"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras

  • RPS Direct Update - July 22, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: Summer Fest– Our first Summer Fest event is this Saturday, July 24! We can’t wait to see our students, families, and staff at MLK Jr. Middle School from 11 am - 3 pm. Please see the flyers below for all the details. Free Extended Day Program for Next Year – In partnership with the City of Richmond, RPS will be providing FREE extended day programming – including enrichment and academic support – to any preschool-5th grade families who wish to participate next year. Snacks and transportation will be included. If you're interested, please complete this survey by August 11.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 21, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: Mask Guidance – Despite today's announcement from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education allowing for more leniency with mask-wearing in middle and high schools, at RPS, we will be maintaining our 100% mask-wearing policy for all students, staff, and visitors. We feel this is the safest course of action, particularly with the surging delta variant.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 20, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: RPS Literacy Institute – RPS staff, please join us for our First Annual Literacy Institute! See below for all the details and register here. First Lady of VA – Many thanks to First Lady Pamela Northam for stopping by some of our summer school sites to visit with our students and staff! With great appreciation, Jason

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 19, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: New Principals – Please join me in congratulating two more of our newest school leaders! Patrick Henry School of Science & Arts – Ms. Fatima Smith believes that every child - regardless of zip code or socioeconomic status - deserves an exceptional educational experience. Prior to being appointed as the new principal of PHSSA, Ms. Smith served as a principal in Philadelphia, where her students experienced notable gains in achievement. Previously, Ms. Smith served as an assistant principal and taught secondary English, writing, and art history in Washington, DC and in Brooklyn, NY.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 15, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: ReopenWithLove2.0 "See It to Believe It" Update – This week's update is about HVAC improvements. Check out the video below of the new HVAC unit going into Miles Jones Elementary School. This new system will significantly improve air quality and is much more environmentally friendly than the previous one! ReopenWithLove2.0 Teacher Welcome Baskets – As a small token of our appreciation, we're putting together welcome baskets for our teachers when they come back this fall. If you'd like to help, here are two ways to do so: You can donate school supplies or other goodies for the baskets by filling out this form. Keep in mind that you don't need to provide enough for every teacher! We'll determine the most appropriate grouping of items once we have all donations in hand. You can also volunteer to help assemble or deliver baskets by filling out this form.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 14 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I would like to thank the nearly 100 community members who took time out of their busy schedules last night to share their perspectives on how to move forward with the building of a new George Wythe High School. If you weren't able to attend, you can watch the livestream here. We are blessed with passionate stakeholders who care deeply about RPS. I pray that we honor their voices by finding a way to compromise and reach common ground in order to build a beautiful new school as quickly as humanly possible for the students, families, and staff of the George Wythe

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 14, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Broad Rock Elementary School Summer Site: 1 student (in person) – The Broad Rock ES Summer Site will be CLOSED tomorrow, July 15, so that we can conduct contact tracing. Any individuals who were in close contact with the student – defined by the Virginia Department of Health as within 6 feet, with or without a mask, for 15 minutes or longer during a 24-hour period – will be notified. At this time, we plan to reopen the Broad Rock ES Summer Site on Monday, July 19. Please reach out to your primary care provider if you have any concerns, or contact the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) by calling their COVID-19 hotline: (804) 205-3501. Please also continue to wear your mask and stay physically distant if you are not vaccinated, and wash your hands. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. Towards that end, we will continue to work in close collaboration with RCHD to ensure the well-being of the entire RPS community.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 13, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: George Wythe Meeting – Please join the School Board for a meeting about the construction of a new George Wythe at 6 pm TONIGHT at Wythe. See you there! Vaccination Events – We've partnered with the Richmond City Health District to provide COVID vaccines as well as non-COVID vaccines that are required for 7th and 12th graders. The vaccination clinics will take place on July 15 and August 5 at River City Middle School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School from noon to 2 pm. Vaccines include: 7th Grade: Tdap, Meningococcal, HPV 12th Grade: Meningococcal Students 12 and Older: COVID-19 Consent forms are available from your school nurse or can be found here. You can submit your form at the vaccination sites listed above or email it to the VDH's encrypted e-mail box at richmond.immunzations@vdh.virginia.gov.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 12, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, It's great to be back! Many thanks to the RPS team for holding it down while I attended a family reunion for the first time in almost two years. It's amazing how much I missed the simple things – like our (very loud) meals together :). Tonight's updates: Summer Session – The first day of our in-person PK-8 summer session is in the books! Big shout-out to the dozens of team members who made this possible. Thank you also to our families and staff for your grace and understanding as we iron out the inevitable wrinkles that come with reopening after 1.5 years of fully virtual operations. If you have any feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly at jkamras@rvaschools.net. Thank you! Mask Guidance – We recognize that the evolving guidance about who should wear a mask – and when – can be very confusing. To keep things simple and to continue to protect the health and safety of our students and staff, RPS is continuing to mandate masks for all students, staff, and visitors. Thank you for your support with this (still) important mitigation strategy.

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  • RPS Direct Update - July 1, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, What a storm! Please stay safe, everyone. Tonight's updates: Principal Appointments – I'm thrilled to announce the following principal appointments for the 2021-22 school year. Please join me in congratulating these wonderful leaders on their new roles! George Wythe HS – Riddick T. Parker Jr. will serve as the new principal of George Wythe High School. Mr. Parker is an educational leader with more than 15 years of administrative experience in urban education. Prior to his appointment at Wythe, Mr. Parker served as an assistant principal at Armstrong High School where he played an integral role in increasing the school's graduation and attendance rates. Previously, Mr. Parker served as an education consultant for Baltimore City Public Schools where he guided the development of innovative literacy and graduation pathway programs. Mr. Parker earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina in history and communications; a master's degree in public administration and a graduate certificate in curriculum, instruction, and assessment from Walden University; and a graduate certificate in school administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 30, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: Calendar Reminder – All RPS schools and offices will be closed on Monday, July 5, in observance of the July 4th holiday. There will be no meal distribution on Monday, but families can pick up extra meals tomorrow. To find a site near you, check out the flyers below or visit www.rvaschools.net/meals.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 29, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Did you see the front page of the RTD today?! Many thanks to Kenya Hunter for covering one of the most important stories of the year: the RPS Class of 2021 crushed their graduation requirements! We're projecting a grad rate of 85%, a jump of 14 percentage points. This didn't happen by chance. Our seniors stepped up in extraordinary ways throughout this virtual year, supported by their dedicated teachers, counselors, administrators, and, of course, families. As a system, we've also been methodically making new investments and launching new programs over the past three years to improve our on-time graduation numbers. All that work is beginning to pay off. Not only is our overall rate up, but so is the rate for every student subgroup (see the chart below).

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 28, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We ran up to DC to visit one of our old go-to spots – the National Zoo. It was great to see it back open and see so many families enjoying the day! Tonight's updates: Want to Switch to In-Person Next Year? – If your family selected virtual learning for the 2021-22 school year, but you'd like to switch to in-person, no problem! Just complete the Switch Pathways Form (Formulario de Cambio de Decisión) so our Enrollment Team can make the change. For more information about the 2021-22 school year, please email us at enrollrps@rvaschools.net or call our Family Support Line at 804-780-6195.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 24 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: 2021-22 Richmond Virtual Academy Family Information Sessions – Next week, we're offering three information sessions for families who signed up for the Richmond Virtual Academy next fall. If that's you, please join us for important updates and to ask any questions you may have. Middle and High Families - Monday, June 28, 4 pm - Zoom Registration Link Elementary Families - Tuesday, June 29, 4 pm - Zoom Registration Link Preschool Families - Wednesday, June 30, 4 pm - Zoom Registration Link For more information about our fall reopening, please visit www.rvaschools.net/reopenwithlove, email virtualacademy@rvaschools.net, or call our Family Support Line at 804-780-6195. Bus Routes for High School Summer Session – Our High School Summer Session begins Monday, June 28. Please visit www.rvaschools.net/busstops for all bus stop locations and times.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 24, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts - 1 staff member and 2 students (last there on 6/17) Talent Office - 1 staff member (last at City Hall on 6/23) Please reach out to your primary care provider if you have any concerns, or contact the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) by calling their COVID-19 hotline: (804) 205-3501. Please also continue to wear your mask and stay physically distant if you are not vaccinated, and wash your hands. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. Towards that end, we will continue to work in close collaboration with RCHD to ensure the well-being of the entire RPS community. If you have any questions, as always, please don't hesitate to contact me.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 23, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, What a beautiful day to wrap up our graduations! Congratulations to the Class of 2021 from George Wythe, Richmond Community, Franklin Military Academy, and Thomas Jefferson! We are SO proud of you and love you very much. Many thanks to Principal Pisani, Principal Massenburg, Principal Hudson, Principal Sears, Chief Schools Officer Hughes, and our graduation planner extraordinaire, Jodi Granger, for outstanding work today. A big shout-out also goes to Chair Burke and the entire School Board for participating in graduations all week, along with Mayor Stoney, who graciously made time to attend two ceremonies today. And let's not forget the Squirrels – thank you!

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 22, 2021

    Correction* Another fabulous graduation is in the books – congratulations to the Armstrong HS Class of 2021! Many thanks to Principal Bell and his team for running a beautiful ceremony this morning (before the rain :). We'll be closing things out tomorrow with George Wythe, Franklin Military Academy*, Richmond Community, and Thomas Jefferson. See you there! Tonight's Updates: Lit Limo – Can you believe the Lit Limo connected with over 12,000 RPS students this year? Take note of the schedule below the shout-outs so we can keep everyone reading this summer! VUU Youth Entrepreneurship Summit – RPS 11th and 12th graders, Virginia Union University is holding an entrepreneurship summit on June 24-25 just for you! Check out the flyer below and sign up here.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 21, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, My apologies for coming to you later than usual tonight – we just wrapped up John Marshall's graduation ceremony at The Diamond! That was our third one of the day: this morning was Huguenot HS and this afternoon was Open HS. All three were all absolutely fantastic (see below for some pix of our valedictorians). Big shout out to Principal Gilstrap, Principal Carleton, Principal Murray, and our Chief Schools Officer, Harry Hughes, for planning and executing beautiful ceremonies! And, of course, congratulations to our amazing, pandemic-defying graduates.

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 17, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Tonight's updates: 2021 Retirees – On the last day of the school year, we're honoring staff who are retiring with 40+ years of service! Please join me in celebrating these extraordinary individuals who have dedicated their entire professional lives to RPS. We all stand on their very broad shoulders. To our retirees: we love you, we thank you, and we wish you peace, light, and fulfillment as you begin the next chapter of your lives!

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  • RPS Direct Update - June 16, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, One more day to go! Tonight's updates: 2021 Retirees – Today, we're honoring staff who are retiring with 20-39 years of service at RPS! Thank you so much for all those decades of teaching, leading, and serving with love. Tomorrow, we'll close out by honoring those with 40+ years of service! Don’t forget to send in your shout-outs for our retirees and I’ll include them in RPS Direct this week. Southside Community Hub Launch – We're excited to announce the opening of the Southside Community Hub at Cardinal Elementary School, one of several community-based locations where RPS families can get connected to any resources they need. Each hub is staffed with several Family Liaisons whose whole job is to keep our schools and families closely connected. The Liaisons working in the Cardinal Hub are bilingual and able to assist English and Spanish-speaking families.

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