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Return to Play Protocols
Posted on 01/14/2021
Patrick Henry High School basketball player

Athletics & Performing and Fine Arts Update

RCPS continues to monitor local and regional health metrics, as well as operational considerations to determine our way forward in resuming school system activities.  To that end, we believe we can safely align athletics and performing arts events with our academic schedule.

School website calendars are up to date with the dates and times for athletic events.  Athletic Directors will continue to communicate athletic event schedule changes.  Updated athletic schedules are also available on (Patrick Henry High) or (William Fleming).

Guidelines for Indoor and Outdoor Events Will Be:

- RCPS will adhere to the 250-spectator limit for outdoor events. Indoor events/Volleyball will have 25 spectator limit.
- Spectators are limited to two guests of the event participants only, as capacity allows.
- Spectators must be on the guest list to purchase a ticket. This includes children. Students will be asked to provide Coaches with names for the guest list.
- Guest list cannot be changed at the ticket booth.
- Visiting fans must be on the guest list for their respective school to purchase a ticket.

Seating and Masking:

- Spectators are asked to sit in the bleachers on seats marked with an X. People who live in same house may sit together. 
- Mask are to be worn at all times while attending RCPS events.
- Spectators will be asked to exit the facility at the conclusion of the game.
- We remind all attendees to treat all players and officials with respect. Failure to do so will be grounds for removal from the premises and will jeopardize future participation.

Many of the home and away games that take place in the gyms or stadiums can be live streamed. Information on live streaming is provided below.

We will continue to monitor our ability to participate in games and activities on a weekly basis, as indicated in return to play protocols, and will keep the public updated.

Watch Games Live:

Family, friends, and the community are able to watch the games and support our athletes with a subscription to the NFHS Network. 

Instructions to Access Games Live:


Browse to find William Fleming High School or Patrick Henry High School. Make sure to select Roanoke, VA. 

Click Subscribe.

Select either an Annual Pass for $69.99 or a Monthly Pass for $10.99.  For each Annual Pass subscription, your school will receive $20 and for each Monthly Pass your school will receive 10%.

The pass allows you to watch any game, not just your school home games.  It is good for athletic events in Roanoke City Public Schools’ high school gyms and stadiums.  Most of the schools RCPS plays also have this program, so you will be able to watch away games at Roanoke County, Montgomery County, and again, most of our regional teams.

This is a great opportunity to watch games safely while supporting William Fleming and Patrick Henry High School Athletics!  You may also provide this information to family and friends all over the country so they can watch and support.

If you have questions or problems signing up for the services, please contact the Athletics Department at either Patrick Henry or William Fleming High School.

Middle School Athletics

School-based athletic programs began at Middle Schools in February.  For details, visit

Performing Arts

Performing Arts will continue ensemble rehearsals with safety precautions currently in place.  Preparations for spring musicals at both high schools will begin in February with dates announced on the district website soon. 

To view previous updates provided on the Return to Play Protocols webpage click here.

Letter from Superintendent Verletta White and area superintendents regarding high school athletics. 

November 24, 2020

Dear Student/Athletes and Parents:

Throughout the Fall, we have all eagerly awaited decisions from the Virginia High School League (VHSL) and state government regarding the status of high school athletics. We believe that athletics provide a wide range of benefits to students and we all very much would like for circumstances in our region to support the playing of high school sports. Even though hurdles have been cleared regarding VHSL and the governor allowing play, each region and locality must still work with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to make decisions based on current public health data related to COVID-19.

You may have seen in the news that several school districts across Virginia and several private schools in our area have decided to cancel athletics. You may have also read that the VDH health department serving our region (Roanoke-Alleghany Health District) has recommended that high school athletic competitions not go on unless public health metrics decrease to the moderate level or lower for our region. In response to these recommendations and, given that we are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, school districts in the Roanoke-Alleghany Health District have developed clear criteria that schools in our districts will use to determine if competitions will occur from week to week. We have adopted this approach to hold out hope that some games can be played, rather than cancelling the entire season.

For your convenience, the criteria that will be used by school districts in the Roanoke-Alleghany Health District to decide if games and competitions will be held each week are described below.  The criteria are based on two key metrics (VDH Weekly Transmission Extent and CDC School Metrics dashboard), and on consultation with the Roanoke-Alleghany Health District.

If the play is allowed, all VHSL guidelines will be followed as well as all Governor’s Executive Orders regarding the number of spectators allowed at events. If you have any questions, please contact the athletic director or principal at your school.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we all work together to stem the COVID-19 infection rates in our region.


Verletta White, Superintendent
Roanoke City Public Schools

Sherman Callahan, Acting Superintendent 
Alleghany County Public Schools

Dr. Jonathan Russ, Superintendent
Botetourt County Public Schools

Dr. Ken Nicely, Superintendent 
Roanoke County Public Schools

Melinda Snead-Johnson, Superintendent
Covington City Public Schools

Dr. Alan Siebert, Superintendent 
Salem City Public Schools

Jeanette Warwick, Superintendent
Craig County Public Schools

Roanoke-Alleghany Health District Return to Play Criteria

Coaches and sponsors will follow phase II guidance for extracurricular activities when the region is experiencing high burden or transmission levels based on the 7-day regional metric,  or the locality is experiencing high or highest values on any core measure using the CDC School Metrics Dashboard.  Coaches/sponsors will use phase III guidance for extracurricular activities when the region is experiencing moderate, low, or minimal  burden and transmission levels (7-day metric) and the locality is experiencing moderate, low, or lowest risk (CDC School Metric).

The following guidelines will be used to make decisions about scheduled activities.

  1. Using the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Pandemic Metrics dashboard, Weekly Transmission Extent (7 day metric)the region of the localities for the participating schools and the locality of the event must be at a moderate, low, or minimal burden and transmission levels to participate.  If the data is trending upward, it will be monitored daily to ensure that the region continues to experience moderate, low, or minimal burden and transmission levels on the date of the competition.  (Exception- If the region is experiencing high burden and or high transmission, but guidance from the local health department indicates that there are extenuating circumstances in the region that minimizes the impact on the activity, the activity can continue as scheduled.)

  2. If the region is experiencing moderate, low, or minimal burden and transmission levels, conditions for the participating localities and the location of the event will also be examined using the CDC School Metrics dashboard (14 day metric)to ensure that the localities are at the  moderate risk level (yellow) or lower for both core indicators. If any core indicator for the locality of any participating team or the location of the activity indicates high or highest risk, the activity will be postponed or canceled unless the local health department verifies that there are extenuating circumstances in the locality experiencing high or highest risk that minimizes the impact on the activity. 
    1. If the local health department verifies that there are extenuating circumstances in the locality experiencing high or highest risk that minimizes the impact on the activity, the activity can proceed.

    2. If it is determined that the activity can proceed the schools involved should also consider reducing the number of students and staff who travel and/or participate to essential personnel.

  3. If the core indicators for the locality of any participating team or the location of the activity indicate moderate risk (YELLOW), low risk (GREEN) or lowest risk (DARK GREEN) the activity can proceed based VHSL guidelines for return to participation.

  4. Any participating school experiencing an outbreak will communicate directly with their local health district contact person and a representative from participating schools to make a decision about scheduled activities.


40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA 24012 Phone 540-853-2502