Board approves plan to send 800 RPS students back to classroom after spring break

Board approves plan to send 800 RPS students back to classroom after spring break
After spring break, 800 students in Richmond will report back into school buildings after the board approved Superintendent Jason Kamras’ plan Monday night. (Source: Richmond Public Schools)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After spring break, 800 students in Richmond will report back into school buildings after the board approved Superintendent Jason Kamras’ plan to comply with the Governor’s deadline Monday night.

The plan mostly involves Kindergarten students and those with special learning needs, as well as those who don’t speak English as their first language.

Superintendent Jason Kamras recommended the plan in order to comply with the Governor’s March 15 deadline, but some school board members weren’t on board.

Board Member Mariah White said it wasn’t detailed enough and that the board shouldn’t vote at all until there was more concrete information about how re-opening would be done safely.

Then Jonathan Young and two other board members presented their own plan to open back up school buildings for seniors so that they can have access to school resources during their final year of school. Both of those ideas failed.

“Right now, I just think we need to be careful. We need to carefully plan. I didn’t hear a plan for transportation or safety protocols to how they can be rushed to accommodate this increased amount of people that you want to bring in so at this point, I can’t support this last-minute proposal,” Board Member Stephanie Rizzi said.

In the end, it was back to the drawing board. A majority of leaders went with the Superintendent’s recommendation - to re-open schools for 800 students. Many of those students are already attending school thanks to emergency learning facilities that opened during the pandemic.

The other debate about what to do next year? The year-round school option is on the table.

The board is expected to decide on that in a couple of weeks, after holding a series of upcoming town hall forums. The dates, times and locations haven’t been made public yet.

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