Roanoke City School board identifies problem areas

Data showed the pandemic has a lingering effect on students

Roanoke City School board identifies problem areas

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke City School Board meeting Tuesday made one thing clear: Students are still feeling the effects of the pandemic.

“The pandemic’s impact on our students was even greater than anticipated regarding their social and emotional well-being which directly relates to their attendance. Because we need them in school in order to improve their academics,” one presenter said.

The mid-year student achievement review that the board looked over tonight looked at academics, absences, and discipline. Superintendent Verletta White voiced that she thinks they need to improve in all aspects.

“I’ve made it very clear that we still have a lot of work to do,” White said.

The testing data presented showed that while students are not necessarily falling behind academically, across the board they are not improving as much as school leaders had hoped.

The data showed attendance plays into academic performance, and Roanoke City Schools have an issue with chronic absenteeism.

“At the end of the day it’s about relationships and knowing our families and knowing what’s happening in those barriers that is making it impossible or almost impossible for them to come to school,” another presenter said.

But impacting attendance is disciplinary actions. While the data showed some improvement, the division still over-proportionally suspends Black students.

“We have to make sure that we’re being trauma-informed and culturally responsive when we’re responding to discipline and when we’re responding to discipline infractions,” a presenter said.

Roanoke City is taking steps to address the problem areas with tactics like the E3+ Federal Grant Program, instructional rounds and academic desk reviews. You can learn more about those initiatives and get a more in-depth view of the report here.


This story was edited for clarity and to remove misleading information in the original copy

About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.