Our History

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Our History

“Schools isolated by poverty and race are associated with lower graduation rates, high rates of teacher turnover, inadequate facilities and resources, and significantly lower academic achievement.” –Civil Rights Project out of the University of California-Los Angeles

RTR was created in 2010 to meet the unique challenges of Richmond City Public Schools. It began as a partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Richmond Public Schools (RPS) to recruit, prepare, support, and retain highly effective teachers and teacher leaders who are committed to the students of RPS for the long-term.

Originally funded through at $5.8 million Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, RTR developed an intensive, school-based teacher preparation model that combines the best of traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs, ensuring that outstanding candidates are well-prepared and profession-ready on their very first day as teachers of record.

Since Cohort 7, four school districts have partnered with RTR and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to level the playing field for students in high-needs and hard to staff schools: Richmond City Public Schools, Petersburg City Public Schools, Chesterfield County Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools.

In 2017-2018, RTR conducted a small pilot at Ettrick Elementary School in Chesterfield County Public Schools, this became our Cohort 1. In 2018-2019 RTR recruited for Cohort 2 for Ettrick Elementary School. In the same year, RTR began a Cohort 1 to serve two elementary schools in Petersburg City Public Schools. In 2019-20, RTR will include include Henrico County Public Schools. We are excited to see RTR expanding into other high-needs, hard to staff, schools.

Our mission however is the same:  RTR seeks to lift up students, teachers, classrooms and school districts, by preparing residents who will teach for change.