Roanoke schools answer some common questions ahead of coming school year

School division provided answers to 16 questions

Search underway for superintendent in Roanoke City Public Schools

ROANOKE, Va. – What will the upcoming school year look like? That still remains to be seen.

On Tuesday, Roanoke City Public Schools Transition and Restoration Task Force is trying to answer some questions.

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: 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.

Click here to see the full Q&A released on Tuesday.