Student & Family Frequently Asked Questions
Health & Safety
Is it safe for me to send my children back to school?
Yes, with more individuals receiving vaccines - including children ages 12 and up - and with health and safety best practices in place, RPS will be a healthy and safe learning environment for students and staff.
What has RPS done to address air quality?
Stand-alone HEPA filtration or “air scrubber” units will be placed in all classrooms and common areas. Building HVAC systems have upgraded air filters. All buses are equipped with air filtration systems and will keep windows open, weather permitting.
Will RPS practice social distancing?
Class sizes will be comparable to last school year prior to school closure; RPS will incorporate distancing to the greatest extent possible.
Will my child have access to hand sanitizer in their classroom?
Yes, every classroom and common area has a wall-mounted hand sanitizer station. All bathrooms have touchless paper towel dispensers and touchless soap dispensers.
Will masks be required and/or provided for students and staff?
Yes, masks are required for all students, staff, and visitors at all times regardless of vaccination status. Exceptions may be applicable (such as for students playing a musical instrument, or students with certain medical conditions or disabilities). A mask will be provided to anyone who does not have one.Do vaccinated students and staff need to continue to wear masks? Yes, all RPS students, staff, and visitors must remain masked at all times while inside or outside on RPS property.
Will students still have recess and what health and safety measures will be in place?
Yes, recess will be offered at all preschools and elementary schools. While outside on school property, students, teachers, staff, and visitors must remain masked at all times, except when eating or drinking.
What safety measures will RPS schools take to encourage sanitary practices during school meal times?
Masks may be removed while students are eating and drinking, however, masks must be worn by staff and students at all other times. Per normal, Student Nutrition Services protocol, staff are required to wear gloves when assisting students with meals. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at all cafeteria entrances and food distribution areas. Meals may be offered in a combination of spaces (including the classroom and cafeteria) depending on school needs and configuration to align with any distancing guidance in place. Large waste receptacles will be placed outside of the classrooms along the hallway for discarding trash.
Will external volunteers be allowed in classrooms?
RPS will continue to monitor health trends to make determinations about allowing external partners in classrooms.
Will I be required to wear a mask for parent/caregiver pick up/parent drop off?
Parents, caregivers, and daycare provider van drivers will be required to wear masks when entering into any RPS facility.
What are some of the symptoms families should check for each day prior to sending their child to school?
RPS will provide symptom checker information to all families to help families check for signs of illness each day. Symptoms include fever, respiratory symptoms such as nasal congestion and shortness of breath, and loss of taste and/or smell. If you are ever in doubt, please have your child stay home and call your doctor.
How will schools check for symptoms of illness?
Families, students, and staff will be required to self-check at home before coming to school and remain home if sick. All visitors will be required to complete a symptom-check upon entry to buildings.
What happens if my child becomes ill after coming to school?
The student will be sent to the school nurse for further assessment. If needed, the student will wait in the school’s Supportive Care Space, available at each school to separate those with symptoms. Parents and caregivers will be notified to pick up any student who is sick as quickly as possible.
What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19 at my child’s school?
RPS will continue to work in collaboration with the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) to perform contact tracing of all positive cases. Classes/schools will be quarantined when advised by RCHD. In the event of a quarantine or closure, RPS will continue instruction virtually and students will be provided Chromebooks and hotspots as needed.
Will all students receive Chromebooks, regardless of whether they choose virtual or in-person instruction?
Yes, RPS will continue to have devices for every student.
How will you address students' mental health as they come back from a year of being virtual?
The mental health of our students remains a top priority. We will have structures in place that ensure school-based mental health staff such as counselors and social workers are proactively working with teachers to provide specific supports to students in need. Additionally, we are increasing our partnerships with community-based mental health partners such as the ChildSavers, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, and Communities in Schools to provide personalized, additional support to students, and in some cases, their family members.
I am new to RPS. How do I enroll my child?
Families must enroll their child at Enroll RPS (www.attendrvaschools.com). The online enrollment form is separated into short sections, and allows families to save their progress and return to their work at a later date. Once completed, families will receive information about final steps from their school office staff. Click here for resources on how to use Enroll RPS.
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.
Will I have a teacher at my zone school if I choose virtual learning?
No, the Richmond Virtual Academy will operate as a separate school program within RPS. Students in grades PreK-5 will receive instruction from RPS teachers assigned to the Richmond Virtual Academy. Students in grades 6-12 will receive instruction from teachers hired by the Virtual Virginia program. Middle and high school students will also be assigned a mentor as well as additional support as needed (such as EE, LIEP, etc.) provided by RPS teachers and staff members.
Will families be able to switch from virtual to in-person and vice versa?
Families may request to switch to in-person learning at any time; however, it will take 1 week to accommodate bus route changes to provide transportation. Students will not be able to move from in-person learning to virtual learning.
Will the virtual path and in-person path be completely separate or will there be crossover between programming?
RPS’s virtual programs will operate completely independent of RPS in-person learning. To the greatest extent possible, RPS virtual programs will be designed to align with in-person learning.
Will virtual learning continue to be an option beyond the 2021-2022 school year?
Decisions regarding virtual instruction options for the 2022-2023 school year will be shared later. The Virtual Virginia program is expected to continue indefinitely as it is run by the Virginia Department of Education.