FAQs

For detailed information refer to the Fox Elementary Parent Handbook.

Interested in being a part of the Fox Family? We don’t blame you. Fox Rocks! Please join us for a morning info session on one of the following 2015/2016 dates.

  • October, 14th at 10am
  • November, 13th at 10am
  • December, 8th at 10am
  • January, 22 at 10am
  • March, 24th at 10am
  • April, 26th at 10am
  • May, 12th at 10am

Location

Fox School is located at 2300 Hanover Avenue in the heart of the city’s historic Fan District.  The side streets are Strawberry Street and Stafford Avenue.  The playground backs up to Stuart Avenue.  Fox is a few blocks east of The Boulevard and within walking distance of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Historical Society.  It is in close proximity to Broad Street, and students can walk to the Science Museum of Virginia and the Children’s Museum.  It is also a short drive to Maymont Park to the south, and to Virginia Commonwealth University to the east.

The Facility

William Fox School was erected in 1910-1911.  It is a grand old building with beautiful hardwood floors and high ceilings. The first students came to Fox in September of 1911.  Since then, it has undergone several renovations and is now centrally air conditioned, and most recently made ADA accessible with an elevator addition.  There are three floors.  The basement houses the cafeteria and kitchen, three first grade classrooms, one second grade classroom, the art room, an exceptional education classroom, and the music room.  On the first floor are the general office complex, the Principal’s and Assistant Principal’s offices, the Guidance office, the clinic, and the Library/Media Center.  Also on the first floor are three Kindergarten classes, one first grade class, two second grade classes, two third grade classrooms and two exceptional education rooms.  The auditorium can be found on the second floor along with, two exceptional education classrooms, one second grade, two third grade, four fourth grade, and three fifth grade classrooms.  Up in the “attic”, or third floor, is the S.P.A.C.E. (Special Program for Academic and Creative Excellence) program.

The Staff

William Fox Model Elementary School is proud to have a faculty and staff that is recognized for its expertise, friendliness, compassion and innovative approaches.  Several teachers have been recognized as R.E.B. award winners, three teachers have received National Board Certification, and Fox teachers were selected as Teachers of the Year for Richmond Public Schools and/or top 10 finalists for the last nine years!

For the 2015-2016 school year, the full-time staff consists of 3 Kindergarten, 4 First grade, 4 Second grade, 4 Third grade, 4 Fourth grade, 3 Fifth grade, and 5 Special Education teachers.  In addition, there is the Principal, Assistant Principal, Guidance Counselor, Library/Media Specialist, Art Teacher, Music Teacher, Physical Education Teacher,  2 part-time Spanish teachers, 1 nurse, 3 custodians, a cafeteria manager and 2 cafeteria workers, 1 Kindergarten Assistant,  2 instructional assistants (in Special Education), 1 office professional, and 1 attendance worker.  Our itinerant staff consists of a school psychologist, social worker, a speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, 2 SPACE teachers, orchestra instructor, band instructor, harp instructor, ITRT (Instructional Technology Resource Teacher), Literacy Coach and an ESL teacher.  In addition, the PTA has funded a Language Arts Tutor, who works with students in K-2nd grades, and a coordinator for the Howard Street tutoring Program.

Student Population

Our approximately 540 students come from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, providing a beautiful diversity which we consider to be one of our main strengths.  We feel that children need to experience the joy of participating in an environment which represents the “real world.”  We know that children from varying backgrounds learn much from each other.

  • African-American 20%
  • White 64%
  • Asian/Hispanic/Other 16%

Pupil:  StudentTeacher Ratios  for the 2015-2016 School Year(average)

K             (3 classes)                           26:1 teacher

1              (4 classes)                           21:1

2              (4 classes)                           26:1

3              (4 classes)                           25 :1

4              (3 classes)                           25:1

5              (3 classes)                           26:1

Academic Achievement

We are proud to be one of the schools in Virginia to have passed the strenuous Standards of Learning assessments.  We are fully accredited by the Virginia State Department of Education.  Percentages of students passing the benchmark on the SOLs for the 2014-2015 school year were:

Grade 3

Reading                                    86%

Mathematics                             77%

History and Social Science        87%

Science                                    79%

Grade 4

Reading                                    83%

Math                                        81%

Virginia Studies                        89%

Grade 5

Reading                                    85%

Mathematics                             90%

Science                                    90%

 

There is always room for improvement and we are working to improve in all areas.  At the same time, we try to continue our focus upon creative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning, while not losing sight of the importance of the arts, physical education, and enrichment activities.

Parental Involvement

We invite and warmly welcome parents to become full participants in the school’s programs and in the education of their children.  PTA meetings are well attended.  You will see many parents working in classrooms, tutoring children in the halls, going on field trips, or working on fund raisers.  The PTA is very active and has a budget of over $100,000 which it raises each year to support the school.  We are truly grateful for the support we receive from our parents and community.

Spanish Immersion

We are excited to be hosting one of two pilot Spanish Immersion sites in the city.  Every day we have one First grade class and one Second grade class that receives their Math and Science instruction IN SPANISH!  In addition to these First and second grade students receiving instruction in Spanish everyday, all other classrooms receive instruction in Spanish for 30 minutes twice per week.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

How do the teachers meet the needs of such a wide range of ability levels in their classes?  Our teachers are very adept at planning for individual and small group needs.  Cooperative learning and open-ended lessons allow for expression at many different levels and many different learning styles.

Is there any before or after school care?  The Richmond YMCA offers a before and after school program at the school for parents who need child care. Before school hours are 7-8:55 a.m., and after school hours are 3:40-6:00 p.m.  There is a limited amount of space in this program, and parents are encouraged to sign up early.  To sign up you should call the Downtown Branch of the YMCA at 649-9622.  There are also several other daycare programs that provide van service to and from the school.

What are the school’s hours?  School Hours are 9:00-3:45. The first bell rings at 8:55 a.m. signifying that students may report to their classrooms.  Dismissal is at 3:45 p.m. Children who arrive after 9:05 am will be marked tardy.

How much Art, Music and Physical Education instruction will my child receive? Each class receives 45 minutes of instruction from a specialist in each of these areas each week. Classroom teachers often integrate the arts and/or physical education/movement into their lessons.  In addition, Orchestra, Band, and Harp are offered during the day beginning at fourth grade. Finally, Minds in Motion, a musically oriented dance program sponsored by the Richmond Ballet, is provided during the school day to all pupils in 4th grade;  Dancing Classrooms (ballroom dancing instruction) is provided for our 5th graders and our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students work in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts thanks to our PTA.

What programs are offered for gifted and talented students? All Richmond Public Schools provide a program for students who are identified as gifted and/or talented beginning at second grade. This program is called SPACE (Special Program for Academic and Creative Excellence). A checklist is completed by each First grade teacher to see if a child should be further tested for this program. Students, with the parents’ written permission, are then tested in several areas (reading, mathematics, creativity, cognitive ability, parental and teacher recommendations), using a variety of assessments to see if they meet the criteria. Those students who qualify are pulled out of their classes for a period of about two to two and a half hours per week to work with the SPACE teacher. Students may be recommended at any grade level above second for the SPACE program as well. They are tested in the same manner described above.  We also have “Launching Pad”, a program for 1st grade students who show giftedness in Kindergarten.  Kindergarten students are identified through observation of a classroom lesson in the Spring, and then they are also evaluated (with parent permission).  Students who qualify are provided with enrichment activities in 1st grade.

Does Fox have any Special Education classes? We have five full time, and one itinerant, Special Education teachers who work with students who have been diagnosed with a variety of disabilities or differences.  In every case, we try to provide services in the least restrictive environment while, at the same time making every effort to meet the social, emotional, and academic goals of each student.

What other programs are offered for students who are struggling as learners? Those students who have scored below the benchmark on the PALs test are provided with reading instruction through Richmond’s Early Reading Initiative (PALs) programs. We also have a tutoring program, modeled after the research based Howard Street Tutoring Program, which works with students in grades 2 and 3 who are weak in reading.  Beginning at the end of November through the beginning of May,  an Extended Day Program for selected students identified as needing some extra assistance is implemented in Third, Fourth, and Fifth grades.  Our school does not qualify for Title I Reading or Title I Math which are remedial programs found in a great number of Richmond Public Schools.

How often may my child go to the school’s library? Students go to the library each week for a period of 45 minutes. During this time, they receive instruction based upon the curriculum guidelines for Media Center specialists. They may check out books weekly and may take their books home. If they finish a book before the week is finished, they may bring it back and check out a new book.

What extra-curricular programs are offered after school? Several activities and classes are offered after school this year. These include, but are not limited to:  Theatrix, Chess Club, Mind Games, Soccer, Special Art Programs, Mad Science After School Program, Tree Climbing, Karate, Hoola Hooping, Bricks for Kids, Choir (before school) and Girl Scouts.  Flyers are sent home in the backpacks to announce when these activities are offered, some requiring a fee. Some classes fill up quickly and are filled on a first come/first served basis.

How much technology instruction is provided at the school? There are approximately five computers in each classroom. Students use these computers for instructional purposes whenever the curriculum and technology are cohesive. In addition, the library has a computer lab, and Mrs. Norrell provides technology lessons to her students during their library period.  6 mobile laptop carts and 1 ipad mini cart can be checked out by teachers for classroom use.  Our teachers are constantly being trained in instructional technology uses as our school technology is being updated with SMART boards/MIMEO Interactive units, document cameras, and digital cameras.

How are class assignments made?  The teachers at one grade level divide up the students for next year’s classes, making every effort to match a child’s learning style with a teacher’s teaching style. The principal reviews the class lists and makes any changes that are necessary. We do not accept parent requests; however, parents are invited to write a brief description of your child’s learning style, temperament, etc. that might help us with placement. Please do not make a specific teacher request to the teachers or the principal. This places us in a very uncomfortable position, and warrants impossible accommodations.

What do I do if I have a question or concern? If you have any questions or concerns about the school’s programs or how the school operates, please don’t guess at the answers. Please don’t try to get little bits of the “whole picture” from other parents on the playground or in your neighborhood. Please don’t stew about it! Go straight to the horse’s mouth! Don’t be afraid. The horse does not bite! Please feel free to ask questions or voice concerns directly to me in one of the following ways:

  • Call me (Mrs. Jacobs) at (804) 780-6259.
  • Email me at djacobs2@richmond.k12.va.us
  • Stop by my office. If I can’t see you immediately, I will make an appointment so that we can meet soon.
  • Come to a Coffee with the Principal.
  • Look at the Fox PTA website:  www.foxpta.org for information.
  • Write down your question, concern or suggestion and place it in my mailbox or mail it to my attention.

Mrs. Emma Ellis, Assistant Principal, is also full of answers about Fox School and its programs and operations. Please feel free to contact her at (804) 780-6259 or email her at eellis@richmond.k12.va.us.

If you have a PTA-related question, you may address that to PTA President, Alexis Fisher-Rizk:  president@foxpta.org.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF WILLIAM FOX SCHOOL!