Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Dear #RPSStrong Family,
Calendar Reminder – All RPS schools and offices will be closed Monday, September 25, in observance of Yom Kippur. View the full 2023-24 school year calendar on our website.
Hispanic Heritage Month Arts & Culture – Alfonso Pérez Acosta is an artist who worked last year with Lucille Brown MS students through the Art 180 Middle School Residency. You can catch his latest exhibition, "Lengua Twister," at the Atlas gallery during RVA First Fridays in October. Enormous gratitude to ART 180 for their continued support of RPS students!
Children's Hospital Art Contest – Student artists, make sure to submit your entries for the VCU Children's Hospital Changing Seasons art contest by Saturday, September 30. As a reminder, the winning artwork will be featured on this year's Children's Hospital Foundation holiday card!
With great appreciation,
Shout-Outs – Please help us continue to inspire and uplift the RPS community by submitting shout-outs to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries can be submitted in Spanish or English!
• I want to give a shout-out to Principal Jones and Ms. Allen-Miller at Woodville. They have done an excellent job with parent communication this year. Any questions I have had, even when they are outside of school hours, have been answered very quickly. They are also sending out pertinent information to parents to keep us up to date on the happenings at Woodville and for that I am grateful.
• Thank you, Alexis Evans, third grade teacher at George W. Carver, for always ensuring the third grade team knows how to use RPS software and adhere to school deadlines. Thank you, George Washington Carver MTSS Team – Dr. Johnney, Chelsea McCoy-Bryant, and Dominique Byrd – for supporting teachers and providing support for Tier I behaviors. Mrs. Hite (CIS) at George Carver Elementary School, thank you for engaging our community resources and for bringing Black Girls Stem from VCU!
• I want to shout-out Andrea Earl, LIEP teacher for my class. Working at Cardinal where most students are ELs, our LIEP teachers have so much impact on the kids they serve. Ms. Earl puts her heart into teaching every day and it’s obvious! Her students love her and their academic gains are evident. Thanks for being an awesome part of the Cardinal community, Ms. Earl!
• I would like to thank Ms. Ellis, Mrs. Crute and Ms. Joanne, our school nutrition staff at Maymont Preschool, for all the hard work, love, and dedication they put in to the marvelous Maymont Preschool Peacocks...every day and into every meal.
• I would like to recognize the AP at Overby Sheppard, Mrs. Hester. Mrs. Hester greets our students at the door each morning and often notices the child that may be struggling that day. Recently, I observed her gently guiding one such student into her office. When that student joined her peers, she looked like a completely different person! A smile on her face, her hair all fixed. Mrs. Hester made a big difference for that child on that day!
• Our garden is growing at "The Jefferson" because it's being watered and led with positivity. Deepest gratitude is shared from the faculty & staff at TJHS for the leadership shown by our home grown leader.
• I would like to recognize Jasmine Simmons for being an awesome team leader and team player at George W. Carver Elementary School. Kudos for being a shining star!
• I want to shout-out Ms Perkinson, the dance teacher at Dogwood Middle School. She always does the most for her students. I want to give her 2 thumbs up!
• I started with RPS in August and I would like to shout out the HR department, especially Mallory Miller and Alvina Jones, for responding quickly to all my questions as a new employee. I would also like to shout-out the Technology Services department, especially Mohammad Bashghareh, for helping me set up my computer and answering all my tech questions!
• Thank you to the amazing PTA at Patrick Henry! They are working to make sure the students of RPS are given the support, involvement, and engagement needed to meet goals. We are looking forward to all of the wonderful happenings in the school.
• A huge kudos to all of the custodial, nursing, and cafeteria staff in RPS. Under great leadership on all fronts, they have met the needs of our students in a huge way.
• Congrats to all RPS students participating in the VGA assessments across all grade levels. This process is challenging and the students have thrived. Congrats to everyone involved!
• Shout-out to Dr. Otey at Miles Jones ES. She is such a supportive administrator! She listens, checks on the well being of staff and students, and is genuinely there for her school community. Thank you for being empathic and being a kind person! Shout-out to Mr. Green at Miles Jones ES! Thank you for being a great office associate and doing your best to keep the school running smoothly daily.
• Shout-out to the amazing 6th grade team at Henderson Middle School for consistently being on morning duty to welcome our 6th graders to a conducive environment of teaching and learning: Mr. Rodesney, Mrs. Deboeser, Ms. Shelton, Mr. Parris, Mr. Quash, Mrs. Powell, Ms. Yoder, and Ms. Coleman. Shout-out to Mrs. Deboeser for creating a stellar testing environment for her Warrior students to excel.
• Big thank you to the school staff and principal leaders who assisted with delivery and installation of kilns for our visual art programs at Westover Hills Elementary, Obama Elementary, Boushall Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School. Thank you to Mr. Wall, head custodian at Obama, Mr. Robinson, custodian at Boushall, and Mr. Blackston, custodian at TJHS.
• Big shout-out to Scott Hicks and members of the Facilities Department who installed electricity and ventilation for the art kiln at Huguenot High School! You are appreciated!
• Thank you to the following teachers for organizing exciting field trips to the VMFA last week to see the Benjamin Wigfall exhibit, who was an art student at Armstrong HS. We appreciate you: Kelley Lane, art teacher at Thomas Jefferson HS, Kirstie Hein-Sadler, art teacher at Dogwood Middle School, Tracie Phelps, art teacher at Armstrong HS, Captain Ashe, art teacher at Franklin Military Academy, and Nirva Vernet, French teacher at Franklin Military Academy.
• I would like to give a huge shout-out to Crystal Wherrity, 4th grade math teacher at WHES. She is so organized and always willing to do whatever it takes to make her students successful. I am so thankful that she is accepting of ideas and literally takes them and runs with them. Thank you, Mrs. Wherrity, for being such a rockstar!
• I'd like to send a huge thank you to Surprize and Jasmine from SCAN for setting up a wellness day for our staff to take a brief moment to relax and enjoy today at Amelia Street School. The staff were able to learn about different relaxing techniques and made personalized oil rollers or aroma infused soap. We are truly grateful for this experience and we look forward to doing it again.
• I want to send a shout-out to Madison Sweeney, speech-language pathologist. She is always willing to collaborate and go the extra mile to do what’s best for students and for her co-workers. You are so appreciated, Madison!
• Shout-out to Ms. Winston at G.H. Reid Elementary, who came in, sat down on the floor, and led the class in an engaging math activity! Thank you for the support, modeling and encouragement! Leading with love! We love you here!
• Shout-out to Ms. Gail, our care and safety associate at George W. Carver Elementary School. Thank you for all of the support you have given teachers here at Carver. You are always ready to assist the teachers and staff every single day. Thanks for keeping our school safe and being a safe haven for our students. Thank you, Ms. Gail, you are appreciated!
• Shout-out to Mr. Green, our incredible secretary at Miles Jones ES! He is always willing to give a helping hand and go the extra mile for our staff! Not only does he work in our front office but he works to build a positive relationship with students! Way to go, Mr. Green!
Reminders from Previous RPS Directs
Road to Licensure – Join us on the RPS Road to Licensure next Saturday, September 30, from 9 am - 1 pm at Huguenot HS. Learn about the requirements for teacher licensure, participate in onsite interviews, and speak with representatives from RPS and local universities. To sign-up for this wonderful opportunity, click on the flyer or scan the QR code below with your phone's camera.
Hispanic Heritage Month Swag – Check out the RPS love store for newly added swag available in English and Spanish. All proceeds and additional donations will be directed to local racial justice non-profits that support Hispanic and Latino youth and families.
RPS Advisory Councils – We've extended the deadline to submit applications to join my 2023-24 Parent/Caregiver and Interfaith advisory councils to Tuesday, September 26 – Teacher Advisory Council applications are due by October 24. These groups advise me and the RPS leadership team, advocate for RPS, and help us achieve our goals. This year, our advisory councils will play an important role in helping develop our new strategic plan, Dreams4RPS 2.0 (more details on that process soon). Please visit our website for additional information.
School Immunizations – RPS Health Services has scheduled a series of school-based immunization clinics. If you would like for your child to be vaccinated at this or any of our upcoming events, please return the completed consent form to your school nurse in English or Spanish. These immunizations are mandated by Virginia law so please make sure to take care of them ASAP.
Teach With Love at RPS – We hire all year long so if you know of a great teacher who might like to join the RPS team, please tell them to apply now. We're offering bonuses of up to $12,000!
Nominate an RPS Principal! – Nominations for the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership are now open! Don't miss this opportunity to recognize an amazing RPS principal who demonstrates every day what it means to lead with love. The winning leader will receive a $10,000 award and an additional $20,000 for their school. Submit your nominations by Thursday, November 2 at 5 pm.
Student Wellness and Mental Health Support – Please note the resources below and remember that we love you here and you are not alone.
Students who need emergency mental health support should call the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority at (804) 819-4100 or the ChildSavers Immediate Response line at (804) 305-2420 (or send a text to 741741).
Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center provides education, advocacy, and support to Spanish-speaking individuals affected by violence. The 24/7 hotline in Spanish is (888) 969-1825.
The Trauma Healing Response Network is a coalition of grassroots, community-based organizations and mental health partners that provide support services to families and communities impacted by gun violence. The network can also facilitate the distribution of emergency relief funds to help those in crisis. For more information, email email@example.com.
- RPS employees in need of emergency support should contact the Cigna 24/7 Crisis Line at (833) ME-CIGNA, or (833) 632-4462. Additional counseling and support services are also available through the Cigna Employee Assistance (EAP) program by calling (800) 544-6931.
Health and Wellness Links
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