ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – UPDATE
The Roanoke County School Board unanimously voted to approve the plan for the upcoming school year.
The plan is designed to expand as “numbers and conditions change and will be assessed frequently,” according to school leaders.
The board also voted to push the start of school back from Aug 13. to Aug. 24.
Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely first presented the plan to the Roanoke County School Board on June 25. It features a hybrid schedule with preschool through second grade students attending school five days a week. Students in 3rd through 12th grade will attend school in person two days a week with online learning for the other three days.
Parents can still choose to have their student receive 100% online instruction if desired. School leaders told 10 News 15% of parents chose this option.
There will be reduced class sizes for the students in K-2 who attend school in person five days a week. School leaders said some areas of the school, such as libraries and cafeterias, have been converted into classroom spaces.
Students in grades 3-12 will be split into two groups and will attend school in person two days a week spread out in classroom spaces.
School leaders are aiming to keep students from the same household on the same schedule as much as possible.
You can read more about the plan here.
Information gathered from a parent survey is helping determine the next steps for reopening Roanoke County Public Schools this fall.
The parents of more than 13,400 students in Roanoke County schools responded to the questionnaire.
In a letter to parents sent out on Monday night, school leaders said they reviewed the results, and “Analysis of the data has led to the conclusion that we will be able to move forward with the recommended plan.”
That plan, which Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely presented to the Roanoke County School Board on June 25, features a hybrid schedule with preschool through second grade students attending school five days a week.
Students in grades 3-12 would attend school in person two days a week with three days online.
School leaders said the responses to two questions in particular were important in guiding their decision. First, parents were asked if they would choose an option for their child to have online instruction 100% of the time, with no in-person instruction. Second, parents were asked if they plan to provide their own transportation for their child, or if he or she will ride a bus. Because school leaders said not enough parents opted for 100% online instruction and providing transportation they will not be able to “expand the recommended plan.”
If more parents had opted for 100% online instruction and/or providing their child’s transportation, it would have potentially allowed extra space given physical distancing guidelines that limit the capacity on buses and in classrooms.
The school board is expected to vote on the plan during Wednesday night’s meeting. Click or tap here for more information.