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"RPS Direct" Emails from Supt. Kamras
Dear #RPSStrong Family, I'd like to begin this evening by thanking the hundreds of teachers, support staff, parent/caregivers, and students who have reached out to me over the last 72 hours with feedback about school reopening. I'm grateful for your questions, your ideas, and your personal stories about how the coronavirus is affecting you and your loved ones. You still have time to share your thoughts before tomorrow night's Board meeting. Just email your public comments to firstname.lastname@example.org before 1 pm tomorrow or email me directly at email@example.com. As a reminder, here are the five plans the Board will be discussing tomorrow:
Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Friday! I know I said my next RPS Direct would come on Monday, but I felt it was important to circle back about school reopening after our Board meeting last night. First off, I want thank Dr. Danny Avula, Dr. Romesh Wijesooriya, Dr. Emily Godbout, and Dr. Bergen Nelson for joining us to provide an update on what the medical community has learned about COVID-19 over the last four months. See below for screenshots of a few of the most salient slides from their presentation. As soon as we get the whole document posted to our website, I'll share the link in my RPS Direct.
Dear #RPSStrong Family, Please note that we have a School Board meeting this evening at 6 pm, which you can watch live on our Facebook page. The main topic tonight is our draft school reopening plans. If you can't tune in this evening – or if the discussion goes until the wee hours of the night and you don't last – don't worry! I'll make sure to provide a summary of where things are headed in my Monday RPS Direct (RPS is closed tomorrow).
Dear #RPSStrong Family, Please note that we have a School Board meeting tomorrow evening at 6 pm. You can watch it live on our Facebook page. As I shared yesterday, we'll be discussing two possible school reopening plans: Plan A A fully virtual option PLUS A hybrid option that includes 2 days of in-person instruction and 3 days of virtual instruction each week PLUS 5 days of in-person instruction each week for students with greater academic needs (e.g., certain students with IEPs and certain English Learners) Plan B A fully virtual option PLUS A fully in-person option Please note that the Board will not be voting on these plans tomorrow. They'll just be reviewing and discussing them.
Dear #RPSStrong Family, I hope you all had a restful July 4th weekend! I had the chance to do some hiking along (and in) the James River this weekend with my sons. Hands down, it was one of the best experiences we've had since moving to Richmond. To navigate the current in a particularly tricky spot, my eight-year-old grabbed my hand as the water rushed around our legs. After we both wobbled our way through, I said: "I'm not sure if I was helping you or you were helping me." To which he replied: "We were helping each other, Daddy." Indeed. Because RPS is never far from my mind, I immediately thought of the many difficult decisions we're facing about how to reopen this fall. At the end of the day, no matter what path we take, we're going to need to help each other through it.
Dear #RPSStrong Family, Since we're closed today, I wasn't planning on sending an RPS Direct, but I wanted to clarify what's happening with meal distribution on Monday, July 6. The RPS distribution will be closed, but the city's Parks and Rec meal distribution will be open (RPS will be open again on Tuesday, July 7). Please see below for locations and times of the Parks and Rec program. With great appreciation, Jason Click above to view meal schedules!
Dear #RPSStrong Family, This morning, I had the opportunity to tour the new River City Middle School on the Southside with Mayor Stoney, School Board Chair Owen, and School Board Vice Chair Burke. The school is stunning – and huge! See below for pictures of the main atrium, one of the science labs, the media center, the auditorium, the full-service kitchen, and the athletic fields. I'll admit I was borderline giddy when I walked through River City today. It's beautiful, full of all the amenities our children deserve, and primed for 21st Century learning. Our students will know that we love them very much when they walk through the doors this fall. Click above to read more!
Dear #RPSStrong Family, What a historic day in Richmond! Enormous gratitude to Mayor Stoney for taking decisive action this afternoon to remove the Stonewall Jackson statue from Monument Avenue. As the skies darkened and the rain poured, it seemed for a moment as if the Lost Cause was staging one final campaign to preserve the past. But the removal crew – and the hundreds of cheering supporters – remained. And in the end, the statue came down and the skies cleared. As I shared when we renamed J.E.B. Stuart Elementary to Barack Obama Elementary, changing names and removing statues doesn't eliminate any of the injustices encoded in our laws and policies – but these actions matter nonetheless. Click above to read more!