RICHMOND, Va. — Two Richmond Public elementary schools are returning to the classroom Monday, 20 days earlier than the rest of the district.
Fairfield Court Elementary and Cardinal Elementary are part of the RPS200 pilot program that creates 20 additional days of instruction to the 180-day calendar.
The students will be on the same daily schedule and have the same breaks as the rest of the district.
“Yes, we're getting a head start. That's why we want to make sure that how we message it for the parents was that it's not just about the learning loss, it's about accelerating our kids that need that enrichment piece,” Fairfield Court Principal Angela Wright said.
CBS 6 caught up with Wright on Friday as her teachers were holding meetings and getting their classes ready for students to return on Monday morning.
The goal is to support students’ academic growth and achievement while address learning loss over the break, also known as “summer slide.”
Research shows younger children and low-income students are at highest risk for learning loss.
“By the time everybody else comes back, we've already established our routines and structures for the RPS200. We would have already started with data from the spring and we're already remediating and providing that tier one instruction,” Wright explained.
Families at both schools could opt out of participating in the pilot program. But Wright said over 95% of parents wanted to send their children back early.
All but two of the teachers at Fairfield Court are returning to the classroom.
“When [our students] go to MLK Middle, we got to make sure for Principal Dabney that we got to have these kids on point,” Wright stated. “Because that's our expectation when we move kids over to the next level — to have them prepared for the next stage of their life.”
Principal Wright, Richmond Superintendent Jason Kamras, and RPS leaders will welcome students back at 7:30 a.m. and hold a press conference at 8 a.m.
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