Questions surrounding Roanoke City schools reopening answered

Updated July 22

Roanoke City School Bus
Roanoke City School Bus (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – Many of you are reaching out to 10 News asking specific questions about reopening. We’re working for you to get answers.

There is a virtual town hall Thursday.

Roanoke City Public Schools has the following frequently asked questions and answers:

For the Virtual Academy, do students have to participate during school hours?

Students may set their own hours. Courses will be asynchronous. Students will be required to log on daily and complete assignments and assessments. Courses will follow the same pacing as those students who are receiving instruction in-person.

If parents/guardians opt for in-person instruction, can students switch to online instruction at any time?


If parents/guardians choose the Virtual Academy, can they switch to in-person instruction after the first nine weeks?

This may be possible depending upon social distancing mandates and space available.

Is it the same teacher for in-person instruction and virtually?

This will vary from school to school and course to course.

Will attendance be taken in-person and virtually?


What will Virtual Friday look like?

Virtual Fridays will include opportunities for tutorials and enrichment in small groups or during individual office hours. Students will be expected to complete assignments, as well.

If parents/guardians choose the Virtual Academy, will my student receive a computer?

All students will have access to RCPS computers if needed.

For the Virtual Academy, will the teacher provide live instruction?

No. Instruction will be asynchronous.

Why the staggered start and dismissal times?

In order to social distance on a bus, an average of only 20 students can ride at any given time. RCPS also transports Pre-K (full-time, AM ½ day, and PM ½ day), Special Education, ROTEC, Governor’s School, along with other regional programs.

Which elementary schools are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and which ones at 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.?

To be determined based on the parent/guardian intent and considering the aforementioned information

How many students will be in the classroom?

Depends on room size, social distancing guidelines (6′ or 3′ with face covering), desks or tables, etc

Will students switch classes?

Yes, at the middle and high schools

How often will the school be cleaned?

Daily and often.

Will there be after school activities for the middle school?

Depends upon the school, activity, administrator, etc.

Do you expect students to wear a face mask all day?

No. Students will be allowed to remove their face masks when outside, and in the classroom as long as 6 ft of distance is being maintained.

Will parents/guardians be notified if a staff member or students tests positive for COVID-19 while attending in-person instruction?

We will strictly follow VDH guidelines regarding notification of families in the event there is a student or staff member that has tested positive for COVID-19.

If a student participates in the Virtual Academy, can they still receive breakfast and lunch from the school? Will you deliver food by bus?

Students participating in the Virtual Academy may sign up online or at the school to pick up 5 breakfast meals and 5 lunch meals once per week at designated locations. There is no cost to students whose home school participates in the Community Eligibility Provision.

Also, students may take home a breakfast meal and lunch meal on Thursdays for virtual Fridays.

You can find the most updated Roanoke City Schools info here.

To see what other school systems have planned, you can click here.

This is part of an ongoing in-depth 10 News series looking into reopening schools in Virginia. We are working for you, investigating many different angles of what the changes and challenges mean for families, staff, and the community. Contact Jenna if you have questions by email or on Facebook or Samantha Smith, digital contact producer, at ssmith@wsls.com.

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