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Attendance Zones

RCPS Happenings

District Page Announcements
Preserving the past
How do you get young people to appreciate where we've come from?  The Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation and the City of Roanoke Planning Building and Development Dept. donated a copy of "The Little House" to each 2nd grade classroom.  The Virginia Lee Burton book tells the story of a home's changing environment as urban development extends into the country.  Teachers have used the book to show how Roanoke has changed over the years.
Elementary Teacher Job Fair
Roanoke City Public Schools needs teachers, specifically at the elementary level.  RCPS is holding an Elementary Job Fair Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Patrick Henry High School from 9 A.M. to Noon.  We are looking to fill teaching positions for first, second, and third grades.  You must pre-register for the job fair by March 18.  For full details and to register, click here.
School Climate Parent Survey
Here at Roanoke City Public Schools, we value your opinion.  We are conducting our annual School Climate Parent Survey.  The results of this survey will be used to make changes in your child’s school to ensure a positive climate for teaching and learning.  The survey is voluntary and confidential.  Click here to take the survey.  Thank you for taking the survey.
Future Forecasters?
It all started with a spark of interest from a student.  Before long, Wasena Elementary was starting a Storm Club.  Ten 2nd graders are meeting every month after school to learn everything they can about weather.  Their first meeting featured a special guest, WDBJ 7 Meteorologist Brent Watts.  He taught the students how to make their own clouds and tornadoes!  They also asked him questions, like how much snow we are going to get from the latest storm.
Kindergarten Registration
It is time to register your child for kindergarten for next school year.  RCPS will hold Kindergarten Registration March 12-13.  Certain documents are required for registration.  The process will go faster if you fill out the application beforehand.  We've put together a webpage that should answer your questions and you can download the Kindergarten Registration Application.  Click here
Makeup Days????
It is a question many of you have been asking, are we going to have to make up days?   The state requires school systems to have 180 teaching days or 990 teaching hours. We have missed a total of 6 school days, and at this point, have enough days built into our calendar.   What we can say with certainty--Spring Break is NOT in jeopardy.  If necessary, we will extend the school day like we did last year.  But again, that is not needed at this point.
Career and Technical Education Month
February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.  At ROTEC, more than 2,800 industry certifications have been issued in the last five years.  Students are taking marketing (pictured), sports medicine, cosmetology, automotive, engineering and many more.  CTE provides students with a career pathway for postsecondary education and workplace readiness.  This year, 4,700 Roanoke City students are taking CTE classes; that number grows every year.
Let's be social!
Want to get the latest school cancelations or delays?  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Social media is a great way to know the great things going on at our schools.  This past week, we had 70,000 views alone on our Facebook page!  So if you haven't, join us:
Twitter: @RoanokeSchools 
CCAP Deadline is FRIDAY
The deadline to apply for the Community College Access Program (CCAP) is this Friday (2/27).   If you have questions or need assistance submitting supporting documents, please see your counselors.  CCAP allows qualifying seniors to attend Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) tuition-free for two years.  To apply to CCAP: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap/:   
Feeding Stations
Thanks to all the volunteers who served lunches to students on Friday.  We provided 350 meals at four locations across the city.  Each bag contained enough food for at least two meals.  Additionally, Jill Hufnagel and a group of volunteers donated 180 bags full of food to go home with students.  They raised $1,200 in less than 24 hours to buy the food.  We truly live in a caring community.  Thanks to everyone who made this event a success.  Our children thank you!
An Appreciation
Thank you to all the maintenance crews, building managers, plow drivers and other workers who worked around the clock.  They cleared sidewalks, stairs and parking lots at all of our schools.  We had more than 150 personnel working to clear the snow.  They are doing a great job and we appreciate all their hard work.  Be sure to thank them the next time you see one of these unsung heroes. 
Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a time to educate students about important African Americans.  Many of our schools are holding events throughout the month to celebrate Black History Month.  At Morningside Elementary, illustrator Joel Christian Gill shared little known African American History stories.  Students at Noel C. Taylor made artwork and poetry (pictured) about Black History Month.  They will be on display at Roanoke's main library later this week for the rest of the month.
Science Fair
We saw the best in Chemistry, Animal Sciences and Microbiology at the city-wide Science Fair.  165 students competed from the city's middle and high schools, as well as the Governor's School.  Various awards, medals and cash prizes were handed out during the awards ceremony.  The top 23 high school and top 12 middle school winners will now compete at the Regional Competition at Virginia Western Community College in a few weeks.  Congratulations to all the participants. 
RCPS Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Ryan Margaret Smith of James Madison Middle School for winning the Division-wide Spelling Bee.  She won in the 19th round with the word "slalom."  We congratulate her and all the competitors from the five middle schools.  Ryan will now compete in the Regional Competition Saturday, March 14.  We wish her all the best.  Thank you to WDBJ's Robin Reed for emceeing the city's Spelling Bee.
FAFSA Fill Out
UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.  Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) is hosting the Great FAFSA Fill out Saturday (2/21) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Students applying for financial aid to attend any college next year can get free assistance.  No appointments needed.  You need to bring certain information/documents.  Click here for a PDF version of the checklist.
Showing the love
There was plenty of love as many schools celebrated Valentine's Day.  At Jackson Middle, students (pictured) showed their appreciation by making 600 cards for teachers.  At Monterey Elementary, students decorated Valentine's Day cards for residents of Friendship Retirement Community. At James Madison Middle, a quartet sang to Mrs. Bryant to celebrate her wedding anniversary.  Students at Preston Park Elementary made posters to help promote pet adoption. 
Important Storm Information
Here are some important phone numbers from the City of Roanoke: Call 211 for information on the status of road conditions.  To report power outages, call AEP at 1-800-956-4237.  To report water problems, contact the Western Virginia Water Authority at 853-5700.  911 should only be reserved for medical, fire, or police emergencies.  Please stay off the roads during the storm. 
Soup for Seniors
Our students will warm plenty of hearts and stomachs this winter, thanks to their generous donations.  Several of our schools participated in the Soups for Seniors Program.  The Local Office on Aging (LOA) is collecting cans of soup for 3,000 seniors in the Roanoke Valley.  Lucy Addison, Virginia Heights (pictured), Lincoln Terrace, Crystal Spring and William Fleming collected more than 3,600 cans!  A shout out to the students and staff at Lincoln Terrace for taking in 1,500 cans.
Meet the Debutantes
Westside Elementary is successfully turning girls into young ladies.  The Westside Future Debutantes promotes leadership, academic achievement, community service, and builds character.  Twelve 5th graders meet twice a month after-school for workshops, fun activities, and guest speakers.  The latest was Miss Roanoke Valley Addison Walker.  She talked about the importance of setting goals and having values.  The Debutantes will hold their first Gala in March.
Playground Dedication
Students at Highland Park Elementary have new playing power.  RCPS and the City of Roanoke joined forces to install a new playground in Highland Park. The partnership allowed for a bigger playground, 25% larger to be exact. The playground is now made up of two structures; one for 2-5 year olds, the other designed for 5 to 12 year olds.  A big hit with students are the rock walls and the color scheme.  They actually got to vote on the color of the new playground.
Ancestry at Addison
What does your family tree look like?  Students at Lucy Addison Middle School are about to find out.  History Teacher Ms. Motley has secured a one-year free subscription to Ancestry.com.  The service can be used on any computer at Addison and will encompass just about every subject.  History classes are about to use it to look up historic documents on the Boston Tea Party.  At the end of the year, Ms. Motley will have her students research their own family history.
Governor's School Project Forum
Thank you to everyone who came to the annual Roanoke Valley Governor's School Student Forum.  265 students showed off their Scientific Projects; many were fascinating, mind blowing, and sometimes defied logic.  The Silent Auction raised a lot of money; all the proceeds will benefit the Governor's School.  Next up?  The city-wide Science Fair on Thursday, February 12 at 4:30 p.m. at William Fleming High School.
Dance Espanol
The program is so popular it literally has 4th graders jumping for joy and that's ok.  Dance Espanol is a partnership with the Southwest Virginia Ballet that is offered at four elementary schools.  Mr. Pedro, as he is affectionately called, combines dance and Spanish, with a new twist this year: science.  Dancers are using their bodies to express the movements of science.  This year's Dance Espanol Finale is Thursday, April 2 at William Fleming High School at 7 p.m.
Chess Tournament Rescheduled
The Chess Tournament that was postponed on January 24, 2015 has been rescheduled for February 14, 2015 at Fallon Park Elementary.  If you are unable to attend that date, you can move your registration to the February 21 or April 18 tournaments.  If you need to reschedule, please email Mickey Owens at mowens@rcps.info by February 9, 2015.
Important Health Information
We are concerned about students health.  That is why Roanoke City Public Schools is hosting a series of forums about the dangers of STD's.  These forums will provide vital information on what you can do to protect your children.  The last one is TONIGHT at 6:30 p.m. at Stonewall Jackson Middle School. For the complete list of forums, click here.
Book Club at Lincoln Terrace
It started with a suggestion by a PTA parent.  Now, Lincoln Terrace Elementary has come up with another way to get students excited about reading.  The school has started a Book Club.  Students choose the book and meet every Monday night at Lincoln Terrace to read it.  Right now, they are enjoying James and the Giant Peach.  Once completed, they'll have a pizza party to discuss the book and watch the movie.  The goal is to read three books in the club's first year.
It was an experience our students experienced either on the stage, in the audience, or online.  The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra teamed up with WDBJ-TV for its first live educational broadcast.  115 musicians performed, including several Patrick Henry High School Orchestra students (pictured), who are in the Youth Symphony.  Additionally, 700 of our students attended the performance at the Berglund Center or watched it online from their classrooms.
Virginia's Math Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Jennifer Hatch of James Breckinridge Middle School.  She is the 2015 Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics William C. Lowry Mathematics Educator of the Year for the Middle School Level.  "I feel blessed to work with such wonderful, supportive, and inspiring people in Roanoke City Schools and Breckinridge Middle.  The parents, students, teachers, and administrators are exemplary and push me to be better every day," says Hatch.
Green Team at Fishburn Park
There is a new club at Fishburn Park Elementary and it is all about being green.  Twelve students from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade make up the Green Team   They are in charge of the school's environmental initiatives like recycling, campus cleanup, and teaching younger students about composting.  It's a very selective group.  There was an application process that included an essay.  The Green Team is another way Fishburn Park showcases its environmentally focused mission.
Wilson student wins essay contest
Kendryek Wheeler may only be a 7th grader but he knows exactly what he would do as mayor of Roanoke.  The Woodrow Wilson Middle School student is one of eight regional winners in the If I were Mayor Essay Contest.  Nearly 1,000 students submitted essays statewide.  Kendryek will receive a $150 cash prize as well as meet the Governor next week in Richmond.  Roanoke Mayor David Bowers (pictured) congratulated Kendryek in his office at City Hall.
Coat Drive
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Coat Drive.  So far, we have collected about 225 winter coats for students.  We purchased many of the coats through a grant from the Foundation for Roanoke Valley and a donation from Walmart.  We also received donations from employees, churches, and community members.   If you want to donate, please call 853-2816We will accept new or gently worn winter coats, hats (hats have to be new), and mittens/gloves.  THANK YOU!
It is a day that honors the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and our students were a big part of it.  The Westside Step Team wowed the crowd at the MLK Breakfast at the Hotel Roanoke. Students from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine took part in a MLK Service Day at James Madison Middle.  The William Fleming High School Marching Band as well as the Gospel Choir from Fleming, Patrick Henry, and Lucy Addison marched in the MLK March in downtown Roanoke. 
Fallon Park at Paddington
The popular children's book about Paddington the bear has now been made into a movie.  Paddington tells the story of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home.  Students from Fallon Park Elementary got to see a special screening of the new movie at Carmike Cinemas.  630 students and 100 chaperones were wowed by the movie's main theme: be kind, take care of each other.  Thank you to Carmike for giving students a special deal on the ticket price.
Reading with RAMS
A good book made for a great day at Roanoke Academy (RAMS).  In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., the school held Reading with RAMS.  Guests from all over the community were invited to read to students in their classrooms.  The readers included school board members, celebrities, educators, elected officials, community members, and business leaders.  The goal of the event was to show students the importance of reading and how much fun a good book can be. 
National Board Certification
It is a prestigious group and now two Virginia Heights Elementary teachers have joined it.  Rebecca Camper (left) and John Thompson (right) have earned National Board Certification.  There are only 100,000 teachers nationwide who have this distinction.  National Board Certification was created 25 years ago with the mission to advance student learning and achievement by establishing the definitive standards and systems for certifying accomplished educators.  Congratulations.
Important High School Information
High School students who plan to take dual enrollment classes next year or enroll in the Community College Access Program (CCAP) must take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT).  We are testing at Patrick Henry and William Fleming throughout January and February for CCAP and March for dual enrollment.  Virginia Western Community College is hosting workshops to help students prepare for the VPT.  Have questions?  Click here.
Middle School Basketball Showcase
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Star City Middle School Boys' Basketball Showcase.  The day long event at Lucy Addison featured all five of the city's middle schools and others from around the region.  It was so successful, there is already talk of bringing it back and expanding the showcase next year.  Jackson, Madison, Breckinridge (pictured), and Addison all won their games.  Congratulations. The money raised will benefit middle school athletics.
RAMS on the radio
Turn your dial to ViBE 97.7 to hear the voices of some Roanoke Academy students.  They've recorded promos for a book drive the radio station is doing for the school.  ViBE is collecting new or gently used books at its studios on Electric Road (the K92 building).  You can drop books off all through January.  Roanoke Academy will hold the first ever Read with RAMS Day next week. Various people from the community will read to children to generate excitement about opening a book.
Central Main Entrance Re-opens
We are back in business.  The main entrance at Central Administration has re-opened to employees and the public.  It was closed due to renovations to the outdoor plaza.  You will find the stairs are new and there is adequate parking in front of the building.  Handicapped parking has been permanently moved to the other side of the building.  As you come onto Douglass Avenue, take an immediate right and follow the signs for handicapped parking. 
Our Best Year Ever
As we begin the second half of the school year, remember this is Our Best Year Ever.  How?  Matthew Newton of Fishburn Park Elem. was named Region 6 Teacher of the Year.  Wasena Elem. is up for a national award.  We received national attention for our partnership with VH1 Save the Music.  William Fleming High School is fully accredited.  Patrick Henry's Marching Band represented Virginia at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. The list goes on and on--and will grow.
Let's be social!
Roanoke City Public Schools has a strong presence on social media.  We were one of 25 school systems in the country recognized by the National School Public Relations for our Facebook page.  What are you waiting for?  Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.  Our Twitter handle is @RoanokeSchools.  Our facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
K-Guard Classic Champs
William Fleming High School's Boys Basketball Team began the New Year celebrating.  The Colonels won the K-Guard Classic.  The three day tournament took place at the Salem Civic Center and featured high school basketball teams all over the region.  The Colonels beat Cave Spring 67 to 49 to win the championship.  Congratulations. 
Important Survey
Time is running out so please take our Customer Satisfaction Survey.  Your answers will help improve your child's school.  Is the main office staff helpful?  Are your calls to the school returned within 24 hours?  These are some of the questions asked in the survey.  It will take you less than 5 minutes.  Good or bad, we want to hear from you.  For English version, click here.  For Spanish, click here
Bullying Hotline
Roanoke City Public Schools takes bullying seriously and we want to make sure every child feels safe at school.  For that reason, we have launched a Bullying Hotline. The Hotline is open to anyone who experiences or observes bullying that is school related.  Bullying is defined as any aggressive behavior intending to harm, real or perceived imbalance of power and repeated over time or causes trauma.  Call 853-1700 to report bullying.  You can remain anonymous. 
All Stuck Up
Talk about being in a sticky situation.  Round Hill Elemenetary's principal allowed his students to duct tape him to the wall before Winter Break.  They were rewarded for either having perfect attendance for two months or were tardy less than two times.  The experiment worked.  More than 200 students won the chance to put duct tape on Mr. Hawks.  He was stuck to the wall for nearly 90 minutes!
Shark Tank at Jackson Middle
Does Roanoke need another cupcake shop? That was one of many questions a potential business owner had to answer at Stonewall Jackson Middle School.  7th graders in Make It Your Business class had to propose a business idea to potential investors.  Just like in the TV show Shark Tank, the judges then decided how much to invest.  The goal is to for students to sharpen their public speaking skills and learn about the business world. The ideas were innovative and yummy.
Walk Like An Egyptian
Many of our second graders are walking back in time, some 3,000 years.  They are visiting the King Tut Exhibit at the Science Museum of Western Virginia.  Students are seeing more than a 100 replicas of the famous pharaoh.  They are also watching a movie about Egypt in the planetarium, making  headpieces, and making ornaments from papyrus; a thin paper-like material popular in Ancient Egypt.  Some of this history lesson will be covered on the second grade History SOL.
Holiday Helpers
We are truly blessed to live in such a caring community.  Many churches have donated food and clothing for students this holiday season.  Huntington Court United Methodist Church (pictured) donated several boxes of food for students at Noel C. Taylor.  Grandin Court Baptist Church collected food for four schools in the area.  Second Presbyterian Church made knitted hats for more than a 100 students at Highland Park. These are just a few examples.  THANK YOU!!!
Staff Santas
Many of our staff members have chipped in to provide our students with toys and clothing this holiday season.  A great example is at Fallon Park Elementary.  The staff collected enough items to help nearly 50 children from the school.  Believe it or not, this picture is only a small sampling of the presents.  These acts of kindness are happening throughout our school system and for that, we are grateful.
Roanoke Christmas Parade
Students from Roanoke City Public Schools were well represented at the Roanoke Christmas parade.  It featured the marching bands from Patrick Henry High School, William Fleming High School, Lucy Addison Middle School, the choirs from Addison and James Breckinridge Middle, the Fleming Step Team,  as well as ROTC cadets from PH and WF.  Theater students from Fleming led the parade.  More pictures, http://www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Wasena is a finalist for major award
Wasena Elementary is one of 22 schools across the country chosen as finalists for the National Excellence in Urban Education Award by the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST).  The award recognizes schools that serve urban communities and have strong test results, high rates of attendance, and excellent student behavior.  Wasena Elementary will receive a site visit in February.  The winners will be announced in March. Congratulations Wasena.
Fleming makes an impact
An old club has a new name but the same purpose.  William Fleming High School's Impact Club is made up of general education and special education students.  The goal is for all students to work together for the common good and create a better understanding of one another.  The club read books and sang songs to young patients at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  20 students are taking part in the Impact Club, that number grows each week.
Generous Gift
Many of our students became sugar plum fairies when they saw the Southwest Virginia Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.  The classic ballet was first performed in Russia in 1892 and has wowed people ever since.  Thanks to the Southwest Virginia Ballet, 280 of our students saw the production at the Berglund Center--free of charge.  Before the show, students at Hurt Park Elementary read the classic story to get ready for the stage version.
Jingle All the Way
The sounds of jingle bells could be heard throughout the halls of Roanoke Academy (RAMS) last week.  The school has started a new program called the 12 Days Before Winter Break Celebration.  The idea is to get students and staff in a festive holiday mood.   Each day there is a theme; one day it was jingle bells.  Still to come is a an Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest, a holiday card exchange, and an ornament swap. 
Secret Santa
It is a holiday tradition that has been going strong for 15 years now.  Every December, Virginia Heights Elementary students, who have hearing impairment, go shopping for one another.  It is a chance for these students to experience working with money and to work on vocabulary development.  The Roanoke Valley Fund For Deaf Children provides the money for the Secret Santa shopping at Target.  The students then visit Santa and get a free train ride at Valley View Mall.
Patrick Henry is back from Hawaii
Talk about a shock to the system.  Some members of the Patrick Henry High School Marching Band walked off the bus in Roanoke wearing shorts.  The cold temperatures reminded them they are no longer in Hawaii.  Congratulations to the band for representing Virginia at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii.  Patrick Henry was one of 10 high school bands in the country invited to participate. 
World Fair
It has become such a popular tradition, no one can remember exactly when it started at Monterey Elementary.  Every year, the school holds a Multi-Cultural Day.  This year, more than a dozen different cultures were represented at Monterey.  Students visit different stages to learn about countries and they eat all kinds of ethnic foods.  The goal is to create a better understanding of one another and show how our schools are truly the melting pot of Roanoke.
Swim Safety
More than a 100 of our students are hitting the pool but it's not exactly fun in the sun.  They are taking part in a pilot program run by the YMCA.  2nd graders from Hurt Park, Lincoln Terrace and Morningside are learning about water safety, boat safety and beach safety.  It is free for students, takes 3 days and includes classroom instruction as well as in the pool at the YMCA.  The goal is to teach these students about water safety when they are young.  They are certainly making a splash.
Ribbon Cutting
State lawmakers, Roanoke City Council Members, and School Board Members were on hand as Round Hill Elementary dedicated its new cafeteria/kitchen.  Principal Hawks and two fifth graders had the privilege of cutting the ribbon.  The new facility is state of the art and larger.  For example, the new kitchen is bigger than the old cafeteria.  Thank you to the architect, Hughes Associates, for providing cupcakes for the children and invited guests.
Round Hill Cafeteria Opens
There were plenty of big eyes and oohs and aahs as students walked into the new cafeteria at Round Hill Elementary  They found a much larger cafeteria with new tables and chairs as well as a stage.  The serving area is more spacious compared to the old one.  Cafeteria staff are happy to have a larger work area and all new equipment.  There will be a ribbon cutting for the new facility December 4.
Giving back this Thanksgiving
Our students and staff are certainly generous this Thanksgiving.  Many of our schools collected cans of food for the Salvation Army; Fallon Park Elementary had more than 2,000 cans!  At Lucy Addison Middle, students in the Friends of Rachel Club collected enough food to help four families from the school.  Our churches in Congregations In Action (CIA) are also doing their part.  Greene Memorial United Methodist Church fed 30 families from Highland Park Elementary.
Elementary Spelling Bee
It took twelve contestants, nearly a dozen rounds and about a hour but we have a winner.  Congratulations to Aaron Henley of Highland Park Elementary.  He is this year's Elementary Spelling Bee winner, which was held at Woodrow Wilson Middle.  The winning word? Sanitary.  Aaron received a trophy and plenty of applause.  Thank you to WDBJ-TV's Robin Reed for serving as pronouncer for the spelling bee.
A helping hand this Thanksgiving
Once again, our high school students have teamed up with the Elks Club for a massive food drive in the Roanoke Valley.  Students from Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools collected over a ton of food to help 101 needy families.  Each recipient received the fixings for a Thanksgiving feast, plus enough food for three weeks.  Health and Medical students from ROTEC packed up the food and Elks Club members delivered it to families.
U.S. Cellular rewards RCPS Teachers
Six Roanoke City School teachers got a really nice surprise from U.S. Cellular.  The company will fund classroom projects through its Calling All Teachers Program.  The teachers are from Lucy Addison, Fallon Park, Roanoke Academy, and three from Fairview Elementary.  They submitted proposals through the website DonorsChoose.org.   All told, U.S. Cellular's total investment in Roanoke City is $2,730.  A big thank you to U.S. Cellular for your generosity.
Amateurs at William Fleming
Thanks to everyone who came out supported William Fleming High School's production of Amateurs.  It was a great success.
Pride and Prejudice at Patrick Henry
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported Patrick Henry High School's Production of Pride and Prejudice.  It was an overwhelming success.
100% at Forest Park
Forest Park Academy was the first school to have all of its staff donate to the United Way.  As a thank you, the staff received a pizza party.  We had 5 total schools this year with a 100% staff participation in our United Way Campaign.  The other schools are Noel C. Taylor, Monterey Elementary, Lucy Addison Middle, and Roanoke Academy (RAMS).  These schools will receive cookies made by our Culinary Arts students.  Thanks to everyone who gave to the United Way.
Round Hill's New Cafeteria
Construction is complete.  Workers are now putting the finishing touches on the new cafeteria at Round Hill Elementary.  They will assemble the new tables in the coming days.  We anticipate students and staff will begin using the new cafeteria the week of November 24.  Thank you to everyone for their patience during construction.  We know it hasn't been easy but we believe the end result will be well worth it.
Football Playoffs
The season comes to an end for the football teams of Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools.  The Patriots lost their playoff game 49 to 0.  The Colonels lost their playoff game 42 to 19.  Congratulations to both teams on a great season.  You should be proud.  Thank you to the fans for supporting these young athletes throughout the entire season. 
Honoring Veterans
There is plenty of red, white and blue in our schools this week as students say thank you to our Veterans.  At Lincoln Terrace Elementary, Veterans were treated to lunch.  First graders from Crystal Spring Elementary traveled to the VA Medical Center to sing patriotic songs to the Veterans.  Garden City Elementary students made cards that Golden Corral will give to Veterans at its restaurant.  Other schools are holding special programs and making art projects.
Fleming's Canstruction
What could you do with 5,000 cans? Some William Fleming High School students have a creative answer.  They built a sculpture out of cans for Canstruction; an event that raises hunger awareness for the Feeding America Southwest Virginia Food Bank.  The students constructed the Pac-Man themed sculpture at the Taubman Museum of Art.  Fleming's team took home the Best Meal Award.  The sculpture will be on display at the Taubman for the next two weeks. 
Girls on the Run
If you have ever trained for a race, you know it can be tough.  But the girls at Westside Elementary make it look so easy.  Twelve 3rd and 4th graders are participating in the newly formed Girls on the Run Club.  It is a chance for them to learn ways to stay healthy and to feel good about themselves.  They meet twice a week and it includes workshops on anti-bullying and self-esteem.  The group is training for its first 5K.  The students will run the Jingle Bell Run in December. 
Reading Rewards
Reading can be fun and delicious.  Wasena Elementary is having a lot of success with its Accelerated Reading Program.  Students are encouraged to read as many books as possible every nine weeks.  They are then entered into a drawing for a pizza party with the principal.  There is one winner from every grade. The more books they read, the more chances to win.  The goal is to motivate students to read more.  At the end of lunch, they pick out some books to take home.
Central Office Changes
Due to the on-going construction at Central Office, the main entrance is closed.  You can access Central Office through the employee entrance.  It is located to the right of the old main entrance.  It has a big number 2 above the door.  Parking on Douglass Avenue is restricted.  Once you turn onto Douglass Avenue, you are encouraged to take an immediate right at the Annex Building and park behind the building.  This parking lot will put you closest to the temporary main entrance. 
Fallon's Family
You could call it All in the Family.  Fallon Park Elementary prides itself on family and tradition.  For more than a decade, a colorful family tree has been prominently displayed on a wall in the art room.  Each leaf has the name of a student and staff members.  With more than 800 total, that is a pretty big family tree.  The main purpose is to show the school's "growth" is tied to everyone working together. 
Red Ribbon Week
Thanks to all the schools that participated in Red Ribbon Week and to students who took the pledge to stay drug-free.  The Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC) has announced the winners of Red Ribbon Week.  James Madison Middle School won the Making A Difference Award.  Crystal Spring Elementary won the Spirit of Red Ribbon Week Award.
United Way Campaign
Congratulations to Salena Morton of Lucy Addison Middle School for winning our United Way drawing.  She received two tickets to a Virginia Tech Football Game.  Thanks to everyone who donated to this year's United Way Campaign.  We had a number of schools have 100% staff participation including Lucy Addison Middle, Monterey Elementary, Forest Park Academy, and Roanoke Academy (RAMS).  Each school will receive a prize. 
Lucy Addison H.S. Monument Wall
It will honor the history and alma mater of Lucy Addison High School.  Plans to build a monument wall at what is now Addison Middle are moving forward.  Congressman Bob Goodlatte has donated a $1,000 for the project.  Anyone who attended Lucy Addison High School is eligible to be listed on the wall.  The unveiling of the monument is scheduled for next fall.  If you would like to donate, send checks to: LAHS Monument Wall Fund, P.O. Box 6257, Roanoke, VA 24017
Addison's Angels
It was a purrfect project.  Lucy Addison Middle School students volunteered for several hours at Roanoke's Angels of Assisi.  They are part of the new Builders Club sponsored by Kiwanis.  The club focuses on volunteerism and community service.  Students cleaned cages, bowls and swept the floors.  They also learned how to care for animals and the importance of spay and neutering your pets.  The club plans to volunteer throughout the community every month.
Preston Park hits the pavement
It is one of the most popular after school clubs at Preston Park Elementary.  More than 50 students are participating in the Panther Running Club this year.  They meet once a week and it is more than just running around the school.  Community organizations have taught the kids proper stretching techniques and how to safely handle a strange dog while outside.  Teachers are tracking their progress.  Four students have run enough miles, that combined, add up to a half marathon. 
Rule of Law Day
It started in Roanoke five years ago and now the program is in schools across the state of Virginia.  Every year, legal professionals visit our five middle schools for Rule of Law Day.  Judges, attorneys, and clerks talk to 8th graders about our judicial system and about their rights and responsiblities.  Some of the legal topics include the dangers of social media, sexting and driving while intoxicated.  More than 40 area legal professionals participated in the program this year.
Carvins Cove Grant
More of our students will experience the great outdoors.  The Western Virginia Water Authority has secured a $3,400 grant supported by the Virginia Wildlife eStore Grant Program through a partnership between the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia.  The money will pay for transportation for field trips to Carvins Cove Natural Reserve.  At the reservoir, the students experience educational programs about water and take a nature hike.
Sweet Symphony
Music should be accessible to everyone.  That is the mission of the Roanoke Symphony.  Throughout the  year, the RSO visits all of our schools and conducts various programs for different age groups.  Rhythms of the World introduces elementary school students to all kinds of instruments.  They don't just see or hear the instruments, they also get to try them out.  The symphony's latest interactive visit was at Fallon Park Elementary.
Astronomy Night at Hurt Park
It was truly an out of this world experience at Hurt Park Elementary.  The school held an Astronomy Night to get students excited about science.  Some of the activities included conducting science experiments, touring a mobile planetarium, and looking at the stars through telescopes.  This is just the beginning for exploring.  Hurt Park is launching a new Astronomy Club that will meet once a week after school.
Classic book, classic movie
They have read the book, and now seen the movie.  8th graders from James Madison Middle recently read Harper Lee's classic "To Kill A Mockingbird."  Nearly 200 students traveled to the Grandin Theatre to watch the classic movie version starring Gregory Peck.  Additionally, students wrote book reports and designed their own book cover.  Principal Johnson calls it her favorite American novel.
Round Hill Update
We are one step closer to the completion of the new cafeteria/kitchen at Round Hill Elementary.  We are happy to report the project is 90% complete.  This week, workers installed the tile flooring inside the new cafeteria.  We anticipate students will begin eating in the new facility in the next two weeks.  Construction on the six new classrooms is coming along nicely.  They are scheduled to be finished by the first of the year.  .
8th grade laptop initiative update
They have been delivered!  Nearly a thousand 8th graders have received a brand new Dell laptop as part of the Portable Anytime Student Systems (PASS) program.  Students can take these laptops home. The laptops will come with enhanced batteries that should last the entire school day, when fully charged.  Students are expected to use the laptops at school and at home.
Students tour renovated main library
After an 11 month renovation, Roanoke's Main Library re-opened to the public.  Students from Round Hill Elementary and Preston Park Elementary were part of the festivities.  They helped cut the ribbon and then were some of the first to see the renovations.  They saw thousands of new books and a kids area that includes a slide, which is popular with students AND staff.  They also had storytime with "Max and Ruby" author and illustrator Rosemary Wells.
RCPS receives state grant
The school system has received $397,259 as part of the Extended School Year Grant Program.  The money will be used at Fallon Park Elementary, Hurt Park Elementary, and Westside Elementary.  Under state guidelines,  RCPS+ qualifies as a year-round school program.  RCPS+ is a six week summer enrichment program for kindergarten through 8th grade students.  The program is voluntary.
Veggie Grant
We all know we should eat our fruits and vegetables.  A grant is making that a reality at three elementary schools.  RCPS received a grant from the USDA that provides fresh fruits and vegetables three times a week at Hurt Park Elementary, Fallon Park Elementary, and Lincoln Terrace Elementary.  Students receive the food right in the classroom with the hope it will encourage healthier eating.
Rain Barrel Project
You can call them artists and environmentalists.  Fishburn Park Elementary has teamed up with the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Arts Commission for an unique art project.  Students are decorating  a dozen rain barrels with various environmental scenes.  The City's Stormwater Division are now giving away the finished products.  Rain barrels are a cheap easy way to save water to use on gardens, lawns, and for outdoor cleaning. 
Benefit Concert for Africa
Thanks to everyone who came out to William Fleming High School for a concert to benefit Africa.  The choir raised $300 to help a medical center in Northern Ghana..  Choir Director Turner says she chose this region because a Fleming faculty member often takes mission trips to Ghana.  The performance also included the choirs at Lucy Addison and James Breckinridge Middle Schools.
Preserving Lucy Addison's Legacy
The school is named after her, now students from Lucy Addison Middle School are working to preserve her legacy.  Lucy Addison, who died in 1937, is buried in Maryland but she has no marker or headstone.  Students are now raising money to change that.  Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home in Roanoke has agreed to pay half, the students are raising the rest.  If you would like to donate money, call the school at 853-2681.  They have already raised more than $50.
Teachers for Tomorrow
Could these students be our future teachers?  That's the idea behind our new teacher cadet program.  30 students from Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools are enrolled in Teachers for Tomorrow.  They take classes through ROTEC that focus on things like the history of education, best practices, and field observations.  Students are even visiting our elementary schools to learn from teachers and conduct their own mini lesson.
SEAC Parents Day
Thanks to everyone who came out to Patrick Henry High School for the 5th annual Parents Day sponsored by The Roanoke City Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)  The event included guest speakers and community exhibits. People learned about tutoring, therapy, IEP's, government agencies, independent living, and much more.
Functional Fitness
When they are not busy teaching, the staff at Crystal Spring Elementary is hitting the gym--together.  The school has started a Functional Fitness Club that meets twice a week after school in the gymnasium.  About a dozen faculty members are participating in the intense one hour workout.  They report losing weight and feeling more fit.  One teacher says it is even easier to climb the stairs at school. 
Stand Up to Cancer at Addison
Plenty of pink at Lucy Addison Middle School.  Staff and students were encouraged to wear anything pink for breast cancer awareness.  But it doesn't end there.  This week, the faculty will wear orange to support Leukemia.  The following week, everyone will wear gold or yellow for childhood cancer.  It proves Addison is truly standing up to cancer for the month of October.
RCPS featured on national TV
We all know we have great music programs.  Now, the whole country knows.  RCPS was featured on American Graduate Day on PBS stations across the country.  Dr. Bishop, Patrick Henry Orchestra Director Jeff Midkiff, and PH student Ryan Turpin were interviewed about our partnership with VH1 Save the Music.  Pop Singer Andy Grammer (left) was the host.
Round Hill Construction Update
The end is near!  Construction of the new cafeteria/kitchen at Round Hill Elementary is now 85% complete.  It is scheduled to be ready in a few weeks and will be put into use immediately.  Work recently started on six additional classrooms, which are being built behind the school.  We anticipate the new classrooms being ready by December.
Boys to Men at Westside
Every Tuesday, boys at Westside Elementary will look more like men.  It is all part of The Westside Boys to Men Program.  Once a week, students are encouraged to wear dress shirts and ties.  The new mentoring program will also include bi-monthly in school sessions that will touch on life skills, etiquette, self-control, and self-image.  The program is voluntary.  More than 200 have already signed up, about half of the school's male population.   They certainly look dapper.
Matt Newton is Region 6 Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Matt Newton of Fishburn Park Elementary.  He has been awarded Region 6 Teacher of the Year.  He is now in the running for Virginia's Teacher of the Year.  "I am truly proud of Matt. This is the second Region 6 Teacher of the Year for Roanoke City Public Schools in the last three years.  We have the best teachers.  This is another reason this is our best year ever," said Superintendent Rita Bishop.
Wasena Ambassadors
They started off as patrols, but now they are called the Wasena Ambassadors.  The group is bigger, has greater importance and has more responsibilities.  Students at Wasena Elementary help with arrival and dismissal.  They put up and take down the American flag as well as plan events to create a better school environment.  It is a very selective group.  Last year, only 5th graders could participate.  This year, it is open to 4th graders after an application process.
Peace at Patrick Henry
A message of peace was prominently displayed at Patrick Henry High School.  Several art classes participated in Pinwheels for Peace to celebrate the International Day of Peace.  Students created their own pinwheels with messages and symbols of peace.  They then planted the pinwheels in the grassy area outside Patrick Henry.  A windy day made the display that more poignant. 
Pastries for Partners
Good food and good company made for a perfect day at Morningside Elementary.  The school held Pastries for Partners.  It was a chance for parents and grandparents to visit the school and have breakfast with their children.  The event is an opportunity for parents to see how their children are doing academically and hopefully lead to more parental involvement at school.  It was so popular the donuts were all gone!
Constitution Day
227 years ago this month the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  Many of our schools celebrated with special events.  Students in Civics class at Woodrow Wilson Middle School made cupcakes, complete with red, white, and blue sprinkles.  They also used the computer to do research on the Constitution and then made birthday cards.  James Madison, representing Virginia, was the chief recorder of information for the Constitution back in 1787.
Breckinridge Tees Off
Ten students from James Breckinridge Middle are hitting the golf course--after school of course.  Breckinridge started a golf team last year to introduce the sport to middle school students.  Once a week, they get pointers from professionals at First Tee of Roanoke Valley at a deeply discounted rate.  Students learn techniques, game etiquette and team work.  They will compete for the first time next month.
Construction Curriculum
It is more than just a construction site, it is also a good place to learn.  Teachers at Round Hill Elementary have incorporated construction of the new cafeteria into their lesson plans.  For example, they've used the renovations to teach younger students about shapes.  The older students go outside and write what they see.  It also helps with behavior.  The principal allows students who do well to tour the construction site.
Star-Spangled Banner Anniversary
This year marks the 200th anniversary of our nation's beloved national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."  Nearly 700 students at Fallon Park Elementary gathered outside the school to sing the national anthem.  Many waved flags and wore red, white, and blue.  Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem after a long battle at Baltimore's Fort McHenry.
Grandparents Day at Westside
It was all about the grandparents at Westside Elementary.  They were invited to lunch at the school as a way of saying thank you and to encourage more involvement in the education of their grandchildren.  More than 200 grandparents participated, making it a huge success.  Principal Singletary-Johnson expects Grandparents Day to become an annual event at Westside.
Shark Tank Roanoke
Woodrow Wilson Middle staged its own version of the ABC-TV Show "Shark Tank."  Advanced Earth Science students had to find a problem in society and try to solve it with an invention.  They then had to present the products to a mock panel of "Shark Tank" entrepreneurs who decide if their project is worthy of financial backing.  Some of the inventions include a water absorbent counter, disposable deodorant pads, tires that do not require air, and a jar that opens from both sides!
Ice Bucket Challenge
The list and the cold chills keep growing..  A teacher at Fishburn Park Elementary, the administration team at Patrick Henry High School, principals at James Madison Middle, the girls basketball team at William Fleming High School, teachers at Hurt Park Elementary, and now the principals at Jackson Middle have all taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Click here to watch Patrick Henry's challenge.
National Semifinalist from Addison
There are just 300 semifinalists across the country and one of them is a graduate of Lucy Addison Middle.  Kaylee Ho entered her science fair research "The Allelopathic Effect of Black Walnut and Alfalfa on Tomato" in the Broadcom MASTERS STEM Competition.  Pretty amazing accomplishment for Kaylee considering there were more than 2,000 middle school applicants. 
Smart Snacks
The snacks children eat at school have never been healthier.  Strict federal guidelines limit calories and portion size for snacks sold in schools.  They also must be reduced fat and low in sodium.  For example, many snacks are now baked or made with whole grains.  RCPS has been following the rules for several years now.  We've noticed manufacturers are offering more choices because of the new rules.
Central Administration Construction
Construction is underway to repair the plaza outside of Central Administration (40 Douglass Avenue).  While the main entrance will remain open during the work, parking will be limited and some offices may temporarily move out of the building.  We suggest you call ahead before coming to Central Office at 853-2502.  We appreciate your patience during this process.
Planting the seed
Students at Fallon Park Elementary will now have no problem eating their fruits and vegetables.  Why?  Because they are growing their own.  Fallon Park has a new vegetable garden thanks to the PATH Coalition.  The goal is to encourage healthy living and hopefully combat childhood obesity.  Students in every grade level are helping to plant and maintain the garden.  They will eventually take home what they grow.  The PATH Coalition has a similar program at Hurt Park Elementary.
Dive into a good book
Crystal Spring Elementary students are learning reading is rewarding in more ways than one.  The school started a summer reading program to encourage more students to pick up a book during the break.  They had to log 14 hours of reading; 170 accepted the challenge and achieved the goal.  They attended an all day pool party at the Elks Club.  You could say these students did swimmingly!
Virginia Heights gets a high-five
There are plenty of high-fives at Virginia Heights Elementary.  The school has started a new program that recognizes students who do outstanding work each week.  It can be for things like good grades, good behavior, or just doing the right thing.  There will be a boy and girl picked from every class each week.  The winners will receive a certificate and a prize.  The goal is for every student to be recognized by the end of the school year.
8th graders to receive laptops
The Roanoke City School Board has approved a plan to put laptops in the hands of every Roanoke City 8th grader.  While details are still being worked out, distribution of the laptops will happen before October 15.  "This is an essential move to ensure equity among our students," said School Board Chairman Todd Putney.  This initiative is essential to improve instruction in writing, reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. 
More Music
It is a partnership that continues to produce sweet music.  Thanks to VH1 Save the Music Foundation, all 17 of our elementary schools now have musical instruments.  The goal of the program is to introduce music education to our youngest students.  To date, VH1 has spent more than $500,000 in Roanoke City Schools.  Five schools are just starting their programs, including Monterey Elementary (pictured).
21st Century Programs Expand
Thanks to grants from Virginia's Department of Education, four Roanoke City Schools will soon have 21st-Century Community Learning Centers.  They are Lucy Addison Middle, James Breckinridge Middle, Lincoln Terrace Elementary, and Roanoke Academy (RAMS).  These after school programs provide tutoring and enrichment activities.  RCPS now has 10 21st-Century programs.
RCPS to be featured on national TV
Superintendent Rita Bishop, Patrick Henry's Orchestra Director Jeff Midkiff, and a student have been invited to appear on American Graduate Day.  It is a national seven-hour television broadcast that highlights national organizations working together to help children succeed.  They will talk about our partnership and successes with VH1 Save the Music Foundation.  The broadcast will be recorded at Lincoln Center in September and aired on PBS stations around the country.
Gettysburg Grant
Students from Lucy Addison Middle School won't just learn about history in a book this year, they'll experience it firsthand.  Sixth graders will take a field trip to Gettysburg, the famous Civil War Battlefield.  Teacher Jenny Motley has secured a grant through the Gettysburg Foundation to make it affordable for each student to attend.  About 100 students will make the trip in early spring.
Round Hill Update
Round Hill Elementary's renovation project includes a new kitchen, cafeteria, and six new classrooms.  The kitchen was recently built in Pennsylvania and then shipped to Roanoke.  Crews installed the 8 large sections using a crane and are now building the cafeteria. The project is expected to be completed sometime this fall.  Until then, the current cafeteria will stay operational.
Back-to-School 2014
Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year.  Click here to view our Back-to School web page.  You will find school supply lists, bus routes, and a list of Back-to-School Nights.  If you have transportation issues, call 853-2072The theme this year is "Our Best Year Ever."  Have a wonderful school year and thank you for making this a great school system.
Welcome to 2014-2015 School Year
As the new school year gets underway, Superintendent Rita Bishop believes this will be Our Best Year Ever.  She outlines many of our accomplishments in her annual welcome message to parents, students, and staff.  Click here to read Dr. Bishop's full message.  Have a great school year and thank you for being a part of the wonderful things going on in Roanoke City Public Schools.
Back-to-School Extravaganza
Thanks to everyone who made this year's Back-to-School Extravaganza one of the best!  We appreciate the principals who passed out school supplies as well as the countless volunteers.  William Fleming High School Football Players provided some muscle and the Round Hill Elementary Step Team wowed the crowd with several performances.  Our children are starting the school year on the right note.
Convocation 2014
It is our best year ever!  That was the theme at our annual celebration to welcome back teachers.  Convocation featured an upbeat performance by the Jackson Middle School Chorus.  School Board Chairman Todd Putney highlighted some of the accomplishments of the past year.  Guest Speaker Robert Sandel, president of Virginia Western Community College, talked about the importance of a college degree.
Patriots honoring Patriots
Thanks to everyone who came out to Patrick Henry High School Marching Band's concert to honor veterans.
Important Pre-School Information
Bus Routes for VPI/Reach Pre-School children were passed out during Orientation on Friday.  We typically don't post bus route information online because pre-school students are picked up in front of their home or close by.  Reminder:  Parents must be at the bus stop when children are picked-up and dropped off.  If you have questions, please call 853-1438
Tdap Immunizations
Every rising 6th grader must receive a Tdap Immunization.  To receive the necessary immunizations, you can visit the Roanoke City Health Department.  Click here for the immunization schedule.  If you have questions, please call the Health Department at 283-5050.
Load The Bus for Kids
THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our school supplies drive.  We saw a record number of donations.  We are truly blessed to be part of such a caring community.  RCPS is also very grateful to Walmart.  The Valley View, Bonsack, and Clearbrook Walmart stores donated space for our drive, several thousand dollars worth of school supplies, and several hundred dollars worth of gift cards. 
Generous donation
We put out the call and Elks Lodge #197 of Roanoke answered in a very big way.  Members donated $1,000 for our school supplies campaign.  When they heard we had more than 600 homeless students last year and 76% of our students are on free and reduced lunch, it prompted the organization to make a large donation.  A big thank you to the Elks Lodge for caring about our community.
Summer home visits
Teachers from Highland Park Elementary are busy this summer but not in the classroom.  They are making home visits as part of Project Good FORM (Family Outreach in Reading and Math).  It is a chance to engage students and their families in reading and math over the summer.  Each student receives books and math games, thanks to the PTA and Congregations in Action (CIA).  Last year, the school visited 65 homes.  This year, it is 80. 
Important Dates for Back-to-School
Back-to-school will be here before you know it.  Here are a few important dates:
August 11- Convocation for teachers is at 9 a.m. at the Roanoke Civic Center
August 16- Back-to-School Extravaganza is 9 a.m. to noon at William Fleming High School.  We will distribute free school supplies to Roanoke City students
August 18- First Day of School for students.
It's a wrap
Thank you teachers and students who participated in RCPS+.  We had more than 2,500 students in our summer enrichment program and we heard nothing but good things about it.  One parent wrote on our Facebook page "So sad to see it end, my kids loved it."  We also heard compliments about the field trips and how much the students learned because of RCPS+.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!    
Surprise Gift
Middle school students who participated in the Governor's School Science Camp got a sweet surprise. Each camper went home with a free brand new laptop, courtesy of the Interactive Achievement Foundation for Kids.  "The IA Foundation for Kids Board of Directors felt it would be a huge benefit for these students to have a computer as they strive to qualify one day for the Governor's School," said CEO Jon Hagmaier. 
New principal at Virginia Heights
Theresa Schmitt is the new principal of Virginia Heights Elementary.  She was appointed at the July School Board meeting.  Ms. Schmitt has been an educator for 25 years.  She's been a teacher, Special Education Coordinator, and an Assistant Principal.  "I'm excited about this journey.  I spent a lot of time last year at Virginia Heights and look forward to continue to build relationships with students, staff, and parents.  Not to mention the Grandin Village community. 
2014-2015 School Year Calendar
UPDATE:  We have received our waiver from the state to start before Labor Day.  The first day of school for students is Monday, August 18.  To see a more detailed look at the 2014-2015 School Year Calendar, click here.
New principal at Westside
Tamika Singletary-Johnson says it already feels like home.  She is the next principal of Westside Elementary.  She has more than a decade of experience as an educator.  More recently, she was an assistant principal in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  "I'm honored to be the principal of Westside Elementary.  I already have plenty of Eagle pride," said Singletary-Johnson.  Welcome to Westside.
RCPS+ Information
Our summer enrichment program runs from now  through Friday, July 25.  More than 2,500 are participating in RCPS+ in the second year.  For more information about the program and bus routes, click here.  You will get details about the themes each week, the field trips, and an overview of the curriculum. 
New principal for Madison Middle
Whitney Johnson will take over as principal of James Madison Middle.  She has been the assistant principal at Madison for the last several years.  "I'm so honored to be named the new principal of Madison.  I look forward to serving the district in a leadership role," said Johnson.  She plans to hold an open house as we get closer to the beginning of the school year.
New principal for Garden City
She's back.  Jill Lane has been named the new principal for Garden City Elementary.  She had been an assistant principal in Roanoke for many years, the last two she was a principal in Floyd County.  She lives in Southeast Roanoke and is looking forward to working with the Garden City community.  Welcome back!
Middle school camp at Governor's School
It's not rocket science, the earlier the better.  With that in mind, the Roanoke Valley Governor's School held a camp for middle school students.  20 students from six area school systems participated in the three week camp.  The goal is to get them excited about science, learn computer skills, and spark interest in the Governor's School.  The camp was free for students, thanks to Interactive Achievement.  By the end, each student completed a Science Fair Project.
Westside Debate Team to present at VSBA
Educators from all over Virginia will soon see what Roanokers already knows, the Westside Debate Team is impressive.  The Virginia School Boards Association has invited the Westside Debate Team to perform at its conference in Richmond in July.  Three students from Westside will debate Brown v. Board of Education: 60 Years Later.  Congratulations and good luck.
Stephanie Hogan promoted
A familiar face is the new Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Stephanie Hogan was appointed to the position at the June School Board meeting.  She has spent 22 years with Roanoke City Public Schools, the last several as principal of James Madison Middle.  She is excited about the job and is looking forward to working with everyone in Roanoke City Public Schools.
Summer School
Summer School for high school students runs from now until Friday, July 25.  For bus route information, click here.  Please note:  These routes don't include RCPS+ for rising 9th graders. For that, please visit the RCPS+ webpage. 
Investiture Ceremony
Two familiar faces are returning to the Roanoke City School Board.  Bill Hopkins and Lori Vaught were reappointed to the School Board during an Investiture Ceremony at the Roanoke City Courthouse.  Judge David Carson, past chairman of the Roanoke City School Board, presided over the swearing in.  Mr. Hopkins and Ms. Vaught will serve for four years.
Class of 2014 Graduates
There were plenty of smiles, pats on the back, even a few tears as more than 650 graduates of Roanoke City picked up their diplomas during Commencement Ceremonies at the Roanoke Civic Center.  You can find a lot more photos from both Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools graduations at www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Forest Park Graduation
This is just the beginning.  That was the theme at Forest Park Academy's 6th graduation.  72 graduates picked up their diplomas at a ceremony at the Jefferson Center.  More than 750 have now graduated since Forest Park Academy opened six years ago.  It is a school designed to help students who are in danger of dropping out.  Principal Eric Anderson told the graduates "You haven't seen your greatest days yet.  This is just the beginning."  Congratulations graduates.
Meal at a Mansion
It is one of the most famous homes in Roanoke and students from Westside Elementary's 21st Century Program got to visit the Rockledge Mansion on Mill Mountain.  Nancy and Kevin Dye (pictured) hosted the students and local chefs from The American Culinary Federation.  These culinary masters teach cooking class at Westside during the school year.  The students were treated to a delicious meal.
End of the year fun
During the school year, it is all about hard work.  At the end of the school year, it is all about having fun. Students were treated to field/fun days as well as cookouts.  They played on slip and slides and inflables, as well as fun games like beach volleybal and sack races.  Not to mention they ate plenty of hot dogs right off the grill.  More pictures at www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Close Shave
Would you let a student cut your hair?  Principal Birdlebough of Stonewall Jackson Middle is certainly a brave one.  He and Assistant Principal Littleton allowed students who did really well on the SOLs to shave their heads!  One by one, the students took turns with the electrical shaver until their hair was all gone!  Be sure to check out Mr. Birdlebough and Mr. Littleton's buzz cuts. 
Virginia Preschool Initiative
RCPS is sitll accepting applications for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI).  Children must be age four by September 30, 2014.  Eligibility and placement are based on the child's home address and identified needs.  The child must be a Roanoke City resident.  Applications are available in elementary school offices, www.roanokepreschool.org  or call 853-2957
Baseball Bleachers
Take me out to the ballgame is more enjoyable at James Madison Middle School.  With the help from the PTA, the school raised $8,000 to buy bleachers for the baseball field.  The main fundraiser was a walkathon when students secured pledges and then walked around the school.  Before, fans had to sit on the grass or bring a lawn chair. 
RCPS is ahead of the curve
Eating healthier is a way of life at all Roanoke City Schools.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture will require  schools next year to serve whole grain in everything from pizza crusts, rolls, biscuits, tortillas, to pastas.  RCPS is already meeting the new standards, transitioning to whole grains two years ago.  Students have adapted easily to the changes.  We haven't seen a decreases in lunch purchases. 
Last Week
This is the last week of school.  We want to remind you of a few important things:

May 29- Last Student Day (2 hours early dismissal)

May 30- Graduation (Patrick Henry at 10 A.M., William Fleming at 2 P.M.)

Combined Champs
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT.  Fresh off their State Championship, Patrick Henry High School's Forensics Team will perform with Salem High School's Forensics Team.  Forensics is a mixture of public speaking, poetry, interpretation of plays, and lots of humor.
2014 Retirement Celebration
A job well done!  61 employees are retiring from Roanoke City Public Schools this year and they were honored during a reception at the Roanoke Country Club.  Combined, they have 1,348 years of service with RCPS.  "I'm very appreciative of their combined years of service.  These individuals have demonstrated their true commitment to our children," said Dr. Rita Bishop.  Thank you and enjoy retirement.
Pink for a principal
April Plympton is learning a lot about love, support, and friendship.  The Fairview Elementary principal recently discovered she has breast cancer.  To show support, teachers and staff have been wearing pink shirts.  "I have been overwhelmed with not only the support from my Fairview family, but also the support from other schools, my peers, central office, and our facilities department as I begin my battle with cancer.  I am honored to be a part of the RCPS family," said Plympton.
Baccalaureate Services
Honoring the Class of 2014 is underway. Both Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools recently held Baccalaureate Services.  The ceremonies highlighted academic achievements and seniors accepted into the Community College Access Program (CCAP).  Various awards and scholarships were handed out to deserving seniors.  More pictures: www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Hope at Highland
When Highland Park Elementary opened a school store, it was stocked with toys, stuffed animals, and school supplies donated by area churches, staff, and the PTA.  The whole idea is to reward students who have good grades, good behavior, and good attendance.  But administrators found many students would rather donate the bucks their earned to help others.  The school is collecting money to buy desks for students in Malawi, providing hope to students half a world away.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
It started five years ago with just a few small groups.  Today, it has expanded to include every kindergartner in Roanoke City.  Each spring, students visit the Virginia Museum of Transportation for a fun and educational opportunity.  They don't just tour the museum.  They have to solve problems, take part in scavenger hunts, and explore their imaginations. The best part?  They visit the museum free of charge. 
Grant gratitude
Denise Wilson of Fairview Elementary knows how to get creative with money.  The kindergarten teacher has received more than $6,000 in grants to help pay for extras in her classroom.  They include a lego table (pictured), books, an ipad mini, and other educational materials.  She often uses www.donorschoose.org; a website that allows ordinary folks and businesses to fund classroom projects.  Wilson recently received $500 from the Roanoke Macy's.
Community Meeting
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT.  Superintendent Rita Bishop will hold a community meeting at Virginia Heights Elementary.  It is a chance for parents to discuss the qualities and characteristics you believe important for the next principal at Virginia Heights. 
Preschool pizza
Grandin Village is a great place to shop and go to school.  Virginia Heights Elementary has now brought the two together.  Throughout the school year, preschoolers visit many of the businesses in the Grandin area to get to know the community. This week, they stopped by Grace's Pizza to become pizza makers.  Students made their own pizza and then ate it all up.  It was a chance for them to learn about the different food groups and good table manners.  Looks yummy.
Wilson student wins favorite teacher contest
Ms. Hanes calls her a doll and for good reason.  Kaitlin Potter of Woodrow Wilson Middle School entered the My Favorite Teacher Essay Contest sponsored by Barnes and Noble.  Kaitlin wrote about her English Teacher Ms. Hanes who she calls a good role model.  Kaitlin was the winner from the Valleyview Roanoke location and has received a certificate.  Ms. Hanes got a plaque, tote bag, and a candle.  Congratulations to both.
RCPS Art Show
Our students have a lot of talent and now it's being showcased at the Jefferson Center.  On display you will find more than a hundred works of art from elementary, middle, and high school.  You will find photography, portraits, drawings, and ceramics.  High school is featured on the 2nd floor, elementary and middle on the 3rd floor.  They will be on display at the Jefferson Center until May 23rd.  You will find more pictures of the art at facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Preston Park student wins contest
Elijah Law of Preston Park Elementary can give a good speech and now he is an award winner because of it.  The 5th grader is one of eleven winners nationwide of the NCUST Excellence in Urban Education Student Speech Contest.  Elijah submitted a video of his speech titled "How My School Influences My Life."  He will receive a check for $200 from the National Center for Urban School Transformation.  He plans to use the money to buy kid friendly games.
Preserving History
George Washington is now at Grandin Court Elementary.  The Nancy Christian Fleming Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution donated a framed pictured of the first president.  The group has provided this gift to 3 of our schools and plans to do more in the future.  Grandin Court's first graders received the picture because they are learning about George Washington as part of the SOLs.
Anne Holton visits Fallon Park
Fallon Park Elementary is a great example of an urban school making the grade.  That's why Virginia's Secretary of Education held a roundtable discussion with some of the faculty at Fallon Park.  Anne Holton wanted to know what works, what doesn't, and what needs improvement.  They talked about the importance of preschool, parent involvement, and the need for more technology at home.  Ms. Holton thanked the teachers and gave them each a box of chocolates.
Safer Play
How about a playground that if you fall on the ground you barely have a scratch on you?  It is a reality at Monterey Elementary. RCPS has replaced mulch on the playground with rubber surfacing. The benefits are it is virtually maintenance free, it will not freeze or hold water, it's insect free, and the rubber surfacing is made up of 70% recycled material.  The hope is to eventually install this at other schools.
Teacher Appreciation Week
Thanks to everyone who made Teacher Appreciation Week so special for our teachers.  Many of our schools and PTA's held special events including providing breakfast, lunch, desserts, and gfit bags.  Teacher Appreciation Week may be over but it is never too late to thank a teacher and show your appreciation.
Westside Community Meeting
UPDATE:  Thanks to everyone who came out for this meeting. There is a principal opening at Westside Elementary.  Parents are invited to participate in a meeting to discuss the qualities and characteristics they believe important for the next principal at Westside.  Please join Superintendent Rita Bishop at 6:30 p.m. TONIGHT, in the Westside Cafeteria.  We look forward to seeing you.
A plate full of appreciation
Any recipe for success includes good food and good people.  With that in mind, we said thank you to all our food services workers during School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week. "RCPS Food and Nutrition employees serve 2.3 million meals throughout the school year.  Their hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated," said Food Services Director Tom Powers.
Little Feet Meet
Better late than never.  The Special Olympics held its annual Little Feet Meet at Northside High School Monday.  It was postponed several times last week because of the rain.  Elementary students from 35 schools in the Roanoke Valley competed in various activities including bowling, jumping, and soccer.  Congratulations to all the Special Olympians and thanks to Northside for hosting the event.
Matt Newton is Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Matthew Newton of Fishburn Park Elementary.  He was crowned the 2014 Teacher of the Year at a banquet at the Jefferson Center.  He received a $1,000 check and a $400 gift card from Interactive Achievement as well as a $50 gift card from Kroger.  Runner-ups Tana Thomas of Wasena and Angela Wimberly Montery received a $250 check from WDBJ-TV and gift certificates for a Virginia Dare Cruise.  Congratulations to all the candidates.
Noteworthy Music Festival
It ended on a high note.  Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday to the Noteworthy Music Festival at Patrick Henry High School.  The crowd was treated to a dozen acts; everything from 70's music to country.  More than $1,800 was raised for our elementary music programs.  Since the festival started three years ago, more than $20,000 has been raised for such a worthy cause.
Girls Rock
At Preston Park Elementary, girls just want to have fun and they are.  This year, the school started the Girls Rock Club for 5th graders.  28 girls meet once a week after school.  Part of it is a support group but it is also a chance for them to learn physical health, ways to prevent cyberbullying, and how to prepare for middle school.  The club took part in a career fair that featured women from all over the Roanoke Valley.  The main message to these girls?  Go to college!
The three E's
It is all about etiquette (silverware), ethics (scales), and excellence (trophies) at Jackson Middle.  The school started a new club this year for 8th graders that focuses on manners, character, and excellence.  Nearly a 150 students met once a month after school and it featured team building, guest speakers, workshops about applying for jobs as well as public speaking.  There was even a parent meeting that focused on the transition to high school and the dangers of social media. 
Governor honors Crystal Spring
Congratulations to Crystal Spring Elementary.  The school has received the 2014 Board of Education Excellence Award.  The Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) recognizes schools and divisions that exceed minimum state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the governor and the Board of Education.  Staff and students should be proud!
Middle School Science Camp
The Roanoke Valley Governor's School is sponsoring a free 3 week summer science camp for rising sixth and seventh grade students.  The camp will take place from June 16 through July 3.  During the camp, students will take part in various hands-on fun activities and experiments.  Click here for full description of the camp. Click here for an application. 
Dollars and sense
Twenty-nine of the nation's 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction are in Virginia.  Both Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools are on that list!  Working in Support of Education announced the top-100 list at the New York Stock Exchange.  Students in Virginia, who entered 9th grade in 2011, must complete a course in personal finance and economic literacy in order to graduate.
Little Feet Meet POSTPONED
The Little Feet Meet originally scheduled for this Thursday, then moved to Friday, will now take place Monday, May 5.  It will still take place at Northside High School.  This will give the fields plenty of time to dry out.   If you get the chance, please come out and cheer for these Special Olympians.
Boston Strong
Christine Lange ran to remember the victims and to honor the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings.  The kindergarten teacher from Westside Elementary has run several marathons before but the Boston Marathon was a first.  Lange finished an impressive 3:27.  Out of more than 36,000 runners, she placed 8,370.  Congratulations.
Planting the seed
Hundreds of our students are now tree planters.  Thanks to a grant, 4-H has donated 630 seedlings to students of Roanoke City.  This week, 1st graders at Fairview Elementary received a grey dogwood seedling.  The students are encouraged to take the seedlings home and plant away.  During the visit, 4-H also educates students about the environment through various science activities. 
Spelling bee winner
Katelyn Diaz of Virginia Heights Elementary has no "grievance."  She won this year's Elementary Spelling Bee.  13 students from across the school system competed at Woodrow Wilson Middle school.  Katelyn won in the 10th round with the word grievance.  We congratulate the winner and all the participants.  Also, thank you to WDBJ-TV's Kimberly McBroom for emceeing the spelling bee.
A step up!
More of our schools have started their own step teams after the success of Westside's.  Step is a collection of rhythms made by using your hands and feet.  When Round Hill Elementary started a step team earlier this year, it had more students than slots. The students have been working hard and will soon hold their first public performance.  Madison Middle and William Fleming High School also have step teams.
Earth Week at Fishburn Park
It is a week that is all about protecting the environment.  Fishburn Park Elementary held various events for Earth Week.  The school kicked it off with a visit to the Kirk YMCA to learn about water safety since this year's theme was water.  Other events included a walkathon, projects to beautify the Fishburn campus, an art project with an environmental focus, and a viewing of the new movie "Bears."
Science museum hits the road
The Science Museum of Western Virginia is not only a great place to visit, it also provides wonderful educational opportunities.  The museum visits our elementary schools and brings hands-on activities.  For example, Grandin Court Elementary recently learned all about rocks.  Students got to touch the rocks, even got to do experiments.  All of the museum's lessons are SOL related.
Westside goes to Washington
They were the talk of Washington D.C.  With their uniforms pressed and proudly displayed, people stopped them on the streets to ask about the Westside Debate Team.  While in the nation's capital, the students spent time at Howard University, where they performed and got pointers from Howard's Debate Team.  The students also visited the memorials and museums throughout D.C., and made a brief appearance on News One Now hosted by Roland Martin.
The next best seller
They can now add author to their resume.  Kindergartners at Crystal Spring Elementary have written and illustrated their very own book.  Parents were invited to the school to hear the students read their books out loud.  The exercise creates excitement about reading, gets the creative juices flowing, and helps them with public speaking.  Afterwards, they all gathered for tea and cookies.
French government honors Fleming teacher
Mary Jo Fassie, teacher of advanced French at William Fleming High School, has been named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms) by the French government.  The order has been around since the 1800's and recognizes those who have advanced French education and have contributed to the prestige of the French language and culture.  Felicitations Madame Fassie.  (Congratulations Miss Fassie).
National Volunteer Week
We couldn't do it without them.  During National Volunteer Week, we said thank you to the countless volunteers who help and donate to our schools.  We have more than a thousand people who volunteer throughout RCPS.  At Highland Park Elementary alone, volunteers put in about 5,000 hours each year.  To say thanks, schools like Highland Park held a breakfast to show their appreciation.
National recognition for Patrick Henry
The Washington Post is out with its latest rankings for America's Most Challenging High Schools.  Patrick Henry High School placed 365th of all the high schools in the nation. The Washington Post ranks schools through an index formula that's a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated last year.
James Madison Middle presents "Aladdin"
Congratulations to all the performers.  "Aladdin" was a huge hit.  Get ready to go on a magic carpet ride as James Madison Middle presents the musical "Aladdin."  With just a rub of the magic lamp, Aladdin's journey takes you into an exotic world full of adventure, comedy, and romance. 
Living History
The Jamestown Settlement has landed in Roanoke.  Interpreters from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation are visiting all 4th grade classes the next two weeks.  They are bringing the museum experience to the classroom, like here at Highland Park Elementary.  Students learn and actually touch artifacts that were common from America's first English Colony.  The hands-on lesson comes at a good time, since students are about to take the Virginia Studies SOL.
CCAP Concert
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Jazz Honor Band Concert at the Jefferson Center Saturday night.  It featured high school students from all over the Roanoke Valley, including Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools.  All the money raised will benefit the Community College Access Program (CCAP).  It allows graduating seniors to attend Virginia Western Community College tuition-free.
Autism Awareness
There was plenty of blue at Roanoke City Schools April 2nd.  Many teachers and several students wore blue as part of World Autism Awareness Day.  On this day, people around the world celebrate the unique talents and skills of people with autism.  1 in every 68 kids has autism.  In addition to wearing blue, some schools had special decorations and made cupcakes with blue frosting!
Patrick Henry High School Orchestra in Chicago
Congratulations to Patrick Henry High School's Orchestra for receiving first place at a music festival in Chicago.  The students automatically earned a spot to perform at a concert at the prestigious Orchestra Hall.  Additionally, 11 Patrick Henry students qualified for honors orchestra.  Bravo!
Career Week at Virginia Heights
What do you want to be when you grow up?  It's a question recently answered at Virginia Heights Elementary.  For a week, the school held events centered around careers like Vehicle Day.  It featured various vehicles from the police and fire departments, as well as a sanitation truck.  Other events included Dress Up Day and College Day.  The idea is for students to start thinking about a career now and have a little fun along the way.
State Champs
Congratulations to Patrick Henry High School's Forensics Team for winning the 6A State Championship in Harrionsburg Saturday.  Forensics is a combination of public speaking and performance. The team will have a performance Friday night in the Black Box Theater at PH at 6:30 p.m.  Students will perform dramatic adaptations of plays, poetry, and prose.
Extended School Day
REMINDER:  From now and lasting until Friday, May 23, we will extend the school day by 15 minutes.  We've missed a lot of instruction time because of winter weather and we believe this is what is best for children.  As we have said before, there are no plans to shorten Spring Break.  A letter was sent home with students last week.  Click here to see it. Versión española
Simply the best!
Roanoke City Public Schools has been designated a 2014 Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation.  Now in its 15th year, the award evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music education.  This year, 376 school districts are being recognized across the country.  Congratulations to everyone who made this award possible.  Bravo!
Dance Espanol
Thanks to everyone who came out to see Dance Espanol at William Fleming High School.  It was a packed house as 200 students performed from Highland Park, Morningside, Lincoln Terrace, and Wasena Elementary Schools.  Bravo to the dancers and Instructor Pedro Szalay of Southwest Virginia Ballet.  More photos and video: www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Book Bracket
March Madness has taken over Westside Elementary.  But second graders are using books rather than basketballs.  Each day, Ms. Blandy reads two books and then students vote for their favorite.  They use their own brackets to create an Elite 8, a Final Four, and finally a winner.  The fun activity encourages students to read and they're learning about probability.  Sounds like a slam dunk to us!
Teacher of the Year Finalists
We are happy to announce the three finalists for Roanoke's Teacher of the Year.  They are Angela Wimberly, Matt Newton, and Tana Thomas.  Wimberly is a reading specialist at Monterey Elementary.  Matt Newton is a special education teacher at Fishburn Park Elementary.  Tana Thomas is a ELL teacher at Wasena Elementary.  Congratulations to all the candidates.  They will all be honored and a winner selected at a banquet on May 1. 
Potato procedure
Mr. Spud went under the knife...sort of, and perhaps not in the way you may think.  Health and Medical Science students from ROTEC took part in a hands-on exercise called "Potato Man Surgery."  They performed various surgical procedures on a potato like a tracheotomy, limb amputation, and splinting.  All students were dressed in full surgical attire to make the exercise as real as possible.
Recording artists
Move over Katy Perry, you have some stiff competition from the Fairview Rockers.  With the help of recording artist Toni Blackman, students at Fairview Elementary have written their own rap song titled "Feel Good."  This week, they visited the Music Lab at the Jefferson Center for a recording session.  The students will eventually receive a copy of the CD and can now say they are recording artists.
William Fleming presents "Cinderella"
FINAL WEEKEND:  Will there be a fairy tale ending?  Of course!  William Fleming High School presents the beloved musical "Cinderella" this weekend.  You can catch the shows, complete with a magical carriage, this Friday and Saturday (3/28-29) at 7:30 p.m.  Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students.  Don't worry, you will be out by the time the clock strikes midnight.
Outdoor classroom at Addison
Lucy Addison Middle took the first step this week creating an outdoor classroom.  With the help of Blue Ridge Soil and Water, students in the Ecology Club constructed their own rain barrel.  They will use it to catch rain that will then be used to water plants.  This will save money and it teaches students to be good stewards of the environment.  Down the road, the club plans to plant flower beds and possibly add a bench for the whole school to enjoy.
Science Fair Winner
Congratulations to Warner McGhee, a Patrick Henry High School and Governor's School student.  He was selected as one of the two Grand Award winners at the Western Virginia Regional Science Fair for his project on The Effect of a Magnetic Field on the Solubility of Various Compounds.  He will now compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California in May. 
RCPS+ is a go
The Roanoke City School Board has approved RCPS+ for another year.  The summer enrichment program for rising first graders through ninth graders will take place June 16-July 25.  Parents will receive detailed information and an application in the coming weeks.  We will keep you posted as we get closer to the application process.  But start planning now for this wonderful program. Remember, RCPS+ is voluntary.
Preston Park wins national award
Congratulations to Preston Park Elementary.  The National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) has picked 16 schools across the country as winners of its 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award.  Preston Park received the Bronze Award.  All the winners be recognized in San Diego in May.  "They prove that our nation's urban schools can be wonderful centers of learning that change children's lives," said Joseph Johnson, Executive Director of NCUST. 
Cupcakes for a Cause
Pedro Szalay, artistic director for the Southwest Virginia Ballet, traded a tutu for an apron Saturday.  He served cupcakes at Bubblecake to raise money for arts programs in Roanoke City Public Schools.  His efforts brought in more than $500.  Thanks to everyone who came out to buy a tasty treat.  Be sure to check out "Dance Espanol" Thursday, March 27 at William Fleming H.S. at 7:00.  Pedro will lead four elementary schools as they dazzle you with exciting Spanish dances. 
Patrick Henry presents "Spamalot"
FINAL WEEKEND:  Be prepared to laugh as Patrick Henry High School presents the musical comedy "Spamalot."  You can catch the show this Friday and Saturday (3/21-22) at 7:00 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School.  "Spamalot" is a musical based on Monty Python and features King Arthur, his Round Table, and the Killer Rabbit. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students.
School Climate Parent Survey 2014-2015
How is the climate at your child's school? Good?  Needs improvement?  Does the school respond to your calls/e-mails in a timely manner?  These are just a few of the questions asked in the annual School Climate Parent Survey.  We encourage your feedback.  We need it!  This will help us improve your child's school.  Survey responses are anonymous. Click here to complete the survey. 
WF Girls Basketball Team plays for State Championship
Congratulations to the Lady Colonels on an outstanding season.  William Fleming High School's Girls Basketball Team played for the State Championship Thursday night in Richmond.  It was a close game all the way until the end.  The final score was William Fleming 50 Lake Taylor 57.  We would like to thank all the fans who traveled to Richmond to cheer on the players.
Breckinridge Middle honors Nelson Mandela
When Nelson Mandela died in December, students at Breckinridge Middle got to work to honor the former South African president through art.  The piece was created by over 30 students, who worked on a square at a time, using a gridded original photograph.  They created their own square separately, then brought them together to create a portrait of Mandela.
Read Across America Day
Cat in the Hat visited several Roanoke City elementary schools as part of Read Across America Day.  It is held every March to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday.  Schools had guest readers from our school board, city council, local TV stations, and countless charitable organizations.  Not to mention all the teachers and students who dressed up for the occasion.  More photos: www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools
Accessiblity for all
There is a new feature at Fishburn Park Elementary's playground that is a first for RCPS, and possibly the Roanoke Valley.  The school has installed a wheelchair swing.  It was paid through a grant from the Greater Raleigh Court Civic League (GRCL).  Nearly a dozen students will use the swing but it is also adult sized, making it possible for everyone to have fun on the playground.
Important Announcement
We have missed many days due to winter weather; consequently, this Friday, March 14 will now be a full school day.  It was originally scheduled to be an early dismissal day.  Many of you have also inquired about Spring Break.  We want you to know there are NO plans to shorten Spring Break, which is scheduled for April 21-25. 
Happy homecoming
John Rivera of Grandin Court Elementary got the surprise of his life.  His mother, deployed in Afghanistan for four months, surprised her son at school.  John was practicing for a performance when his mother just walked into the cafeteria.  Click here to watch the emotional homecoming.  The video on the school system's Facebook page has been seen more than 90,000 times.
PH Forensics Team wins Regional Championship
Not bad for a team that has only been around for about 5 years.  Patrick Henry High School's Forensics Team has won the 6A Regional Championship.  Forensics is a combination of public speaking as well as performance and Patrick Henry's Team has nailed it.  11 students are now moving on to the State Championship at the end of March.  Congratulations and good luck.
Fine tuning with a maestro
We are fortunate to have orchestra programs in many of our schools.  We are even more fortunate that David Stewart Wiley of the Roanoke Symphony helps with these programs.  His latest visit was Stonewall Jackson Middle.  For two hours, he worked with students fine tuning their skills, as they get ready for concert assessments next week.  Thank you to Mr. Wiley for supporting music education.
RCPS educators honored
The Urban Professional League (UPL) has honored two Roanoke City educators.  Sharon Hicks, administrator on assignment at Hurt Park Elementary, received the Educators Award.  Jeff May, debate and step team coach at Westside Elementary, received the Community Service Award. Congratulations to both and thank you for all that you do for our children.
Books come alive
How do you generate excitement about reading?  You get the characters to jump right off the page and come alive.  Staff and students at Roanoke Academy dressed up as their favorite book character for a day.  Harry Potter, princesses, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all popular choices. Educators hope this exercise will encourage more students to open a book and let their imaginations run wild.
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Upcoming Events

- RVEC College Night
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
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- WF Softball
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
- WF Baseball Game
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
- WF Boys Soccer
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
- WF Girls Soccer
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

  • School Board Recognitions

    The Roanoke City School recognized the Patrick Henry High School Marching Band for representing Virginia at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii.

  • School Board Recognitions

    Kendryek Wheeler of Woodrow Wilson Middle was honored for winning the If I Were Mayor Essay Contest.

  • School Board Recognitions

    February is School Board Clerk Month. Thank you to Cindy Poulton and Dawn Winter-Ware for your hard work.

  • Major Milestone

    Coach Hubbard was honored for receiving his 100th win as William Fleming Girls Basketball Coach.

  • Playground Dedication

    Highland Park Elementary students participated in the ribbon cutting for the school's new playground.

  • Spelling Bee

    Great job by these five middle school students for competing in the city-wide Spelling Bee. Thanks to WDBJ's Robin Reed for emceeing the event.

  • 200th win

    Congratulations to Mickey Hardy, head coach of William Fleming's Boys Basketball Team. He recently earned his 200th win as coach!

  • 300th win

    Congratulations to Jack Esworthy, head coach of Patrick Henry's Boys Basketball Team. He earned his 300th win as coach.

  • A piece of cake!

    Students at Westside Elementary got to throw pies in the faces of teachers and staff as a reward for reading.

  • Black History Month

    As part of Black History Month, students at Forest Park Academy got a special performance by Recording Artist Dewon.

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