- Armstrong High School
Superintendent Kamras Fulfills Commitments to Engagement, Equity, and Excellence in First 100 Days
RICHMOND, Va. – Jason Kamras marks his 100th day as Richmond Public Schools Superintendent today by successfully completing all 30 of his commitments to engagement, equity, and excellence, as outlined in his 100-Day Plan. “I love RPS,” said Kamras. “Our students are extraordinary: they’re brilliant, creative, and caring. On Day 100, I am even more committed to doing everything humanly possible to ensure that they receive the education they deserve. For the next 100 days, we’ll be dreaming big for the future of Richmond Public Schools so that we can launch our strategic plan on Day 200: August 19, 2018.”
"We are pleased with the progress that has been made so far during the Superintendent's first 100 days," said Dawn Page, School Board Chair. "There are still a lot of difficult conversations ahead and tough decisions to make, but this 100-Day plan is a great blueprint to ensure that we are building a school district by engaging the community while striving for excellence and ensuring equity for all of our students."
During his first three months in Richmond, Kamras set out to immediately engage with students, families, staff, and the community through nearly 100 meetings. He visited all 44 RPS schools, sitting in on classes and meeting with every faculty; held 12 “Living Room Chats,” hosted every Friday evening by RPS families in their homes; held 9 town halls, one in each School Board district; held 5 citywide meetings for various stakeholder groups; launched four advisory councils for students, families, teachers, and principals; met with the Mayor and his team, every member of the City Council, and every member of the city’s Assembly Delegation; and hosted RPS’s first-ever Twitter Town Hall.
"Superintendent Kamras has hit the ground running and demonstrated he is not afraid to be bold and lean into the challenges that Richmond Public Schools face," said Mayor Levar Stoney. "We both agree that the academic success of our children is the key to moving our city forward. I commend him for all he has accomplished in his first 100 days and look forward to continued collaboration between the City of Richmond and RPS to accomplish this important goal."
"As a parent, it was a refreshing experience to actually have the superintendent sit in my living room to have a meaningful conversation about the current state of Richmond Public Schools. Parental engagement is an important part of uniting us together as one family to create a better school system for the success of our students and I appreciate that Mr. Kamras actually gets that. I am very hopeful about the future of our schools," said Carolina Luna, Lucille Brown Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School parent.
Kamras also placed an emphasis on equity during his first 100 days as superintendent to ensure that all students, of all backgrounds, receive the resources and support they deserve. Among the equity initiatives launched by Kamras was a task force to develop a comprehensive approach to supporting young people facing trauma in their lives. He also launched a task force to help reduce suspensions and increase the use of “restorative justice” practices to emphasize healing over punishment. And to examine and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, he started a book study of The New Jim Crow, about the mass incarceration of African-American men, with his High School Student Advisory Council.
Superintendent Kamras also launched an “equity audit” of key RPS functions to identify steps the division can take to eliminate opportunity gaps and institutional biases. And to deepen his knowledge of the unique – and often inequitable – history of Richmond, Kamras and the School Board walked the Richmond Slave Trail, explored The Valentine’s Nuestras Historias exhibit, and visited the Black History Museum of Virginia.
"I am proud to have the unique opportunity to serve on Mr. Kamras's Student Advisory Council and learn what his job is really all about," said George Wythe High School sophomore, Ikechi Chantilou. "It's cool to have a direct line of communication with him and a voice in some of the decisions that are being made that will affect me and my friends."
"The one-on-one time that I was able to spend with the superintendent during his first 100 days demonstrated to me that he is genuinely invested in equity," said Shannon Washington, Principal of Woodville Elementary School. "As a principal, it's important to know that our superintendent understands the need for equitable educational opportunities for all students, including those who go to school in the east end of the city."
Kamras also emphasized excellence as a guiding principle in his 100-Day Plan. As part of this effort, he launched #Dreams4RPS, the division’s five-year strategic planning process; began a philanthropic effort to raise additional funds for RPS; initiated an audit of the RPS budget; established a new era of collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to ensure that RPS achieves 100% accreditation by 2023; established a task force to ensure that RPS opens the 2018-19 school year with zero teacher vacancies; provided management training for all RPS department leaders; and launched a new recognition program, RPS Shines!, to highlight the excellent work of students, educators, and support staff.
Mr. Kamras's First 100 Days video.