District News

  • COVID-19 Update - April 6, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Good morning! I'm excited to share that RPS@Home is now live! You can access it by clicking the "Learning at Home" box above. Click the link above to read the full RPS Direct.

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  • COVID-19 Update - April 5, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I hope you all had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather today! I managed to squeeze in a family bike ride to the Union Presbyterian Seminary. The pathways and ramps make an excellent race course for our boys :). Since it's Sunday, I'm sticking with shout-outs. I'll have lots more to share tomorrow. Have a wonderful evening! With great appreciation, Jason Click above to read more!

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  • COVID-19 Update - April 4, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Since it's Saturday, I'm just doing shout-outs. Before I get to them, just a quick reminder that we still need volunteers to help with our food distribution program. If you're willing and able, please sign up here. Thank you! With great appreciation, Jason Shout-outs! – Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net! I want to say thank you to Mrs. Renesha Parks for continuing to provide professional development opportunities for all Special Education Staff during school closure...Again, thank you Mrs. Renesha Parks, you’re the BEST! Click above to read more!

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  • COVID-19 Update - April 3, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I know the days of the week have all sort of blurred together, but happy Friday nonetheless! A few notes before we head into the weekend. I want to remind everyone that RPS@Home, our pre-packaged online lessons, will launch on Monday. I'll send a quick message when it's live, along with some introductory notes. We have a School Board meeting on Monday (5 members in-person and the others virtually, per VA statute), where I'll be sharing recommendations about how to handle third quarter and final grades. In my Tuesday RPS Direct, I'll provide an update based on our discussions Monday evening. Click above to read more!

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  • COVID-19 Update - April 2, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As I shared yesterday, we'll be rolling out the 2nd generation of our online learning plan, which we're calling "RPS@Home," on Monday. In preparation for that, I want to clarify expectations for our teachers during the closure. First let me say how thrilled I am that so many of our educators have taken it upon themselves to leverage YouTube, FaceTime, ClassDojo, and so many other online resources to stay connected with their students and support them academically and emotionally. Because of their efforts, I am prouder and more inspired than ever before to be a part of the RPS Family! I do want to be clear that these efforts – while laudable – are not required. Many of our teachers have children of their own and/or other family members to care for all day; some are sick themselves; and some are struggling with economic insecurity because their partners just lost their jobs. On their behalf, I am humbly asking for grace from our families during this very difficult time. Click above to read more.

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  • COVID-19 Update - April 1, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I'm excited to share that we'll be rolling out the 2nd generation of our online learning plan, which we're calling "RPS@Home," on Monday. It will have a daily schedule of lessons for just about every grade and subject, with very clear directions for students and families. We're hoping RPS@Home will provide more structure so that families have less to figure out on a day-to-day basis. I'll have a lot more information about this in my Friday message, so keep an eye out for it! One important caveat: To be able to access RPS@Home, you're going to need a computer and internet access. That's why we're asking any RPS family who needs these resources to let us know ASAP by filling out this survey. Please spread the word!

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  • COVID-19 Update - March 31, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As I have shared previously, given our unyielding commitment to educational equity, we're working furiously to provide computers and internet access to any RPS students who need them. If your child needs these resources, please complete the survey as soon as possible. We are advertising the survey in English and Spanish via texts, robo-calls, social media, traditional media, and – starting tomorrow – in-person at our food distribution sites. Still, we recognize that these communication channels don't reach everyone, so please share this information with your networks. Shout-outs! – Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net! Click above to read more.

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  • COVID-19 Update - March 30, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As you have likely seen by now, the Governor just issued a stay-at-home order for the entire Commonwealth. I've received several emails asking what this means for our food distribution program and our efforts to help students continue to learn. In short, these activities can and will continue. Both the plain text of the order (see relevant sections below) and guidance from State Superintendent Lane have confirmed this. Click above to read more.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 29, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I hope you were able to enjoy the suddenly summer-like weather today. I started on some yard work this afternoon and lost track of time, so I'm a little later than usual today. My apologies! Shout-outs! – Thank you so much for continuing to email me your shout-outs – even on Sunday. Keep 'em coming! We love Mrs. Baron (4th grade inclusive classroom at Fox) so much! She has parlayed her amazing classroom teaching into daily morning Zoom meetings, lessons, and homework to keep her students engaged and learning! Click above to read more!

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 28, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, My apologies for the delay this evening! I promised my boys I would spend some time with them on this beautiful day. We played basketball (I lost badly) and we built a mini pinball machine (I have to admit, it turned out much cooler than I expected). I hope you all got some time to enjoy the glorious spring weather with your loved ones. Since it's Saturday, I'm going with just shout-outs and FAQs. Unless there's any critical news, I think I'll do that tomorrow as well. So keep emailing me these wonderful affirmations of the extraordinary RPS team! Click above to read more!

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 27, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, First, a quick housekeeping note this evening. I received feedback that the red color I use to highlight important or time-sensitive information is hard for color-blind people to see. I was told that orange is much better so that's what I'll be going with from now on. I also want to address a few questions I've received about our effort to close the digital divide in our community by purchasing computers for students who cannot afford them. First and foremost, this is about equity. Thousands of Richmond families do not have the resources to purchase a computer for their children. As a result, they neither have access to RPS online learning materials – which we're enhancing significantly over the next couple of weeks – nor the countless others provided by organizations around the world. Click above to read more.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 26, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before getting to the shout-outs today, I want to talk about health – mental health. This is an incredibly stressful time for us all. I've received messages from students who miss their friends, have anxiety about their grades and graduation, and are worried about their own loved ones getting sick – all while still dealing with many non-coronavirus challenges in their lives. I've spoken to parents and caregivers who are worried about losing their jobs, paying rent, and providing 24/7 childcare for their children. And I've heard from countless teachers and staff who have expressed how hard it's been to cope with the abrupt separation from their students while also dealing with their own family struggles. Sadly, things are likely to get even harder over the next several weeks. Given this, I have an urgent request: if you need mental health support, reach out. And please do so now. As I've shared before, there have been times in my life when I've needed such support. No shame in that. The only shame is not asking for help when you need it. Towards that end, I want to draw everyone's attention to three resources:

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 25, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before we dive in today, one request: please let everyone in your networks know about my RPS Direct messages so that they can sign up if they're not getting them. Here's the link to do so. Thank you! Shout-outs! Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net. They make my day, and I hope they make yours, too! Shout out to Coach G (Mr. Galloway) at Westover Hills Elementary! Each day he posts a fun video about fitness or nutrition on Class Dojo, and he really got through to kids in the last week of school with active lessons on germs and how they can be transmitted.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 24, 2020 (PM)

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, My apologies for the delay in sending today's RPS Direct. We just needed a bit of time to digest the guidance just issued by the Virginia Department of Education. As I see it, here are the three main headlines: 1. Current high school seniors who were on track to graduate when we closed WILL receive their diplomas this year. This includes all of the following groups of students: Seniors who were enrolled in a course for which they needed a standard or verified credit in order to graduate (verified credits are earned by passing a required course and also passing the associated SOL); Seniors who had successfully completed a course required for graduation, but had not yet earned the associated verified credit; Seniors who had not passed a required student-selected SOL test; Seniors who were enrolled in or had previously completed a course leading to a CTE credential necessary for a Standard Diploma but had not yet earned the credential; Seniors who had not yet completed a United States and Virginia history course (additional alternative coursework may be necessary - more details to come);

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 24, 2020 (AM)

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Just a quick note to let you know that my RPS Direct will come out a little later than normal today, as we're receiving additional guidance from the Virginia Department of Education later this afternoon and we'll need a couple of hours to digest it all. I'm hoping to have something out by 8 pm. Thank you for your understanding. Also, as I shared yesterday, to help us gather and respond to your inquires efficiently, please submit them through this page on our website. We've already received over 300 questions! With great appreciation, Jason

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 23, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As the Governor just announced, all schools in the Commonwealth will be closed for the rest of the school year. As disruptive as this will be for students, families, and staff, I believe it's the right decision given the healthcare crisis we're facing. I applaud the Governor for taking this bold step now. I just got off a call with all my colleagues across Virginia and our State Superintendent, Dr. Lane. He shared that the Virginia Department of Education is going to provide local school divisions with guidance about a host of topics – including graduation, course credits, and grades – tomorrow. As soon as I receive this information and have a chance to digest it, I will share it through my RPS Direct.

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 22, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before we get to today's shout-outs, I want to draw everyone's attention to some changes I announced on Friday about how we're distributing food (see the next section). I keep repeating this because it's the most important thing we're doing right now. Please share the flyers below with everyone in your networks. I also want our employees to note two updates in the "Information for RPS Employees" section at the end of the email. Shout-outs! Shout out to Coach Cherry at John Marshall High School for leading an Instagram Live workout for staff this morning! We can’t wait for her to go live and lead a workout on the @jm_justices page! Click above to read more!

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 21, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before we get to today's shout-outs, I want to draw everyone's attention to some changes I announced yesterday about how we're distributing food (see the next section) as well as an update on the RPS Transfer Fair (see the "Information for RPS Employees" section at the end of the email). Shout-outs! As a retired RPS teacher, I am so impressed by the outpouring from the community to help our students with food donations and homework assistance. I would also like to give the dedicated RPS employees a shout out for their help with food donations and homework and virtual lessons for students. Click above for more!

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 20, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Before I get to the shout-outs, I want to draw everyone's attention to some changes we're making – starting Monday – to how we're delivering food. Please scroll down to see the changes. And now... Shout out to Principal Kenya Massenburg for doing an Instagram Roll Call for Richmond Community High School students. She wanted snapshots, Tick Tocks, check-ins, book titles being read, etc. from her students. She ended the video telling them she loves them, misses them, and blew a kiss....such A CLASS ACT!!!! I would like to shout out 2 MLK employees: Ms. Priscilla Anderson for assisting me at school by mailing out instructional packets to families who couldn't make it to the school, and Mrs. Elizabeth Atkins who is assisting the ICC with completing IEPs. They both volunteered their services and time for the betterment of our students. Click above to read more!

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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 19, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Thank you for sharing such wonderful shout-outs! Keep them coming! Shout out to our fabulous Principal Monica Murray for creating a social media campaign to engage students and teachers. #JMBreakChallenge Ms. Vanburen at G.H. Reid started a YouTube for read-alouds from different teachers to share with students! Shout out to Ms. Siders and Mrs. Nguyen at Miles Jones Elementary School for keeping us informed and for all the homework help and packets on Dojo. Love them, best teachers ever. So grateful for all their help. My family and my son are so blessed to have them in our lives. Shout out to Sylinda Walker, Stephanie Privott, DeFonda Foskey, staff at Summer Hill Preschool who delivered homework packets in the Ruffin Road Community to all grade level homes (along with meals) to those who could not get to a site. I would like to shout out Ms. Heather Lackey, 1st grade teacher at John B. Cary elementary school. Ms. Lackey follows-up with each of her students and parents to ensure all of her students are on track and provide assistance if and when needed without hesitation…Her passion and love for her students shows each and every day.

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