Re-opening schools
Posted on 10/27/2020
Chalkboard that says re-opening schools

Under the Plan for Re-opening Schools approved by the Roanoke City School Board on August 11, 2020, students in pre-school through grade 5 may attend school in-person two days a week beginning in early November.  Click here for an overview of the Plan approved by the School Board.do

At the October 27 School Board meeting, District leaders provided an update about the reopening of schools.  Click here to view the presentation.docx

Click here to view the FAQs for October 27, 2020.docx.  If you have trouble downloading this document, these FAQs are also located below in the 10/27/20 update.  

Click here to view the 2020-2021 Parent Handbook.docx

Click here for an Online Learning Glossary.docx

Click here for School Menus

Click here to view the amended 2020-2021 School Year Calendar

2020-2021 Calendar Final Amendment.pdf

Helpful links/resources:

Centers for Disease Control

Virginia Department of Health

Virginia Department of Health Dashboard with School Metrics

Click here to view the PHASE II Health-Plan.docx

COVID Resources for Parents/Guardians.docx.docx


If employees have questions or concerns about COVID, please call Employee Health at 853-2990.

If you have technology issues, please call our IT Help Desk at 853-6070 or you can send an email to questions@rcps.info

Our IT Department is providing Grab and Go Tech Support Monday thru Friday from noon til 1 p.m. at the following locations:

Crystal Spring Elementary

Fairview Elementary

James Breckinridge Middle

John P. Fishwick Middle

Lucy Addison Middle

Patrick Henry High School

William Fleming High School

You can also receive Tech Grab & Go Support Thursday nights from 5 to 6 p.m. at Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools.


10/27/20 UPDATE:

As we prepare for the return of elementary students two days a week in early November, district leaders have put together some Frequently Asked Questions:

Safety Protocols

What COVID-19 protocols can students and parents expect?

Students will be grouped (assigned to a cohort) when possible to limit interactions.

Daily COVID-19 screening for students, staff, and visitors that include questions and temperature checks.

Each school has a Health Annex Room that fail the screening.

Registered nurses will assess students in the Health Annex Room.

Students and staff will have to practice social distancing on school buses and at school.

Face coverings are required, if medically and developmentally appropriate.  Masks are available for students and staff.

Please label your student’s face covering.

Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom.

Additional hand washing stations are available at each building.

School nurses will collaborate with the Virginia Department of Health for contact tracing.

If a student is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to school, the parent/guardian should keep the student home and contact the student’s primary care physician.

If a student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms while at school, the parent/guardian will be contacted to pick up the student and to contact the student’s primary care physician.

COVID 19 screening questions

Each student’s temperature will be checked as they arrive.  For bus riders, the temperature will be checked as they enter the building.  For car riders, the temperature will be checked as they enter the building.

Students will eat lunch in their classrooms or other designated area.

Students are not to share food or other items.

Teachers and staff will review COVID-19 protocols with students regularly.  Students will be encouraged to frequently wash hands and social distance.

Parents/guardians should contact the school prior to any visit other than arrival and dismissal.

How does RCPS decide to close a class or a school?

The table below provides guidance and will be used in collaboration with our local health department after taking all information into account.

*Positive Case(s)

Location

Quarantine

Recommendation

Cleaning/Closure

Recommendation

Notes:

1

Single classroom

All students/staff that have been exposed in the classroom

 

Clean

 

We must also review the number of exposures and symptoms associated to this case.

2

Two or more classrooms

All students/staff that have been exposed in both classrooms

 

Clean

 

We must also review the number of exposures and symptoms associated to this case.

2 or more

 

Single classroom

 

Move class to virtual instruction

Clean and leave classroom dormant for

14 days

Additional potential for close contacts include busses and after-school activities

 

2 or more

with exposures,

depending on

location

Multiple classrooms and/or a common area

 

 

Move school to virtual instruction

Clean and leave classroom dormant for

14 days

Additional potential for close contacts include busses and after-school activities.


Instruction

What are the start and end times for the second nine weeks?

Start times due to social distancing capacity on each bus – Average per bus is 20 students

Elementary: Preschool-5th Grade two days per week

7:45 AM-1:30 PM

Crystal Spring Elementary School

Crystal Spring Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Crystal Spring Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Fallon Park Elementary

Fallon Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Fallon Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Fairview Elementary

Fairview Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Fairview Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Fishburn Park Elementary

Fishburn Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Fishburn Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Highland Park Elementary

Highland Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Highland Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Hurt Park Elementary

Hurt Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Hurt Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Lincoln Terrace Elementary

Lincoln Terrace Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Lincoln Terrace Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Preston Park Elementary

Preston Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Preston Park Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Roanoke Academy (RAMS)

Roanoke Academy (RAMS) - AM Bus Route - A Day

Roanoke Academy (RAMS) - AM Bus Route - B Day

Round Hill Elementary

Round Hill Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Round Hill Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Virginia Heights Elementary

Virginia Heights Elementary School – AM Bus Route – A Day

Virginia Heights Elementary School – AM Bus Route – B Day

Wasena Elementary

Wasena Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Wasena Elementary School – AM Bus Route – A Day.docx

Wasena Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Westside Elementary

Westside Elementary School – AM Bus Route – A Day

Westside Elementary School – AM Bus Route – B Day

8:45 AM-2:30 PM

Garden City Elementary

Garden City Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Garden City Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Grandin Court Elementary

Grandin Court Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Grandin Court Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

Monterey Elementary

Monterey Elementary School – AM Bus Route – A Day

Monterey Elementary School – AM Bus Route – B Day

Morningside Elementary

Morningside Elementary School - AM Bus Route - A Day

Morningside Elementary School - AM Bus Route - B Day

8:30 AM-3:30 PM

Middle/High School Students with Disabilities and Level 1 English Learners participating four days in-person

In this video, Ron Young and Natalie Blackwell of Durham School Services demonstrate the expectations of bus riders during this pandemic.



What happens on asynchronous Fridays?

School is still in session.

Teachers will post activities, assessments, and/or assignments that must be completed.

Teachers may invite students to participate in synchronous activities which are optional, such as small group instruction, individual tutoring, or whole class activities.

Catch up on activities, assessments, and/or assignments that may not have been completed.

How is attendance taken in schools?

According to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE):

“The guidance provided on how to approach attendance in various instructional delivery models allows schools and school divisions to promote the will-being of students through meaningful interaction, meet compulsory attendance requirements, and provide accurate data for the maintenance of average daily membership.”

The VDOE defines meaningful interaction as “two-way engagement with a student that allows some sort of feedback or input from the student on successes and challenges.”

Attendance must be recorded in Synergy (our student information system)

  • Elementary and middle schools record daily attendance
  • High schools record attendance by period

All students who either attend a class and participate during synchronous instruction or do not attend a class during synchronous learning but complete assignments and/or assessments will be considered present for that day or period and should be marked as such.

If a student is unable to attend the class synchronously, the teacher should follow up to determine the reason.  The student’s grade may not be penalized for attendance, only for incomplete assignments or assessments.

Will elementary students participate in special area classes when they are in-person?

Yes, students will participate in art, music, physical education, library, and Spanish.

How will these classes be different from the previous school years?

Students will not share equipment, books, or supplies.

Students will remain in their classroom in many cases, rather than traveling to multiple rooms around the school.

In Physical Education class, 10 ft. social distancing will be used for activities.  Masks will be worn if 10 ft. distancing cannot be maintained.

Students will refrain from singing aloud in music, Spanish, and other classes, unless outdoors.

Special Education

Are students with disabilities impacted by the early dismissal and hybrid schedule?

IEP and Section 504 Teams for preschool and elementary students with disabilities will review the intent form for each student, and amend the IEP or 504 Plan. Case managers will contact parents for meetings or for input if an amendment will be proposed without a meeting.

Students participating more than 50% of their day in the special education setting will be dismissed one hour early Monday-Thursday. IEPs will be amended as appropriate based on the service time the students receive.

Middle and high school students participating more than 50% of their day in the special education setting will remain the same as the first nine weeks.

Special education staff and building administrators met with special education administrators Friday to answer questions and discuss the processes for each level.

Operations

Will food service change during the second nine weeks?

SodexoMAGIC seeks to increase access to meals in the following ways:

  1. Expand the number of pick-up sites.
  2. Offer breakfast and lunch meals for Saturdays and Sundays.
  3. Offer dinner and snack for each day of the week including Saturdays and Sundays.
  4. Delivery will end October 30, 2020.   Parents/guardians can pick-up meals Tuesday, November 3 from 11:30 am to 12:30 PM or 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools.  You will receive enough meals to last through Friday (11/6). 

*Families identify if their student is virtual, hybrid or onsite when they come to the grab and go locations to pick-up meals.

Expanding sites: Offer grab and go on Fridays

 Starting Friday, November 6 from 9 AM-2 PM at:

  • Fairview
  • Fallon Park
  • Garden City
  • Hurt Park
  • Lincoln Terrace
  • Roanoke Academy
  • Round Hill
  • Westside

Starting Friday, November, 6 from 9 AM-6:00 PM at:

  • Patrick Henry High School
  • William Fleming High School

Expanding meals:

  • Virtual students will receive 7 days of breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners.
  • Hybrid students will receive 5 days of breakfast and lunch plus 7 days of snacks and dinners.
  • 4-day on-site students will receive 3 days of breakfast and lunch plus 7 days of snacks and dinners.
Additionally, The Roanoke Public Libraries provides free meals curbside for ages 0 to 18.  You can pick-up meals every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please call your branch upon arrival:

Belmont Branch Library
1101 Morningside St. SE
(540) 853-2640

Main Library
706 S. Jefferson Street
(540) 853-6417

Melrose Branch Library
2502 Melrose Ave NW, Suite D
(540) 853-2648

Raleigh Court Branch Library
2112 Grandin Rd. SW
(540) 853-2240

Williamson Road Branch Library
3837 Williamson Road
(540) 853-2340

How will students eat meals and access food while in school?

Students will eat meals in the classroom or designated area.

Students will be encouraged to wash hands before and after meals.

Social distancing will occur and respiratory etiquette will be encouraged.

SodexoMAGIC will coordinate with each school administration team to develop meal delivery or grab and go options.

Will playgrounds be available to elementary students while in-person?

Playgrounds will be cleaned and disinfected every morning prior to the start of the school day as staffing permits.

  • Use of non-electrostatic backpack sprayers to apply disinfectant.
  • Equipment with high-touch surfaces, such as railings, handles, etc., are cleaned and disinfected daily.

Good hand hygiene behavior is encouraged.

  • Hand sanitizer stations are installed at all playgrounds.
  • Portable hand sinks are available at various locations around the school.

Respiratory etiquette is encouraged.

  • Wearing of face coverings along with social distancing where applicable.
  • Encourage staff and students to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into their sleeve.


10/22/20 UPDATE:

As you may have seen in the news recently, the definition of close contact has changed. The new definition states that close contact is not determined by being within 6 feet of an infected person for an isolated 15-minute time period but is now defined by 15 minutes of time accumulated over a 24-hour period. Please see the definition for Close Contact from the Center for Disease Control listed below.

As educators, this criterion presents a new challenge we must overcome to provide instruction for our students. It is easy to accumulate 15 minutes in small increments when you spend all day with students. Unfortunately, this may result in many more people being identified as close contacts. Please remember, face masks and social distancing is essential.

We want to thank you for rising up with creativity, flexibility, and a remarkable commitment to find a way to support our students. If you have any questions, please contact the Employee Health Hotline at 540-853-2990 between 7am and 4pm Monday through Friday.    

Close Contact

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE.  At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.

Resource: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/



10/14/20 UPDATE:

Thank you to all the parents and guardians who completed the Intent Form for the second nine weeks of school.  The response rate was 89%.  Based on the results, 62% of parents want in-person instruction for their elementary student for the second quarter.  Under the Re-opening Schools Plan approved by the School Board in August, beginning in November, students in pre-school through 5th grade can attend school in-person two days a week.    

Here is some important information from the October 13 School Board meeting:

Beginning this week (10/16), all students will participate in predominately asynchronous instruction (on-demand) on Fridays, unless otherwise mutually arranged by teachers and parents.

Monday, November 2 will now be an asynchronous (on-demand) day.

Schools are closed Tuesday, November 3.    Teachers will reach out to parents to schedule a time for Parent Teacher Conferences.

In Early November, elementary students can attend school for in-person instruction two days a week or they can remain fully virtual for the second nine weeks.

Students attending in-person instruction will be split into two groups.  Group A will attend Monday and Tuesday.  Group B will attend Wednesday and Thursday.  Students learning virtually the other three days will receive predominately asynchronous (on-demand) instruction. In the coming weeks, principals will communicate specific instructions for your student.

Students with disabilities participating in the special education setting more than 50% of their day and students identified as Level English Learners (EL) will continue to attend in-person instruction Monday-Thursday with Friday as an asynchronous (on-demand) learning day.

The elementary virtual academy will continue for those students selecting virtual instruction.  Students and parents/guardians will be notified of their new teacher assignment by October 28, 2020.

Based on the transportation needs of students and social distancing capacity on buses (average per bus is 20 students), there will be two start and dismissal times for elementary students.  Based on the Intent Forms responses, students will attend 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  PLEASE NOTE:  In-person instruction has been shortened by one hour for elementary students. 

For the second nine weeks of school, breakfast and lunch will be delivered to classrooms when students are at school.

Students will take home meals for virtual learning days.

Grab and Go meals can be picked up Tuesdays and Thursdays at Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  There will be no food delivery by bus in the second nine weeks.



10/8/20 UPDATE:

Based on your feedback about the second nine weeks, Roanoke City Public Schools has created these FAQs for elementary students:

When will elementary students receive synchronous and asynchronous instruction? Students who are coming to school in-person two days each week will receive asynchronous (on demand) instruction the other three days each week. 

If my elementary student goes to school two days a week, what will the other three days look like?
The other three days will consist of predominantly asynchronous lessons.

If students remain 100% virtual, will they have the same teacher?
Not necessarily.

If parents/guardians opt for in-person instruction, can students switch to online instruction at any time? 
We would ask that parents/guardians commit to an instruction delivery format for at least the grading period.  If there is a concern at some point during the grading period, the parent/guardian may discuss that concern with the principal.

What are the elementary start and dismissal times?  When will we know?  The District is hopeful we can limit elementary to two start times (7:30 AM and 8:30 AM).  Social distancing on buses limits transportation to an average of 20 students per bus.  Intent forms are crucial in our ability to determine need, which in turn determines start time(s). 

Will my child be required to wear a mask on the bus and in school? 
Face coverings are required for all staff and students if medically and developmentally appropriate.

How often are schools being cleaned? 
Daily, high visibility cleaning is occurring at every facility.  The building operations team utilized checklists to document the cleaning, and building operations supervisors audit these checklists periodically to confirm compliance.  Plus, when staff and students are identified with symptoms, possible exposure and/or are positive for COVID-19, a rapid response team cleans and disinfects again. 

What will breakfast and lunch look like for in-person instruction? 
Breakfast and lunch will be available and delivered to classrooms.

Can playgrounds be used by students?  RCPS has a weekly cleaning protocol for playgrounds and hand sanitizing stations are placed at each playground.  However, the community has access to our playgrounds, and they are used daily.  Therefore, the decision to use the playground is a school-based decision.


Please watch this important message from Superintendent White about the Intent Forms for elementary students.  For closed captioning, click here



10/5/20 UPDATE:

Under the Plan approved by the School Board in August, students in pre-school through grade 5 may attend school in-person two days a week for the second nine weeks, which begins the first week of November.  It is crucial that every elementary parent complete an Intent Form for each of their students. 

Before You Begin

  • You will need your child’s email address, login, and password information to complete the form.
  • If you are completing the form for multiple children, you will need to login with each child’s login information.
  • If you are using a device provided by RCPS to access the form, ask the student to login with their RCPS information.
  • If you do not know a student’s login, email address, or password, please call your student’s school.
  • If you have other problems accessing the form, please call 540-853-6070 then press 2.

Click here to complete the Intent Form for elementary students

The first section lets us know whether your child will attend school two days a week based on the approved Plan or remain 100% virtual for the second nine weeks.  The second section asks for your feedback about exploring additional days for in-person instruction if possible for elementary students. The deadline to complete the form is this  Friday, October 9.  Paper copies are also available at the elementary schools. 

Over the next few weeks, district leaders will continue to explore options for in-person instruction for middle and high school students.  If it’s possible to return to the classroom safely before January, we will reach out for your feedback and input for the School Board’s consideration. 

Thank you for your help, and again, please complete the Intent Form for elementary students by this  Friday, October 9.


Thanks to everyone who participated in Wednesday's (9/30) Virtual Town Hall for parents and students.
Click here to view the Virtual Town Hall.   


9/24/20 UPDATE:

The College Board has asked us to share the following information: The SAT test, scheduled for September 26 and October 3 at William Fleming High School, has been canceled. The make-up date for the 26th is tentatively scheduled for October 10. The make-up date for the 3rd is tentatively scheduled for October 17. Students should log into their College Board account to see the change in test administration. We are told it may take a few days to reflect the adjustment in the roster.

The State is extending the Pandemic EBT Program. Students who are enrolled in a CEP school and learning virtually for at least 5 consecutive days are eligible. The Department of Social Services (DSS) has asked us to share the following information about the program:

Benefits will be issued between September 30 and October 15, 2020

The cards can be used to purchase food items anywhere SNAP or EBT cards are accepted

If you received a P-EBT benefit this past spring or summer, the new benefit will be automatically added to your card

If you lost or no longer have your card, please call 1-866-281-2448 to request a replacement card

If your child is new to Roanoke City Public Schools or attends Crystal Spring and Grandin Court Elementary School, your cards will be mailed to you. Crystal Spring and Grandin Court became CEP schools in August

If you have additional questions, please click here



9/23/20 UPDATE:

Two staff members at William Fleming High School have tested positive for COVID-19. After consulting with Virginia Department of Health, William Fleming High School will close for in-person instruction for the next two weeks out of an abundance of caution. For the time being, Grab and Go Tech Support and Meal Pick-Up moves to James Breckinridge Middle School.  Bus 56 will stop at Ferncliff Apartments Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m

9/14/20 UPDATE:

Here are some important updates:

The federal government no longer requires enrollment to receive meals for students.  Anyone 18 and under can now receive a free meal from Roanoke City Schools.  To simplify the process, beginning Tuesday, September 22 meal pick-up and delivery will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Families may pick-up meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays for their children by ONE of the following options:

Pick-Up Onsite Option:

  • Days:Tuesday and Thursdays
  • Time: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
  • Sites: Fallon Park, Round Hill, Patrick Henry, and William Fleming
  • Days:Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Time:  5:00 PM -6:30 PM
  • Sites:  Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools

Pick-Up at Bus Stop:

  • Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Time: 10:30 AM-1 PM
For bus route information, click here

For those students who haven’t picked up a device or signed onto Canvas, please call your student’s school.  Additional laptops have arrived to help with virtual learning.

We hope to have more students back in the classroom by the second nine weeks.  To do so, we need your help.  Continue to wear face coverings, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing.  Since the school year started, we have had five staff members and one student test positive for COVID-19 with possible exposure to others.   All students and staff members who have been exposed have been contacted.  We will keep you updated and informed.

Our IT Department is providing Grab and Go Tech Support Monday thru Friday from noon til 1 p.m. at the following locations:

Crystal Spring Elementary

2620 Carolina Ave, SW

2nd Door in Front Loop

Fairview Elementary School

648 Westwood Blvd, NW

2nd Parking Lot near Library

James Breckinridge Middle School

3901 Williamson Rd, NW

Door 14 in bus loop from Trinkle Ave.

John P. Fishwick Middle School

1004 Montrose Ave, SE

Cafeteria Door

Lucy Addison Middle School

1220 5th St., NW

Main Entrance/Weight Room

Patrick Henry High School

2102 Grandin Rd, SW

Auditorium Entrance

 

There will also be Grab and Go Tech Support Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. at Patrick Henry and James Breckinridge Middle.

This year's theme is "We will Rise."  The first week of school was a great example.  Watch this video to learn why.



Thank you to everyone who participated in the Parent University for Canvas. If you were unable to watch it live, click here.

The District held a second Parent University for Canvas September 1, 2020.  Click here to watch

Where can I find my student’s schedule?

Go into ParentVUE or StudentVUE.

How do I get onto ParentVUE?

The parent will first need to contact the student’s school to obtain an activation code.  Once they have the activation code, they should go to the RCPS website and click ParentVue/StudentVue at the top of the page.  Then, they follow the directions.  If they need step-by-step instructions, those instructions may be found on our website under the Parents menu and then select Parent Resources for Virtual.

How do I change my address?

Go onto ParentVUE and on the Home page, click on the link “Online Registration is Currently Open:  Begin Registration” or click Online Registration in the upper right-hand corner.  Click Begin Registration.  On the Welcome page, follow the self-guided process.

If they don’t have ParentVUE, they need to get onto ParentVUE.

How does my student log on to Canvas?

Go to the RCPS website and from the Students menu, select Web Based Student Programs and Canvas.  The student will login to Office365 using their RCPS email address.

Student Example:  rsmit123@students.rcps.info

Students user name is the first letter of the first name, the first 4 letters of the last name, then the last 3 numbers of the student ID number

The student’s password is their student ID number, unless the student has changed it.

How can I monitor my student’s progress in Canvas?

You may see what is happening by becoming a Canvas observer.  In order to establish an account, you will first need a pairing code from your student’s Canvas account.  Have your student log on to Canvas.  Select the Dashboard, choose Account and then SettingsOnce in Settings, select Pair with Observer.  Copy the Pairing Code to be used with the Canvas Parent account.

Once you have the pairing code, go to the RCPS website.  From the Parents menu, select Resources and Canvas LMS Parent Account.  From there, follow the directions to set up the account.  If you need further instructions, go to the RCPS website.  From the Parents menu, select Parent Resources for Virtual.  Scroll down to the Canvas Observer information and you may watch the video to establish an account or download an instructional sheet for step-by-step instructions.

I am new to RCPS, how do I register my student for school?

On the RCPS website, under the Parents menu and select Parent Resources for Virtual.  Choose the middle option, Online Forms and Registration.  Under the button that says Login and to the right, click on More Options.  Then, Create a New Account.  Follow the instructions and enter the information as requested.  You should receive a call from the school registrar or school secretary to make an appointment to complete the registration process.

I already have a student in RCPS.  How do I register my other student?

Go onto ParentVUE and on the Home page, click on the link “Online Registration is Currently Open:  Begin Registration” or click Online Registration in the upper right-hand corner.  Click Begin Registration.  On the Welcome page, follow the self-guided process.

If they don’t have ParentVUE, they need to get onto ParentVUE.

How are you going to take attendance if my student does not enter the school building?

All students who either participate during live instruction or complete assignments and/or assessments will be considered present.

Students must log onto Canvas and complete assignments each school day

At 5:00 p.m. each day, a robocall will be sent for those students who did not attend and participate during synchronous (live) instruction and have not completed assignments/assessments for the day.

Students will have until the next morning to log into Canvas and complete assignments.  This will accommodate working parents who need to help their student with virtual learning.

What happens if my student’s computer is not working correctly?

We have a Technology Help Desk you may call, 853-6070. 


Click here to view Attendance
Expectations for Virtual Learning.docx

Our Virtual Learning System (Canvas) is available to parents and students.


Canvas login for parents

Canvas login for students

Parents/guardians must create a ParentVue Account to access Canvas.  An activation code must be obtained from the school.  This document will provide you step-by-step directions to create an account:


ParentVUE Directions.docx

 

In this video, Ms. West of Roanoke Academy offers advice to parents for virtual learning for pre-school students.



In this video, Ms. Coles of Round Hill Elementary gives the top five tips to master virtual learning for elementary students




In this video, Mr. Seal of James Madison Middle provides ten tips to master virtual learning for secondary students.



In this video, Mr. Durrett of ROTEC previews a virtual Career and Technical Education (CTE) class




Do you have a learning space for your child?  In this video, Ms. Childress of Fallon Park Elementary gives us some great ideas. 



In this video, teachers from James Breckinridge Middle highlight some of the features on Canvas



In this video, Ms. Laughlin and Ms. Davis of Monterey Elementary offer etiquette tips for Virtual Learning



In this video, Ms. Keene previews physical education online


8/25/20 UPDATE:

As we prepare for the first student day, Monday, August 31, we want to share important information and reminders. It is important to note that teaching and learning will occur every day for every student.  Along those lines, most students will begin the school year virtually for the first nine weeks, while others will begin in person.  Parents of students who are starting the year in-person have been contacted by the school.

Also, please note we are using the Canvas platform for teaching and learning so your child will need to be connected to Canvas to access real time and any time learning materials.  Canvas will be available to parents and students starting Wednesday (8/26).  Students will access Canvas using their Roanoke City email and password.  Parents must have a Parent VUE account to access Canvas.  If you need to create an account, please see the instructions in the Parent Resources for Virtual section.  Good news this year----You can complete school forms online!!  Those forms can be found in the Parent Resource Section for Virtual and you also can watch instructional videos about Canvas. 

We have even more good news to share….With the City of Roanoke’s help, funds are available to assist with childcare costs for our students who are learning virtually.  Funding, up to $21 a day per student, is available and will be paid directly to participating daycare providers.  Click here to apply


Roanoke City Public Schools has added evening hours for guardians to pick up student meals.  It will take place Mondays and Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools.  Parents/guardians must complete a Meal Enrollment form to pick-up meals.  Please login onto MySchoolBucks to complete an enrollment form.


8/18/20 UPDATE:

Beginning August 31st, Roanoke City Schools will participate in the USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast program.  All students enrolled in Roanoke City Public Schools may receive 5 breakfast meals and 5 lunch meals weekly at no cost.  We will offer grab and go sites Monday and Wednesdays and delivery by bus Tuesday and Thursdays. 

Pick-Up Onsite Option:

  • Days: Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Time: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
  • Sites: Fallon, Round Hill, Patrick Henry, and William Fleming
  • Days:  Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Time:  5:00 PM -6:30 PM
  • Sites:  Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools
  • 2 breakfast meals and 2 lunch meals will be available on Mondays.
  • 3 breakfast meals and 3 lunch meals will be available on Wednesdays.

Pick-Up at Bus Stop:

  • Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Time: 10:30 AM-12 noon
  • 2 breakfast meals and 2 lunch meals will be available on Tuesdays.
  • 3 breakfast meals and 3 lunch meals will be available on Thursdays.

To see bus stops and bus route numbers, click here.  Estimated arrival times will be posted on the website by Friday, August 28th.

In order to receive meals, the federal government now requires each household to complete an enrollment form.  Please login onto MySchoolBucks to complete an enrollment form. The form only needs to be completed once.  If you need assistance, please call 853-2863.

Alternatively, paper copies can be completed and returned to your child's school.  Click
here to view and print the form. Forms will also be available in the schools' front offices.

We are asking that you sign-up by Monday, August 24th to begin picking-up meals the week of August 31st.

The City of Roanoke and Roanoke City Public Schools have set aside federal funds to help families with childcare since most students will begin the school year virtually for the first nine weeks.  Funding will support reimbursement directly to participating daycare providers of up to $21/day for placement at one of our partnering locations.  

They include YMCA of Virginia's Blue Ridge, Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia, Goodwill, Imagine Me Mentor, , West End Center, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Toadally Kidz, Great Beginnings Academy, Cultural Arts for Excellence.

You can apply using the United Way’s Smart2Start website



8/12/20 UPDATE:

Tuesday, the School Board approved an adjusted Re-Opening Schools Plan.  Beginning Monday, August 31st, most students will participate in virtual learning for the first nine weeks.  There will be in-person instruction for students with disabilities that participate in the special education setting more than 50% of their school day, Level 1 English Learners, and high school students from Forest Park Academy and Noel Taylor Learning Academy who may need additional support to graduate at the end of the school year.

Virtual Learning will look much different than it did last spring.  Teachers and students will use one Learning Management System called Canvas.  Students will receive synchronous--same time learning, so they can interact with their teachers live, and asynchronous--any-time instruction.  Schools will be reaching out with additional information about Canvas training sessions for parents and students. 

Devices will be available to any student who needs one. Schools will communicate pick-up times.  Additionally, Roanoke City Public Schools has partnered with Cox Communications for the Cox Connect2Compete Program. If you need internet access, please sign up using the above link.  The first two months are free for new customers.  If you need assistance paying for the Connect2Compete Program, please call 853-6070. 

During the first nine weeks, meals will be provided, free of charge, to students enrolled in Roanoke City Public Schools.  There will be grab and go locations, as well as delivery by bus.  We will communicate further once the plan is finalized.

 


8/11/20 UPDATE:

The Roanoke City School Board voted to approve the adjusted Re-Opening Schools Plan.  For the first nine weeks of the school year, most students will participate in virtual learning.  There will be exceptions for some Special Education students, Level 1 English Learners, and selected students from Forest Park Academy and Noel Taylor Learning Academy.  The first day of school is Monday, August 31.  Here is a link to the Plan:

Ten Point Reopening Plan 8-11-2020.pptx

The Board also approved an amendment to the 2020-21 School Calendar reflecting Friday, January 22, 2021, rather than January 15, as a two-hour early dismissal day in order to balance the marking periods.

Click here to view the amended 2020-2021 School Year Calendar


2020-2021 Calendar Final Amendment.pdf

Helpful links/resources:

Centers for Disease Control

Virginia Department of Health

COVID Resources for Parents/Guardians.docx.docx

Click here to provide feedback

In this video, Superintendent White explains why the District adjusted the original proposed Plan.

 

 

Roanoke City Public Schools has put together additional videos to answer your questions and address your concerns.

This video highlights health screenings, cleaning, classroom set up, and meals. 




Please watch this video for a brief overview of our Virtual Academy (Canvas).



This is an overview of Canvas for secondary schools


Here is an overview of Canvas at the elementary level


What will Transportation look like?  Take a look at this video.


This video highlights our Virtual Academy (Canvas) for pre-school students


8/6/20 UPDATE:  

After examining the latest COVID-19 infection rates in the City of Roanoke, the Transition and Restoration Task Force adjusted its proposal to the School Board.  Under this modified Plan, most students will participate in virtual instruction for the first nine weeks beginning August 31.

There would be in-person instruction for academically vulnerable students, which would include students with disabilities that participate in the special education setting more than 50% of their school day, Level 1 English Learners, and high school students from Forest Park Academy and Noel Taylor Learning Academy who may need additional support to graduate at the end of the school year. 

Under the Task Force proposal, more students could return in-person for the second nine weeks as infection rates decrease.  This may include a two day a week in-person option for elementary students.  By January, our goal is to have in-person instruction for all grade levels four days a week.  Students can also remain fully virtual for the entire school year. 

That is a short overview.  Please read the full proposal here: Re-open Roanoke With Links v.6.docx

 

7/21/20 UPDATE:

Thank you for the more than 2,000 responses so far.  The Return to School Intent forms are now available in four languages:

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (English Version)

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (Spanish Version)

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (Swahili Version)

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (Farsi Version)


We realize you may have other questions.  To that end, this Thursday night, July 23rd, Roanoke City Public Schools will hold a Virtual Town Hall Meeting for the community.  It will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  We will use the Microsoft Teams platform because it allows up to ten thousand users at once.  Click here for the link to the Virtual Town Hall

You don’t have to download any software.  We will try to answer as many questions as time allows.  We strongly suggest you submit questions in advance by emailing us at townhall@rcps.info.  You will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the virtual town hall meeting. 

We hope you can join us Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. 



7/20/20 UPDATE:

Last Tuesday, the Transition and Restoration Task Force presented a Re-Opening Schools Plan to the School Board for its consideration.  The proposed plan gives parents choices.  Students can participate 100% virtually or in-person four days a week.  Roanoke City Public Schools now needs parents and guardians to confirm plans for each student. 

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (English Version)

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (Spanish Version)

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (Swahili Version)

Click here for Return to School Intent Form (Farsi Version)

If you don't know your child's ID, please check a recent report card or call your child's school.  Please complete the form by Tuesday, July 28. 

Paper copies are available at each school.  If you experience an issue, technical support is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Please call 853-1000.  


7/14/20 UPDATE:

Tuesday evening (7/14), the Transition and Restoration Task Force presented a re-opening plan for consideration to the School Board. Thank you to all the parents and employees who completed our surveys.  This plan was developed based on the results of the two surveys, as well as guidelines from the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and Virginia’s Department of Education.

The proposed plan gives parents choices.  Students can participate 100% virtually or in-person four days a week.  If the plan is approved:

Schools would be open Monday thru Thursday.  Fridays would be 100% virtually for everyone.

Due to the vast transportation needs of our students, start and dismissal times will have to be adjusted.  9 elementary schools would go from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., 8 elementary schools would be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  High Schools would be in session 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., middle schools would be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Teachers and students will need to wear face masks.  There will be exceptions for those who are medically fragile.

Temperatures will be checked before students get on the bus or enter the school building. 

That is a brief overview.  Here is the proposal:   RCPS Ten Point Plan.pptx  We acknowledge there are many opinions, questions, and concerns about this proposal.  The School Board took no action on the proposal.  However, the board voted to amend the school year calendar.  Teachers will now report to work August 18.  The first day for students moves to August 31. 

Beginning next week, all parents will need to register their students and tell us whether your child will attend in person or virtually.  We will follow up with an additional robo call once registration is ready.


7/7/20 UPDATE:

The Transition and Restoration Task Force met today and will meet again Friday.  Just this week, we received additional guidance from the Department of Education about re-opening schools.  The Task Force plans to update the School Board next week.  The Board is then expected to vote on a plan the last week of July.  We want to thank the more than 8,000 parents who completed the survey about the re-opening of schools.  Our staff has until Thursday night (7/9) to complete its own survey.  Please check your email for the survey.  Students, parents, staff, and community members can continue to provide written feedback.  Click here


Dear Parents and Guardians,

We need your help.  The Transition and Restoration Task Force is developing a comprehensive plan to return to school in August, which will be presented to the School Board for approval. 

The ultimate goal is to maximize on-campus education services for as many students as possible while keeping our students, families, staff, and community safe and healthy.  We also are committed to providing the highest quality, robust online learning where needed.

We need each of you to provide information for us so that we can develop the best plan for our students using the best educational, health and safety guidance available.

Your input is vital.  We have developed a survey to assess your needs for attendance, transportation, and technology.  Please complete the survey for each of your students.  It may be found on the RCPS website and each school’s website.  Paper copies will be available at each school, as well.  If you need assistance accessing the survey, please contact your school.

We value your input and thank you for your patience as we work together to develop our plan.

Thank you for your participation.

Transition and Restoration Task Force Members

The survey will be available until 5 p.m. Tuesday (7/7). 

Here are the survey links:

English version

Spanish version

Swahili version

Farsi version


You are welcome to provide written feedback here:

Click here to provide your feedback for the re-opening of schools



6/30/20 UPDATE:


The Transition and Restoration Task Force is committed to answering your questions to the best of its ability.  The Task Force has received more than 500 responses from staff, parents, students, and community members.  Here are this week's responses to your questions.

Q:          The Governor has issued Guidance for the Reopening of Schools in phases.  Is the Guidance mandatory on the school division or is it providing recommendations to the school division?

A:           The guidance is not mandatory. However, the guidance that the Governor is providing has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health.  Roanoke City Public Schools holds student safety as our number one priority.  For the first draft plan, we will follow the guidance as it is written while will seeking to maximize in person instruction with safety guidelines.  While we are looking into the option of applying for a variance based on the number of Covid-19 cases in our area, we do not want to risk the life of a student, staff, or a member of their family because we did not follow the guidance provided.  The final plan will be voted on by the school board.

Q:          The Governor's guidance suggests one student per bus row.  It also suggests students must be kept 6 feet apart in the classroom.  Are these mandatory government rules?  

A:            The guidance that the Governor is providing has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health.  Roanoke City Public Schools holds student safety as our number one priority.  We will follow the guidance as it is written.  We do not want to risk the life of a student or a member of their family because we did not follow the guidance provided.

Q:          The Governor's website provides a link for School Divisions who are opting out of the Guidance.  What does this mean?  Is RCPS applying for an Opt-Out?  Why/why not?

A:           Opting out of the guidance means that you are not following the guidance provided by the Governor.  Some areas have only had one or two cases of COVID-19 and they may decide that there is minimal risk to students and families if they do not follow that guidance.  RCPS is not applying for a variance.  We will follow the guidance as it is written.  We do not want to risk the life of a student or a member of their family because we did not follow the guidance provided.

Q:          Since RCPS staff members are required to come to work each day, will RCPS help with childcare since we are now “essential workers?”

A:           At this time, we do not have options for childcare that will be provided by RCPS.  There are many community organizations and childcare providers that will prioritize the needs of essential workers in our area.

Q:          Can we consider a half day option for students so more kids can attend in-person and staff and building space wouldn’t be as stretched thin? 

A:           This is an option that is being considered.

Q:          My child has an IEP.  What should I do if I have concerns about his/her progress and/or what his/her instruction will look like next year?

A:           The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has provided guidance and regularly updates frequently asked questions for Special Education and Student Services on the VDOE website. Please review the FAQ here: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/office/covid-19-sess-faq.shtml. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Hayley Poland, Executive Director of Special Education, at hpoland@rcps.info or (540)853-2468.

Q:          Has consideration been given to year-round school?

A:            At this time, we are considering all possibilities.

Q:          Will students be health screened each morning?  If so, will it be at school or at the bus stop?

A:            Students will be health screened daily, as will faculty and staff.  At this time, we are still discussing the details of the health screening.

Q:          Will RCPS working with other school systems in the area (Roanoke County, Salem, Botetourt) to create similar plans?

A:           RCPS and all of the surrounding schools systems have been communicating with each other throughout this unprecedented period.  All of the school divisions have unique challenges that they must try to overcome by means that are best for their localities.

Q:          What happens if there is an increase in Covid-19 cases in Roanoke during the school year? 

A:            RCPS will follow the Governor's orders.  

Q:          Some of us believe that the risks of Covid19 on children are extremely low.  The mental and emotional health risks from not sending our kids back far outweigh the risks of keeping them at home.

A:           While the risk may be low, we have may students with underlying conditions that put them at high risk should they contract the virus.  In addition, students may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, which puts those with whom they come in contact at risk. Please keep in mind that we are following orders by the Governor and the Virginia Department of Education.

Q:          If students are only attending in-person a once or twice a week, how will students be divided up?  Could we divide up by neighborhoods to alleviate the burden on transportation?

A:           At this time, we are looking at a variety of options.  The most reasonable seems to be dividing students by last names.  If students from the same family have different last names that would send them to school on different days, they may talk to the principal of the school to discuss the possibility of those students attending on the same day.

Dividing students by neighborhoods makes knowing who should be in class on any particular day very difficult for faculty and staff of a particular school.  Neighborhoods vary greatly in size.  As student schedules are developed, administrators try to balance class sizes.  Balancing sizes based on neighborhoods puts an additional level of difficulty into the plan when we try to ensure that we are able to maintain social distancing.  Knowing who to anticipate being in class based on the student's last name makes it easier to identify who will be in class on any given day.  Administrators will be able to identify who should or should not be at the school. 

Q:          How will bathrooms be sanitized and monitored between each use?

A:           We are currently creating that plan and it will be updated throughout the summer.  Parts of the plan will include cleaning/sanitizing logs, bathroom monitors, limited students in the bathroom at one time, and monitoring of bathroom use by staff.  Additionally, maintenance and administrative staff will inspect bathrooms regularly (announced and unannounced) to ensure compliance.

Q:          Will a student’s decision whether to wear or not to wear a mask be treated as a discipline issue?

A:           No.

Q:          Can RCPS use outdoor space to house classrooms and space kids out? 

A:            Teachers may choose to take their students outside on any given day if the weather allows, but since we are unable to rely on outdoor spaces on a daily basis, we cannot put them in our overall instructional plan.  Concerns include unpredictability of the weather, safety, and the lack of instructional materials and technology that could be brought outside.

Q:          Can clear barriers be installed between every desk?

A:           All options are being considered to create the safest, most reasonable, health migration plans.  The effectiveness of mitigation vs the cost will be considered.

Q:          For those students who will have e-learning this year, what are you doing to ensure that high quality instruction is provided?  What percentage of the regular school day will be online LIVE instruction by RCPS teachers versus student-led online work via various applications?  

A:           We are developing a K-12 virtual instruction program that aligns with the Standards of Learning developed by the Virginia Department of Education.  All of our teachers will take part in a virtual academy to train them on the use of Canvas as an online learning management system.  Teachers will have access to all Virtual Virginia content, which they may use to supplement their own high quality instruction.  The percentage of live instruction will vary by course and by teacher.

Q:          How will academic progress be measured? 

A:           Students will be assessed regularly, both with informal teacher assessments and formal quizzes, tests, projects, and other types of assessments to ensure that they are making academic progress.

Q:          At what amount of lost learning will students have to repeat a grade?  Is this being discussed on a state-wide level?  Is RCPS discussing it?

A:           Everyone in the state education system is concerned about student learning loss due to being out of school for an extended period of time.  RCPS understands that there may be significant learning loss since students will have been out of school for five months when we return in August.  We know that it will take more than one school year to fill in those gaps.  We will not speculate about retention of students at this time.  It is our goal to provide a rich, rigorous, and relevant academic experience for each of our students that will allow them to make significant academic progress in the coming year. 

Q:          For middle/high school credit courses, if they are predominantly online, could students receive credit while working at their own pace, or do they have to follow the teacher’s pace each week?

A:           Since it is not known when all students will be able to safely return to on-campus learning, we will expect students to follow the teacher's pace each week.

Q:          Research has shown that singing spreads Covid19 at a faster rate.  What does that mean for choir classes?

A:           All of our performing arts classes will be following the guidelines provided by the Virginia Department of Education.  Our teachers will be creating engaging lessons that will not involve performance in the classroom, while modeling performance skills that may be practiced at home.  In the classroom, our teachers will be teaching students to create, devise, script, improvise, compose, or arrange.  They can learn to describe, analyze, interpret, and evaluate visual and performing arts. They may explore historical and cultural connections of fine arts, as well as how the arts are part of life and community events.  In addition, students may view and explore ways that artists are innovating art forms with and without technology.

Q:          Could secondary schools be on a 4x4 schedule?

A:           We are taking any and all possible scenarios into consideration as we develop our plan for instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.

Q:          Will RCPS incorporate more “multicultural learning” in their curriculum?

A:           Through curriculum, school counselors and school social workers will address topics with students such as diversity, equity, anti-bias, and anti-racism. It is also important to note that central office staff and all staff who will be in direct contact with students and families will be trained on these topics as well. Each instructional department is reviewing their curriculum guides in an effort to incorporate materials, lessons, and activities that celebrate diversity.  For example, language arts teachers will be using more diverse literature in their classrooms to allow students to illuminate similarities and differences in people around the world and educate readers themselves about their unique situations and our common humanity.  In addition, our social studies curriculum will expose our students to diverse narratives in a manner that allows them to generate their own opinions and rationalize complex viewpoints. Armed with knowledge and critical thinking skills, students will be better prepared to contribute to their future.

Q:          Since schools closed, my child’s mental health has declined.  What mental health supports will schools have to help students who may experience mental health issues?

A:           We recognize that there have been many issues during school closure which have created anxiety and mental health concerns for students. During the regular school year and school closure, school counselors and school social workers have and will continue to provide services and supports to students. When students are in school, school counselors and school social workers are available using social distancing guidelines. Students and families may also speak with counselors virtually or via telephone. School counselors and school social workers are able to refer and connect students and families to community services based on individual needs. This will continue throughout the reopening of schools. We are also working on partnering with a number of community agencies to provide ongoing mental health support in schools. These agencies will be equipped to work with students using virtual methods should the need arise. 

Every school currently has a trauma-informed team, and in the upcoming year, we will add students to these teams because we believe the perspective of our students is important. We are in the planning stages of providing regularly scheduled social-emotional curriculum to all students. We will have a place on our website to share resources for families and students.  A team is currently convening to discuss additional ways to support our students’ social and emotional health, and we look forward to sharing this information with everyone upon completion. Additionally, the Office of School Counseling and Equity is collaborating with community partners to make sure we understand all resources that are available in our community. In the meantime, if you believe your child is in danger of harming themselves, or someone else, please contact 911 to seek emergency services.


6/23/20 UPDATE:

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback about re-opening of the schools.  Based on your questions and concerns, the Transition and Restoration Task Force has come up with commonly asked questions.  The Task Force makes every attempt to answer your questions and address your concerns. 

General

Q:          What exactly happens when school opens on August 18th?  Will my child be going to school each day?

A: Schools will open on time, but based on guidelines from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) it will be a combination of virtual and face-to-face learning.  This is commonly referred to as a “hybrid plan”.  Specific plans will be created by the RCPS Transition and Restoration Task Force and will be sent to the VDOE for approval. 

Q:          I have a job.  I need my child to go to school every day.

A:           Roanoke City Public Schools (RCPS) understands this concern.  While school districts have some autonomy in creating a return to school plan for the 2020-2021 school year, it is limited in scope by what has been laid out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the VDOE.  There are three phases laid out in the plan created by the VDOE.  Phase I is strictly remote (virtual learning).  Phase II expands to the option of partial in-person learning for preK up to 3rd grade, students with special needs, and English Language Learners.  Phase III includes the option of in-person learning for all students with strict physical distancing guidelines. 

Q:          If Phase III allows for in-person learning, why can’t all kids attend school each day?

A:           While Phase III does allow for in-person learning, the guidelines require strict social and physical distancing measures.  This includes on the school bus and 6 feet of social distancing in the classroom.  As a result, it would be impossible for all students to be at their school, in their classroom at the same time.   

Q:          Students are likely returning to school on a staggered schedule.  Can parents choose which days their child attends?  If we have multiple children in RCPS, will they go on the same day?

A:           It is unlikely that parents will be able to choose the day(s) their students attend school.  We will make every attempt assist parents with having their students attend school on the same day, but cannot guarantee it at this time.

Q:          Will classrooms be deep cleaned and sanitized regularly?

A:           Yes, we anticipate this to occur following CDC and VDH guidelines.  A specific plan will be created and communicated to staff and parents.

Q:          I do not feel safe sending my child(ren) to school.  Will I be penalized for not sending them?  What options do I have?

A:           At this point, we are working on a virtual option for parents who do not feel safe sending their student(s) to school.  All students will be required to maintain their studies within the virtual environment if they are not attending school in person.  Students who have special needs will be assisted on a case-by-case basis.

Q:          Can middle school and high school students learn virtually while allowing elementary students to use the space in the middle and high schools?

A:           Elementary schools are specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller students.  This includes appropriately sized restroom facilities, water fountains that are lower to the ground, playground equipment, lower whiteboards, etc.  In addition, this option would require moving furniture, books, libraries, and other items needed for instruction from virtually every school.  Storage space would be difficult to find.  If we are able to return to normal instruction at some point in the school year, the transfer of equipment back to the original schools would be extremely time consuming and virtually impossible.

Q:          For consistency, can students be divided up into three groups?  Each group will attend school a week straight, then spend two weeks learning virtually.

A:           At this point, we are still in the planning stages.  Multiple options are being considered.  Please continue to provide feedback on the link at the top of this page.

Operations       

Q:          What are some alternatives or solutions to maximize the number of students that can ride the bus at one time?

A:           RCPS plans to audit various resources within our school system and community, including but not limited to revising our policy on walking distance from school, Valley Metro, community partners, and a bus “Needs Assessment” sent to all parents and guardians.

Q:          Can we use churches/available buildings as alternative meeting spaces?

A:           We want to use school board property/facilities to our full extent before we utilize private facilities.  There are numerous safety issues and guidelines that must be addressed and satisfied before we are able utilize private facilities.

Q:          Will students and staff be required to wear a mask?

A:           After direct discussions with local VDH representatives, we will be encouraging face coverings for all who can safely wear them.  Further guidance will be provided later in the summer.

Q:          Will students be health screened each day?

A:           Student and staff health is our top priority.  Current planning includes protocols for staff, visitor, and student screenings following CDC and VDH recommendations.  Specifics will be provided at a later date.

Instruction

Q:          Can we live stream or post videos of lessons for students to access while learning virtually?

A:           We are currently providing professional development for all of our teachers to provide virtual lessons for our students.  We have learned many lessons this spring and hope to provide the highest level of instruction possible in a hybrid environment.

Q:          Will our students still have PE & recess?

A:           RCPS believes in the value of physical activity for our students and its positive impact on learning.  More specific information will be included in our final plan.

Q:          My child has an IEP.  What should I do if I have concerns about his/her progress and/or what his/her instruction will look like next year?

A:           If you have specific concerns about your child’s IEP, please contact the special education coordinator for your child’s school.

Q:          Will RCPS use a standard platform and online programs?             

A:           All of our teachers will be trained to use Canvas as our learning management system for all students, K-12.  Students will access Canvas through their Clever accounts.  From their first day of school, all students will learn how to access their classes on Canvas.  More information will be provided as we develop tutorials and other materials that will assist families.



6/11/20 UPDATE:

Dear Parents and RCPS Community,

On Tuesday of this week, Governor Northam issued guidance for opening schools in Virginia. Full information on this guidance is available at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) website (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/covid-19/recover-redesign-restart.shtml). In this plan, the Governor outlined the minimum guidance and expectations for the opening and operation of school divisions across the Commonwealth. The guidance provides us a framework within which we may develop plans and seek feedback through our Transition and Restoration (T&R) Task Force, which was created to meet the needs of Roanoke City students and their families.

At this point, we know two things for certain. First, the School Academic Year will begin on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, as originally scheduled. Second, your student’s experience will vary by grade level and the phase of the Pandemic. We are in Phase I presently and hope to enter Phase 2 shortly. For an explanation of requirements in each Phase, please refer to the VDOE website above.

Here is what you can expect going forward. Communication related to school reopening will come from the T&R Task Force in collaboration with the Superintendent. We will announce a schedule of planned communications by the end of next week so you will know when and how you will hear information related to Roanoke’s plan to open schools. Part of this plan will include a Transition & Restoration Task Force webpage that will be updated regularly. Your feedback is important to us, and the webpage (see top) has a place you can submit your input at any time 

We know you are eager to have answers, and we are eager to provide them. The truth of this situation is that it will be challenging to simultaneously optimize the health and safety of all our students and staff, meet the educational needs of all our students, and satisfy the recently released requirements from the state. Our coming school year will not look like anything that any of us has ever experienced before. We realize the stress and impact these decisions will have on you and your family.  Please know we will remain mindful of your concerns throughout our decision process. 

Thank you for your support of Roanoke City Schools and for trusting us with your children.

Sincerely,

T&R Task Force Members

The following people are serving on the Task Force:

Archie Freeman, principal

Cari Gates, Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts

Chris Perkins, Chief of Security

Dr. Eli Jamison, School Board Member

Corey Allder, Supervisor of EL and World Language Programs

Josh Burton, Principal

Joyce Hatcher, Executive Director of Human Resources

Joyce Watkins, School Board Member

Dr. Julie Drewry, Executive Director of School Improvement

Justin McLeod, Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Kathleen Jackson, Chief Financial Officer

Rita D. Bishop, Superintendent

Taisha Steele, Executive Director of Equity & School Counseling

Tracey D. Anderson, Principal

Verletta White, Incoming Superintendent

For a list of sub-committee members, click here.


Here is additional information about the Task Force:

Roanoke City Public Schools has created a Transition and Restoration Task Force to help re-open schools. 

Charge

The Transition and Restoration Task Force (T & R Task Force) charge is to provide plans and policy recommendations that will guide Roanoke City Public Schools through an educational and operational transition for the 2020-2021 school year. At a minimum, the task force will:

  1. Develop contingency plans for multiple scenarios after examining all aspects of the RCPS educational environment, including social-emotional, operational, and instructional components.
  2. Engage stakeholders (i.e.families, community members, teachers from various levels and disciplines, school and division-level administrators, counselors, classified and professional staff, etc.) to gather feedback and provide leadership throughout this process.
  3. Establish clear protocols and a system for communicating information to stakeholders.

Social-Emotional, Operational, and Instructional Priorities

  • Social-Emotional: Examine and provide for emotional and mental health of students and staff, including providing training as necessary.
  • Operational: To determine plans and protocols for proceeding in this environment

    (i.e. transportation, field trips, usage of facilities by outside groups, etc.) as directed by state and federal recommendations/guidelines.

  • Instructional: Establish innovative practices, including remote learning, to recover instructional loss as well as move the curriculum forward, with special focus on equity in how instruction is delivered and received.

Guiding Principles

All activities of the T&R Task Force will proceed using with the following guiding principles across all its activities and decisions:

  1. The driving question underlying all decisions will be: “Does this decision create the best outcome for every student in the district?”
  2. All decisions must reflect a consideration of the enhancement and/or advancement of equity and inclusion in the treatment of students, faculty, staff, and RCPS families.
  3. Difficult decisions will need to be made, and some of these decisions necessarily will exact a human cost to some members of our RCPS community. Therefore, decisions must include the active representation of all stakeholder voices to ensure that we understand whose concerns and priorities will be unmet for every decision are made so as to account for those concerns in the future.
  4. Social/Emotional, Instructional, and Operational Priorities have overlapping and intersectional implications and final decisions/action must meet and support the needs of other system priorities.

40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA24012 Phone 540-853-2502