What is the
The school board is Richmond Public Schools' governing body. It comprises one representative from each of the nine voting districts. It oversees the general operation and governance of the schools in pursuing its mission and goals:
Mission: The mission of Richmond’s School Board is to prepare students with high-quality educational experiences so that public schools are the choice of all Richmonders, to ensure that parents, families, and the community-at-large are involved in the activities of students, and ensure that students:
• master the essential skills of reading, writing, mathematics, and reasoning
• grow creatively, culturally, and physically in order to become life-long learners
• learn to appreciate cultural diversity, become responsible citizens, and lead
Goals and Objectives:
Improve student achievement
Promote a safe and nurturing environment
Provide strong leadership for effective and efficient operations
Enhance capacity building through professional development
Strengthen collaborations with stakeholders
Increase parent and community satisfaction
Richmond’s school board operates as a whole on governance matters but has a disciplinary committee of at least three school board members that oversees appeals of long-term suspensions and expulsions. The School Board may also be broken down, as necessary, into standing advisory committees of no more than three representatives to report issues and recommend solutions to the larger board.
Richmond’s school board, unlike most in the nation, is fiscally dependent on the city; it does not have the authority to levy taxes. Therefore, the school board must go through City Council to approve and fund its budget. The following graphic demonstrates the process of creating the budget, as well as its general timeline:
To learn about the overall organization of Richmond Public Schools and its leadership structure, view the following organizational chart:
Who is on the
The school board consists of nine representatives from the city’s nine voting districts. They are elected by their constituents for a four-year term. The nine representatives vote for the chair and the vice-chair to serve a one-year term.
The chair presides over school board meetings, appoints committees, prepares meeting agenda with the Superintendent’s help, and signs all legal documents. Dawn Page serves as the Chair of the School Board and Patrick Sapini serves as the Vice Chair.
Top Row (Left to Right): Superintendent Jason Kamras; Liz Doerr (1st District); Scott Barlow (2nd District); Kenya Gibson (3rd District); Jon Young (4th District)
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Patrick Sapini (5th District); Felicia Cosby (6th District); Cheryl Burke (Vice-Chair; 7th District); Dawn Page (8th District); Linda Owen (Chair; 9th District)
District Superintendent: Dr. Jason Kamras
Jason Kamras currently serves as the Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools (RPS). Mr. Kamras views public education as means of promoting equity and justice for all children in the United States. In his various roles, he has advocated for policies to eliminate the “opportunity gap” that disadvantages many low-income children and children of color, and he has led efforts to dismantle institutionalized racism in public schools.
Before coming to RPS, Mr. Kamras served in numerous senior leadership roles at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). In these roles, he led the design and implementation of a number of key initiatives, including the LEAP teacher support program, the LIFT teacher career ladder, and the Mary Jane Patterson principal training program.
Before joining the central office, Mr. Kamras taught mathematics for eight years at John Philip Sousa Middle School in DCPS. Mr. Kamras began teaching in 1996 and was named the United States National Teacher of the Year in 2005.
District 1: Liz Doerr
Schools: Munford Elementary; Hill Middle; Jefferson High
Phone: (804) 929-6624
District 2: James Barlow
Schools: Carver Elementary; Fox Elementary; Maggie Walker Governor School; Richmond Academy; Richmond Alternative School
Phone: (804) 929-6571
District 3: Kenya Gibson
Schools: Ginter Park Elementary; Holton Elementary; Stuart Elementary; Henderson Middle; Marshall High; Richmond Community High; Richmond Technical Center; REAL (at Henderson Middle)
Phone: (804) 908-4591
District 4: Jonathan Young
Schools: Fisher Elementary; Southampton Elementary; Westover Hills Elementary; Brown Middle; Elkhardt-Thompson Middle; Huguenot High
Phone: (804) 929-7006
District 5: Patrick Sapini (School Board Vice Chair)
Schools: Cary Elementary; Maymount Elementary; Swansboro Elementary; Binford Middle; Open High; Wythe High; Amelia Street; 13 Acres; Patrick Henry School of Arts & Sciences; Richmond Career Education & Employment Academy
Phone: (804) 929-6930
District 6: Felicia Cosby
Schools: Overby-Sheppard Elementary; Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle
Phone: (804) 929-6871
District 7: Cheryl Burke
Schools: Bellevue Elementary; Chimborazo Elementary; Fairfield Court Elementary; George Mason Elementary; Woodville Elementary; Armstrong High; Franklin Military High; Preschool Development Center
Phone: (804) 929-6894
District 8: Dawn Page (School Board Chair)
Schools: Blackwell Elementary; Broad Rock Elementary; Oak Grove/Bellemeade; Elementary; Boushall Middle
Phone: (804) 929-7158
District 9: Linda Owen
Schools: Francis Elementary; Greene Elementary; Jones Elementary; Redd Elementary; Reid Elementary
Phone: (804) 929-7371
What does the
School Board do?
The school board’s primary role is to develop, review, revise, and adopt policies for Richmond’s school division regarding issues pertaining to programs and operations.
Richmond Public Schools as a whole is responsible for the following objectives. Please note that while the Administration carries out many of these tasks, it is the school board that approves and oversees much of the work completed by RPS Administration. The school board is also responsible for ensuring that the district is operating in compliance with the code of Virginia, as well as the Virginia Board of Education.
To select the division superintendent
To provide, care for, manage, and control school property, furniture, and appliances
To work closely with the division superintendent regarding all matters related to the school division by receiving, considering, and acting upon reports and recommendations
To determine the curriculum, administration, and length of school term
To access the schools’ effectiveness regarding the board’s educational purposes
To inform the public concerning the schools’ needs and process in order to weigh public opinion
To provide transportation for the students
To provide for the preparation and adoption of the annual budgets
To adopt bylaws and regulations consistent with state statues and regulations of the Virginia Board of Education
Consider applications for local public charter schools
How can I participate?
The school board meets every first and third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings are normally held on the 17th floor of City Hall.
To preview meeting locations for 2018, one may refer to the schedule located at the bottom of our website's home page.
Each regular school board meeting has a thirty-minute “public information” segment for citizens to voice their concerns about Richmond Public School’s services, policies, and affairs. Each individual has up to three minutes to speak and individuals representing organization may be allotted up to five minutes at the Chair’s discretion.
Individuals who wish to speak at a school board meeting must request for an allotment of the thirty minutes with the board clerk, no later than noon of the last business day before the meeting by sending the following Request to Speak Form to firstname.lastname@example.org. They must provide a description of the issue they wish to discuss and limit their comments to that subject.
Just as with City Council, if you cannot attend a school board meeting or feel you could more effectively participate in other ways, you can directly communicate with your school board representative through email, phone, or other ways. Refer to the interactive map above for your school board representative's contact information.
How can I prepare?
Preparing for a school board meeting is different than preparing for a City Council meeting. Because school board meetings have more presentations than City Council meetings, they are more informative in nature. People who speak before the school board will usually be speaking about their experiences with different programs. Before meetings, the school board posts its agenda online at the following web address:
The following image is a screenshot of what a typical school board meeting agenda looks like:
Unlike the City Council agendas, there is not a way to look up the Items for Action nor the Superintendant's Reports before a school board meeting; they are presented at the actual school board meeting. If you cannot attend the school board meetings, you can visit the newsfeed on this site for a recap of what happened at the meeting.