ROANOKE, VA. – Roanoke school leaders said the beginning of the school year is off to a good start and they believe they’re on track for the return to the classroom plan.
On Wednesday night the superintendent hosted a virtual town hall for parents and students to get an update on the progress.
“If you are a parent thank you for hanging in there with us, for our students thank you for your hard work and your diligence," superintendent Verletta White said to open the program.
According to the White, there’s currently an uptick in cases and she wants people to mask up to keep their plan on track.
“Three weeks ago we were in the moderate range, so we know that there is hope we just have to make sure that we’re not becoming too relaxed," White said.
The goal is to get the kids back in the classroom. Under the current plan, younger students are set to return to in-person learning in some form on November 2. And right now that’s on track.
Chief of security Chris Perkins showed the new decision-making chart the Virginia Department of Education recently unveiled which he said they’ll use the help guide their plan.
“We fall in the 374.3 cases over the last 14 days per 100,000 in our city. So that would place us in the highest risk with transmission in schools," Perkins said.
Other mitigation efforts and metrics put the division in lower categories on the chart, but combined still put the school under Phase 2 guidance which prescribes the current setup. The plan is to bring older students back to the classroom at the new year once the third quarter begins.
But White said if anything is clear now, it’s that teachers are dedicated to making sure no one falls behind.
“Many times they are answering questions late into the evening, they are working from seven in the morning until sometimes nine at night, through lunchtimes, through planning time," White said.
She also said virtual learning remains an option all year long for anyone who wants it.