Dear #RPSStrong Family,
We're thrilled to share some more Decision Day announcements from the Class of 2021! Please keep sending them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Franklin Military Academy
- Jayvon Tolliver - U.S. Navy
- Jonay Seward - Norfolk State University
- Dwight Baldwin - Virginia Commonwealth University
- Akeyla Ruffin - West Chester University of Pennsylvania
- Jada Battle - Georgia State University
- Andre Moses - North Carolina Central University
- Leo Rosenbaum - University of Richmond
- Greyson Flores - Gap year to work for City Year Seattle as a mentor for students at-risk of dropping out
Richmond Community HS
- Andy Allums - Longwood University
- Mia Krivanec - Columbia College Chicago
Thomas Jefferson HS
- Maryjane "MJ" Perkins-Lynch - Hollins University
- Latisha Jones - James Madison University
- Kendell Williams - Virginia Commonwealth University
Teacher Appreciation Week – Our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week continues with another video shout-out, and a salute to our Middle School Teachers of the Year! If you missed yesterday's tribute to our Preschool and Elementary School Teachers of the Year, you can catch it here.
RPS Live! – We're back this Wednesday, May 5, at 7 pm on the RPS Facebook page! In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I'll be joined by a few of our students to hear about their favorite teachers and how they teach and lead with love every day.
- Harold Aquino,12th grade, George Wythe HS
- Ta'Niyah Barner, 7th grade, MLK MS
- Henry Gary, 6th grade, Boushall MS
- Felix Hedburg, 10th grade, Open HS
- Sidney King, 8th grade, Albert Hill MS
- Maya Robinson, 4th grade, Holton ES
- Jordan Tucker, 4th grade, Miles Jones ES
- Lamar Turner, 5th grade, Oak Grove-Bellemeade ES
Finally, May the 4th Be With You! (The first three elementary school students who email me – email@example.com – with the answer to the puzzle below get a free t-shirt from the RPS Love Store!)
With great appreciation,
- I want to give a shout to all the substitute teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. You are appreciated and you rock!
- Shout out to our faculty and staff at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School for their love and dedication to our students, community, and each other. We hope you enjoy the fun activities our OGBES Admin Team and OGBES Hospitality Team have planned to celebrate you this week!
- I want to give a big shout out to Mrs. Dawn Faircloth, second grade teacher at William Fox Elementary School. She is pleasant and has a very positive attitude. Thank you for being such a great teacher! I’ll always remember you with the greatest respect and affection for your efforts in making each lesson enjoyable and educational. Thank you for being the best teacher a student could ever hope for. I appreciate you! Your sacrifices don’t go unnoticed. You have made virtual learning easy to understand. You truly care about your students. You’re making a huge impact. My child talks about you and says how he loves being in your class. I admire what you do. You are the best!
- Thanks to Ms. Gelrud at Cardinal Elementary for making a recent tech lesson so engaging for the students. She came to our classroom as a Secret Agent and they were mesmerized the whole time! Thanks to an amazing group of teammates in third grade at Cardinal for getting this far together!
- Thanks to the dedicated and caring Mr. Hernandez at Cardinal Elementary for helping a third grader get back to class who was having tech troubles. You went above and beyond and you are appreciated for that!
- Wanda Anderson, special education teacher at Huguenot High School, deserves a huge shout out for the leadership skills she models daily, not only for her students but also for her Falcon peers. Mrs. Anderson is the very definition of grace under pressure. She is always willing to be flexible and to adapt her methods and strategies to suit the individual needs of others, even with no notice. Mrs. Anderson, a career switcher from the business world, contributes her professionalism, expertise, and logistical and problem solving skills to every interaction with students and colleagues. When others around her react to unfamiliar or unavoidable glitches, she is the first to determine how to redirect, reframe, and re-engage others. Her calm and reassuring yet no-nonsense demeanor commands respect. Mrs. Anderson is a dynamic classroom teacher who prods her students to think critically and to exercise self-determination. Warm and witty, she easily builds a strong rapport with students that serves as the foundation for their learning in her classroom. She supports her Falcon team members, sharing excellent and current resources freely and volunteering to assist with collaborative departmental tasks. On many occasions, she has extended personal offers of assistance to colleagues in need. Anyone who is fortunate enough to work with Wanda Anderson will quickly note her dedication to her students and the teaching profession and her unwavering integrity in providing the best learning experiences and environments possible. She never seeks special acknowledgment but deserves recognition for the positive impact she has upon her students and her Falcon Family.
- My teacher appreciation goes to Ms. Dunlap. She is very kind, hard working, and she takes her time to help everyone who comes into her class and I am very thankful for that. She is an amazing woman and I care for her a lot and love her dearly. Thank you, Ms. Dunlap, for everything you do to help us. You are always on my mind!
- I want to take a minute and thank the excellent team of teachers I am privileged to work with this year - Karen Mullens, Chris McDaniel, Zorion Rinaldi, and Sherry Pauchell. Our backgrounds are varied, but you will have difficulty determining the veteran or the new teacher. This team manages challenges with grace and dignity. The best 7th grade English team in RPS works at MLK Middle School!
- Mr. Walker is my teacher and I want to give him a shout out to because he helps me out when I need help and he knows when something is wrong with me. So I just thank him for all he did for me.
- I would like to give a shout out to Mrs. Jackie Robinson (Auntie Jackie), Mrs. Coleman, and everyone else from Oakgrove-Bellemeade who helped for a great Virtual Career Week. The speakers were awesome and the students loved it.
- I want to shout out each and every teacher in RPS. You all are incredible every year, but have demonstrated nothing short of excellence this school year. Thank you for showing up for your students, for remaining consistent with them and for staying patient and steady with yourselves as you’ve navigated this virtual learning world. Thank you for continuing to support the families and caregivers of your students and for working harder and in different ways than you ever have had to before. Thank you for reinventing teaching and continuing to promote greatness among our learners. This year has been a hard one for students, yes - but it has also been hard for teachers and all of your hard work has not gone unnoticed. We see you, we thank you and we appreciate you....today and every day.
- Shout out to Ms. Schoolfield at Holton ES. She is a model of efficiency and is so understanding. I appreciate her going above and beyond to help us today.
- Shout out to the absolute best math teachers in the district! These teachers make up the Albert Hill Math Department and exude excellence in every way. Corrine Tsapatsaris, Anna Flores-Santiago, Tyler Fortune, Kiana Bradford, Christine Medley, Ashleigh Russell, Elana Patrizia, Kathrine Shenk, and Gretchen Williams. We appreciate you and all that you do!!
- Kudos to the following River City Red Tails for their flexibility and ensuring that we were ready for an EL Curriculum visit: Latasha James, Leonetty Gray, Molly Garthwaite, Steve Straus, Malika Finney, Deb Butterworth.
- Mr. Connolly at River City Middle is a natural teacher who has done an amazing job meeting and exceeding an incredible challenge! He stepped in as a sub and has been there all year. With awesome mentoring, and with support from Ms. Edmonds, this class is rocking it! The students are engaged and learning thanks to these loving and hard-working teachers.
- As we celebrate our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, let's give a huge round of applause to the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School's A.T.O.M. STEM Academy teachers: Shawnea Baines, Charita Burden, Rodney Barnes, Christopher Glasper, Angela Menjivar, and John Eiker, and to Thomas Henderson Middle School's Warrior STEM Academy teachers: Brittany Williams, Chelsey Harvey, Raeshar Shelton, Nimaako Nelson, Teresa Scott, Olivia Polk, Kiera Abdelkader, Brianna Upton, Briana Harr, Christal Bacon, and Tracy Beckford. They are supporting RPS's young minds to grow and explore the endless possibilities of STEM.
- I like to shout out Deborah Jones, the Substitute Manager in the Talent Office. She has assisted me in getting a sub twice this year. Her demeanor has always been inviting and welcoming. She has been professional & she is kind. She has been efficient in getting the job done. I appreciate her!! Way to go, Ms. Jones.
- I would like to shout out Mrs. K. Evans at Boushall Middle School. This year has been so hard but Mrs. Evans has only been just a phone call away. She’s kind and very patient with my daughter. The impact she has had on my daughter has been nothing short of amazing. Mrs. Evans tutors my child whenever she falls behind and drops off the supplies my daughter needs. I know I can always count on her and her big heart to come through for us. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, Mrs. Evans!
- We would like to give a major shout out to our 3rd grade team at G.W. Carver ES. This team works hard to make sure each student is progressing and gets the support needed to be successful. They work together planning lessons and have a way of supporting each other that extends beyond the classroom. Veterans on the team such as Ms. Joynes and Ms. Mankus provide years of experience to first year teacher Ms. Wilson, and lead the team by setting the bar high for achievement. Ms. Wilson brings lots of energy and creativity that connects with the students, allowing them to enjoy class and to enjoy the learning experience. Mr. Graves and Ms. Gragg are another one of our wonderful tag-team teaching pairs. They cooperate and co-teach like a pair that has been together for years, and this is their first time working together. Ms. Jones is an exemplary exceptional education teacher who provides grade level instruction to our exceptional education students while also working towards their IEP goals. Ms. Evans' care for her current and former students extends beyond the classroom. She works very hard to make sure they are learning academically, socially, and emotionally. These teachers are all supported by a group of IAs – Mr. Ellis, Ms. Clayton, and Ms. Johnson – who step in and support their team and students above and beyond expectations.
- How does one praise sufficiently the virtues of two extraordinary teachers in these challenging times? Ms. Sharika Joynes and Ms. Cindy Mankus, third grade teachers at Carver Elementary, are remarkably gifted professionals: skilled at presenting difficult material, sensitive to the learning needs of their individual students, and always compassionate in embracing their children during this COVID-19 imposed virtual style of learning. As a Kiwanis volunteer, it has been my privilege to participate twice-weekly virtually in the learning environment created by these two teachers and observe first-hand what they are accomplishing. Our RPS system is most fortunate to entrust our children’s education to these remarkable educators. Kudos!
2021 Summer Session – We're excited to offer a variety of free, in-person programs for RPS students this summer! For grades PK-8, our theme is "Summer Learning Olympics," with special activities to learn about countries all over the world in celebration of the Summer Olympics in Japan. Each summer school site even has an Olympics-themed name - check them out!
- Broad Rock ES - Southside Summer Superstars
- Chimborazo ES - Team TORCH (Taking Our Resilient Children Higher!)
- George W. Carver ES - Marathon Learners
- J.B. Fisher ES - Team High Achievers
- J.H. Blackwell ES - DREAM (Dedication, Responsibility, Engagement, Achievement & Motivation) Team
- Overby-Sheppard ES - CHAMPS (Children Having Ambition, Motivation, Perseverance & Swagger)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. MS - Champions
- Richmond Technical Center - Team Finish Line
- River City MS - Southside Sprinters (Sprinting Toward Achievement)
The PK-8 summer program is designed for students with unfinished learned from this past year. Families of these students will receive a communication from RPS (if they haven't already) with additional information. The five-week session will run from July 12 - August 13. Please note that Monday - Thursday will be fully in-person, and Friday will consist of virtual field trips and activities.
For high school students, we have five different pathways to meet students' unique needs. To get all the details, just click here!
This Week's Remaining Community Walks – Our Family Liaisons are out and about in our communities to ensure all families have important reopening information and resources. Be on the lookout for these friendly faces in your neighborhood. Here's where they'll be this week:
- Creighton Court
- 2101 Creighton Rd
- May 6, 9 am - 10:30 am
- 1200 Southwood Pkwy
- May 6, 4 - 5:30 pm
Fall Reopening – To learn more about #ReopenWithLove2.0 / #ReabremosConAmor2.0
, make sure to join one of our virtual community conversations. Click here
for details. Please note that we’re going to have two options for our students in the fall: 5 days/week of in-person learning OR 5 days/week of virtual learning. We strongly encourage everyone to come back in-person, but understand that some families may prefer or need to remain virtual for health reasons. To learn more about how the virtual pathway will work, click here for English and here for Spanish. If you want your student/s to come back in-person, you don’t need to do anything. In-person is the default option. But if you want them to remain virtual, you’ll need to let us know by June 1, 2021 by filling out the 2021-22 Virtual Enrollment Form on our website – here in English and here in Spanish. We recognize this is a big decision so don't hesitate to reach out with any and all questions.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update – Richmond and Henrico residents can now schedule a vaccine appointment without pre-registering. Just visit vax.rchd.com or call (804) 205-3501, Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm. To find vaccine sites in your area, go to VaccineFinder.org. If you don't have phone or internet access, just head to a Richmond or Henrico public library for assistance.