RPS weighing whether to enact year-round schooling

RPS weighing whether to enact year-round schooling

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Public Schools is strongly considering enacting year-round schooling.

Superintendent Jason Kamras says extra money coming in from the federal government makes it a strong possibility. It wouldn’t happen this school year, but possibly the next.

RPS is staying virtual for now, and students’ holiday vacations will end in about three weeks, then they’ll be logging back on from home.

The question now though is what will happen once the current school year comes to a close? That’s where the idea of year-round schooling comes in. That means no big summer break for students but continuous learning throughout the year.

RPS is considering it because some families say their children are falling behind when it comes to learning since every school is virtual right now.

The superintendent believes extending the calendar next school year would help students bounce back. The School Board discussed the possibility Tuesday night and many members believe it could work, especially with RPS getting $54 million from the Federal CARES Act. But there are some questions about whether the year-round school would last indefinitely.

“So often, as we all know, our students lose out so much when we have summer break and vacations. When they come back to school, we’re playing catch up as teachers,” Board Chair Cheryl Burke said in support of extending the school calendar. “My concern is after this CARES money runs out and if we want to continue the year-round schools, where do we go from there?”

“You know, we don’t have the funding three years from now to continue the year-round but our hope is that over the next couple of years the economy improves and that between state and local funding, we are able to sustain that,” Kamras replied.

Kamras says he would also like to see a permanent 2% raise for teachers on top of other raises they may be eligible for, as well as school building upgrades and additional technology. His proposed budget for next year calls for a full-time school nurse at every school.

It’s still very early in the planning process but the board is expected to give the year-round school idea a yes or no by early Spring.

In the meantime, RPS has launched a new way to communicate with parents where you can get and receive messages on any device. It’s called Remind. You can sign up, here.

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