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RPS Direct Update - May 14, 2020

Dear #RPSStrong Family,
 
Happy Friday Jr.!
 
Today's Updates:
 
FY21 Budget – We have another budget meeting this evening, which you can watch live on our Facebook page starting at 6 pm. We also have a regular School Board meeting on Monday, May 18, when we hope to adopt a final budget. As always, you can share public comment by emailing speakers@rvaschools.net.
 
RPS Live! – If you missed last night's episode featuring my interview with 2020 RPS Teacher of the Year, Ms. Rahmah Johnson, don't worry; it's right here!
 
Computer and Hotspot Distribution for Elementary Students – I apologize to any families from Ginter Park or Munford who were unable to get computers this morning. In short, the number of people who showed up exceeded the number who registered for devices. We apologize for the inconvenience and will make sure to add another distribution date for those two schools early next week.
 
Next week, we have distribution at Greene, Francis, and Miles Jones. After we close out all the elementary schools, we'll shift to our preschool centers (details coming shortly). We'll also provide additional distribution times for any student who missed their original time slot. Thank you for your patience!
 
With great appreciation,
 
Jason
 
Shout-outs! – Please keep sending them to me at jkamras@rvaschools.net! And keep emailing the teacher appreciation videos to outreach@rvaschools.net. Today’s featured shout-out comes Darius Gray, 2020 Valedictorian at Franklin Military Academy!
  • We are grateful for School Board Member Cheryl Burke and Council President Dr. Cynthia Newbille for supporting our chromebook distribution!
  • Huge shout out to School Board Member Dawn Page for participating in Boushall’s Teacher Appreciation Drive-In and for handing out gifts & lunch to our wonderful staff!
  • Shout out to Richmond Hospital Education Program Teachers! They are dedicated to working with the most fragile and medically acute students so that they continue to learn during their hospital stay or long-term residential stay. They are the cheerleaders when kids and families are at their most vulnerable. They make a huge difference in the lives of their students, and often have to watch student's health decline but they keep doing what they do to make each interaction a good one. Kudos to teachers of the Richmond Hospital Program! You are appreciated!
  • Ms. Yancey has been putting together weekly lesson outlines, curricular enrichment activities, and a mini-newsletter for her class. She has also put a lot of effort into scheduling a weekly Zoom to let the students visit, to check in on each of them individually, and to review material they will need to know going into fifth grade. Her love and joy for her students comes through in every moment! We LOVE Ms. Yancey’s class!
  • I wanted to give a shout-out to my Bellevue family as we had our technology distribution today. Principal Hines and AP Penn did a great job pre-arranging things so that the process was seamless & organized. Our team of amazing teachers & volunteers helped to bring it home successfully! Special applause to the RPS security team who were very pleasant with our families. Principal Hines has filled so many roles during this school closure while still learning to call Richmond home. She is celebrated on behalf of Communities in Schools for her tireless dedication to our East End community.
  • On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Betty Moon, a grandparent of a student at Linwood Holton. She was such a light! She shared how she had lived through the closing of schools for African American students in Prince Edward County, Virginia in the early 60's. She shared how proud she was of Richmond's response to such a novel time. I appreciated being able to connect with her at a time that is so scary and unsure.
  • Can you shout out the following students who completed the RVA@home 3-4 Flip Grid activity on food chains last week? Thanks so much! I was BLOWN AWAY by the creativity in the Flip Grid responses!  Everyone did such an awesome job creating storyboard food chains, mini movies, and illustrations. Thank you for participating! Brooke K. – Hoton; Maddie J. – Westover; Ben B.; Me U; Ik; Stephie M. - J.B. Fisher; Jolaya T. – Holton; Thaddeus R.
  • Shoutout to the phenomenal team at Linwood Holton. Dr. Hurt and Assistant Principal Ms. Jefferson did an awesome job hosting Holton staff and the volunteers from Parks and Rec. Thank you to all the Holton staff, volunteers, and families who made Tuesday's Chromebook Distribution such a success! I would like to send a special shoutout to Stacy Green, Barbara Haas, Heather Lackey, Ryan Bennett, and Maranda Miller who have been gracious enough to serve their buildings and many others during this Chromebook Distribution. Your commitment to RPS has not gone unnoticed. 
  • Shoutout to team at G.H. Reid who gave out over 300 Chromebooks! Thank you to Reid's administration, staff, security personnel, and volunteers who were able to serve our families in the way they did!
  • We would like to thank Bellevue's teachers and staff, park and recreation volunteers, and RPS safety and security officers for helping to make our chromebook distribution a success.
  • A special thanks to Officer El-Amin from the Richmond Police Department for providing music while our families waited. Our Communities in Schools Site Coordinator, Tasha El-Amin, also provided food bags and essential household items for our families. Our students were very appreciative of the school supplies that were donated by the community department of Anthem's Blue Cross and Blue Shield. What a great day to be had! There were many smiles on the faces of our students and our community.
  • Mrs. Singh, thank you. When I told my son he had a tele-meeting for speech with you he was so excited and reminded me daily. Once I saw the interaction and the teaching during the meeting, then I understood.  Thank you again for providing additional resources and putting a big smile on his face.
  • I would like to send a shoutout to Mrs. Brown at Broad Rock Elementary. She is an amazing co-worker and friend. She spends her time volunteering at Broad Rock every Thursday, and her dedication to the schools mission is unmatched! You ROCK, Mrs. Brown!!!
  • I want to give a huge shout out to Mrs. Fought and Mr. Dansbach at Holton Elementary! They surprised my class today by coming to our virtual hangout. The class was so excited to see some of their favorite Encore teachers!
  • I want to send a huge thank you and a big virtual hug to my amazing LIEP team at Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School. My coworkers, Ms. Denis and Ms. Kim, have been so supportive, hardworking, compassionate, and dedicated to our school and our students, especially during this time. I miss sharing a classroom with them every day. They truly exemplify what it means to work together as a team!
  • Shout out to Cassandra Obrien-Bates for quickly being willing to support team members on the History/Social Studies Dream Team with creating their videos. I am grateful you are a part of the team.
  • I want to thank Ms. Baughan for all the skill and dedication she has demonstrated by continuing to teach my daughter and the rest of her 3rd grade class at Mary Munford, as well as for the care she's shown to her kids by hosting both weekly zoom meetings with the whole class and extra meetings with individual kids. We feel so fortunate to have our daughter in her class this year!
 
"Mr. K's 30 Minutes of Math!" – Check out my math lessons at 2 pm every weekday. I'm focusing on fractions and decimals, but every lesson also includes a Math Joke of the Day and a Math Riddle of the Day. You can also view past episodes here!