"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras

  • 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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  • RPS Direct Update - January 8, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 12/18) Engagement Office (City Hall) - 1 staff member (last there on 12/21) Linwood Holton Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Martin Luther King, Jr. Preschool - 1 staff member (last there on 12/18) Miles J. Jones Elementary School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School - 2 staff members (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. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our students, staff, and families.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 7 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As many others have noted over the past 24 hours, one of the most striking aspects of yesterday's events was how law enforcement responded to the overwhelmingly white insurrectionists, as compared to how they responded to BLM protestors of color in Lafayette Park in DC this past summer. Yesterday, mostly white men seized and vandalized the United States Capitol – and were then allowed to simply walk away. Last summer, peaceful, mostly Black protestors, who had gathered a block away from the White House to make their voices heard, were gassed and forcibly removed with military tactics, including the use of a US Army helicopter. I shudder at the thought of what would have transpired if the individuals who attacked the United States Congress were Black. As educators and parents, we need to talk about this with our children.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 7, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Chimborazo Elementary School – 1 staff member (last there on 12/16) Fairfield Court Elementary School – 1 staff member (last there on 12/10) George W. Carver Elementary School – 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) George Wythe High School – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School – 1 staff member (last there on 12/18) Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School – 6 students (not physically present this school year) Maymont Preschool – 1 staff member (last there on 12/18) Overby-Sheppard Elementary School – 1 staff member (last there on 12/17) Richmond Community High School – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School – 1 staff member (last there on 1/5) Thomas Jefferson High School – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Woodville Elementary School – 2 students (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 6, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As I write this, I'm relieved to hear that the US Capitol is now secure. What an astonishing sentence to write. The events of the past several hours amount to an attempted coup in the United States of America, fueled by a relentless assault on truth, decency, and the very ideals upon which our country was founded. It was also fueled by silence – from those in positions of power, who time and time again, allowed the lies, conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric to linger unchecked, to fester, and now to erupt. They must be held accountable for their complicity. As I watched tonight, trying to process what I was seeing, my thoughts drifted to a Member of Congress we recently lost: John Lewis. Congressman Lewis faced unimaginable, state-sanctioned injustice and dehumanization over the course of his life. He had every reason to reject America – even overthrow it. Instead, he peacefully marched. He withstood horrific beatings. He challenged injustice with powerful words. And, ultimately, he ran for office to help our nation become the "more perfect union" envisioned in our Constitution. That's patriotism.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 5, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Two quick notes tonight: Don’t forget to join us for RPS Live! tomorrow evening at 7 pm on the RPS Facebook page, and for RPS en Vivo on Thursday at 5:30 pm on the RPS en Español Facebook page. I’ll be joined by Damia Thomas, RPS Director of Academic Operations, to discuss calendar options for the 2021-2022 school year. I hope you can make it! Teachers, the Talent Office will be emailing Notices of Intent on January 11 to help prepare for our annual transfer fair. Please complete yours by Friday, January 22, and contact LaTonya Leigh at lleigh@rvaschools.net with any questions.

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  • RPS Direct Update - January 4, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy 2021! I'd like to kick things off tonight by congratulating the members of the new Richmond City School Board, all of whom were sworn in this morning at Marting Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Our first meeting of the year is tonight at 6 pm on the RPS Facebook page. Hope you can join! Now that we're back in session, I want to remind everyone of the online safety resources we have available for our families. As always, thank you for your support in helping us create a safe and loving learning environment for our students. Also, please see below for our updated meal distribution schedule. Finally, on a personal note, I want to thank everyone who sent holiday wishes to me and my family. I am enormously grateful, and am looking forward to partnering with you all to fill 2021 with light and love.

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  • RPS Direct Update - December 21, 2020

    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 (last there on 12-14) Fairfield Court Elementary School – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School – 1 student (not physically present this school year) John Marshall High School – 1 staff member (last there on 12-14) Martin Luther King, Jr. Preschool – 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson Middle School – 1 staff member (last there on 12-8) 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. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our students, staff, and families.

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