Richmond school board approves plan for federal relief spending, changes to high school bell schedule

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond School Board met on Monday night, discussing topics including how the district will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID relief funding, a change to the high school schedule and the ongoing George Wythe High School reconstruction efforts.

The school board approved plans laying out how to spend the $123 million the school district received from the American Rescue Plan. Superintendent Jason Kamras had proposed previous federal stimulus money received, totaling $58 million, would be used over three years.

The largest portion of American Rescue Plan funds will go toward an “ambitious literacy plan.” The $65 million plan is set to last three years.

There will be $29 million put forth for personnel, $10 million for training, $7 million for resources and $19 million for extended day partnerships. Kamras said the school board has until Sept. 1 to submit their plan to the state in order to receive funding on time.

School board members also approved a bell change for the daily high school schedule. High school students will now start their day 15 minutes earlier, at 9 a.m., and will be dismissed at 3:45 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. Other school schedules will remain unchanged.

Richmond Public Schools’ largest school this year will not be a physical location. Kamras said over 1,800 students, accounting for 8% of the entire school district will attend the RPS virtual academy this year instead of their traditional school. The school district says due to staffing reasons they are not accepting more virtual students at this time.

The board discussed George Wythe High School later in the meeting, those details can be found here.

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