Dear #RPSStrong Family,
Happy Friday! Today's updates:
Yale National Fellows – Congratulations to the following RPS teachers who were selected as Yale National Fellows through the Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools! In collaboration with Yale faculty members, each fellow will develop a curriculum unit to teach during the coming school year and share with teachers throughout RPS.
- Taryn Coullier, Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School
- Emma Kessler, Bellevue Elementary School
- Tara McCrone, Chimborazo Elementary School
- Joanna Minott, Huguenot High School
- Karen Mullins, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
- Valerie Schwarz, Mary Munford Elementary School
- Stephen Straus, River City Middle School
- Kaitlin Waldron, River City Middle School
Educator Task Force – Applications are closing this weekend for the city’s Educator Task Force (ETF). In addition to teachers, counselors and other support staff are encouraged to apply! The mission of the ETF is to engage and elevate educators’ voices to support and advance Mayor Stoney’s children, youth, and education priorities for his second term, while also responding to emerging priorities. To apply, click here.
RPS Voices – Our RPS Voice this week comes from Pamela Jones, the library media specialist at Swansboro Elementary School. In honor of National School Library Month, Ms. Jones tells us about her love of literacy and how she is able to provide new opportunities for students through the world of literature. Thank you for sharing your voice, Ms. Jones!
Finally, check out this amazing story featuring Marjorie Saunders, a former RPS teacher, who just celebrated her 101st birthday! Happy birthday, Mrs. Saunders!
With great appreciation,
- I wanted to give a shout out to Mr. Walker, assistant principal at Binford Middle. Our family has had the privilege of experiencing Mr. Walker as a teacher and assistant principal. He leads with love and kindness in all he does. We are so thankful for him. Binford would not be Binford without you! Thank you for all that you do, Mr. Walker.
- Tarneé Hudson is the best assistant principal you could ask for! She deals with students, staff and parents with love, grace and patience. She is always willing to help out and do whatever she can to support any and everyone. She is visible, she is present, and she is hard working! Thank you for being who you are! You help others out professionally and personally! You have been graced to be an administrator!
- Here's a shout out for Lidia Cardenas, who is new to Cardinal Elementary but not to teaching. Her expertise is evident in her implementation of small group rotations each day. She is flexible, knowledgeable, and patient. She is also bilingual, which is an asset for our student population. Kudos to Ms. Cardenas for a virtual year well done!!!
- Mi mensaje es para felicitar y agradecer a Sra Berry. Ella es maestra de Miles Jones. Ella es la maestra de mi niño en 2 grado, es muy amorosa con mi niño y el la quiere mucho, siempre me escribe para hablar sobre la escuela y tareas, y lo mejor que lo hace en español. Muchas muchas gracias!!! Por ser un amor de maestra! Apenas la conozco este año y la rece que hace años nos conocemos, ella se ha tomado la molestia de venir a mi casa a dejar materiales para mi niño, gracias! Es especial para nosotros y la queremos mucho!!!
- I could not let the week end without shouting out my amazing assistant principal, Mr. Jonathan Walker. It is a pleasure to work with you at Binford Middle School. You lead with love daily and our school community is fortunate to have you. We love you!
- I want to shoutout the incredible and supportive LIEP team of RPS! I have been working alongside them with the reopening of in person learning at Miles Jones. They have helped support all the staff involved in this reopening, with so much excitement, positivity, and enthusiasm! Thank you, LIEP team, for making this reopening go so smoothly!!!
- The biggest shout outs to 2 of the best in RPS! Mrs. Ketia Singleton, academic dean, and Mrs. Kathy Harris, media specialist, at John B. Cary Elementary are amazing coworkers and a joy to work with. Mrs. Singleton leads with grace and humility and is the epitome of a great leader. Mrs. Harris is the coolest librarian ever, with a treasure full of resources for both staff and students alike. She is creative and comes up with some of the most exciting activities for Cary, and needless to say, the kids love her. Thank you both for your dedication and all you do every day. You are appreciated!
- I’d like to shout out Nakisha Winston. She is an amazing assistant principal at Reid. She leads with love and makes sure everyone knows how important they are to her and to the school. She is super supportive. She is a great leader and makes Reid an awesome place to work.
- I’d like to shout out one of the assistant principals at G. H. Reid Elementary School, Ms. Holoman. Ms. Holoman has been so helpful and supportive. She makes sure the students and adults and supported. She is an amazing leader and is very appreciated!
- I wanted to give the assistant principal of Overby-Sheppard, Mr. Samuels, a shoutout for doing so much for our school behind the scenes. He is greatly appreciated for helping to build camaraderie and strengthening the OSES family. He works especially hard at running the SPED department smoothly with Dr. Williams!
- This is a very special shout out to my one-of-a-kind, all-around amazing coworker, Summer Sawyer! I feel blessed to have been paired with the perfect individual, especially during these times. She is hard working, dedicated, loved by students, and a joy to work with. I am proud that I got to know her and the awesome individual that she is. Thank you, Ms. Sawyer, for your dedication, and know that you are truly appreciated!
- A huge thank you goes to Mrs. Kirkland, the school librarian at MLK! This week is School Librarian Week, and we have one of the best in the business. Thank you for your work with the ELA classes, social media, and fighting for our students to have a voice in the community! Thank you again for your support, and you are appreciated!
- I would like to shout out to Ana Estrada, one of our wonderful assistant principals at River City Middle School. Even though I have not been able to meet Ms. Estrada or work with her in person, I have been impressed by her care for our students and the teachers whom she evaluates. She is thoughtful, fair and kind when she comes to my classes. She listens to me and offers tangible suggestions. I always look forward to our conversations. She especially looks out for and advocates for our English language learners. Somos muy afortunados de tenerle y no puedo esperar a trabajar con ella en el edificio el año que viene.
- Assistant Principal Calloway has been an amazing addition to our Francis school family! She truly leads with love each and every day. Her positivity is contagious! Her ability to ask great coaching questions and understand multiple folks' perspectives is admirable. We love her!!
- I would like to send a shout out to Ms. Shirley Moore with the ISAEP program at Richmond Alternative School. She is always ready to jump right in and help out when needed. She covered a teacher's Zoom class meet on the whim with no questions asked. We are so lucky to have her as part of our team!!
- I would like to give a shout out to our academic dean, Mrs. Singleton. Mrs. Singleton is dedicated and is "all in" every day for students and staff! She has put in a lot of time and effort to make sure things run smoothly in this virtual world and that students are well equipped for and excited about learning! Mrs. Singleton is resilient, reliable, encouraging, and supportive during a very difficult and stressful time. Our school community depends on her and she is always there to help support our success, and we know she will always rise to the challenge!
- We would like to give a shout-out to Ms. Jefferson, the assistant principal at Linwood Holton Elementary. Ms. Jefferson has been absolutely amazing during this virtual school year in so many ways. Along with her many duties as an AP, she finds time for family visits, daily check-ins with students, and has even started a book club to help keep students engaged and connected. Ms. Jefferson was instrumental in bringing several new teachers on board, who match the climate and culture of the building perfectly. APs are seldom recognized for all of the long hours they put in, and can easily fade into the shadows when recognition and praise are given to a school. We want Ms. Jefferson to know we appreciate everything she brings to Holton and the love she shares with the students, staff, and the community.
- Mr. Cheatham and Mr. Vernon, we appreciate all you do for us! We cannot let Assistant Principal Appreciation Week pass without expressing our gratitude! Your bright and welcoming smiles cannot be dimmed in our virtual meetings, just like in person. You both are so quick to offer support and encouragement. Thank you for all you do for us! Love, your John Marshall High School Family.
- Ms. Valentina Thompson, where would John Marshall High School be without you? Thank you for all you do for us – student logins, posters, laminating, book suggestions, tech support! What can't you do? You are far more than a librarian! We love you, Tina, and there is nothing you can do about it!
- I would like to send a shout out to Candice Nunnally, ESL teacher at Cardinal Elementary School! She is very positive, flexible, and always willing to collaborate to best serve our students. Most of all, the students are always happy to see her and are excited about her lessons. It's been great working with her this year!
- I wanted to write a shout-out for our amazing AP, Ms. Gross. The Chimborazo family is incredibly lucky to have Ms. Gross. I can't imagine what it is like to start a new job during a pandemic, but Ms. Gross has stepped up and stepped into her role with grace, confidence and optimism. She is so supportive and encouraging and a great colleague. She does so much, more than I'm sure I'm aware of, and I am in awe of and so grateful for her. Thanks for all you do, Ms. Gross, you're the best!
- I want to give a huge shout-out to our assistant principal, Rickeita Jones! She brings incredible energy, creativity, and heart to our WHES community every day. It is hard to know what to highlight because she has brought her transformational leadership to almost all aspects of our school! She is passionate about instruction and supporting our teachers to ensure that our students are engaged in worthwhile learning experiences every day. She leads our attendance team with tenacity and love. She collaborates with our exceptional education team to hold all our students to high expectations. She has improved our social media presence and does a fabulous job with our weekly Beaver News announcements. She epitomizes having a solutions-oriented mindset and comes to every meeting ready to problem-solve and figure out the best way to move forward. Mrs. Jones, you are a prime example of how our WHES Team #StrongerTogether!
- I would like to shout out our two wonderful assistant principals at Broad Rock, Rebecca Petrey and Lisa Williams. They work incredibly hard, always have our backs, and are always there when we need them. I am beyond grateful to be able to work with these two amazing women.
- Happy National Library Month to our spectacular media specialists at Broad Rock, Heather Johnson and Robin Jones. They are dedicated and caring and they always step up for our kids and teachers in such a big way. We are so lucky to have them. Also, a Happy Library Month to Broad Rock's former media specialist, Mrs. Cynthia Lacy, who retired not too long ago but is never far from my mind. She epitomizes what it means to lead and teach with love and I will be forever grateful I was able to work with her and learn from her.
- Happy appreciation week to our wonderful and most supportive assistant principals, Mrs. Petrey and Mrs. Williams. Another a huge shout out goes to our amazing librarians, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jones. Thank you for keeping our students’ love for reading alive. Broad Rock Elementary would not be the same without such an amazing team! Go, Rams!!
- I would like to shout out Ms. Takeshi Ellis, art teacher at Huguenot High School. Ms. Ellis put in a lot of time and effort to make a clay lesson possible for our students. She worked with the Clay Siblings organization, who created individual kits with supplies to give out to the students. She also set up times for students to come pick up the supplies and even plans on delivering some individually. Ms. Ellis has also driven to several students' homes to deliver art supplies this year – going above and beyond for her students! Her hard work does not go unnoticed!!!
- I would like to shout out three assistant principals – Mrs. Sam Miller, Mary Munford; Ms. Jaqueline Drye, Barack Obama; and Ms. Javan Jefferson, Linwood Holton – for their hard work, kindness, support and positive nature.
- I would like to take this time to shout out my administrative team – Dr. Patricia Aldridge and Mrs. Michelle Kenneth from Boushall Middle School. The love and dedication they show our Boushall scholars, staff, and families is immeasurable. This is evident in their focus on improving teaching and learning, completing numerous home visits, leading staff activities, and more – while simultaneously keeping the main thing the main thing... student achievement. They are unwavering in their goal to help the Boushall Eagles soar! It is a blessing to have them leading and serving our Boushall family.
- Fairfield is going through a transformation! We are rewriting the narrative as we "Reach and Teach Each and Every Student on their Journey to Greatness". It is a blessing to have Natasha Henderson, assistant principal, and Nsombi Morrison, academic dean, at Fairfield. As we continue to lead with love and support our students, parents/guardians, and teachers, the greatest part of "the work" is being collaborative partners, thought partners, and making decisions always that are in the best interest of our student leaders. That's what Natasha and Nsombi bring to the table as we collectively establish a culture where everyone is engaged and respected with an environment created for teaching and learning! #MissionPossible
SOLs – SOLs are occurring this year, and if you choose to have your children participate, per the VDOE, they must do so in person. Please complete this survey to let your school know if you would like your children to test.
Preschool and Kindergarten Registration – Just a reminder, we're currently registering students for PreK/K for next fall. PreK is open to children who will be 3 or 4 by September 30, and kindergarten is open to children who will be 5 by September 30. For a complete list of eligibility and documentation requirements, and to enroll your child, please visit our website at rvaschools.net/enroll.
ReopeningWithLove 2.0 Student & Family Conversations – Please see the flyers below for all the details.