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September 2021

Welcome back to school!  It has been a busy month as our dedicated school staff have been working around the clock to ensure a safe reopening for all of our students.  It has not been perfect, and there have been bumps in the road, but we are devoted to providing our children the best educational experience while also keeping them safe.  Several important changes have taken place—school start times have changed, bus schedules have been adjusted, our classrooms and communal spaces have now been equipped with HEPA filters to clean the air, and safety protocols are now in place.  As this is a time of great flux, I encourage you to reach out to me and other school personnel with any questions or concerns you may have.  Policy wise, look for upcoming votes/discussions regarding the role School Resource Officers play in our schools, and updates on the plan for a new George Wythe High School.

Finally, I'm incredibly proud to announce a resolution that supports RPS teachers' and workers' right to organize and negotiate through collective bargaining. The text of the resolution is here, and you can read more background on why collective bargaining is an essential part of thriving public schools here.

Please, as always, check Richmond Public School Board Docs for meeting information and other important documents, attend my office hours as they are announced, and stay engaged with your schools and our teachers (who, by the way, could really use any words of support you have to offer right now).  

Wishing us all a wonderful and productive school year!

Stephanie Miller Rizzi
Swansboro Vice Principal Dr. Kennete Lee Anderson, Swansboro Teacher Mr. Nobile, Debbie Powers and John Mahone of the Richmond Kiwanis, and Swansboro Interim Principal Theron Sampson meeting to discuss plans to beautify Swansboro's green spaces.
Mr. Maurice Burton, Principal of the Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy, during Back To School Night.

Mr. Remi Kasali

Mr. Kasali, a native if Nigeria, has worked as a Cafeteria Manager at Swansboro Elementary for four years and has lived in Richmond for 20 years.

What made you decide to join the Swansboro staff?

I had been in the food services retail business for 38 years and decided that it was time for me to try something else.  This has been a good change for me.

Tell me about your work at Swansboro.

My main goal is to make sure that our kids are fed.  I love to communicate with them, and I make sure that no kid goes hungry.  If they ask me for more, I give it to them because when they say they are hungry, I know what that means.  They are my main priority, and I am so glad we are back in school.

What would you like for the future of RPS?

I want to see the schools grow and get better.  I was really happy to see that our SOL scores are improving.  I’m really passionate about what I do.  This is not a job for me.  I really care about our kids. 
Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and all RPS staff are required to provide proof of vaccination by October 1st. On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, all employees will receive an email from TalentEd Records with instructions on how to submit documentation of vaccination status electronically.

-   Please visit if you need a copy of your vaccination record or make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

-   Medical and religious exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis. To inquire about these exemptions, employees should email the Talent Office at; anyone granted an exemption will need to provide proof of a negative COVID test on a weekly basis.

-   The vaccine mandate will also apply to contractors, partners, and volunteers. They will receive additional information about this directly from the Talent Office.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Talent Office at

Upcoming School Board Meetings:
Tues, September 28th 5:30 pm - Finance Committee Meeting
Mon, October 4th 6:00 pm - School Board Meeting
Mon, October 18th 6:00 pm - School Board Meetings
Thurs, October 21st 3:00 pm - Disciplinary Committee Hearing
Tues, October 26 5:30 pm - Finance Committee Meeting

Agendas, Minutes, and Public Documents available here:
To watch School Board meetings live, visit

Comments may be sent to, and will be read aloud if submitted prior to 1:00 pm on the day of the meeting.

Dates to know:

RPS 2021 - 2022 School Year Calendar (RPS 2020 - 2021 Calendario del Distrito):

#ReopenWithLove page for all information related to virtual learning, food distribution and family support: 

Food Distribution Schedule:   

Lit Limo Schedule: 

Family Support Helpline - Call (804) 780-6195 and learn more about other resources available to families

Sign up for RPS Direct Newsletter: To volunteer with RPS, sign up at: 

 Stephanie Rizzi
(804) 929-6930 - for text or calls

5th District Schools:

Full School Directory: 

School Locator Map: 

John B. Cary Elementary (804) 780-6252 

Maymont Preschool Center (804) 780-6263 

Swansboro Elementary (804) 780-5030 

Binford Middle (804) 780-6231 

Open High (804) 780-4661 

George Wythe High (804) 780-5037 

Amelia Street (804) 780-6275 

Patrick Henry School of Arts & Sciences (804) 888-7061 

Richmond Career Education & Employment Academy (804) 780-4332 

RPS Main Phone Number:
(804) 780-7710

Stephanie Rizzi serves as Richmond School Board Member in the 5th District. Views on this page are her own and may not reflect official positions of the body.
Copyright © 2021 Stephanie Rizzi - 5th District School Board Representative, All rights reserved.