Roanoke City schools ready to return to the classroom despite staffing shortages

The school district has hired 179 teaching positions from start of this year

The school district has hired 179 teaching positions from start of this year

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke City Public Schools School Board heard updates on staffing during their last meeting before the school year begins.

Since January, the school system has hired 179 teaching positions for the upcoming school year, leaving 29 positions still open, with 12 of those still pending.

Dominick McKee, Chief Human Resources Officer for ROCI Public Schools, said more work needs to be done despite having more staff than last year.

“We’re well above what we used to be in the past. But we still have about 29 positions to fill, so we’re still looking for teachers out there,” McKee said.

One of the biggest reasons for more teachers and staff wanting to work for RCPS was the school board approving a salary increase.

10 News had previously reported on the increase back in February.

The district currently has an emphasis on fielding more bus drivers.

In the 2021-2022 school year, the district had 107 bus drivers and 55 aids, and for the upcoming school year, they will have 123 drivers and 53 aids.

McKee said despite having more drivers, there still are open positions.

“We have 123 … I think is what we said … but we still need more bus drivers,” McKee said.

Roanoke City Public Schools also hired 38 additional food service positions.

While it’s important to fill the open positions, the district wants to make sure they are hiring qualified people.

“We want people that are dedicated to our students that want to make a difference in students’ lives and want to do the best they can on a day-to-day basis,” McKee said.

Even with some slight staffing shortages, McKee said he believes there will be no issues when the school year starts.

“If we had to open tomorrow … we’d be able to open tomorrow,” McKee said.

The district will be holding a Supporting Staff Job Fair on August 11. The job fair will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the Noel C. Taylor Learning Academy cafeteria. Salaries for the open positions range from $15.75 to $24 per hour.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.