Runners line up for region’s first in-person race since beginning of COVID-19 pandemic
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – In-person running events have returned to the Roanoke Valley. The Backpack Run 5K and 10K races at Green Hill Park attracted about a hundred participants Saturday morning. The race was organized by Roanoke County Public Schools, and money from registrations benefits the district’s education fund. District spokesperson Chuck Lionberger believes this is the region’s first in-person running event since the COVID-19 pandemic intensified last year. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity for runners who are just itching to get back on the course,” Lionberger said.
Roanoke County bringing more students back to classrooms
Roanoke County votes to allow high school sports in limited capacityROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – More students in Roanoke County will be able to return to in-person learning. Over the course of the next month, hybrid students in grades 5-12 will be going from a two-day in-person hybrid schedule to a four-day in-person hybrid schedule. Students who are fully online can elect by March 15 to return to in-person learning; however, requests will only be approved if there is space available. Students who are hybrid but want to go fully online now can elect to do that as well. The school division plans to make the new schedules work based on 3-foot social distancing and mask-wearing.
Wondering why you’re not getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia yet? Here’s why
NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. – Virginians are eagerly awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine, but Phase 1-b looks different across the Commonwealth. Wednesday, she gave an update about vaccine distribution and said they’re getting about 4,000 to 5,000 vaccines a week. She attributes their success to the NRV Public Health Taskforce, the Medical Reserve Corps and community support. And the other is what is the supply, not only of the vaccine, but the capacity of that local health district? The New River Valley Health District launched a new vaccine hotline for people to ask questions at 540-838-8222, while the Giles County hotline is 540-921-0035.
Roanoke County fourth-grade students to return to full-time in-person instruction Jan. 25, district says
ROANOKE, Va. – Fourth-grade students on the hybrid schedule will return to in-person instruction five days a week beginning Jan. 25, according to Roanoke County Public Schools. The school district said that to help facilitate this expansion, all fourth-grade classes will be 100% online on Jan. 21 and 22 to allow staff time to prepare classrooms for additional students. Fourth-grade students who are currently receiving 100% online instruction have the option to continue with 100% online instruction or switch to full-time in-person instruction, according to the school district, which added that the deadline to switch to in-person instruction is Jan. 15. District officials said students also will be required to wear masks or facial coverings, including on the school bus. I want to commend our elementary physical education teachers for being adaptable and helping us bring fourth-grade students back to school full-time.”In late October 2020, the district’s Return to School plan expanded bringing back third-grade students for full-time in-person instruction, according to the district.
Roanoke County now allowing high school sports practices, games among county teams
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Starting Wednesday, some student-athletes in Roanoke County will head back to practice for the first time this school year and will soon be allowed to compete against other county schools. Varsity sports will resume in limited capacity following a decision by the school board Tuesday. The board voted 4-1 during a school board work session. Glenvar High School senior Claire Lucas said cheerleading is critical to her life and she wants to get back to it. Roanoke County is the latest division to deviate from the initial plan, despite not meeting the COVID-19 benchmarks set by health officials for resuming athletics.
Students in Pulaski and Roanoke Counties still learning in person despite demands from VEA for online-only
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County Public Schools gave its students the choice to learn all-online this semester. Director of Secondary Instruction Mike Riley said that will not become mandatory for all students, despite other school districts switching to all-virtual learning. Their decisions follow the Virginia Education Association’s request for all school districts in the commonwealth to go online until mid-January. In a video posted to the organization’s page, VEA president James Fedderman said he wants school districts to take extra measures for safety during the holidays. Roanoke County reports 10% of all-online middle school students and 14% of all-online high school students are failing classes, compared to 5% of in-person middle school students and 6% of in-person high school students.
Roanoke County School Board chairman recovering after eight-day COVID-19 hospitalization
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A local education leader is sharing his story after his battle with COVID-19 left him in the hospital for eight days. Roanoke County School Board chairman Mike Wray said he contracted COVID-19 in a community setting, not at school. “My oxygen levels dropped significantly, and the medical staff had to take action,” said Wray, in a statement released Tuesday. Leaders with Roanoke County Public Schools said they continue to encourage families to practice social distancing. The district’s cleaning and disinfecting program, according to school leaders, features “multiple levels” of cleaning with an anti-viral solution throughout the day.
80% of Roanoke County teachers association oppose classroom return after Thanksgiving
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – In a survey conducted by the Roanoke County Education Association, 80% of responders prefer remote learning after Thanksgiving through the 2020 holiday season. 688 Roanoke County Schools’ staff members responded to the survey. “We know that some students are better off learning in school face to face, but we are also aware the children depend on the adults in their lives to take care of them. The Association, according to their position statement, would prefer remote learning from November 30, 2020 through January 19, 2021. READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE RCEA:
Coronavirus, budget among hot topics in Roanoke County ‘State of Schools’ address
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – The current state of Roanoke County Public Schools is anything but normal in 2020. Roanoke County schools began the year with a hybrid plan of having some students in the building and other working remotely. “We are also working to develop and promote a culture of kindness, respect and responsibility in our schools,” said Wray. “Roanoke County Public Schools is implementing a nationwide program called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS. There are three main tenants of the PBIS program at Roanoke County Public Schools – Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible.”Licensed mental health professionals, known as “life coaches” on campus, are positioned at schools across the system and readily available.
Roanoke County students now required to wear face masks at all times at school
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – School leaders with Roanoke County Public Schools shared an update Friday night regarding the district’s response to Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement of new gathering restrictions and mask guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia. Starting Monday, students will be required to wear masks in school, even when they are seated six feet apart, according to Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely. Nicely said school leaders are working with local health leaders to develop joint criteria by which games can be played. The criteria will be “directly linked” to public health metrics from the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC, Nicely said.
Roanoke County Public Schools announces 15 new coronavirus cases
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke County Public Schools has announced 15 new coronavirus cases since Monday. According to the district’s coronavirus dashboard, there are nine staff members that have tested positive and six students. As of Nov. 4, there is a total of 1,792 coronavirus cases in Roanoke County with 68 new cases on Wednesday. To see a total list of coronavirus cases in K-12 schools in our region, click here.
One student tests positive for COVID-19 at Cave Spring High School
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – One student has tested positive for coronavirus at Cave Spring High School. Roanoke County Public Schools announced this positive case Friday and said that no students or staff have been identified as at risk for exposure. This positive case notice was sent to parents and guardians of Cave Spring High students out of courtesy, according to Superintendent Dr. Ken Niceley. He said parents and guardians do not need to take any further action.
Staff member at Green Valley Elementary School tests positive for COVID-19
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Green Valley Elementary Schools announced that a staff member tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. School officials said they gave been working with the health department and determined that no other students or staff were exposed to this case. Staff was told they do not need to take any further action and the notice was out of courtesy, according to the announcement.
School staffing is an issue during COVID-19
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Keeping enough staff this school year continues to be an issue for some school systems. “I can honestly say this year has probably been the most challenging,” said Jim Bradshaw, Roanoke County Public Schools Director of Human Resources. We’re more than a month into the school year and local school systems say they’re short substitutes for the classroom and for buses. Roanoke County bus drivers get $2,000 and bus aides get $1,000. Certified positions are like teachers, while classified positions include secretaries, instructional assistants, etc.
Mountain View Elementary School reporting one student, one staff COVID-19 case
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Two people at Mountain View Elementary School in Roanoke County have tested positive for COVID-19, according to school leaders. In a letter sent to families on Wednesday, leaders with Roanoke County Public Schools said a student has tested positive for COVID-19. The RCPS COVID-19 dashboard also reflects a staff case of COVID-19 reported this week at Mountain View. “Close contact” is considered less than 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes, with or without a mask. You can see the latest COVID-19 numbers in Roanoke County Public Schools by visiting the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Roanoke County School Board supports bringing more students back for in-person instruction
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – UPDATEThe Roanoke County School Board gave its support during Thursday night’s meeting for a plan that will bring third-grade students back into the classroom for in-person instruction five days a week starting on October 26. ORIGINAL STORYDuring a work session on Tuesday, Roanoke County Public School officials presented an expandable plan to school board members that would allow more students to return to the classroom. “Having a half a day in school is a step in the right direction," said Roanoke County parent, Nicole Pardon. Roanoke County Public School officials would not comment on the proposed plan before it is presented to the school board during Thursday evening’s school board meeting. If the board decides to move forward with the plan, students could return to school starting as early as the end of October.
'We are drowning’: Hundreds sign petition asking Roanoke County schools to reconsider hybrid learning
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A group of parents in Roanoke County are at a breaking point with hybrid learning, so they created a petition to ask Roanoke County Public School leaders to reconsider. “We are drowning,” said Nicole Pardon, a mom of two Roanoke County high school students. Pardon said the district’s current hybrid plan isn’t working for her, her kids or hundreds of other families. "And not only the effect on students, but the effect socioeconomically on our community.”She and three other parents started a petition to revisit the Roanoke County hybrid plan and get kids back in school. She also said parents should have the option to send their kids to school full-time because of a learning disability or their families' work schedules.
Staff member at Bonsack Elementary School tests positive for COVID-19
ROANOKE, Va. – One staff member at Bonsack Elementary School tested positive for coronavirus. Roanoke County Public Schools announced Thursday that one classroom will be shutting down “out of an abundance of caution” starting Friday due to the risk of potential exposure. All parents with children from this classroom have been contacted about the situation. According to the school board, the classroom impacted has been cleaned and sanitized. School officials say they are working with the health department to monitor this situation.
Roanoke County high school receives Blue Ribbon honors
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – They certainly are the mighty, mighty Titans! Roanoke County’s Hidden Valley High School is among the 367 schools across the nation named Thursday to the list of 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. “I’m extremely proud of the staff and students at Hidden Valley High School. Their commitment to engaging and purposeful learning is shown by this recognition,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely. “Hidden Valley is just one more example of how we are working in Roanoke County to encourage deeper learning so that our students become opportunity ready.”The Roanoke County high school was nominated in the exemplary high-performing schools category.
One student tests positive for coronavirus at Cave Spring High School
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke County Public Schools announced on Wednesday that a student at Cave Spring High School tested positive for COVID-19. School officials say that no students or staff have been identified at risk of exposure in relation to this case. RCPS leaders say that exposure is determined by an individual who has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. Close contact is considered less than 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes, with or without a mask. The classrooms and spaces this student was in contact with have been cleaned and disinfected, according to the school district.
Roanoke County mom transforms basement into mini classroom for daughters
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A Roanoke County mom built a mini classroom in her basement to provide a learning environment for her three daughters who are doing virtual learning from home. However, their classroom is anything but ordinary and their teacher is none other than their mom, Billie Jean Jones-Green. Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Billie Jean and her husband decided to have their girls virtually learn from home. We actually go through that same process of getting dressed, we get washed up, and we get our hair done," said Billie Jean. They learn better.”Like so many other families, Billie Jean said it hasn’t been easy managing their homework and technology.
Student at Cave Spring Middle School tests positive for COVID-19
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County school leaders announced Monday that a student at Cave Spring Middle School tested positive for COVID-19. School leaders said they’re working with the Roanoke and Alleghany Health Department, and together they determined that students and staff were not “at risk” of exposure while at school. [LIST: Coronavirus cases in local K-12 schools]An “exposure” is defined by “any individual who has had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is considered less than 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes, with or without a mask.”Still, school leaders said they notified parents of the student case as a courtesy. School leaders reminded parents to monitor their child’s and family’s health, particularly screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
Student at William Byrd Middle School tests positive for coronavirus
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. A student at William Byrd Middle School has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Chuck Lionberger, director of community relations for Roanoke County Public Schools. As of Sept. 8, there are 661 cases of COVID-19 in Roanoke County. Stay with 10 News as this breaking news story develops.
WiFi woes: Rural Roanoke County parents discuss spotty service amid virtual learning
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. Roanoke County Public Schools has switched to a mix of in-person and virtual learning this year because of COVID-19, but the online aspect is proving difficult for some families in rural parts of the county. She said more than 20 parents have expressed concerns about not having enough signal to sign on for virtual learning. Roanoke County Schools has handed out laptops and hotspots to students. Ralph Northam remarked on the lack of rural broadband in Virginia during a stop in Roanoke on Wednesday. She is offering companies a piece of her land to build a cellphone tower so that all of Roanoke County can receive service.
Roanoke County unveils new Cave Spring High School after complete renovation
ROANOKE COUNTY, VA. – After years of planning and months of construction, some area high school students have a new home away from home. The puzzle that was the renovation at Cave Spring High School is complete, and while the school year is anything but normal, they’re starting to settle in. Whether it was a section of the school gutted to the studs, demolished or a brand new addition, the project is essentially complete. Cave Spring board member Mike Wray led a tour Friday and said it was a race to the finish. “I was here last week and I saw cabinets in the hallway and I said “Uh,” and Troy Smith, president of Avis, said, ’They’ll be done today, they’ll be done today,’” Wray said.
Student at Bonsack Elementary School tests positive for COVID-19
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. A student at Bonsack Elementary School in Roanoke County tested positive for COVID-19, the school district announced Friday. In a letter to families, school leaders said theyre working with the Roanoke-Alleghany Health Department, and determined that no other students or staff were exposed at school due to this case. School leaders said an exposure is determined to be an individual who has had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, and a close contact is considered to be less than 6 feet, for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask. The classroom and any other spaces affected will be deep cleaned overnight, according to school leaders. [LIST: Coronavirus cases in local K-12 schools]For more on Roanoke County Public Schools coronavirus response, click here.
Student at Back Creek Elementary in Roanoke County tests positive for COVID-19
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A Roanoke County elementary school student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to school leaders. The student goes to Back Creek Elementary School. School leaders told 10 News they don’t think there’s been spread of the virus throughout the school, but said the health department will make that determination. An exposure is determined by an individual who has had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is considered less than 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes, with or without a mask, according to school leaders.
Employee at Green Valley Elementary left school before testing positive for COVID-19, district says
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A staff member at Green Valley Elementary School in Roanoke County tested positive for COVID-19, school leaders announced Wednesday. In a letter sent to families, school leaders said students were not exposed to this positive case because the staff member who tested positive was only on school premises before students returned on Monday. School leaders said they’re working with the Roanoke-Alleghany Health Department for guidance. They also told 10 News they’re deep cleaning schools every week. Parents are asked to continue monitoring their child’s health for COVID-19 symptoms and confidentially report any positive cases to the school.
Roanoke Co. Public Schools welcomes students back into classrooms
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. Roanoke County Public Schools had kids back in the classrooms Monday morning for the first time since March. The first group of kids third grade through twelfth grade started in-person learning Monday, but do remote learning Tuesday. Students also had and can still choose to do all remote learning. Checklist Roanoke County Public Schools parents need to go through with children daily before sending them to school. The best hope we have for schools, not just here in Roanoke county but across the valley is for everybody to just do your part right.
It was a mess': Some Roanoke County families frustrated by school bus issues
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. The first day of school started off a little rocky for some students in Roanoke County. Some parents 10 News their kids were registered to ride the bus but werent allowed to get on Monday morning. It was a mess, said Kaitlin Johnson, who has two daughters in Roanoke County Public Schools. Several other parents voiced similar concerns, so 10 News took those questions to Roanoke County Public Schools. We are working to accommodate them but the catch is we need to have space on the bus, Lionberger said.
Roanoke County schools partnering with organizations to provide low-cost childcare this school year
ROANOKE, Va. Roanoke County schools will be meeting both in-person and virtually this school year, a plan that doesnt work for everyone. Recognizing that, Roanoke County Public Schools created a task force with the YMCA, The United Way of Roanoke Valley, Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia, Prevention Council of Roanoke County and area churches to establish new day programs for parents who are impacted by this major change. With the current schedule we are having to adopt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that parents are facing some significant challenges when it comes to child care, said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools. This new partnership will help provide low-cost day programs for students ages 12 and under. We are excited to partner with Roanoke County Public Schools, our area out-of-school time providers and others in the community to create a feasible solution for students and families in Roanoke County as schools start.
Roanoke County Public Schools revamps online learning site
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. Roanoke County Public Schools revealed more than its plan for a hybrid learning school year during its board meeting Wednesday night. The school districts new online learning site, RCPS Online, relaunched during the meeting. The site will host Roanoke Countys virtual classes and related materials. Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely believes the new website can also be an asset to homeschooled Roanoke County students looking for a new educational experience. Roanoke County students will also register to opt for online learning rather than in-person learning through the RCPS Online site.
Parents react to Roanoke County school reopening plan
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. In a letter to parents Monday, Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely said most parents appear to be on board with the reopening proposal presented weeks ago. They like school alight, but they sure do like summer break but theyre ready to be back, said Jenny Hungate, a mother with children in middle school and elementary school. At least until they come up with some vaccine or something, said Chiquanika Tucker, another local momAccording to the teachers union, 75% of parents do not want their kids to return to a face-to-face setting in the fall. There is a lot of anxiety out there, said Tim Summers, president of the teachers union. Were very concerned about the health and safety aspect of it.Superintendent Nicely said in his note Monday, transportation remains an area of concern.
Roanoke County school leaders say theyll move forward with recommended plan after reviewing parent surveys
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. Information gathered from a parent survey is helping determine the next steps for reopening Roanoke County Public Schools this fall. The parents of more than 13,400 students in Roanoke County school responded to the questionnaire. Students in grades 3-12 would attend school in person two days a week with three days online. School leaders said the responses to two questions in particular were important in guiding their decision. First, parents were asked if they would choose an option for their child to have online instruction 100% of the time, with no in-person instruction.
No safe way to open Roanoke County schools for in-person learning says teachers union
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. If Roanoke County teachers have their way, when the school year begins, there will not be any in-person classes. The Roanoke County Education Association, the areas branch of the statewide teachers union, released its two-page statement on Monday afternoon. RCEA has determined that there is no safe way to open Roanoke County schools in a face to face setting. The statement notes the change in position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is no longer advising a full reopening of schools. Virginia must proceed with caution and ensure the health and safety of all as it considers schedules for reopening schools.
Roanoke County school board chair steps down, citing Republican party interference
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – An allegation that politics were driving a wedge into the finalization of school reopening plans, led to the sudden resignation of Roanoke County School Board chairman Donald Butzer from that role. In a letter sent to the school board and Superintendent, Butzer stepped down from his position stating he “lost the confidence” of the majority of the Board. WSLS 10 News reached out to Butzer, other board members, the teacher’s union and the Roanoke County Republican Party for comment. Below Butzer’s full letter:Dear fellow School Board Members and Dr. Nicely,It is with deep regret that I have decided to step aside as Chairman of the Roanoke County School Board effective tomorrow July 1, 2020. Donald T. ButzerChairman-Roanoke County School Board
Roanoke City and County Public Schools offer survey for parents about upcoming year
ROANOKE, Va. – Parents have a chance to let their voices be heard regarding the upcoming school year. Roanoke City and County Public Schools are looking for feedback on what parents want next school year to look like. Roanoke County school officials will also be calling parents for feedback as well. For the Roanoke City survey, click here. For the Roanoke County survey, click here.
Roanoke County schools seeking input before making school year decision
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – As Roanoke County school look to reopen this fall, it’s asking for input from stakeholders. The school division is asking asking families to complete a student-specific survey by Tuesday, July 7. The survey asks parents about their preferences for 100% remote instruction via RCPSonline or some form of in-person instruction. It also asks parents about their ability to provide transportation to and from school. “Part of the challenge of developing this plan are the limitations imposed by physical distancing as recommended by the CDC and public health experts,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely.
Roanoke County delaying vote on start of upcoming school year
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. Its going to be a bit longer until we know when school will begin for Roanoke County students. The Roanoke County School Board has delayed its vote on the start of the upcoming school year to allow more time to discuss options and to allow for additional citizen input. Originally, students were scheduled to return to school on Aug. 13. Also, the July 2 meeting will be held at Northside High Schools auditorium at 6 p.m. to allow for more people to attend. Those who do attend will be required to practice social distancing.
Safety, emotional well-being: Roanoke County school leaders try to check all boxes with 2020-21 plans
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely released his recommendations for the 2020-21 school year to the school board Thursday evening. The plans are based on local, state and federal guidelines, the governors guidance, conversations with surrounding school districts, and input from families. Theres going to be structure to that. Theres going to be assignments. Theres going to be expectations.The district considered other ideas, including using churches for in-person instruction space, but staffing and security posed a problem.
Roanoke County students will get hotspots to help provide high-speed internet
ROANOKE, Va – School leaders in Roanoke County are making sure students have high-speed internet access to help prepare them for the upcoming school year. This week the county received 685 internet hotspots to distribute to families who need them. The chair of the school board said although this year’s budget took a hard hit from COVID-19, providing students with internet access is vital for education. Each family was sent home with one hot spot to help provide high speed internet access for school work. “We’re going to be offering some virtual lessons and the only way to do that is if you have internet access or high-speed internet access, otherwise you would never be able to participate in the lessons,” said Roanoke County School Board Chair Don Butzer.
Last day of school surprise for Roanoke County first graders
Published: May 22, 2020, 4:00 am Updated: May 22, 2020, 10:24 amROANOKE, Va. Roanoke County Public Schools are officially on summer break. The last day of school was Thursday! Green Valley Elementary School first graders got a surprise. Green Valley Elementary students did a virtual visit to our studios! (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)
25 COVID-19 cases connected to Cave Spring High School construction work
ROANOKE, Va. – More than two dozen coronavirus cases are connected to construction work at a local high school, according to Roanoke County Public Schools officials. The president of Avis Construction, Troy Smith, spoke to the Roanoke County school board on Tuesday and reported as many as 25 cases of COVID-19 that are related to construction work at Cave Spring High School. Smith told school board members that not all 25 cases are construction workers, but rather, some are family members of workers. All work was halted at the Cave Spring High School construction site on Monday, per recommendation from the health department. Smith told school officials he hopes construction work can resume on May 11, but the health department is giving “conflicting recommendations,” according to Roanoke County school officials.
Authorities say no threat against Northside, police presence will remain
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – UPDATEA social media threat that sparked an increased police presence at Northside High School Friday turned out to not be against the school, according to Roanoke County Public Schools. School officials and local authorities determined that the threat that was posted “falsely attached Northside to the message.”Authorities say they have identified the suspect behind the threat and say they are working with them to ensure the safety of the school community. While officials say the threat was not against Northside, there will still be an increased police presence at the school Friday. We will continue to have additional police presence at Northside High School today.”ORIGINAL STORYA social media post describing a potential threat to Northside High School has caused students and parents alike to be concerned. Roanoke County School officials say they are aware of the social media post and the potential threat.
Roanoke County Schools asking teachers, staff to help amid bus driver shortage
ROANOKE, Va. - The Roanoke County School System is asking its current employees to deal with a shortage of bus drivers. The county has about 145 drivers right now and needs another eight to 10 full-time drivers and 10 substitute drivers to be fully staffed, according to Roanoke County Public Schools community relations specialist Chuck Lionberger. To help solve the problem, the school district is asking current employees to drive buses on a short-term basis. Anyone driving a school bus would need to have a valid Commercial Driver's License or be about to get a CDL. He says the school system will likely see periodic delays when drivers call out sick, but the county is working hard to find a solution.
Roanoke County Public Schools releases statement on incident that locked down several schools
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Roanoke County Public Schools has released a statement after all schools were told to shelter in place and several others were placed on lockdown Friday morning. Below is the full statement from Roanoke County Public Schools:"On the morning of Sept. 6, at around 7:20 a.m., the Roanoke County Police Department asked us to place schools on a shelter in place as a precaution due to a report of a suspicious person armed with a weapon in the southwest portion of Roanoke County. As a further precaution, we decided to place all schools on a shelter in place because this persons whereabouts was unknown. A shelter in place means students remain inside the building and continue the school day. We want to express our sincere appreciation to the Roanoke County Police Department for their swift response and detailed attention to keeping our schools safe and secure."
School leaders remind drivers about importance of bus safety
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - School leaders are reminding drivers to be on the lookout for school buses. That's why local school leaders are reminding you to stop and slow down. According to the DMV, the area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. Roanoke County leaders said drivers frequently pass buses, putting children in danger. If you know you're getting caught by a school bus, find another route," said Chuck Lionberger, Roanoke County Public Schools community relations specialist.
School districts in Southwest, Central Virginia struggling to fill part-time jobs
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Two days into the new school year, Roanoke County Public Schools is still trying to fill needed positions. Community relations specialist Chuck Lionberger said the district barely has enough bus drivers to get through the day. It needs 20 more bus drivers and about 20 more nutrition associates to help make sure students get nutritious meals. Several more districts, like Montgomery County, need part-timers to fill nutrition and custodial positions. Click here to learn more about how you can apply to work for Roanoke County Public Schools.