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Clear Backpack Protocol

As a part of Richmond Public Schools’ (RPS) ongoing efforts to enhance safety for students and staff members, clear backpack requirements will be in effect for the 2024-25 School Year. This decision was made by the RPS School Board on June 3, 2024, and is a preventive safety and security measure to ensure RPS Schools are safe and productive learning environments. We would like to express our gratitude to all RPS families for your understanding as we implement this shift. We truly appreciate your patience and compassion as we work collectively to find solutions that ensure the safety and well-being of all RPS students, staff and families.

This protocol will go into place on July 1, 2024. We recognize that this impacts Summer School students and RPS200 schools most acutely. RPS is working with partners to procure donated backpacks for any student who needs one. No student will be penalized in July-August for not having a clear backpack. 

A clear backpack is: 

  • Completely clear on all sides except the bottom 

  • Backpack-sized or similar: Smaller bags are permitted, but larger ones are not

  • Still subject to inspection by the Care and Safety team

The only exceptions permitted are: 

  • A small non-transparent pouch for personal hygiene items. 

  • School-approved sport-specific carrying case for athletic equipment. 

  • School-approved instrument-specific carrying case for band equipment. 

  • School-approved cases for medical equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Additional Information

  • Distribution: Richmond Public Schools will provide clear backpacks to all students who may need assistance with acquiring a clear backpack. Please stay tuned for information in Direct and via Remind about distribution. 

  • Resources: Information on acquiring clear backpacks for those in need will be available through school administration prior to the start of the school year.

  • The Clear Backpack Policy does not replace existing rules regarding prohibited items on school property. Weapons of any kind, drugs, and alcohol are strictly forbidden.