Photo from 2019 Rappahannock High School graduation ceremony.

This month marks the ending of the 2020 school year, which was unprecedented in so many ways and at so many levels. While the school buildings were closed, the “Raider” spirit was alive and well seeking to aid our students and their families in whatever capacity necessary.

As Chairman of the Richmond County School Board, I am proud of our teachers, staff, and administrators who have persevered through the threats of this pandemic to continue to care for and serve our many students and their families. As spokesperson for the Board, we know this time has been difficult for many and there is sadness about missing or delaying special events and activities. However, please know that we are present and willing to provide support to our community during this time.

While this pandemic crisis has presented many challenges, it also has given us opportunities to help one another. The RCPS Food Service Program team has served 7,000 meals per week since March 13 with only minimal exceptions. The efforts of our dedicated staff and volunteers have truly been exceptional and in their own respect “unprecedented.”

Additionally, only after a matter of days following March 13, our staff completed the massive task of developing a Distance Learning Program for all of our students. This would not have been possible without the division’s investment in technology in recent years and our 1 to 1 initiative which we began 5 years ago. In addition to the on-line learning taking place, a significant number of our students have received correspondence packets to maintain their skills and initiate new learning.

The next few months will unveil a new normal for us all. It is likely the standard school schedule will change to allow for social-distancing protocols in our schools. Student curricular and extra-curricular events will likely be curtailed or not permitted to maintain our community’s safety. Our students and staff may have to adhere to health screenings and precautions. Students may even learn from home using RCPS distance learning courses and materials. Regardless of these changes and the “new normal,” please know that our dedication to the mission of the Board and responsibility to our community will not waiver.

We are fortunate to serve a community that values public education and understands that flexibility is necessary to meet the needs of students. On behalf of the Richmond County School Board, we thank you for your support of our schools, students, teachers and staff.

John A. Brown,

Chairman, Richmond County School Board