Plan Focuses on Engagement, Equity, and Excellence
By Kenita D. Bowers, RPS Director Communications & Media Relations
Days after taking the helm of Richmond Public Schools, new superintendent Jason Kamras announced his plan for his first 100 days on the job during Monday night’s school board meeting. The plan is organized around three core education values: engagement, equity, and excellence.
“I believe that all children deserve to be loved and nurtured, to have their unique identities affirmed and celebrated, and to be engaged in rich and rigorous learning every single day. We must all commit to work together to ensure our students receive the education they deserve so they can pursue their greatest aspirations,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras. “I am honored to be entrusted with the extraordinary responsibility of leading Richmond Public Schools and ask you to join me in this important work.”
Kamras’s first three months will focus on engaging families and the community by listening to and learning from them. To do this, Kamras will hold meetings with students, staff, and school board members. He will also hold neighborhood town hall meetings in all nine districts, citywide town halls, and intimate “Living Room Chats” with families throughout the city. Kamras will create advisory cabinets to represent students, parents, teachers, and principals, and has prioritized meeting with city leaders along with the Virginia Assembly delegation.
Equity is the second major focus of the plan to ensure that all Richmond Public Schools students realize their capacity for greatness. As a first step, Kamras will work with an external partner to conduct an “equity audit” of all RPS functions. In addition, the plan will ensure that all RPS high school students are offered at least four Advanced Placement (AP) courses, establish a task force to make recommendations on embedding restorative justice practices as well as teacher development on trauma-informed care practices, and emphasize recruitment of excellent teachers committed to serving in the division’s highest poverty schools.
The plan also emphasizes the ideal that the adults responsible for the education of children must strive for excellence in every aspect of their work. During his first 100 days, Kamras is committed to launching a strategic planning process for a new 5-year vision for Richmond Public Schools, establishing a philanthropic effort to support the new strategic plan, building on work with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to chart the path to 100% accreditation by 2023, establishing a task force that will focus on ensuring that all schools are fully-staffed for the 2018-2019 school year, providing all new RPS managers with training, and launching recognition initiatives centered around highlighting excellence in RPS schools and offices.
“This plan is an excellent start to our work and it is my hope that over the next 100 days, you will see the immediate impacts,” said School Board Chair Dawn Page. “The key to building the school district that we all want is to engage the community while striving for excellence and ensuring equity for students. As a native Richmonder and a graduate of RPS, I feel confident that this plan represents a great first step in the work we need to do together on behalf of our schools.”
The school board is expected to report out on the status of the commitments made by Superintendent Kamras at the completion of the 100 days. For more details on this 100-Day plan, visit the Superintendent’s webpage on www.rvaschools.net.