee Vaccine Mandate - RPS employees, please be reminded that we now have a vaccine mandate requiring proof of full vaccination by October 1, 2021. Click here to learn more.

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  • RPS Reopening Dashboard - Click here to download the latest update of the RPS Reopening Dashboard.

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  • 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.

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Upcoming Events

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"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras

  • RPS Direct Update - September 15, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, While we've been overjoyed to return to school despite COVID, we've also been heartbroken by another pandemic that plagues our community – gun violence. I'm devastated to share that, in the past 48 hours, five RPS students have been shot. We've also lost two students to other causes (unrelated to gun violence or COVID). These tragic events remind us of the grief and trauma that so many RPS students, families, and staff face daily. The RPS family is hurting tonight. Let us all pause this evening to check on one another, support one another, and extend grace and love to one another.

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  • RPS Direct Update - September 14, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, One of the issues that came up during public comment at last night's School Board meeting was our school lunches. We heard concerns about the amount/quality of the food provided and the lack of hot meals. Before I address both of these issues, I want to thank everyone who shared feedback. Thoughtful, constructive dialogue about what's working – and what's not – is critical to our collective success and I'm deeply grateful for it. For the start of the school year, we decided against hot lunches and instead went with "grab and go" meals, as we were concerned about students bunching up in the lunch line for as much as 5 minutes, increasing the risk of transmission. We also had logistical concerns about hot lunches given that many of our schools use multiple locations for lunch (not just the lunch room) to ensure 6 feet of distancing. All that said, we do hope to eventually transition to hot meals once everyone has become accustomed to our mitigation strategies and we feel more confident in our ability to execute on the logistics. I'll also note that we have a significant number of vacancies on our food and nutrition team, which will make it difficult to provide hot meals right now. Fortunately, last night, the Board approved an increase in the hourly rate for our food and nutrition employees to help with recruitment and retention.

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