If you have not yet heard, schools across Virginia are closed for the remainder of the school year.
There are many questions that we have about this action and what it means for students and families. Over the next few days, we will get more information from the VDOE about graduation, meals and the continuity of learning.
As we make plans and get more information, we will be sure to share it with you. Take care of yourselves and stay healthy. We will be in touch soon.
March 23, 2020
Richmond County Public Schools family and friends,
I hope this letter finds each of you healthy and safe. Since our last day of school instruction on March 13,2020, I continue to hear from so many of you who share example after example of the incredible strength, resiliency, and compassion being displayed throughout our community. It is with each passing day we witness reminders that even in the hardest of times, kindness and hope prevail.
I am writing today to update you on the happenings within our state and school district. Today, we all heard Governor Northam release the new “School Closure Order” which is scheduled to be in place through the remainder of the 2020 school year.
Although our schools have been closed since March 13th, RCPS staff and community volunteers have been very busy working to ensure that essential services continue for our students. Our Cafeteria Services staff have been preparing and distributing lunches and our Bus Drivers have been determined to reach every student on their routes. Our dedicated teachers have been planning their distance learning lessons and have been reaching out to students in a dizzying variety of ways to maintain continuity of learning for our students. These are just a few examples of the work being done.
We continue to receive many questions on topics to which we do not currently have complete answers. For example: What will happen with graduation? How will colleges & universities view distance learning? Will there be opportunities in summer school for students to make up some missed learning time? And so many more. Know that we are engaged in daily conversations with State officials to help us find answers to these and other important questions, as well as to advocate on behalf of our students so that equitable solutions are developed to meet the unique needs of all. Thank each of you for your patience as we find answers to these important questions.
Like you, everyday I watch the number of diagnosed cases throughout our state and nation increase, and realize how life has changed rapidly for all of us. Today, we all share the real concern about our own health & safety, as well as that of our loved ones and our community as a whole. Please know that our education professionals are incredible resources for supporting students and families through hard and scary times. Please contact us if you are in need of assistance and we will do our best to connect you with local resources.
We are all in this together, and together we will find our way through this challenging time. In doing so, we will teach our children some of life’s most important lessons; those of working together and resiliency.
James “Greg” Smith