Principal's Welcome

Principal Robert Gilstrap
Greetings Falcon Family,
 
Welcome to Huguenot High School, home of the Mighty, Mighty Falcons. Huguenot is the largest high school in Richmond Public Schools; our comprehensive high school supports nearly 1300 students. HHS supports one of the largest ESL programs south of the James River. We are a thriving and welcoming community of learners and there continues to be a strong attraction to the quality programs and the newly constructed campus. 
 
Having moved from Oklahoma six years ago, I now call Richmond my home.  A lifelong commitment to public education has stoked a fire to pursue excellence for the entire Huguenot family.  Our community as well as the rest of the world are now transitioning out of a pandemic to discover our new normal.  We are committed to making the post pandemic Huguenot better and more welcoming than in previous years.  The theme of reuniting our Falcon Family while remaining rooted in love will drive our school for 2021 and provide a central focus for all decisions in the upcoming year.
 
The past six years have centered on the ideals behind the following themes.  All students are groomed, through an environment of reinforcement and tenacity within a culture of autonomy, to successfully complete college or excel in a trade to ultimately flourish in a 21st-century society. Our learners have a proud history and a bright future beyond high school.  Daily we celebrate our beauty inside and out to remind us of the value in all people.  Our Falcons are eager to make their mark upon this school, city, and state.  We are determined to extend our influence and reputation beyond our campus walls.  With unprecedented change comes opportunity which gives us virtually limitless opportunities for growth.
 
We have been separated virtually for the past year and a half.  The focus for all Falcons as we transition back to the building will be to connect with each other and work to rebuild the momentum that has been established through the hard work of students and staff over the past couple years.  We will continue to strive towards the Dreams4RPS five pillars: Exciting and Rigorous Teaching and Learning, Skilled and Supported Staff, Safe and Loving School Cultures, Deep Partnership with Families and Community, and a Modern Systems and Infrastructure.  We will start the year with an abundance of patience and grace towards students and staff.  Our learning curve as we transition to a one to one school will set us apart among our peer schools.
 
My ask of you as a parent, guardian, community partner or staff is to be attentive to your child’s progress. Do not make assumptions that everything is fine.  Instead please check and check often on grades, attendance, and the social well-being of those in your charge.  Please stay in touch with us via our multiple platforms and social media outlets.  We will push out information to your email, phone, address, and through specialized communicative apps.  Mostly develop communication loops with the school.  This could be with the teachers that serve your student, counselors that guide, social workers that support, and principals that lead.  Email me directly when you cannot get the help you need at rgilstra@rvaschools.net. 
 
We are partners in making this school year the most impactful and meaningful year in all our students’ lives.  Reach out to us if we can assist you or your child.  We aim to have meaningful relationships with all our students and families.  A shift for this upcoming year is to organize our building into grade-level teams or “family groups” to help us build unity within each grade level.  This change will strengthen cohort bonds and provide a launching point for strong school culture and for community building.
 
We are proud to announce that last year Huguenot had a turnaround year as it pertains to dropout reduction and increasing its graduation cohort index.  We are still awaiting the final numbers due to summer school graduations; however, the HHS graduation index has improved from a state low of 67 to close to state target for all schools 84.  Through an amazing team effort, the dropout rate of 2019 of 28.9% was lowered to 12.7% in 2020.  The work here is not complete but this momentum is the first step in making our Family the success that it is capable of showing to the city and state.
 
Huguenot High School received the 2020 Board of Education Continuous Improvement Award.  Schools recognized for continuous improvement were rated “Accredited” or “Accredited with Conditions” for 2019-2020 and met at least one of the following four criteria based on performance during 2018-2019:
 
  • A 10-point increase in the combined rate in reading and math, and the pass rate in science;
  • A 10-point increase in the combined rate in reading and math for two or more student groups across three years;
  • A decrease in the chronic absenteeism rate for three years; or
  • For schools with a graduating class, an increase in the Graduation and Completion Index and a decrease in the dropout rate for three years.
Just as families who have been separated by time and distance need to be reunited and reconnected, we also have this deep desire.  Join us in welcoming the new Huguenot.  Together “WE ARE FAMILY!”  We look forward with great anticipation to coming together and growing together.
 
Robert Gilstrap
Principal, Huguenot High School
Falcon Family Reunion: “WE ARE FAMILY!”

Admin Team

Dr. Shelia Hines - Freshman Academy

Kevin Olds - Sophomore Academy

Shanika Oliver - Junior Academy

Robert Gilstrap - Senior Academy