Roanoke City Public Schools starts new bell system in 23-24 school year

ROANOKE, Va. – School starts back in the Star City on Tuesday. There are lots of preparations underway, as well as one big change coming this year.

“We want our students to be comfortable when they walk into the door day one, and so it’s important for them to see the familiar faces, everyone from our principals, our assistant principals, our teachers, our SROs,” Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Verletta White said.

Roanoke City Public Schools held their back-to-school event over the weekend. Resources and information were given out to families, including details on the new staggered bell schedule.

Schools will now start and end at different times from each other.

“This is a long-term solution for a problem that we’ve dealt with for years, with whoever’s operating it,” Chief Operations Officer Chris Perkins said.

This means buses will no longer be running double routes.

Earlier this year, Chief Operations Officer Chris Perkins said some bus routes had led to widespread tardiness.

“There’s a thousand kids that are late every day in our district of those thousand, 500 are over 10 minutes,” Perkins said. “We owe it to each and every one of them, just like the other 13,000 kids that they get to school on time.”

When the new system starts, school leaders recommend families download the Durham Bus Tracker app to track their kids’ buses. If you have any issues they said you should call Durham School Services.

School leaders said they’re anticipating some difficulties during these first weeks of school, but they expect to see long-term improvement.

Both school leaders and parents are looking forward to getting the year off on the right foot.

“I’m pretty upbeat and sure about the coming year,” Parent Sam Mansaray said.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.