Radford city schools to delay start of school by two weeks

Two Radford City Public Schools are moving to virtual learning temporarily after multiple students came down with COVID-19. (WSLS)

RADFORD, Va. – Radford students will be heading back to the classroom two weeks later than originally planned.

Officials said the delay is due to repairs and upgrades that took longer than expected due to a shortage in workers and products.

“RCPS has made the difficult decision to push the opening of school back by 2 weeks in an effort to support the workers in completing the projects and to ensure that all students are able to enter buildings that are safe, comfortable, and conducive to learning,” said Robert Graham, superintendent of Radford City Public Schools.

The first days of school in Radford will now be as follows:

First days of school: August 26, 29 (Staggered Start)

  • PK & 1st grade, 9th grade: Aug. 26
  • Kindergarten & Grades 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12; Aug. 29
  • Regular School Day for ALL students: Aug. 30

The back-to-school delay also means originally scheduled open houses have been rescheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Open House for MES: Aug. 24 - 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Open House for BHES, DIS, RHS: Aug. 25- 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

You can find the full release below:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government offered a number of grants known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief or “ESSER” grants to the Local Education Agencies (LEA) through the State Education Agency (SEA). Divisions could apply for the grants and receive money to support health and safety initiatives, instructional needs, and facility upgrades. Radford City Schools applied for all ESSER grants and received a significant amount of funding as a result.

Through these grants, the division earmarked monies for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), HVAC equipment, additional teacher personnel and instructional assistants, and a plethora of building upgrades. Luckily, RCPS had already created a facilities priority list and at the top of the list were the repairs and building upgrades to Radford High School and the completion of the renovation of McHarg Elementary. There were other smaller jobs at both Dalton Intermediate and Belle Heth Elementary, but most of the work was concentrated at RHS and MES.

While we hoped we could complete needed repairs and upgrades within the last year and a half, the shortage of workers and the scarcity of products proved challenging, at best. Many projects were delayed due to the reasons above and because some of these initiatives are directly linked to school safety, it became evident last week that RCPS needed to delay the opening so that we could allow workers in the building during the daylight hours to finish up.

RCPS has made the difficult decision to push the opening of school back by 2 weeks in an effort to support the workers in completing the projects and to ensure that all students are able to enter buildings that are safe, comfortable, and conducive to learning. Open House for this Thursday has been canceled and rescheduled to the following days/times:

• Open House for MES: August 24, 2022 - 4:00-7:00 pm

• Open House for BHES, DIS, RHS: August 25, 2022 - 4:00-7:00 pm

The first days of school in Radford City will now be as follow:

First days of school: August 26, 29 (Staggered Start)

• PK & 1st grade, 9th grade: August 26, 2022

• Kindergarten & Grades 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12; August 29, 2022

• Regular School Day for ALL students: August 30, 2022

More details regarding our opening school day revisions will be shared on Wednesday morning after the Tuesday afternoon school board retreat. As always, we appreciate your understanding and patience with us and we look forward to diving into the school year as soon as we can.

Best wishes for a great school year!

Robert Graham, Superintendent

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.