Nearly 6,000 staff members now fully vaccinated #
Great news on the vaccination front!
Chesterfield County Public Schools completed the administration of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations for the great majority of our staff members earlier this week. We now have provided two doses of the vaccination to nearly 6,000 staff members, with approximately 500 substitutes and temporary workers to get their vaccinations within the next month.
We appreciate the partnership with the local health district, the Chesterfield County Employee Medical Center and the county government to help get our educators vaccinated! Our school nurses and student support services staff members have been game changers in terms of creating efficient clinics and administering the vaccine to help keep our staff members healthy.
Next week, we will welcome back middle and high school students to in-person learning opportunities. Approximately 40 percent of our students will return to their classrooms. We look forward to building stronger relationships and working with these students to advance learning.
As a reminder, Monday, March 8 is an asynchronous learning day for all secondary students. Middle and high school teachers will provide assignments for students to work on remotely. In-person and synchronous learning opportunities will resume on Tuesday, March 9. (Elementary school students will follow their in-person or virtual schedules as normal on Monday, March 8.)
Students returning in person at middle and high schools will be provided a face shield to wear in classrooms (in addition to their masks) when they are unable to maintain consistent physical distancing of at least 6 feet. These shields would not be required on buses or in hallways, and only would be used as an additional mitigation strategy in classrooms as needed.
It is exciting to see that vaccinations have been provided to all staff and additional students are back in the hallways at all levels returning to learn. At the same time, we are also starting to plan for summer school and the 2021-22 school year, which will start before Labor Day. More details on summer school plans and options for the 2021-22 school year are coming soon. Stay tuned!
Thank you for your continued support!
Chesterfield seniors earn Black History Month scholarships #
Chesterfield County and Chesterfield County Public Schools, in partnership with Virginia State University, awarded six high school seniors with the “Leadership for the 21st Century” scholarships during its Black History Month Annual Scholarship Recognition on March 2.
This year’s scholarship essay asked Chesterfield County high school seniors to reflect on the 2021 Black History Month theme: “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” The students’ essays focused on identifying a Black individual in their life, or a leader who has positively impacted their development. The six winners were awarded $2,500 scholarships, with one winner selected from each of the county’s five magisterial districts and the sixth chosen from one of the regional Governor’s schools.
2021 Chesterfield County Leadership for the 21st Century Scholarship Winners:
- Jamar Johnson, Thomas Dale High School
- Mary Hall, Monacan High School
- Laketa Johnson, L.C. Bird High School
- Terry Lee Johnson, Matoaca High School
- Amenah Holt, Midlothian High School
- Gabriella Amina Watson, Maggie Walker Governor’s School
Chesterfield Schools now accepting applications for prekindergarten program #
Did you know that 90 percent of a child’s brain has developed by the time they are 5 years old? Early learning has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to grasp concepts and meet with future successes both in school and in life.
Studies have shown that families with economic needs and other environmental risk factors may impact a child’s kindergarten readiness. Because a strong educational foundation is crucial for young children to prosper, the Office of Early Childhood Service provides early childhood education services to Chesterfield County’s 4-year-old children who are most in need.
To help best serve the community’s young at-risk children, Chesterfield County Public Schools offers prekindergarten services to families who meet specific eligibility criteria at several elementary school sites.
For more information about our PreK program, see this week’s Wednesday Spotlight.
Registration open for incoming Chesterfield kindergarten students #
Chesterfield County Public Schools’ kindergarten registration process for the Class of 2034 is underway.
Families will need to complete the online kindergarten preregistration form, located in the Hot Topics section of the school division’s website (mychesterfieldschools.com), to start the registration process.
To learn more about kindergarten registration, click here.
School Social Work Week (March 7-13) #
Next week marks the celebration of School Social Work Week. This year’s theme, “Beacon of Hope,” shines a light on school social workers’ vital role in helping students meet their academic, social, and emotional challenges.
Under the leadership of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), next week’s celebration emphasizes our school social workers’ contributions of focusing on the whole child. They link families to community resources and are a valuable voice as part of the school’s multidisciplinary team.
School social workers are specialized instructional support personnel working with students and their families so that children feel supported at home and at school. Take a few moments to thank your school social worker next week!
School Breakfast Week (March 8-12) #
Chesterfield County Public Schools will be participating in National School Breakfast Week (NSBW). This year’s theme “Score Big with School Breakfast!” will highlight and celebrate the benefits of breakfast and the opportunity for all of our students to receive a healthy meal at the start of their day.
Fueling up with breakfast can boost attention, concentration and memory, all of which helps our students in and out of the classroom.
Students who eat breakfast in school the week of March 8-12 will have the opportunity to win a raffle prize. Elementary participants’ names are entered into a raffle for the book, Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World. Secondary participants’ names are entered into a raffle for a 20-piece school supply kit. There will be two raffle winners per school, and the drawing will be on Friday, March 12.
Curbside meals distribution: March updates reminder #
Chesterfield County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services team is updating the meals distribution schedule in order to best serve students and families. Free meals continue to be available to students learning in person and to those participating in the virtual learning environment.
These offsite meal distribution locations for curbside service are closing beginning March 8 with the reopening of all schools:
- Bellwood Drive Flea Market
- Harbor East Mobile Home Park
- Suburban Mobile Home Park
- Arbor Walk Gym
Three school site locations are being closed due to low participation numbers. The following meals distribution locations for curbside service locations are closed beginning March 8:
- Bettie Weaver Elementary
- Tomahawk Creek Middle
- Manchester High
Curbside meals service distribution will continue to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.
An updated list of available curbside pickup locations beginning March 8 can be found at bit.ly/CCPSMealsUpdates.
Mental health resources and supports for families #
Curate Hope Assembly
Earlier this week, we joined in the celebration of Teen Mental Wellness Day.
As part of this opportunity, the school division’s Student Support Services team has partnered with local organizations and Curate Hope to provide a mental wellness resource for our families. Curate Hope exists to give students hope, empowerment and solutions to help reduce suicide, bullying, and despair.
School division and county government mental health support teams will be accessible to families during the event through the live chat feed.
Mark your calendars and don’t miss out on this great resource.
More Than Sad: Suicide Prevention for Parents
The Chesterfield County Suicide Awareness & Prevention Coalition will be hosting More Than Sad, a program that teaches parents how to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, initiate a conversation about mental health with their child, and get help.
The next session is Thursday, March 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. To participate in one of the free online Zoom sessions, please register at least 30 minutes in advance to receive login information. Visit bit.ly/mtsccps3-11 to register.
El 1 de abril, la Dra. Patricia Onorato dirigirá una sesión para cuidadores de habla hispana. Esta sesión se desarrollará al mismo tiempo que la presentación ofrecida en inglés.
This program is appropriate for general audiences and for participants ages 18 and older, and is presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Virginia Chapter in partnership with Chesterfield County Public Schools and the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition.
Mental Health First Aid Classes
Someone you know could be experiencing a mental illness or crisis. You can learn to help them.
Chesterfield County’s Mental Health Prevention Services team will offer two monthly Mental Health First Aid classes from January through June. Classes are for adults only.
- Mental Health First Aid Youth (March 10)
- Mental Health First Aid Adult (March 24)
To see other available classes for parents, visit the Chesterfield County Prevention Programs website.
Community-based resources for students and families in crisis
At times, students and families face challenges that feel unmanageable. Our Mental Health Support Specialists have developed a list of contacts families can call for help in different areas. Many of these contacts have after-hours numbers to offer help to students and families at night and on the weekends as well.
RTR now accepting applications #
Richmond Teacher Residency (RTR) is a graduate teacher residency program that equips passionate and gifted residents with the tools to teach for change. Their mission is to prepare extraordinary and inspiring teachers for hard-to-staff schools in their partner school divisions, like Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Learn how to teach alongside a highly trained master teacher (a clinical resident coach), while earning a graduate degree from VCU. This is a paid residency, and they have a 100 percent job placement rate.
Click here to learn more about the program.