"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras

  • RPS Direct Update - April 2, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Spring Break! I hope you're able to take some time for yourself this week – to rest, reflect, and recharge. I'm going to practice what I'm preaching so there won't be any RPS Direct next week. Look for the next one when we return on Monday, April 12. Thanks for your understanding! RPS Senior in the News – Check out this amazing story about Harold Aquino, senior at George Wythe High School. Harold will graduate at the top of his class with a 5.0 GPA (!) and multiple Associate Degrees. He's been accepted to his dream school, VCU, among many others. If Harold decides to attend VCU, he'll enter as a...senior! Harold, we are so proud of you! Continental Societies Donation – Many thanks to Continental Societies, Inc., Richmond, Virginia Chapter, for their donation of 5,000 children’s masks for our fall reopening.

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  • RPS Direct Update - April 1 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Lots to cover tonight! RPS Live! Recap – I want to express my profound gratitude to the amazing panelists who joined RPS Live! yesterday in celebration of National Women’s History Month. And even though the month has come to a close, we honor and celebrate all of the extraordinary women in our lives every single day. Thank you for all that you do and all that you are! Cheryl Burke, School Board Chair Anne Holton, Former Virginia Secretary of Education Latonya Waller, Principal, Boushall Middle School Meaghan Rymer, History/Social Studies Teacher, River City Middle School Tiffany Sneed, History/Social Studies Teacher, Miles Jones Elementary School Chasity Rodriguez, RPS Hub Coordinator No Kid Hungry Grant – We're thrilled to receive a $150,000 grant from No Kid Hungry Virginia to extend our grocery delivery program to 150 of our most vulnerable families.

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  • RPS Direct Update - April 1, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Amelia Street School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Linwood Holton Elementary 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. 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.

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 31, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, On behalf of RPS, I'd like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Jamia Porter, a Huguenot High School student we lost recently. Please see below for a message from the Huguenot community, approved for public dissemination by Jamia's family: "We are very heartbroken over the loss of our dear student, Jamia. Jamia was very loved by her family, friends, teachers, and co-workers. Jamia was an extremely talented young lady who was intelligent, artistic, confident, photogenic, loving, and caring. Jamia loved to express herself through clothing and music. She was also very hard working and looked forward to attending college after high school and following her dream of becoming a neonatal nurse. Jamia loved to travel to new places with her family and experience life to the fullest. She is described as being a free spirit. Jamia was very friendly and loved by her peers. Huguenot High School and the entire RPS Family will greatly miss her." Turning to several key updates for this evening

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 30, 2021 Correction*

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Please forgive me for the calendar error in the RPS Direct I just sent. This Friday, April 2, will have the same schedule as our Wednesday schedule for students. My sincere apologies for any confusion.

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 30, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, What a beautiful spring day! I hope you all had a chance to spend a few minutes in the sunny, crisp air this afternoon. RPS Live! – In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ll have several special guests on RPS Live! tomorrow, including School Board Chair Cheryl Burke, City Council Member Stephanie Lynch, former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton, and RPS History/Social Studies Teachers Tiffany Sneed and Meaghan Rymer. You can tune in at 7 pm on the RPS Facebook page. Hope you can join! Calendar Reminders – This Friday, April 2, is a Teacher Work Day, meaning no classes for students. The following Monday, April 5, is the start of our Spring Break, which goes through Friday, April 9. All schools will be closed during this time. Classes will resume on Monday, April 12. Families can pick up extra meals for the break at our normal meal distribution sites this week. Attendance Celebrations – Big shout out to our schools for coming up with creative ways to celebrate our students' attendance as we get into the final quarter of the year. For example, check out this video of Huguenot High School’s Prize Patrol celebrating students at their homes!

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 29 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Passover to all who celebrate! Two updates tonight: Blue Sky Fund – Now that it's getting warmer, our partners at Blue Sky Fund are excited to offer free outdoor science activities in April and May. All RPS elementary students are invited to participate! See the flyers below for additional information. Women's History Month – In recognition of Women's History Month, Rebecca Wolf, a graduate of Richmond Community High School, recently spoke to students about her career as one of the few women to command a US Navy warship. Lieutenant Commander Wolf graduated and was commissioned from the US Naval Academy in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Oceanography. She then attended the Naval Post Graduate School where she obtained a Master’s in Physical Oceanography. To read more about LCDR Wolf's many accomplishments, click here. Thank you for your service, LCDR Wolf!

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 29, 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 (not physically present this school year) Fairfield Court Elementary School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) John Marshall High School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Lucille M. Brown Middle 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 - March 26, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, As we head into the weekend – and with Spring Break just one week away – I want to acknowledge how tapped out many in our community are feeling right now. Recently, I've heard from a number of parents, staff, and students about the toll this year has taken; and I've felt it myself, too. It's been a long 12 months since we shut our doors, and we're not quite out of the woods yet. As a morale booster, I started the shout-outs last March – and I intend to keep them going indefinitely. But one of the downsides of highlighting all the "above and beyond" things people have done is that it can make some in our community feel less worthy for simply making it through the day. So, tonight, I want to shout out everyone who is exhausted, stressed, and at their breaking point – but who somehow keep making it through the day: the student who's in tears thinking about several more hours tied to his Chromebook; the parent who's in tears thinking about how she's going to keep her job and pay her rent while also looking after her children; and the teacher who's in tears from working herself to the bone, desperately doing everything she can to keep her students happy and engaged. We appreciate you and we love you.

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  • RPS Direct Update (PM) - March 25, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Thursday! Two quick updates tonight: Mayor's Educator Task Force – Teachers and support staff, if you're interested in serving on the Mayor's Educator Task Force (ETF), click here to learn more and apply! The application deadline is April 16. Special Visitors – Many thanks to First Lady Pamela Northam and 5th District School Board Member Stephanie Rizzi for joining 4th and 5th graders at John B. Cary Elementary School yesterday. The students have been working with the Valentine Museum to curate an exhibition focused on the history of their school. Once completed, this mini-exhibit will be featured in their building. As part of their research, the students interviewed Mrs. Northam about her involvement in the school's ongoing efforts to become a green campus.

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 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: Albert Hill Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Operations Office - 1 staff member (last at Vatex on 3/16 - 3/18) 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. 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 (PM) - March 24, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Many thanks to my guests on RPS Live! tonight for a wonderful discussion about social-emotional learning (SEL) at RPS: Mr. Mitez Alexander, elementary behavior specialist; Ms. Shyanna Hicks, school social worker at Fairfield Court Elementary School; Mr. Kyle Jackson, secondary behavioral specialist; and Ms. Tranelle Pollard, school counselor at Binford Middle School. To learn more about SEL, check out the website for CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. Lit Limo Book Drive – Due to the rain today, we rescheduled the book drive to tomorrow, March 25, at noon. As a reminder, this event – hosted by the Hull Street Library and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – is in celebration of Dorothy Height, a tireless advocate for racial equality, gender equality, voting rights, and literacy.

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 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: Appomattox Regional Governor's School - 1 student (last there 3/16) Binford Middle School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) River City Middle 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. 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 (PM) - March 23, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Please join me in extending our deepest condolences to the families of the 10 individuals killed in yesterday's mass shooting in Colorado. When I first heard the news, my mind immediately jumped to Columbine, which is seared in my memory as I was a teacher at the time. In the ensuing two decades, there have been so many mass shootings that there are now whole websites dedicated to tracking them. I pray that, as a nation, we have the courage and the wisdom to take whatever steps are necessary to end these senseless tragedies once and for all.

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 23, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: River City Middle 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. 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 (PM) - March 22, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend! My wife and I did our best playing our boys in a game of 2-on-2 basketball. Alas, our best was insufficient :). Just a quick reminder that our second Science Curriculum Community Conversation is tomorrow, March 23, at 5:30pm. Register here! A big shout out to the math department at Boushall Middle School, along with Assistant Principal Kenneth, for orchestrating a wonderful Pi Day celebration on March 14 (3-14). Check out the t-shirts they made for the students! Speaking of Pi Day, do you know why you should never ask Pi to tell you a story? Because it will never end. On that mic drop note, have a great evening, all! With great appreciation, Jason

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 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: Barack Obama Elementary School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Richmond Community High 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. 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 - March 19 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Friday! Lots to cover today so let's dive in: Open Enrollment / Specialty School Deadline – The deadline to accept a seat is TONIGHT at 11:59 pm. There will not be any exceptions to this deadline so please don't wait until the last minute - thank you! If you have any questions, please email us at enrollrps@rvaschools.net. VUU/RPS Mentoring Partnership – On Wednesday, RPS and VUU staff visited the 50 students – now 10th graders! – who were selected as 8th graders to receive full academic scholarships to Virginia Union University. Each student received a swag bag and information about a new VUU/RPS mentorship program designed just for them. We're so grateful for the continued partnership with VUU!

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 19, 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 - 4 students (not physically present this school year) Binford Middle 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 - March 18 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I want to begin this evening by acknowledging the horrific shootings that took the lives of eight people – including six women of Asian descent – in Atlanta on Tuesday. On behalf of RPS, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of all the victims. According to Stop AAPI Hate, nearly 3,800 hate incidents directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States have been reported over just the past year. Undoubtedly, many of these incidents stem from long-held anti-Asian beliefs that were stoked over the last 14 months by various national leaders' racist references to the coronavirus as the "China virus".

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