Roanoke County School Board members Mike Stovall (Vinton District) and Jerry Canada (Hollins District) along with school leaders held a community meeting Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at the William Byrd High senior cafeteria.
During this meeting several topics were brought up including budget, the Laptop Program, school performance, and things to look forward to this coming fall.
Here is a brief overview of the information given and the topics discussed:
*The General Assembly adopted a budget that provide additional funds for Roanoke County Public Schools.
*RCPS is concerned about the increasing fuel prices.
*RCPS is considering a one percent bonus for all employees (money will come from stimulus).
*This is the calm before the storm with a two year budget coming up RCPS believe they will feel the affects of the budget the most next year.
*RCPS new budget is about 17 million, with 150 employees less than before.
*RCPS wishes to restore the 9th-grader program.
*The staff has created a detailed plan to address technological needs.
*The program has proven to help students become better prepared for technology needs in college.
“It’s really an instructional program,” Superintendent Lorraine Lange said. “They use it constantly because its part of them. We really feel like its important for them to have. It helps them be more prepared.”
The money for the laptops will come from a technology stimulus in the amount of about three million. RCPS has not purchased laptops for about two year and have recycled the senior classes laptops. They discussed their plan to restore laptops for the freshman and sophomore classes and buying two years worth of new laptops. It was also discussed how these laptops are also important to students because SOLs are now taken on them.
*RCPS are fully accredited by VDOE
*92% met all federal AYP requirements
*90.2% on time graduation rate
“I’m really proud of what all the teachers and students are doing,” Lange said.
In the next two years all Roanoke County students will have to meet 100% as opposed to the during 92%.
*RCPS received District Accreditation by AdvancedED and were judged “highly functional” (the highest you can get) in five our of seven evaluation areas
*RCPS was the first school district to be accredited in Virginia. (The evaluation and assessment was conducted by an external review team.)
What’s New Next Year
*10-Point Grading Scale
Both will begin in the fall of 2011.
Members also discussed Encore Scheduling Preference which would add about 20 minutes to the elementary school day.
“We’ve talked to teachers who said there was no time during the day to have planning time,” Lange said about RCPS considering this option.
The Encore Scheduling would allow teachers to have an extra planning period during the day, as opposed to after the school day.
Currently the school begins at 7:55 a.m. and ends at 2:05 p.m. The new scheduling would mean students begin school at 7:50 a.m. and conclude at 2:20 p.m.
It was also discussed that RCPS will eventually have to lengthen the school day by 30 minutes for K-8 in order to stay competitive and allow teachers and students to abide by new rules being set into place, including having a required “recess”. Students will be required to have 30 minutes of P.E. time during the school day.