November 1st, 2022
Dear Stakeholders (Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents, & Guardians) of Richmond Community Schools,
As the calendar year draws to an end, and we reflect upon this past semester’s accomplishments, I am pleased to report that systemic structures are being forged. Collectively we all remain steadfast to bringing into alignment the work we have ahead. We will continue to exercise active listening, be solutions-based, and provide extraordinary support for the faculty, staff, and students we serve. It goes without saying that the adversity that accompanied the year of 2022, afforded us all an opportunity to strengthen our character and our resolve.
Earlier this year, I laid out my student achievement visionary perspective and how it correlates
with our corporations’ strategic goals. I informed you that our leadership teams, educators, and
educational partners have been working collaboratively to address the current needs of all of
our students through quality Tier-1 instruction while systemically aligning our efforts and
improving upon social emotional supports. Through resiliency, intentional focus, and strategic
planning, we remain committed to meeting our mark. Metaphorically speaking, we all must be
on the “same sheet of music” – corporation-wide, to ensure that our students are truly college
and career ready by the time they walk across the stage as graduating seniors.
In conclusion, we all know that with each passing year comes change. This past fall during the
general election, constituents of Wayne County and the city of Richmond voted in two new
members to our RCS School Board of Trustees. We yet again congratulate Trustee Kristen Bruton and Trustees elect Mr. Stacey Mopps and Mr. Peter Zaleski. In addition, we thank Mr. Keith Morey and Mr. Jeff Slifer for their public service within RCS. Even more, we would like to thank the following Trustee
candidates for their willingness to publicly serve within our corporation: Bruce Laudermilk, Beth
Lipps, Sayward Carolin-Salazar, Windel Stracener, Ronnie Swango, Sam Thomas, and Matthew
Yellen. The fact that you all were willing to answer the call to public service speaks volumes to
your commitment to our beloved school community and to our cherished city of Richmond.
Dr. Curtis Wright
Superintendent of Schools
2022 Christmas Card Winners
In an effort to pay close attention to our workforce culture, maintain our focus on retention, and introduce new practices that regularly seek all employee feedback to take the pulse of employee sentiment, we are asking you to complete an Employee Retention Survey. The survey is voluntary and your individual responses will remain confidential. Although you will see that your email address is required to access the survey, please also note that the "(not shared)" following your email address designates that your email address will not be provided as a result of the response. The overall data will be used to review, reflect, and revise our current practices to maximize employee retention, engagement, and to improve our overall culture. (Click green "RCS Employee Retention Survey" button above.)
MyMedicalShopper Healthcare Cost-Containment Platfrom
Dear Insurance Participants:
Due to legislation's Transparency in Coverage (TIC), for our health plan, we are required to provide an online pricing tool beginning January 1, 2023, to all insurance plan participants.
Talon Healthcare, the same vendor that prepares our Machine‐Readable Files (MRFs), has been diligently working over the past year with local hospital pricing files, of our PPO files, and
compiling historical data to provide a pricing tool for our insurance plan participants.
As part of complying with Phase 1 of the Transparency in Coverage (TiC) legislation, plan participants must have access to at least the 500 codes required by the TiC rules by January 1, 2023.
The photos below have instructions on how to access Talon's MyMedicalShopper tool from the Dunn website. The tool allows you to choose where to receive medical care based on price, quality and convenience.
Don't Worry, Be Happy, Eat Blueberries?
Analogy time: Heart health is to exercise as mental health is to…. fruit? Not quite, but fascinating research is shedding light on the connections between what we eat and our emotions. Preliminary research, in fact, suggests that that blueberries — yes, blueberries — may ease some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In animals, not only did blueberries increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with feelings of contentment and well-being, but they actually changed the expression of a gene believed to influence mental health. Psychiatrists aren’t about to start prescribing blueberries; much more research is needed to investigate the link. But keep in mind that a whole foods, plant-based diet is a cornerstones of good health — both physical and mental. Numerous studies have linked diets that are high in nourishing whole foods and low in ultraprocessed and refined foods to lower rates of depression, anxiety, attention deficits, and other mental health problems. Besides veggies and fruit, essential fats like omega-3s support good mental health, so include good sources like wild salmon, flax and walnuts on your weekly menu. And don’t forget to nourish your metaphorical heart, another cornerstone of good mental health. Make mealtime a relaxing gathering with people you love.
Managing Stress may Prevent a Second Heart Attack.
Eat well, exercise regularly, and manage stress…these are the golden rules of heart health. Two of these lend themselves to great visuals: Jewel-toned veggies and freshly grilled fish, plus fit, healthy bodies running on the shore or swimming in the gently rocking waves. Rest and relaxation turn out to be equally, if not more, important. In a recent clinical trial of people recovering from a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac event, people who practiced stress reduction along with adjustments to eating patterns, activity patterns, and medication compliance fared far better than those who focused on diet, exercise, and medication alone. In fact, stress reduction cut the rate of a second heart-related incident by an extraordinary 50 percent! As a risk factor, chronic stress may seem nebulous compared with, say, a Big Mac, but it’s all too real inside your body. Among the effects of chronic stress: harmful inflammation that damages the cells lining your arteries. Social support, yoga and meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and simple breathing exercises can all help you manage stress. Commit to one of these practices, or several, and make time for joy, laughter, and downtime amid the bustle of your days. If you still need a visual, picture the ultimate benefit: you living a long, healthy life!
The Power of Positive Thinking: Set an Intention and Watch what It can Do for your Day
How do you want to feel today? We’re guessing that you’d like a better outlook than Oscar the Grouch. To live life more positively, set a daily intention. Perhaps you want to feel adventurous, or bighearted, or peaceful. Take a moment each morning to set an intention for your day by thinking about how you want to feel. You’ll be more likely to make decisions throughout the day to support your goal. Yes, we know your mornings are busy, but this is truly as easy as 1-2-3:
- At the beginning of the day, sit quietly and center yourself. Focus on your breath.
- Choose the qualities you will live out today. You might silently say, “I will be courageous” or, “I will bring the best in me to all I encounter.”
- Check in with yourself throughout the day; write a word or two on a sticky note to remind yourself of your intention.
Seriously, that’s it! With your intention in mind, you’ll be able to breeze past negative influences and take control of your mood. It’s your life. Choose how you want to move through it.
David Brown, Job Coach, Richmond High School, effective 11/14/2022.
Jennifer Crain, Library Paraprofessional, Vaile Elementary School, effective 11/14/2022.
Paul Homer, Environmental Services II, Richmond High School, effective 11/7/2022.
Julie Frame, Environmental Services III, Richmond High School, effective 11/8/2022.
Eugene Crawford, Environmental Services I, Charles Elementary, effective 12/1/2022.
Januaree Marshall, Title I Paraprofessional, Fairview Elementary, effective 11/30/2022.
Mercedes Miller, Exceptional Student Education Paraprofessional, Westview Elementary, effective 11/21/2022.
Julie Nolley, Environmental Services III, Charles Elementary, effective 11/30/2022.
Rebecca Oberle, Preschool Paraprofessional, Crestdale Elementary, effective 12/5/2022.
EXTRA DUTY EMPLOYMENT
Blake Bushey, Middle School Co-Wrestling Coach, Dennis Middle School, effective 11/16/2022.
Ronnie Maurice Hibbler, Intermediate Wrestling Coach, Test Intermediate School, effective 11/10/2022.
Daniel Merkamp, Band Director, Richmond High School, effective 2022/2023 school year.
Jedacia Moore, Middle School Co-Wrestling Coach, Dennis Middle School, effective 11/11/2022.
Vasqueral Mabry, Middle School Co Wrestling Coach, Dennis Middle School, effective 10/26/2022.
Kevin Shearer, Reserve Assistant Basketball Coach, Richmond High School, effective 11/7/2022.
Kyla Wright, 8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach, Dennis Middle School, effective 11/7/2022.
Share Your Good News
We know that there are great things going on in our schools every day. Help us to celebrate the achievements of our students, teachers, and staff to parents and the Richmond community! Know of a visual photo op that could tell the story of our schools or anything else you think we should know about? Please fill out this form to let the RCS Communications Coordinator know!