COVID-19 Updates

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Daily RPS Direct Update - August 6, 2020

  • Dear #RPSStrong Family,
    I'm thrilled to share the details of our student #ReopenWithLove Learning Kits! We're moving and heaven and earth to make sure they're ready prior to the start of the year, but please understand that a few things are out of our control (for example, COVID-related shipping delays). I'll continue to share updates as I have them. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
    I'm also excited to share that, starting this week, RPS staff and volunteers have been hitting the streets for a series of Community Walks to share #ReopenWithLove information with our families. You can find the full schedule here
    As a reminder, for all the latest information about our reopening plans, just go to the main #ReopenWithLove section of our website. We're adding new details every day!
    With great appreciation,
    Shout-outs! – Please keep sending them to me at Thank you! 
    • I want to give shout outs to the ITRT team: Dr. Currie for being the best leader the ITRT team has ever had (hands down); Dina Logo for always looking out for everyone’s best interest; Jonathan Kenneth for making people laugh with his shock-and-awe antics; Brent Evans for being one of the most committed workers on the ground; Carla Wood for her commitment to working from home and the TLP Learning Series; Jeff Rew for being a people-person and Twitter master; Joselyn Verdi for her commitment to her values; Nicole Pfister for being so diligent; Cathy Meyer for her insight and humor; Mark Wenberg for RPSTech; Stacy Green for having a heart of gold; Ashley Bland for standing up for the things that she believes in; Rose Turnage for appearing out of thin air when help is needed; Marci Rosenthal for being the greatest SMARTboard advocate; and Frances Aida, Christopher Barna, Samantha Berry, Mercedes Buck, Philip Lead, and Stephanie Smith (all new members), who have already shown their commitment to the program and are all amazing people full of expertise.
    • Shout out to Dr. Epp for her commitment to create an integrated team across all her departments (those OAS All Hands Meetings were great). And to Tyra Harrison for always believing in the potential of every student.
    • I would like to thank Mr. Fung for being a great teacher and staff member at George Wythe High School. He is always ready to assist the staff and students. He works early in the morning until late at night. I really appreciate him for everything he does for the George Wythe family!
    • Wanted to give a huge shout out to Dr. Anderson for the tremendous support daily that she provides. Amazing leadership! Also a huge shout out to the to the admin team, Mrs. Seay-Anderson and Ms. Smith. You both rock! In addition, shout out to the entire staff at Blackwell Elementary School – fantastic Job as always!
    • I am with a group who works with a number of Southwood families. When I took one of those family's students to get their computers, Mr. Hernandez was very helpful and gave us his phone number. Since that time, he has worked promptly to resolve every issue that every family has called him about, regardless of the time of day. He responds when parents are available, and it simply makes all the difference in the world. Thank you, Mr. Hernandez, for making things better for so many families in Southwood! We really appreciation him and all he does when it comes to computers, finding community resources, ensuring that families have food, and the list goes on and on.
    • I would like to give a shout out to the Office of Grants Monitoring and Compliance: Leah Harrison, Charleen Frederick Stinson, and Cheryl Bostick. They work efficiently behind the scenes finding grant opportunities and assisting departments throughout the entire process. The Passion4Learning team and RPS in general are blessed to have them as a part of the team, and their work does not go unnoticed.
    • Shout out to Grady Hart, our Community Partnerships Coordinator, who has worked to secure partnerships to provide RPS students with new real-world experiences and deeper community connections. Thank you for ensuring our STEM Academy students will have engaging experiences with the community.
    • Shout out to Joshua Bearman, the Science Curriculum and Instructional Specialist, who continues to go above and beyond, not just within his own department but extending himself to support in other areas of the district. The support that you have provided to the STEM Academies has helped to shape the foundation of the programs.
    • A huge thank you to our Procurement and Property Management Office: Sheila Battle, Nicole Napier, and Chuck Ward. They have been non-stop in their efforts to procure everything we need for virtual learning.
    • Super congratulations to 2019 Teacher of the Year, Rodney Robinson, on his new position. Thank you for shining the spotlight on the dedication of RPS to educational and cultural equity in the classroom!
    • Shout out to Ms. Anne Culbreth-Washington from Armstrong High School. She consistently reaches out to her students to celebrate their triumphs and to give unwavering support during tragedies. She lets her students know that they matter and she is there to cheer them on. This year marks an impressive 36 years of teaching experience.
    • Every Morning, Ms. Jacqueline Moultry greeted all staff members entering Huguenot High School with a "Good morning! Have a great day!" During the pandemic she has not missed a beat. Each week she sends out greetings to the staff. She has shown us how to maintain a sense of community virtually. Thank you, Ms. Moultry, for thinking of us during these unprecedented COVID-19 times.
    RPS Live! Recap – On RPS Live! last night, I shared our reopening plan and answered tons of great questions submitted on Facebook. If you missed it, just click below!
    Ultimate Backpack – In partnership with VCU, we're holding our third annual Ultimate Backpack Supply Drive at The Diamond on Wednesday, August 26. For more details, see the flyer below or reach out to Timmy Nguyen ( Thank you!
    Community Meetings on Police in Schools – As RPS continues to assess the role of police in schools, we are holding two virtual community meetings in August to hear your feedback. The meetings on August 10 and 24 will be live-streamed on our Facebook page. Please email your comments to by 1 pm on the day of the meetings so they can be read aloud. Thank you!


    Important Links – I'll note in orange when there have been additions/updates so you you won't miss anything.
    Fall 2020 #ReopenWithLove Links
    Local, State, and National Public Health Links
    Local, State, and National Public Education Links