NNPS Chief of Staff named to leadership role in Virginia

Newly formed Virginia LEARNS workgroup to guide school reopening and recovery

Posted: February 11, 2021

Rashard J. Wright, Chief of Staff for Newport News Public Schools, will help lead statewide efforts to reopen Virginia's public schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane tapped Wright to serve as a leader for the newly formed Virginia LEARNS (Leading, Engaging, Assessing, Recovering, Nurturing and Succeeding) workgroup which is tasked to develop recommendations and identify resources and best practices related to equity, curricula - particularly in literacy and mathematics - remediation and intervention strategies, assessments, data analysis, and technology to support instruction.

The workgroup is also responsible for creating and identifying resources and best practices to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health and social-emotional well-being of students, families and school employees.

Wright's work with identifying and deploying equitable practices in public schools will support the Virginia LEARNS workgroup with its reopening guidance.

"I am looking forward to collaborating with the Virginia LEARNS workgroup to ensure that students across Virginia successfully return to in-person instruction," said Wright. "I am honored to serve with such distinguished and committed educators."

Lane announced that Charlottesville Superintendent Rosa Atkins will serve as chair of the Virginia LEARNS workgroup. Wright will accompany Smyth County Superintendent Dennis Carter, Franklin County Superintendent Bernice Cobbs, and Chesapeake Superintendent Jared Cotton in serving in a leadership capacity within the workgroup. Twenty-three individuals from across the state are also named to the workgroup.

In September 2020, Wright was also selected to serve as the chairman of the African American Superintendent's Advisory Council (AASAC). The AASAC is charged with advising, informing, and providing professional insight on policy development and accountability for public education in Virginia. The council plays a unique role in bringing African American educational leaders, and the needs of African American students to the forefront of state decisions to advance racial equity in Virginia's public schools.