• Reopen With Love

    Fall 2020 Virtual Reopening Plan

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Daily RPS Direct Update - September 18 (PM), 2020

  • Dear #RPSStrong Family,
     
    To all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, RPS wishes you a "Shanah Tovah Umetukah," a Good and Sweet Year! In my family, brisket is the go-to food for this holiday. Mine's been cooking all day; can't wait to hear the boys' verdict :).
     
    Thank you again for all the feedback about our virtual instruction. As I shared yesterday, we're drafting some adjusted schedules based on your input. We'll have details at Monday's School Board meeting. In the meantime, feel free to keep emailing any thoughts you have!
     
    As you have likely seen from my special RPS Direct messages, we've had a number of positive COVID-19 cases recently. These cases are a reminder that the coronavirus is still very active in our community, and we all need to take every precaution.
    A few reminders for RPS employees:

    • Wearing a mask, physically distancing, and washing your hands frequently will help you and the entire community stay safe. Please don't forget that masks and distancing are required for RPS employees while at work; and strongly encouraged when not at work.
       
    • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please take care of yourself and others by staying home and contacting your healthcare provider or the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) to get tested. RCHD's COVID-19 hotline is (804) 205-3501.

    • If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you are notified that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please inform your supervisor and quarantine yourself immediately based upon the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

    • You have the right to 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave to take care of yourself if your health is impacted by COVID-19. For more information, please contact Michelle Owens, Senior Talent Office Associate, at mowens2@rvaschools.net.

    We must remain vigilant in the face of this pandemic. Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart. Wash your hands. Do these things for yourself, for your loved ones, for the RPS Family, and for all of Richmond.
     
    With great appreciation,
     
    Jason
     
     
    Shout-outs! – Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net. Thank you! 

    • I first want to say thank you to all RPS staff and volunteers. I have never been more proud to say I am apart of this school system. As a single mother to 4 RPS students, I can say that this transition has been so smooth. I want to give personal shout outs to Fairfield Court Elementary School, especially Ms. Henderson, Mrs. Parks, Ms. McAdams, and Mrs. Perez, as they have been really hands-on, and have gone above and beyond to help me. I also want to shout out the staff at Armstrong High School and specifically my son’s teacher, Mr. Armstrong. They have been available to answer my questions and made sure I got all supplies even though I missed the pick-up dates. Keep up the good work!
    • Shout to Ms. Knight at Mary Munford. She is the gold standard for virtual learning. She has kept her second grade class interested and engaged. The kids are excited to log on each morning. She has set a manageable schedule and balanced screen time perfectly. With the challenges of having two virtual students and two full time working parents at home, we couldn't be more thrilled with how the year is starting off. BIG thanks to Ms. Knight. We are lucky to have her!
    • I wanted to give a shout out to my daughter's teacher, Ms. Powers at Bellevue. Before school started, she called and eased my and my daughter's anxiety about virtual learning. These past few weeks she has been amazing! She's always available when we are having tech hiccups, regardless of the time, and is always super responsive. During screen time she is extremely engaged and positive with her class. She is an amazing teacher!
    • I wanted to give a shout out to Jamie Simon & Ingrid Keeling at William Fox Elementary.
      They have been so amazing in helping the kids and greeting them every morning with so much encouragement. Hearing Mrs. Simon play “Simon Says” with the kids is just the sweetest thing on Earth. THE PATIENCE!!!!
    • Shout out to Katherine Shenk at Albert Hill Middle. She’s been incredible at guiding kids at a pace each of them needs and making them all feel like they are math wizards. So thankful for our teachers and leadership.
    • To the intensive support mentors – Ms. Lagow, Ms. Lucas, and Ms. Sellars  you ladies ROCK and are always so incredibly HELPFUL!!
    • Ms. Mangaroo and Mrs. Farmer - they are definitely amazing! I love that they reach out to me when there are changes. They are both incredible with the children. They are definitely gifted at what they’re doing and I believe that they’ve found their calling. I’m so glad and so blessed to have them as teachers for my son. Although the classes are online, they make every effort to include each child and I love them!
    • Ms. Lackey and her first grade team are doing an amazing job. My daughter is loving school!!
    • I would like to give a shout out to Jasmine Thomas and Ms. Jasckson from Maymont Elementary School. They are taking a lot of time with my son. He's learning new words and gaining confidence in himself. Ms Thomas is dedicated to her kids. Keep up the good job, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Jackson!
    • I am sending a "shout out" to Mr. Darrell Turner from Blackwell Preschool for being so kind, thoughtful and supportive in assisting me with technology issues. He has stuck right there with me as we have tried to troubleshoot some difficult and trying tech concerns. He is a TRUE TEAM PLAYER! THANKS, Mr. Turner!!!
    • I would love to give a quick shout out to two amazing teachers at Linwood Holton ElementaryMr. Johnson (4th grade) and Ms. Brockman (1st grade). They are doing an outstanding job!! Both of my boys are engaged, love their teachers, and are having fun while doing virtual learning. While of course there will always be hiccups, these two have taken it all in stride. My husband and I greatly appreciate the clear communication as well using the ClassDojo app and being available by email and phone. Additionally, all of the ENCORE staff at Holton is fabulous! Way to go, Holton Lions!!
    • The cafeteria staff at Linwood Holton would like to shout out SSO Quinton Richardson for his outstanding and impeccable service distributing meals to the students of RPS. Mr. Richardson thought nothing of standing in the rain to shelter the monitor and cafeteria staff from the elements over the past two weeks. Such a gentleman he is. We are going to miss Mr. Richardson as he journeys on to new endeavors, while wishing him the very best!
    • I want to shout out Amelia Smith, the Welcome Center Coordinator, for her hard work on RSP en Español. This week, she started RPS en Vivo, a weekly show on Facebook to support Spanish speaking families in Richmond. She continues to build bridges with families and share how to navigate the school system so students have all the resources and tools to succeed. She is a champion for the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx community.
    • Mrs. El Koubi has been amazing. I can’t imagine a better leader of the school. She is thoughtful, engaging and really has gone to lengths to cheerlead for her students. I’m so excited to get to know the new assistant principal, Ms. Jones. She’s taken the role and really distinguished herself in the past month. She’s already added so much to the Westover community. I am so proud of our school.
    • I would like to shout out two Carver Elementary School staff members, Marleeta Thompson (school secretary), and Christina Wilson (kindergarten teacher), for their servant leadership. Both individuals go above and beyond to ensure that students, their peers, and parents are supported. Their collaboration with the administrative team is invaluable and appreciated!
    • It was the most incredible and fun day in class with Ms. Miller, Ms. Jeanette, and Ms. Rudd at Maymont Preschool Center. The students' day started with yoga and it was amazing. The students transitioned with ease as they were exposed to the days of the week, learning about shapes, and the months of the year. This classroom setting is nurturing the students' creativity and curiosity. The teachers provided the same level of quality that they would have in a regular classroom setting. They have demonstrated that as long as you have caring, loving, and creative teachers, learning can take place in any environment.
    • I am sending a shout out to Ms. Christian Rockwood at Linwood Holton Elementary. Ms. Rockwood has done an outstanding job of making sure that her students have a successful and great experience in the virtual classroom. She has had great communication with her students and the parents. Ms. Rockwood has reached beyond the classroom to make sure her students have all the books they need to carry out their class work. Our daughter is truly enjoying having her as her teacher. Again, thank you, Ms. Rockwood, for doing a great job.
    • I’d like to give a shout out to Ms. Robinson at Holton Elementary. My third grader was disappointed not to be going to school this year, but is excited to start the day with her teacher. Ms. Robinson is always prepared and keeps the day moving. She is unbelievably patient teaching them how to navigate the virtual classroom as well as the apps. I feel so lucky that my daughter gets to have her as a teacher!
    • I would like to give a shout out to all the teachers and staff at Thomas Jefferson High School. They take the time to understand each student. The teachers at TJ are SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS! Also the counselors are AWESOME, WONDERFUL, LOVING, and CARING. The principal and assistant principals are DYNAMITE! They are always there for the parents and students. The secretaries bring sunshine when it is cloudy outside with their beautiful voices. I am glad to be a MIGHTY MIGHTY VIKING!
    • We wanted to give a shout out to Jill Jones at Mary Munford Elementary School, who has been a warm and welcoming presence in our kiddo's start of kindergarten. She makes learning fun and engaging, so much so that our kiddo was a little disappointed that we didn't have school on Saturday.  Her patience, dedication, and genuine interest in her students is evident both on and off line.  Given the unprecedented nature of this school year, we couldn't ask for a smoother start!
    • I would like to send a shout out to Ms. Robinson at Linwood Holton for her patience and compassion that's evident daily. She is ROCKING this virtual teaching thing! 
    • I want to shout out some amazing teachers and speech pathologist who helped my daughter during the summer. Their names are Lanae Dowe from TJHSKaren Young from BMSAmanda Belding SLP and Phyllis Lupini SLP. Also shout out to Ms. Cristin Henderson from TJHS for helping my daughter after hours today!!! Thanks for all you do!!!
    • I would like to shout out my two amazing ladies, doing their thing, not missing a beat even virtually. Ms. Donna Contessa and Ms. Alezia Mason at Mary Munford Elementary School embraced the challenges faced with virtual learning with grace. Speaking for myself (but I'm pretty sure that other parents in this wonderful class would agree), I had questions/doubts about how were we going to pull it off. However, September 8, 2020 arrived and besides a few technical concerns, things seemed to go smoother than expected. Support gained from Ms. Contessa and Ms. Mason has created a safe haven for their parents as well as their students. The interactions and adjustments seemed as if we were used to schooling in such a manner that you could never tell that this was new for us. So, I would like to take the time to thank these AWESOME ladies for all that they do with no internal limits to the gifts they possess. I want to thank them for the daily encouragement and motivation provided not just to their students, but to parents as well, because changes are tough and not always met with positive adaptation. I appreciate both of you.
    • I'd like to give a shout out to the wonderful support team at ED Redd Elementary School. A little background first. Our student is a 3rd grader at Redd and is Autistic. He doesn't take change well and has issues with social behaviors. This year, however, is getting off to a fabulous start. He has been blessed with Mrs. Butler for his 3rd grade teacher and Ms. L. Johnson as his exceptional education teacher,along with Ms. J. Daniels for speech and Mrs. Tracy Howard as his "go to" person. I am blown away. They each are so invested in my child's success. I am getting emails, texts, and messages for his support. I am truly astonished daily by how much this year's support team is handling this new virtual classroom and different way of learning. I feel so blessed and proud to have my student where he's at and to see his challenges being conquered! Thanks for building such a great group of individuals filled with so much love and compassion for their students and their families!!!
    • I want to shout out my amazing principal, Dr. Probst at The Blackwell Preschool Center. She has created such a warm, positive, supportive, and inviting environment for everyone. She keeps us engaged, encourages us to grow both professionally and personally, all while trying to navigate the uncharted waters of virtual preschool. It has been an absolute pleasure working with her. She is truly a gem. Dr. Probst is a shining example of what leadership in RPS should look like.
    • I would like to give a MASSIVE shout out to the following RPS Family Members for working together to make sure my 10th grader at Huguenot High School has the tools she needs to succeed: Mrs. Monique Harris, School Counselor; Mrs. Consquilla Carey-Taylor, Nutrition & Wellness Teacher;  Mrs. Jacqueline Baker, Career and Technical Education Department Head; and Mrs. Barbara Smith, Director of Career and Technical Education. Thank you all for your support, patience, and dedication. Each of you is greatly appreciated. Blessings to you all!
    • I would like to give a shout-out to Lathem Koerner at Cardinal Elementary. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him and seeing him teach every day. All of his students' parents have been contacted and continuously supported. Every student is patiently listened to and assisted throughout the day. His ability to stay calm, with a positive attitude, has helped me feel the same, and definitely his students, too! Thank you, Mr. Koerner, for being so awesome!!
    • Ms. Slachiak is our son’s 2nd grade teacher at Linwood Holton. She exudes patience and grace as she helps him and his classmates navigate the system and provide technical support while working through her lessons. Thank you for all you are doing to provide additional assistance while maintaining structure.
    • I would like to shout out Carmen Ricks in Payroll. I had been trying to print my paystubs from home and was having the hardest time. But Carmen kept giving me advice and would offer other solutions on how to get what I needed. The response time was wonderful. Thank you so much, Carmen Ricks!
    • Shout out to Shayla Holeman and Duane Samuels at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School for keeping staff spirit up and encouraging a positive environment. They make sure we know we have back-up, and are strong in encouraging us as staff members. We couldn't ask for any more! They are amazing!
    • I wanted to write to you personally about Ms. Rachel Campbell, 2nd grade teacher at G.H Reid Elementary School. She has gone above and beyond since the Covid-19 shut down and school closing back in March 2020. Ms. Campbell has been working one-on-one with my son on his reading and math throughout the rest of the last school year and during the summer months, despite not having to do it. She dedicated her time, energy, and even money to working with my son, and I couldn't be more appreciative. She has prepared us for this virtual learning environment that we are in and made sure my son was where he was supposed to be in his reading and math assignments. She has provided more than she has to in order to ensure his success in the 3rd grade. I'm happy to have my kids in Richmond Public schools because of educators like Ms. Rachel Campbell. She needs to be acknowledged in the school newsletter for her hard work and dedication to her students. My son is on grade level in reading because of her hard work, and I don't take that lightly at all.
     
     
    RPS Voices – Our RPS Voice today comes from Abizue Santos-Rios, an ESL teacher at George Wythe High School. Abizue is an RPS alumna and former ESL student who is proud to return to RPS as an ESL teacher. She knows and understands the challenges that come with learning a new language, just like the students she has the honor of teaching. Abizue, thank you for sharing your voice with us (in both Spanish and English)!
     
     
    Antiracist Educator PD Series – The VCU School of Education is hosting a professional development series entitled "Becoming an Antiracist Educator," and it features 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson as one of the facilitators. See the flyer below for all the details!
     
     
    Extended Mobile Help Desk Hours – The RPS Mobile Help Desk will offer extended hours, effective Monday, September 21. Please review the flyers below for the updated times.
     
     
     
     
    Tech Tip – A "hard reset" can be helpful for your Chromebook if there is an error that is blocking the Internet connection or if some keys on the keyboard have stopped functioning. To do a hard rest, first power off your Chromebook. Then press the arrow-in-a-circle key (refresh key) and keep this pressed while you power on the device. When you see the regular white screen come on, let go of the refresh key and log on as usual. This should reset the Chromebook. See picture below:
     
     
    Still Need Help Logging On? – Take these steps!

    1. Watch this tutorial and review the accompanying slide deck from Instructional Technology Resource Teachers (ITRTs) Nicole Pfister and Ashley Bland.
    2. Email the Help Desk at HelpDesk@rvaschools.net. When you email the Help Desk, please include the student's name, school, date of birth, and student ID number (if you have it). This will help speed things up tremendously. Thanks!
    3. If none of this works, please email me at jkamras@rvaschools.net!
     
     
    RPS Tech Website – We have a ton of tech support resources in English and Spanish. To access them, just go to rpstech.org

     
     
    RPS Love Store – We've already raised nearly $2,000 for RPS families in need through the RPS Love Store. Show your RPS Love and help us raise even more by ordering something today!
     
     
    Important Links – I'll note in orange when there have been additions/updates so you you won't miss anything.

    #ReopenWithLove Links
    Local, State, and National Public Health Links
    Local, State, and National Public Education Links

Translate Our Website!

  • Traducir nuestro sitio web | Traduire notre site Web | ترجمة موقعنا | Tafsiri Tovuti yetu

    Please see below for instructions in multiple languages for how to access the translation functionality of our website. 

    English: To receive updated information in your native language and to learn where you may receive assistance during this time away from school, visit rvaschools.net and select the "translate" option at the top of the page.

    Amharic/ አማርኛ: በአፍ መፍቻ ቋንቋዎ የተዘመኑ መረጃዎችን ለመቀበል እና በዚህ ትምህርት ቤት በሚዘጋበት ወቅት እንደ ምግብ ያለ ድጋፍ የት እንደሚያገኙ ለማወቅ ፣ የ rvaschools.net ን ይጎብኙ እና በገጹ አናት ላይ ያለውን “ትርጉም” አማራጭ ይምረጡ ፡፡

    Arabic: لمعرفة المكان الذي قد تتلقى فيه المساعدة مثل الطعام أثناء إغلاق المدرسة ، حدد خيار "الترجمة" في أعلى الصفحة.

    French/Français: Pour recevoir des informations mises à jour dans votre langue maternelle et savoir où vous pouvez recevoir de l'aide comme de la nourriture pendant cette fermeture d'école, visitez rvaschools.net et sélectionnez l'option "traduire" en haut de la page.

    Spanish/Español: Para recibir información actualizada en su idioma nativo y saber dónde puede recibir asistencia como alimentos durante el cierre de esta escuela, visite www.rvaschools.net y seleccione la opción "traducir" en la parte superior de la página.

    Swahili/Kiswahili: Kupokea habari iliyosasishwa katika lugha yako ya asili na kujifunza wapi unaweza kupata msaada kama chakula wakati wa kufunga shule hii, tembelea rvaschools.net na uchague chaguo la "kutafsiri" juu ya ukurasa.

    Additional Language Resource: If you use the website browser, Chrome, you can also add a Google Translate extension that will translate any page on the internet.