"RPS Direct" Emails from Superintendent Kamras

  • RPS DIrect Update (PM) - March 3, 2020

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Make sure to tune into RPS Live! tonight at 7 pm for a discussion about two powerful films – Black Boys and Pushout – focusing on concrete steps we can take support and uplift – not push out – Black students. Our guests include: Dr. Tiawana Giles, Principal, Carver Elementary School Lamont Trotter, Principal, Richmond Alternative School Riddick Parker, Assistant Principal, Armstrong High School Tiffany Patton, RPS Behavioral Specialist Congratulations to Shea Dowling, 8th grader at Albert Hill Middle School and one of two winners of Congressman McEachin’s 2nd Annual Black History Month Essay Contest! And many thanks to First Lady Pamela Northam for “stopping by” to read to our students at Mary Scott Preschool today in celebration of National Reading Month! With great appreciation, Jason (Click above to continue read more)!

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 3, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: John Marshall High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Richmond Technical Center - 1 staff member (last there on 2/23) Thomas Jefferson High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas H. Henderson 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 - March 2, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Last night, the School Board approved a spring reopening for about 800 RPS students, starting on April 12 (right after Spring Break). The plan focuses mostly on our highest need exceptional education and English learner students in the elementary grades. We'll be contacting eligible families with additional details very soon. I want to acknowledge and honor the strong feelings that families have about reopening this spring – both for and against. I firmly believe that everyone wants the very best for our students; as a community, we just sometimes disagree about how to achieve that. Whether you believe the plan I recommended to the Board goes too far, or not far enough, please know that I understand and respect your position. Now that we've settled our plans for the spring, we will turn our full attention to next year. Regardless of what type of calendar we adopt, we will reopen fully in-person next year while maintaining a virtual option for any families who prefer that path. Towards that end, we will be launching a Reopening Safety Dashboard at our March 15 School Board meeting. To see some of the items we'll be tracking publicly, just click here. If you have any feedback on the proposed metrics, don't hesitate to email me at jkamras@rvaschools.net. Thank you! (Click above to continue reading!)

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

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Lots to discuss tonight so let's dive in! National Reading Month – Today is the start of National Reading Month and we're excited to join school systems across the Commonwealth by reading The Trumpet of the Swan with our elementary students as part of the Virginia Reads One Book program. I can't wait to read Chapter 1 for our students tomorrow morning! Arts in Our Schools Month – Today also kicks off Arts in Our Schools Month. Be on the lookout every Monday and Wednesday for our Arts@Home videos on our social media platforms. And be sure to follow us on Instagram @rvaschools for #FineArtsFriday takeovers with RPS teachers! Our first Arts@Home video is courtesy of Ms. Thomas, art teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary School (see below). Tutoring – We're offering FREE virtual tutoring in reading and math for students in grades K-8. Click above to continue reading!

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  • RPS Direct Update - March 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: Albert Hill Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Armstrong High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Chimborazo Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Ginter Park Elementary 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. 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 - February 26, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Happy Friday! Today was especially joyous for me, as I had the privilege of presiding over our first-ever Mid-Year Graduation for students from the 2020, 2019, and 2018 classes who have returned to earn their diplomas. These 25 young people have redefined what it means to persevere and we are immensely proud of them! The ceremony today is a result of more than a year's worth of work to find students who left RPS, re-engage them through new programs like Con Ganas (With Determination), and support them through every last obstacle. Please join me in thanking the RPS teachers, counselors, administrators, and support staff – along with the students' families! – for making today possible.

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 25, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I'm thrilled to share that we have a new Chief Operating Officer joining RPS on March 1! Alana Gonzalez has spent her entire career helping government agencies work more efficiently and more equitably. She's coming to us from New York, where she served as Executive Director of Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure for the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. In this role, she led over 300 recovery and resiliency projects for NY communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Hurricane Lee. Ms. Gonzalez also held various roles, including Chief of Staff to the General Manager, at the New York City Housing Authority, which provides affordable housing to more than 400,000 low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.

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

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Another day of sunshine! RPS Live! Recap – If you need an extra dose of light and warmth, please make sure to watch the recording of tonight's RPS Live!, which featured five of our amazing first year teachers (listed below). Imagine for a second what it would be like to start your education career completely virtually. These five educators – and dozens of others in RPS – have done exactly that, and excelled. Their passion, dedication, expertise, and love was evident in every word they shared. On behalf of RPS, I want to express my profound gratitude to them! John Eiker, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Aszaleigh Jenkins-Rogers, Woodville Elementary School Julie Taylor, Thomas Jefferson High School/Richmond Technical Center Brandon Richardson, Henry L. Marsh Elementary School Hananiah Smith, Blackwell Elementary School

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 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: Barack Obama Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Richmond Alternative School - 1 staff member (last there on 2/23) 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, stay physically distant, and wash your hands.

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 23 (PM), 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, What a beautiful day – I hope you all had a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine! Vaccine Update – If you received your first dose at the February 20 vaccination event at the Arthur Ashe Center, you will be scheduled to receive your second dose on March 13 (for the same time as your first dose). If you have not yet had your first dose and are not currently signed up for a vaccination appointment, please fill out this form. We will contact you as soon as soon as we have information about the next vaccination event. As always, if you have any questions, please contact the Talent Office at talentoffice@rvaschools.net.

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 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: Armstrong High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) George Wythe High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Linwood Holton Elementary School - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Summer Hill Preschool - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Transportation Department - 1 staff member (last at South Bus Compound on 2/17)

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

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Lots to cover tonight so let's dive in: Budget Discussion – Este jueves, 25 de febrero, a las 6 pm, discutiremos el presupuesto de RPS en español para nuestros hispanohablantes. ¡Regístrese aquí! (This Thursday, February 25, at 6 pm, we'll be discussing the RPS budget in Spanish for our Spanish speakers. Please register here!) 2021-22 Calendar Proposal – Turning to next year's calendar, I want to remind everyone to complete our feedback surveys. Here's the parent/caregiver survey and the teacher/staff survey. Some of the key features of the proposed calendar:

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 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: Academic Office (City Hall) - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) Huguenot High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) John B. Cary Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Miles J. Jones Elementary School - 1 staff member (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.

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 18, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Though we're technically closed today, there's quite a bit going on so I wanted to reach out! Tomorrow – As you've likely heard by now, RPS will be closed tomorrow as a result of power and internet outages affecting many students and staff. Families, I know this is a significant inconvenience and I sincerely apologize. I'm praying there's no more ice in our future. Teacher Raise – It didn't get much attention in the press, but the School Board approved a 2% raise for all RPS staff earlier this week! We've got lots more to do on this front, but I'm proud of the progress we've been able to make since 2018 – 9% in overall teacher raises! That figure goes up to more than 12% when you factor in the annual step increases. I assure you we'll keep fighting to get those numbers even higher over the next four years. RPS Live! Recap – What an amazing discussion last night! Many thanks to our student participants – Akiem Meredith, Cameron Allen, Jasmine Johnson, and Skye Cook – and our community guests – Desirée Dabney (Boushall MS Theater Teacher), Mad Skillz (Richmond Music Legend), Roscoe Burnems (Richmond Poet Laureate), Tamara Copeland (Richmond Author), and, of course, Ma'asehyahu Isra-Ul (RPS Instructional Specialist for History/Social Science). If you missed this episode, I strongly encourage you to watch it over the next couple of days! Click above to continue reading!

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 17, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Lots of info tonight! Tomorrow – As you have likely heard by now, RPS will be closed tomorrow due to the inclement weather, which is expected to bring up to half an inch of ice and widespread power and internet outages. Please stay safe! Many thanks to our food and transportation teams, who provided double meals today in anticipation of the storm. We appreciate you! Vaccine Update – Due to the weather, the Virginia Department of Health is rescheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for tomorrow, February 18, and Friday, February 19, at the Richmond Raceway. The new schedule will take place as follows: If you were scheduled to receive your second shot on Thursday, February 18, your new date will be Tuesday, February 23. Your appointment time will be the same. If you were scheduled to receive your second shot on Friday, February 19, your new date will be Monday, February 22. Your appointment time will be the same. If your appointment is impacted, you'll receive an automated confirmation from “Acuity Scheduling” or “Henrico County IT”. Click above to continue reading!

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 16, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: G.H. Reid Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) J.H. Blackwell Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 11/1) and 1 student (not physically present this school year) J.H. Blackwell Preschool - 3 students (not physically present this school year) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 2/6) Open 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 (PM) - February 11, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, Due to expected snow and ice tonight, RPS will be closed tomorrow for all students and staff. We are particularly concerned about the ice, as it will make the roads rather dangerous early tomorrow morning for our meal distribution, and will likely cause power outages, impacting our virtual instruction. I know we've had a number of days off as of late, and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience they have caused for our families. Also due to the inclement weather, VDH has cancelled the vaccination event scheduled for this Saturday, February 13. It will be moved to Saturday, February 20, from 10 am - 4 pm, at the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center. If you registered for an appointment on February 13, VDH will automatically reschedule you for the event on February 20. Please check your RPS email account for additional information. As always, if you have any questions, please contact the Talent Office at talentoffice@rvaschools.net. One more calendar reminder: RPS will be closed on Presidents' Day, February 15, for all students and staff. Click above to continue reading!

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 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: George Wythe High School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Operations Office - 1 staff member (last at City Hall on 12/1) River City Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Southampton Elementary 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) - February 10, 2021

    Dear #RPSStrong Family, If you missed RPS Live! tonight, please make sure to catch the recording on the RPS Facebook page. I was joined by Dr. Ma’asehyahu Isra-UI, RPS Instructional Specialist for History/Social Science, for a discussion of the REAL Richmond high school history course, which provides an unvarnished look at the history of Richmond. The curriculum was developed by Dr. Isra-Ul, RPS teachers, and numerous local partners from higher education, the faith community, and the non-profit sector. Ultimately, we hope to have a version of this course for middle school and elementary school students, as well as for all RPS staff. For those of you keeping track, this is Action 4.7 in our strategic plan, Dreams4RPS! Make sure you don't miss next week's RPS Live!, which will feature an inter-generational conversation about the legacy and future of the African American community in Richmond. See the flyer below for more details. Finally, two announcements: (Click above to continue reading)

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  • RPS Direct Update - February 10, 2021

    Dear #RPS Strong Family, I'm reaching out with this special RPS Direct to share the following COVID-19 positive test result/s: Academic Office - 1 staff member (not physically present this school year) G.H. Reid Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) J. H. Blackwell Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 10/1) Lucille M. Brown Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School - 1 staff member (last there on 2/3) River City Middle School - 1 student (not physically present this school year) Thomas C. Boushall Middle School - 2 students (not physically present this school year) Transportation Department - 1 staff member (last at North Bus Compound and Thomas H. Henderson Middle School on 1/5) 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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