RICHMOND, Va. -- As a small number of students prepare for a return to the classroom on April 12, Richmond Public Schools has announced plans about how to support these children in the event that year-round school is approved.
The RPS Education Foundation announced Friday morning during a news conference at Cardinal Elementary School they are committed to raising $1 million to provide free and reduced after-school care for the nearly 5,000 students who could have the option to participate in these extra seven weeks of learning.
Superintendent Jason Kamras reiterated his hope for the Richmond School Board to vote in favor of this extra classroom time, and he also explained why the district is not offering in-person learning to all of its students this spring.
Kamras said several schools are still working to adopt COVID-19 safety measures, and surveys showed the majority of parents want their children to remain virtual -- as do 80% of teachers.
But he said the biggest reason to keep learning online is that students would likely not have the same teacher if they returned to the building.
“There wouldn't be a perfect match between teachers who want to come back and kids who want to come back," Kamras explained. "That would really break the teacher-student bond right as we’re getting into the fourth quarter after kids and teachers have worked so hard to create those bonds. I think that would be damaging, not only just academically, but from a social and emotional perspective.”
The RPS School Board will vote on whether or not to adopt this year-round school plan next week.
If approved, there will be three additional weeks of learning in late July and August, two in November and two in March.