"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras

  • RPS Direct Update - January 25, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Armstrong High School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/19) Facilities Department - 1 staff member (last at J.H. Blackwell Elementary School, Facilities Office, and Transportation Garage on Chamberlayne Avenue on 1/21) Fairfield Court Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 10/1) Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) J. L. Francis Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 12/16) Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/15) 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, stay physically distant, and wash your hands.

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  • RPS Direct Update (PM) - January 22, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I have some important updates regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled for next week. Due to the national vaccine shortage, the Virginia Department of Health is rescheduling RPS employees who were previously registered for January 25, 26, 30, and 31. (See the FAQs below for more information.) Of note: If your appointment is on Monday, January 25, it will be moved to a new time on Friday, January 29. If your appointment is on Tuesday, January 26, it will be moved to the same time on Wednesday, February 3. If your appointment is on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday (January 27, 28, or 29), there will be no changes. If your appointment is on Saturday, January 30, your appointment will be moved to the same time on Thursday, February 4. If your appointment is on Sunday, January 31, your appointment will be moved to the same time on Friday, February 5. If you were originally scheduled for next Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, or Sunday, you will receive an automated confirmation of your new appointment from “Acuity Scheduling” in the coming days. On Monday, January 25, RPS nurses will begin reaching out to everyone impacted by these changes to provide assistance. Click above to read more!

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 22, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Engagement Office - 1 staff member (last at Thomas C. Boushall Middle School on 1/14) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/11) 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, stay physically distant, 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. Best, Jason

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 21, 2021 (PM)

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Just a few updates and reminders tonight: This week's edition of RPS Live! is TOMORROW, January 22, from 4 - 5 pm. For the first 30 minutes, I’ll be joined by RPS nurses and a representative from the Richmond City Health District to answer more of your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. For the second half hour, I’ll dive into our proposed budget for next year. I hope you can join for these important conversations! This coming Monday, January 25, is a teacher work day so there won't be any classes or meal distribution. Families can pick up an extra meal at our food distribution sites TOMORROW, January 22. Thank you to all employees who have completed the RPS Intent Form for the 2021-22 school year. As a reminder, it's due TOMORROW, January 22. If you have any questions, please contact LaTonya Leigh at lleigh@rvaschools.net. Congressman Donald McEachin is hosting his annual essay contest in celebration of Black History Month for middle and high school students. Please see the flyer below for details. All essays must be submitted by February 15. Click above to read more!

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 21, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Franklin Military Academy - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) G. H. Reid Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 11/1) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School - 1 staff member (last there on 12/16) 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, stay physically distant, 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. Best, Jason

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 20, 2021 (PM)

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Regardless of which political party we call home, we can all celebrate the peaceful transition of power at the US Capitol this morning – exactly two weeks after domestic terrorists violently seized our seat of government. We can also celebrate the historic swearing in of Vice President Harris – the first woman, first Black American, first American of Indian heritage, first graduate of an HBCU, and first AKA – to hold that title. I'm grateful that my boys are growing up in an America that is beginning to train everyone's unconscious mental framework of what a leader looks like to reflect the rich diversity of our nation. In addition to President Biden's sober, hopeful, and aspirational inaugural address, I was struck by the beautiful and poignant poetry of Amanda Gorman, the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate. If you weren't able to watch her recite her poem – "The Hill We Climb" – I strongly encourage you to do so...Click above to continue reading.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 20, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Armstrong High School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/15) and 1 student (not physically present this school year) George W. Carver Elementary - 1 staff member (last there on 1/14) and 1 student (not physically present this school year) George Wythe High School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there in early November) Hospital Education Program - 1 staff member (last there on 1/15) Huguenot High School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/6) J. B. Fisher Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/6) John Marshall High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Linwood Holton Elementary School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Mary Munford Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/13) Miles J. Jones Elementary School - 2 staff members (1 last there on 1/15; 1 last there on 1/13). Click above to continue reading

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 19, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Lots to cover tonight, so let's dive in! First, I have a couple of updates about the vaccine registration process for RPS staff: As I noted on Friday, the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) had to cancel hundreds of appointments and disable the registration link that was previously shared. We've learned that a number of RPS staff had their appointments inadvertently canceled. I'm so sorry about the frustration and anxiety that caused. Please note that there will be a new registration system and new vaccination events scheduled for February. I'll share more information about this as soon as I have it. Finally, our nurses will be reaching out to any RPS employees who are currently working in-person (for example, bus drivers and nutrition workers) to ensure they are vaccinated – if they want to be – during the events scheduled for this week and next. If you have any other questions, please reach out to us at talentoffice@rvaschools.net. Click above to read more!

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 15 (PM), 2021

    Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube Friday (PM), January 15, 2021 Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Friday! I have a few very important updates tonight about vaccine registration: You may have just seen a news alert that thousands of registrations for the vaccination events next week at the Richmond Raceway were cancelled. To clarify, as I understand it, the intent was only to cancel invalid registrations. The upcoming events are strictly for school, police, and fire personnel. A number of individuals outside these fields signed up. Those are the registrations that were cancelled. The freed up slots will be distributed by each of the localities in central Virginia. I don't have more information on how that process will work just yet. As soon as I do, I'll share it with you. If you were not able to register yet, I'm told there will be more opportunities with a new registration system by early February. Again, as soon as I have more details, I'll share them. Like all of us at RPS, our public health officials are attempting to do something that's never been done before. So many people have extended us so much grace over the past year; I humbly ask that we do the same for our colleagues at VDH and RCHD. They are literally working day and night to distribute the vaccine as quickly as possible.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 15, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Barack Obama Elementary School – 1 staff member (last there on 1/8) Franklin Military Academy – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School – 1 staff member (last there on 1/11) Miles J. Jones Elementary School – 1 staff member (last there on 1/12) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Transportation Department – 1 staff member (at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School on 1/13; at North Bus Compound and Chamberlayne Garage on 1/14) 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, stay physically distant, and wash your hands.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 14 (2nd PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I'm overjoyed to share that the registration link for the COVID-19 vaccine has now been emailed to all RPS employees! I want to thank Dr. Danny Avula, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Richmond City Health District for moving so swiftly to ensure that all teachers, administrators, and support staff have access to the vaccine. I also want to thank Sandra Lee, our Chief Talent Officer, and her team for coordinating everything behind the scenes. Though the vaccine is not required, I strongly encourage our employees to take it. I acknowledge and understand the hesitation among some in the Black community given egregious historical injustices and deception by the medical profession. Given this, please take whatever time you need to develop a level of comfort with the inoculation.

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

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Engagement Office (City Hall) - 1 staff member (last there on 1/7) George W. Carver Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) George Wythe High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Miles J. Jones Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Richmond Alternative School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) 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, stay physically distant, and wash your hands.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 14, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share an update about COVID-19 vaccinations for our employees. We just received word that the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) will be providing us with a vaccine registration link later today. Once we have it, we'll share it with ALL RPS employees via their RPS email accounts. Please note the following: Though the vaccine is not required, I strongly encourage our employees to take it. I acknowledge and understand the hesitation in communities of color given historic abuses by the medical profession. As a demonstration of my confidence in the vaccine's safety, I'll be taking it, and will do so publicly. To the extent possible, I respectfully request that RPS employees sign up for time slots outside their normal work hours. RCHD will be continually adding vaccination events so please keep checking back if slots fill up. I'll be hosting a special vaccine edition of RPS Live! tomorrow at 4:30 pm on the RPS Facebook page with representatives from RCHD to answer your questions. In the meantime, if you need assistance, please contact us at talentoffice@rvaschools.net.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 13 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions about how to use the federal stimulus in response to COVID-19. The two themes I heard the most were: 1) adding instructional time and support to help catch students up both academically and social-emotionally; and 2) investing in our facilities to make them healthier places to learn and work. Please know that I'm going to incorporate both of these themes into my budget presentation for Tuesday. Again, thank you! Turning to the COVID-19 vaccine, as I shared on Monday, Virginia will soon transition to Phase 1B, which includes all RPS employees. We know there are lots of questions about the vaccine so I'm hosting a special vaccine edition of RPS Live! for our staff at 4:30 pm on Friday, January 15, on the RPS Facebook page. I'll be joined by Amy Popovich and LaWanda Dunn from the Richmond City Health District. If you can't make it, don't worry; we'll post a recording that you can watch at any time.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 13, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Cardinal Elementary School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Mary Munford Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year Southampton Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/6) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) William Fox Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 12/18) 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.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 12 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Great news! We learned today that RPS will be receiving $54.6 million from the latest federal stimulus package! To put this in context, our entire Operating Budget last year was roughly $415 million. We're still working through all the details, but here's what we know so far: It appears we will have broad flexibility to use these funds as we see fit to respond to the effects of COVID-19 – for everything from academic and social-emotional supports to air quality enhancements in our buildings. (Of note, it does not appear that these funds can be used for raises or bonuses.) We have two academic years to spend the funds, which will alow us to make sustained investments through the summer of 2023. These are one-time funds, meaning that, once spent, they're gone. This makes them different from increases we've received from the state or city, which recur every year. So we'll have to be careful about how we spend the stimulus so as not to create a cliff when it dries up. Today's news is especially fortuitous, as we anticipate only about $4 million in additional revenue from the state next year, and a similar amount (or less) from the city, given the impact of COVID.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 12, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Binford Middle School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Broad Rock Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Ginter Park Elementary School - 2 staff members (one not physically present this school year; one last there on 12/16) John Marshall High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) River City Middle School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Technology Services - 1 staff member (present at Vatex on 1/4-1/8 and 1/11, Fairfield Court Elementary School on 1/5, River City Middle School on 1/6, and George Wythe High School on 1/7) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) 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.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 11 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I want to begin tonight with a brief update about the COVID-19 vaccine. As you are likely aware, Virginia is currently in Phase 1A of distribution, which is focused on healthcare workers and residents/staff of long-term care facilities. We'll soon be transitioning to Phase 1B, which includes essential workers and individuals who are 75 and older. Please note that all RPS employees are included in Phase 1B. We are currently in conversations with the Virginia Department of Health about timelines and operational details. As soon as I have additional information, I'll be sure to share it in my RPS Direct. In the meantime, please continue to wear your mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands. These simple steps remain absolutely critical. Turning to the events of last week, a number of you reached out for guidance about how to support children and young adults in these uncertain times. Please see below for a few resources.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 11, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Albert Hill Middle School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Amelia Street School - 1 staff member (last there on 12/18) Barack Obama Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) George Wythe High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Linwood Holton Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/8) River City Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Southampton Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School - 1 staff member (last there on 1/8) Thomas Jefferson High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) 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.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 8 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As you might imagine, I received a wide variety of responses to my message yesterday. I would like to anonymously share a sentence from one to help continue the conversation about race. It reads: "You are making it a race thing when my children are taught that there is only one race and that is the human race." We are all human, no doubt. And as such, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, to enjoy the blessings of freedom and liberty, and to be treated equally under the law. The uncomfortable truth, however, is that while we all deserve these things, we do not all receive them. And the dividing line, more often than not, comes down to race. Does that mean we are only defined by race? Of course not. We are all more than the color of our skin.

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