Roanoke County Schools changes schedule to allow more planning for teachers

Substitute teachers will now make more money as the county works to fill vacant positions

As the school year continues, more school divisions across our region are working to give teachers more time to navigate challenges.

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Teachers will now have a chance to get ahead after more than a year of trying to educate students during a world of changes.

“We heard loud and clear from our teachers we need more planning time,” said Roanoke County School Board Chair Jason Moretz.

On Tuesday, Roanoke County announced that early dismissal school days on Wednesdays will begin later this month. The extra hours in the day are meant to help teachers work ahead.

“Our shortage of substitute teachers, you know, teachers are being asked to cover other classes where you were able to do, but all of that takes a toll on teachers’ time to do their own job effectively,” said Roanoke County Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely.

These changes are stemming from a shortage of substitute teachers. The county recently found the shortage has had more of an impact than originally planned.

“Not only in Roanoke County, but this is nationwide finding substitute teachers that are a strain on our full-time teachers when you know we have 20,30 or 40 unfilled sub positions in a day,” Moretz said.

In hopes to combat that, the county is also giving a major increase in pay for new substitutes.

“For subs with high school diplomas that pay an increase to $120 a day, or subs with a college degree that is increased to $140 a day,” Moretz said.

And as the school year marches on, school division leaders say they want to do everything they can to help keep teachers and students healthy and in the classroom.

“You can only go full speed for so long before you’re going start to have some negative consequences I’m pretty proud of our staff, teachers and staff for all the work that they’re doing but we also recognize that they do need some, sometimes built in to reduce beat a little bit to be able to be effective for students,” Nicely said.

Early dismissal days are set to begin later this month.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.