Frequently Asked Questions

  • This page last updated 7/9/20.


    Below you will find frequently asked questions and answers regarding our school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Resources for Coronavirus/COVID-19 in Richmond

    • Official City of Richmond COVID-19 Updates: www.richmondgov.com/covid19
    • Richmond City Health Department Website and Hotline: www.vdh.virginia.gov/richmond-city and 804-205-3501
    • Official City of Richmond COVID-19 Updates: www.richmondgov.com/covid19 

      

    Closure 

    • How long are we closed? For the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
    • Are events run by external organizations that rent space at schools (like churches for Sunday services) cancelled? Yes. ALL activities are cancelled.
    • When can students/families and staff pick up personal items from school buildings? Principals will be reaching out to their school communities about specific days/times when individuals can come to retrieve essential personal items.
    • What happens to money that has been paid for dues, activities, athletics, field trips, etc.? Will refunds be issued? Principals should have provided all refunds to families by now.  If this hasn’t occurred, please contact your child’s principal.

      

    Food

    • Which schools have food available for pick-up? View the sites here that are open Monday-Friday from 9:30am-12:30pm.
    • Is RPS also delivering food directly into neighborhoods? Yes! We are using our buses to deliver food to 34 locations around the city. Click here for all the details.
    • Can students pick up food without their parent/caregiver being present? Yes.
    • Can parents/caregivers pick up food without their student being present? Yes. 

     

    Academics - Exceptional Education

    • How will IEP’s, ESY and evaluations be completed?  IEP Team meetings cannot be held in person. However, they may be postponed or held virtually if parents have determined that they would like to proceed with IEP meetings that have been previously scheduled or for those that are up for review.
    • What is being done to support and provide appropriate educational materials for kids with IEPs?  Please see our RPS@Home website for more info, https://www.rpstech.org/ees.html
    • What will happen to students in the context of SBIT or Child Find?  Schools should use the committee recommendations and data that were used in the process to inform next steps for when students return.
    • How will students with disabilities receive their related service hours for things like occupational and physical therapy?  Please see our RPS@Home website for more info, https://www.rpstech.org/ees.html

     

    Academics – Online Learning

    • Where do I find the "Learning at Home" section of the RPS website? Just click here.
    • What should I do if I don't have internet access? Please call Comcast at 855-846-8376 (English) or 855-765-6995 (Spanish) to get 60 days of FREE internet.
    • What should I do if the Comcast option isn't working for me? We are working to get wifi "hotspots" for families that can't access the internet. Please take this survey to let us know if you need support.
    • What should I do if I don't have a computer for my students? Please take this survey to let us know if you need support.
    • What do I do if I have a technical issue with my Chromebook? will the computers be distributed? RPS Mobile Help Desk information is located here.
    • How will material not covered as result of the school year being canceled be handled? Will it just be skipped entirely or incorporated into next year's academic year?  Our RPS@Home learning plans reinforce the necessary skills for the current grade level and apply that to a mixture of new and old content. For the upcoming school year, we will continue to incorporate these skills and utilize resources to help fill any gaps, but we do not plan to entirely skip any material/standards.

     

    Academics – Graduation

    • What specifically do seniors need to do? Those who were passing their classes do not need to complete any modules; they are effectively done for the year and will receive their diplomas in June. Seniors who were not passing a class needed for graduation have to complete one module per class on RPS@Home.
    • My student is in a specialty high school and was not doing well in one of their classes but was hoping to pull up the grade before the end of the year. How will this affect his/her grade and will he/she be removed from that speciality school because they failed the course? He/she should work to complete all of their Edgenuity modules. Specific guidance was provided regarding the calculation of final grades for all students. Please refer to the High School FAQs.  No, the student will not be removed from their specialty school.

     

    Academics – Grades

    The FAQs below align with the new grading procedures adopted by the School Board on April 6, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 closure. Please see a summary of those procedures followed by the FAQ.

    Summary of new grading procedures

    • Elementary Schools:
      • Use the notation "S" for "Successful" when a student had a passing grade in the subject as of March 13.
      • Use the notation "N" for "Needs Improvement" when a student did NOT have a passing grade in the subject as of March 13.
      • We will not be assigning final grades for the year at the elementary level.
    • Middle and High Schools:
      • Use the notation "E" for "Exempt" for any missing assignment, meaning no make-up work needs to be turned in. This is to protect students (as many are unable right now to complete make-up work) and teachers (as many are unable right now to grade such work).
      • Use 50% as the numerical value for any assignment graded as an F (meaning no score below 50%), so as not to unnecessarily depress student grades at this time.
      • We will calculate final grades using the average of the grades for Marking Periods 1, 2, and 3, each making up 33% of the final grade.
    • What is the timeline for teachers to finalize MP3 grades? Teachers should finalize MP3 grades from April 13 - May 8.
    • In finalizing the MP3 grade, should teachers consider work received during the school closure (either new assignments or make up work)? No, only work submitted up through March 13 should be considered in determining the MP3 grade.
    • At the elementary level, what letter grades count as an “S” (Successful) and which count as an “N” (Needs Improvement)? Grades of A-D should be coded as “S” in ASPEN. A grade of “F” should be coded as “N”. For any “N” (or for any other areas where teachers may want to flag concerns), it is strongly encouraged that teachers include notes on student performance in the comments section.
    • At the elementary level, do teachers need to complete the SOL profiles and reading level? Yes, teachers should complete these sections based on the first six weeks of MP3.
    • At the middle and high school level, will ASPEN automatically change any failing grades lower than a 50% to 50% and put in an exempt “E” for missing assignments? No, teachers will need to manually make these changes.
    • Will report cards be distributed for MP3? No, report cards will be distributed at the end of the school year and be inclusive of MP3 and final grades. However, teachers are strongly encouraged to contact the parents/guardians of students who will receive an “N” (at the elementary level) or are failing a course/MP3 (at the secondary level). Additionally, principals should contact parents/guardians of students who are in danger of retention as a result of MP1- MP3 grades.
    • Will students need to take SOLs? No.
    • Where do I go to find all the Wishtree read-aloud videos? Right here! 
    • When will transcripts be prepared (and ready for distribution) for the 2019-20 school year? Will final transcripts, specifically for seniors, be available in June or earlier?  Transcripts will be ready by July 1, possibly sooner.
    • My child is in an alternative placement. How will he/she advance to the next grade and return to their home school? If the student is in high school, he/she should work to complete all of their Edgenuity modules. All placement decisions will be revisited prior to the end of the school year.
    • My student is in a specialty high school and was not doing well in one of their classes but was hoping to pull up the grade before the end of the year. How will this affect his/her grade and will he/she be removed from that speciality school because they failed the course?  He/she should work to complete all of their Edgenuity modules. Specific guidance has been provided regarding the calculation of final grades for all students. No, the student will not be removed from their specialty school.
    • Instead of a report card, can you provide parents with some kind of detailed report of what content their child has mastered? I For example, SOLs/skills mastered, SOLs/skills yet to be mastered this academic year, and suggestions on how to address those skills.  The SOL profile is a part of the elementary report card and teachers have the ability to add in comments.
    • Who can I speak with to go over my child’s credits? Please reach out directly to your child’s school counselor and/or principal. If you are still unsure, please contact our help line at 804-780-6195
    • How will class ranks be calculated? For seniors, class rank was already determined at the end of semester one of senior year, consistent with board policy. There will be no changes to senior class rank at this point. For grades 9-11, end of year grades (following grading guidance already issued) will drive GPA, which determines class rank, which is run at the end of the school year.
    • What will happen to students that were on the retention list?  
      • Elementary School: Principals have been told to contact the parent/guardian of any student who is in danger of retention and strongly encourage these parents to have their child engage with RPS @Home. Ultimately, retention decisions are left to the principal per School Board Policy but there is an appeal process.
      • Middle/High School: Final grades are determined by the average of MP1, MP2, and MP3 grades. Middle school students must pass 3/4 core content classes to be promoted to the next grade. High school students must get a passing grade to obtain course credit.
    • How do I find out how my child is doing with their school work?  You can reach out to your child’s teacher and/or school principal to learn more.
    • How will AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment classes be tested and scored? How will IB diploma students be tested and scored? Please see this detailed FAQ.
    • How will SAT prep and testing proceed?  At this time, all SAT testing has been suspended until further information is provided from College Board.
    • My child is in an alternative placement. How will he/she advance to the next grade and return to their home school? If the student is in high school, he/she should work to complete all of their Edgenuity modules. All placement decisions will be revisited prior to the end of the school year. 
    • Are we waiving industry certifications as well as Economics & Personal Finance for students? ONLY Cohort 2019-2020 seniors that meet the following criteria qualify for waivers:
      • The student was currently enrolled in a course and/or training required for graduation during the spring 2020 term OR enrolled in a course and/or training required for graduation at the end of the summer 2020 term; -AND-       
      • The student has demonstrated mastery (passing) in a majority of the standards, competencies,and objectives in the entire course and/or training. Mastery may be determined by a student’s grades in the course as of March 13, 2020.

    Waivers cover ONLY cohort 2019-2020 seniors for these course scenarios: The student has demonstrated mastery (passing) in a majority of the standards, competencies,and objectives in the entire course and/or training. Mastery may be determined by a student’s grades in the course as of March 13, 2020.

    • Students who have not completed a United States and Virginia history course*;
    • Students who have not completed a fine or performing arts or career and technical education course*;
    • Students in the second of sequential courses*;
    • Students who have not completed an economics and personal finance course*.


    Academics - Preschool

    • Will preschool be using the Modern Teacher Online Programming as a means of instruction?  Preschool is not currently using Modern Teacher Online.  We are using an online adaptive  instructional program for preschoolers called Waterford UPSTART.  All currently enrolled preschoolers have been provided with an account and log-in information is provided in the daily at home learning plans. 
    • How will Kindergarten registration be handled this year? PK/Kindergarten registration is currently available online in the new Enroll RPS platform.

     

    Academics – RPS@Home

    • Where do I find the RPS@Home section of the RPS website? Just click here.
    • Are the lessons on RPS@Home required? Will they be graded? For Pre-K – 8, no, they are NOT required and will NOT be graded. For 9th – 11th graders (and MS students taking HS courses), students must complete one RPS@Home module per class to receive credit. The modules won't be graded, but they must be completed. For seniors, only students who were not passing a class needed for graduation have to complete modules on RPS@Home. Those who were passing their classes do not need to complete any modules; they are effectively done for the year and will receive their diplomas in June.
    • Where can I go for more details about what high school students need to do during the closure? We've created a special guidance document for HS students. You can access it here.

     

    Academics - Summer School

    • Will we still be providing summer school for our students? Information about RPS SummerCamp@Home can be found here.

    Communications 

    • Can anyone receive my daily RPS Direct emails? Yes. ANYONE can sign up here.
    • Are these messages available in other languages? Yes. They're all posted on our website, which has an auto-translate function for dozens of languages. The translate button is on the top right of the menu bar.
    • Does RPS have any guidance on how to talk about the coronavirus with children? Yes. Please click here for a number of resources.

     

    Other

    • If I want to volunteer, what should I do? Please sign-up here. Thank you!
    • If I want to donate, what should I do? Click here to go to the donation page of the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation. Thank you!
    • Will current 5th and 8th grade students start the school year in their new school? Our plan is to have all 5th and 8th graders start in their new school however all things are contingent to any state mandates regarding COVID that could delay our timeline.  
    • Will the current 8th graders still have the VUU scholarship opportunity? Current 9th grade students who were awarded the scholarship in the fall of 2019 will still receive the scholarship. Unfortunately, funding for another year was not renewed by our partners at VUU, so current 8th grade students will not be eligible for this program.
    • How can students complete driver’s education?  Schools have been given information on setting up virtual classes to complete driver education theory. Please contact your school for individual teacher schedules.
    • What is happening to the Richmond Tech Center for Adults that did not get to finish? Will class completion be offered during the summer when this is under control?  Review classes will occur once we can return to the classroom. We will also invite Graduated Seniors to these classes (for free) if they were taking it at RTC during the day. A majority of the classes require hands-on instruction and they are still teaching via online methods.
    • Students who are taking extracurricular activities such as band have instruments in the school. How can we retrieve them? Some of them are on rental contracts through music companies. They need to be returned so parents are not continuing to be charged fees. Arrangements for picking up your personal instruments should be made with your music teacher and your school principal at a day and time that is convenient for all. 

     

    Student Services

    • Are homebound teachers still responsible for providing assignments to the students?  All instructional assignments and materials were provided by core content teachers at their respective schools through March 12, 2020. After that parents and students were directed to the educational links provided through RPS@Home. In some cases, learning packets were initially provided by some of the home schools, while other schools used Edgenuity with some of their students. The students who began with Edgenuity continue to use that program. Other high school students were asked to complete one module in each core content area. Middle as well as elementary students continue to use educational links provided through RPS@Home.

     

    Technology Access and Support (will also be added to Technology Distribution page)

    • When will students return RPS Chromebooks?  Students will return chromebooks once the school year is over. We will be collecting them in June so that we have time to prepare them for use during the 2020-21 school year.
    • How do I obtain my child’s student ID number?  This can be found at the top of their report card; or you can email your child’s principal.
    • How are we getting repairs done on laptops (staff and students)? Who can teachers and parents contact for tech support?  Students who have technical issues are encouraged to email helpdesk@rvaschools.net. Employees may email servicedesk@rvaschools.net for assistance. The Technology Services team will address issues remotely as much as possible. For issues that require hands-on support, a mobile help desk will be available throughout the community on scheduled days/times listed below and also located here.
      • Armstrong HS, Tuesdays, 8am - 10am
      • George Wythe HS, Tuesdays, 10am - 12pm
      • Boushall MS, Thursdays, 2pm - 4pm