Roanoke City kicks off school year with construction plans, new program

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ROANOKE, Va. – Tuesday marks the start of a new school year for Roanoke City students and staff. Here are some fast facts about what's going on this year. 

- Roanoke City Public Schools has nearly 13,800 students this year. 

- Roanoke Technical Education Center (ROTEC) is partnering with Roanoke Fire-EMS to offer an EMT training program. Eleven students from William Fleming High and Patrick Henry High are enrolled right now. 

- All elementary students have access to musical instruments thanks to a partnership with VH1 Save the Music Foundation.  Hurt Park Elementary and Preston Park Elementary received additional VH1 grants to buy new instruments for students.

- RCPS will give 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th graders laptops to use at school and home. 

- Construction on a new gym for Hurt Park Elementary is scheduled to begin later this fall. Construction on a new Fallon Park Elementary is slated for early January. 

- Fishburn Park Elementary is expanding its environmental focus to include Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

- For the second consecutive year, elementary students will learn coding and Spanish.