• Reopen With Love

    2020 Virtual Reopening Plan

    December 7, 2020 Update - RPS has officially announced that we will remain completely virtual for the second semester beginning on February 8, 2021. Further updates will be shared in RPS Direct and within this section of our website.

    This section of our website will be updated regularly with information and resources you may need as RPS continues to conduct the 2020-2021 school year virtually and we encourage you to visit frequently.

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RPS Direct Update - February 26, 2021

  • Dear #RPSStrong Family,
     
    Happy Friday! Today was especially joyous for me, as I had the privilege of presiding over our first-ever Mid-Year Graduation for students from the 2020, 2019, and 2018 classes who have returned to earn their diplomas. These 25 young people have redefined what it means to persevere and we are immensely proud of them!
     
    The ceremony today is a result of more than a year's worth of work to find students who left RPS, re-engage them through new programs like Con Ganas (With Determination), and support them through every last obstacle. Please join me in thanking the RPS teachers, counselors, administrators, and support staff – along with the students' families! – for making today possible.
     
    Speaking of graduation, please tune in for Monday's School Board meeting where I'll be providing an update on how things are looking for the current senior class. Here's the bottom line: we are projecting a 13 percentage point increase in our graduation rate! To be clear, this is a projection – not a final number. But it's backed by a ton of data that Dr. Epp, our Chief Academic Officer, will be sharing on Monday. I'll also go through it all in an RPS Direct next week.
     
    We'll also be discussing two other very important topics on Monday: our spring reopening plans and our calendar for next year. As for the spring, I'll be presenting an updated proposal that will provide in-person instruction for up to 800 students starting after Spring Break. In short, we'll offer in-person instruction for 300 high-need exceptional education and English learner students, and add in-person instruction at our facilitated learning centers, where we hope to increase enrollment to 500. I'll have more details on Monday so make sure to tune in.
     
    Turning to the calendar, I'll be sharing the latest survey data, which shows that more families and teachers are comfortable with the proposed change than not – very encouraging to see!
     
    With great appreciation,
     
    Jason
     
     
     
    Shout-outs! – Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net. Thank you! 
    • I just wanted to take a moment and shout out the staff at John B. Carey! This fourth grade year has been the best year in my son's academic life. He has such an awesome support team around him! Shoutout to Ms. Atkeson, Ms. Green, Ms. Sawyer, Ms. Linton, and Ms. Schafer, just to name a few. I love how you all pour into my son and I am so thankful! Mr. Powell, thank you as well for being invested in my son's future!!! #reopenwithlove
    • I would like to send a shout out to Jeanne Yeager, our nurse at Thomas Jefferson High School. She is the chair of our Climate and Culture Committee this year and spearheaded the idea and development of the TeeJay Together evening we held last night: a mindfulness forum and opportunity to check in and bond as a school. It was excellent! I would also like to send kudos to our guests who led the mindfulness and breakout rooms: Ashley Williams, Ram Bagat, and Luis Luna, and to the members of the TJHS Climate and Culture Committee and TJHS Administration, all of whom contributed to making a successful night. Most importantly, I want to shout out the TJHS students and faculty who attended! They were great communicators and risk-takers (two of the attributes of the IB Learner Profile) as they spoke up and worked to keep our TeeJay Family strong for all.
    • I wanted to take a moment of your time to share a shout out for a very special individual, Ms. Angela DeJarnette. Through my work experience at Richmond Public Schools, first as a contractor in 2013 and now as a direct hire, I have enjoyed working with Ms. DeJarnette, and have come to know her as a truly amazing senior speech language pathologist. She is honest, dependable, and incredibly hard working. Beyond that, she is an impressive leader who is always there to support her team when appropriate and advocate for change if that is needed. Her knowledge and expertise in speech-language pathology and people management are, in my opinion, unparalleled and a huge asset to Richmond Public Schools. Thank you, Ms. DeJarnette, for all you do!!!!
    • I would like to give a shout out to Dr. Joyce Otey (SPACE teacher at Woodville and Oak Grove-Bellemeade) for doing a phenomenal job arranging guest speakers for Black History Month. She extended the invitation to students from other schools and our kids were happy to join in and participate! Thanks, Dr. Otey!
    • I would like to send a shout out to Ms. Goode at Broad Rock for organizing a very engaging and informative field trip on fossils for our 2nd grade students who have been learning about fossils in EL! We appreciate her!!
    • I've got a quick shout out for Twayna Jones and Jeanette Crosswhite. They work so hard for their 1st grade class at Woodville. Today, one of our students asked Ms. Jones to "hang out" when school was done for the day. She stayed on and had one-on-one time with this student, just talking about games and his plans for the weekend. It made a huge difference and was such a bright spot in his day!! We are so thankful for their investment in each and every one of their students.
    • We would like to shout out our February Custodians of the Month for each cluster: Cluster 1 – Ms. Charlene Smith, Huguenot High School; Cluster 2 – Mr. Roddie Newman, Summer Hill Preschool; Cluster 3 – Mr. Lashawn Adams, Henderson Middle School. Congratulations to our February Custodians Of the Month!
    • Many thanks to Doris Allgood (kindergarten), Abigail Jordan (2nd grade), Elizabeth Bowry, Willy Davis, Sheryl Faison, Pamela Crowell (3rd grade), Kala Matthews, Megan Hunt, Yayi (Dela) Dogbe, Brittney Hicks, Lauren Smith (4th grade), Principal Angela Delaney, Assistant Principals Nakisha Winston and Sherita Holoman, custodial support staff James Boone and Suporia Seabourne, librarian Saneika Harris, and music teacher Danah Dargon for making sure that Trumpet of the Swan book distribution went smoothly. This team consistently does whatever it takes to make sure our students have what they need to succeed!
    • I'd like to shout out the RPS service Team, namely Jeff Sparzak and Deion Washington, for helping me get my computer back up and running. Losing access to my work computer was like losing my wallet :). Thank you!
    • I'd like to shout out Ray Wallace at George Wythe for assisting me with my computer issues. Thank you!
    • I just wanted to send out a shout-out to Vivianlee Taylor, a new English teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School. Ms. Taylor brings so much energy and care to her students and to our school! Her Tik-Toks for our school are epic, and she's always willing to lend a hand to help out a student or another teacher. Ms. Taylor has a fresh outlook on life and our curriculum, and we are very fortunate to have her at TJ!
    • I would like to shout out Mrs. Teresa Crawley, the librarian at Fairfield Court Elementary School. She single handedly organized three virtual programs to enhance students' knowledge about Black History. The programs were fun, informative and greatly appreciated by staff, students and parents.
    • I want to thank all of the Armstrong staff who assisted me in making content and getting our students engaged on our social media platforms during Black History Month. Wenonah Washington, Graham Sturm, Cristian Koshock, Stevara Clinton, Shavonia Peterson, Topaz Wise, Tracie Phelps, Andrew Maples, Glenn Anderson, and Kara Lancaster-Gay, thank you for all you do!!
    • I would like to send a huge shout-out to Kimberly Jackson-Small, a school psychologist who stepped in to assist Albert Hill's eligibility team while our school psychologist is on bereavement leave. Also, kudos to Dr. Harold Mitchell for responding to our school's request so quickly.
     
     
    Facilitated Learning Centers – As a reminder, there are still seats available at the "facilitated learning centers" serving RPS students. See below for details.
    • Peter Paul Development Center is running a facilitated learning center at MLK MS for 2nd-8th grade RPS students. The full-day option goes from 9 am until 6 pm, and is completely free for low-income families. To learn more, click here.
    • The YMCA is is running facilitated learning centers at Miles Jones ES, Holton ES, and Huguenot HS for K-8th grade RPS students. The full-day option goes from 7:30 am until 6 pm, and is completely free for low-income families. To learn more, click here.
    • There are also many other facilitated learning centers not housed in RPS schools across the city. To learn more, click here.
     
     
    RPS Love Store – Show your RPS Love and help us raise money for RPS families in need and local racial justice non-profits by ordering something today from the RPS Love Store
     
     
    Crisis Support – Please reach out if you need help.
     
    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
     

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