RPS proposes more weeks, after school programs for 2021-2022 school year

RPS proposes more weeks, after school programs for 2021-2022 school year

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Public School Superintendent Jason Kamras announced his proposal for the upcoming school year, which includes seven extra weeks of learning to help certain students catch up.

Remote learning may not have been an easy transition for some students by disrupting their working workflow and leaving some behind, but Richmond Public Schools is hoping to change that.

“This would offer seven additional weeks of instruction for about 5,000 students,” Kamras said on Friday morning.

He added that it was a way to give some students a chance to catch up, if deemed necessary, through a series of assessments.

“We would ensure that we would focus on reading on the middle and elementary school levels, and graduation courses at the high school level. It is designed to give the students that need it the most, ‘the most,’” he said.

Should the proposal pass, the plan would have those 5,000 select students an early chance at learning “three weeks right before school starts in late July and August, then two weeks in November, and then two weeks in March.”

The initiative would be made possible through the school district and childcare and afterschool organizations in the city, such as Peter Paul Development Center, which focuses on engaging students in Richmond’s East End.

“Covid-19 has changed the way in which parents work and students learn. Research supports that children thrive during the course of the school day when engaged in positive and productive afterschool and out-of-school activities,” said Damon Jiggetts, the Executive Director of Peter Paul.

But it won’t be a cheap endeavor, which is why RPS Education Foundation would be stepping in financially, as it did a year ago to help buy some of the Chromebooks and other equipment needed for remote learning.

“We know that those students will need quality out-of-school care, and we know that not all of them can pay for it. With these challenges in mind, the foundation has committed to raise $1 million to provide free and low-cost, out-of-school opportunities,” said Ty Toepke, Executive Director of the foundation.

The Richmond school board is set to vote on the proposal on Monday.

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