RPS continues community conversations about new George Wythe High School

Ronald E. Carrington | 4/21/2022, 6 p.m.
As design funding for a new George Wythe High School is expected to be approved by Richmond City Council on ...
George Wythe High School Photo by Regina H. Boone

As design funding for a new George Wythe High School is expected to be approved by Richmond City Council on Monday, April 25, Richmond Public Schools’ Wythe Reimagined community meetings will continue across the city.

The meetings convened by the RPS Office of Engagement are designed get public input on the new school’s design, curriculum selection and focus and overall objectives.

The Richmond School Board is considering turning George Wythe into a specialty high school for the arts or for science, technology and math or for a combination of the two areas. The board also has proposed a list of possible classes such as poetry, musicianship, engineering and tech programming.

However, the RPS administration wants feedback to ensure Wythe’s design will accommodate the type of curriculum and programs to be taught, as well as the space needed for a specialty school.

Phase one of community feedback ended on April 15, with the second phase to begin in May. The first phase, a series of in-person and virtual meetings conducted in English and Spanish, were to get recommendations for Wythe’s educational direction from RPS parents and community stakeholders.

The second phase, according to Dr. Shadae Harris, RPS chief engagement officer, will focus on public comments on design elements of the new high school. Meetings and webinars will be scheduled throughout the summer.

“The phase one intimate meetings have been powerful as people have come together to focus on what is most important—working together for what is best for students and families,” Dr. Harris told the Free Press.

“As more development happens, the Department of Engagement will have the community’s information on what they want to see,” she said.

A number of community members have suggested that Wythe could be a combined STEM and arts academy, with possible courses to include step team classes, journalism and photography, entrepreneurship, computer coding and robotics.

The remaining community conversations dates and times are available at: https:// go.boarddocs.com/vsba/richmond/Board.nsf/ goto?open&id=CCXJ2A4AD0A5.