VDOE advises RPS to end partnership with Dream Academy Richmond

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A letter sent weeks ago from the Virginia Department of Education to Richmond Public Schools advises the school district to end a partnership with an adult education center. 

Created in 2010, ‘Dream Academy Richmond‘ on Chamberlayne Avenue works with adults students who dropped out of high school to earn their diploma. 

The letter from the VDOE dated February 9th says, “Because the Dream Academy is a private organization, rather than a public adult high school, it is unclear how credit awarded by this school can be considered in determining if students have met the requirements for an adult high school diploma.” 

The letter goes on to urge RPS to stop issuing diplomas to students of the Dream Academy. 

For years, Dream Academy and RPS entered into an agreement; Dream Academy pays RPS to review transcripts and award diplomas to adult students. 

“I don’t understand, because every year so far the counselors downtown looked at the transcripts and saw where we met the criteria because we submitted the information,” Dream Academy Director Joann Henry told 8News.

A letter sent weeks ago from the Virginia Department of Education to Richmond Public Schools advises the school district to end a partnership with an adult education center. 

Henry showed 8News an agreement that Superintendent Jason Kamras signed back in August. But in October, Henry says she received an email from Kamras explaining that RPS was ending the contract due to transcript issues within RPS.

“I know what the problem is,” said Henry.  “They’re still thinking we’re working with these students that went to school in 2001 up until now. And we are not. We’re working with older adult students who entered high school prior to 2000.” 

Henry said she reached out to Richmond School Board chair Dawn Paige in February and was told RPS comes first.

“We need to get our house in order first before we can do anything,” said Henry.  “I am disappointed that you don’t understand that. Thanks.” 

So do the diplomas count?

“They do count because these are older adults according to the guidelines and rules of the state department of education adult high school program,” said Henry. 

The issue is expected to be brought up during Monday night’s school board meeting. Stay with 8News for updates.

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