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School Board Approves More than $4 million in Additional Safety Measures
Posted on 07/25/2022
Group photo of 2022-2023 Roanoke City School Board members.









The Roanoke City School Board at its July 12th meeting unanimously approved additional safety measures for the 2022-2023 School Year, including hiring more school resource officers, implementing a 24/7 safety tip line, hiring additional staff, and more.

The recommended package of additional measures approved by the Board is in addition to other new measures previously approved at the June 28 workshop, when members voted to adopt the budget.

Combined, the additional measures total more than $4 million.

Superintendent Verletta White and RCPS leadership created a recommended package and additional "a la carte options" based on feedback and information from many sources, including focus groups, research, and feedback solicited by the division from families, staff, and the community.

The Board approved all recommendations, except for student ID badges, which they will revisit after additional technology options that can be tied to badges are researched.

Superintendent White explained that she envisions the badges would eventually allow students to swipe or scan their badge to buy lunch. In addition, it could double as a library card or pass to sporting events, Superintendent White said.

The Board did not adopt any of the a la carte options, such as clear bags and AI screening technology

Superintendent White explained that RCPS already owns metal detectors and metal detecting wands and uses them on an as-needed basis, such as during large events or when there is a threat.

Board members thanked Superintendent White and her staff for their dedication to school safety and their comprehensive, holistic, and layered approach.

"I want to assure the community this will be an ongoing conversation," Superintendent White said.

As such, Superintendent White will hold a virtual town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 to address questions from families and continue the conversation.

In total, 25+ additional measures have been approved. The full list of measures adopted on June 28 and July 12 can be found by visiting rcps.info/departments/superintendent/safety.

Textbook Adoption

In addition, the Board unanimously approved adoption of new science and world language textbooks.

Executive Director of Academics Greg Johnston provided information about the selection and adoption process, which included public input. The selected textbooks offer improved accessibility, according to Mr. Johnston, such as an online component, integration with the Canvas learning management system, and native Spanish translation.

Implementation will also include professional development for teachers.

The new textbooks are:

  • Science K-5: Five Ponds Press, Exploring Science All Around Us
  • Science 6, Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science and Biology: Virginia Discovery Education, Science Experience
  • French: Vista Higher Learning, Chemins
  • Spanish: Vista Higher Learning, Senderos

Board Reorganization

The Board unanimously voted to elected Dr. Eli Jamison as Chair and Mrs. Joyce Watkins as Vice Chair for the 2022-2023 School Year.

The Board also welcomed Franny Apel, who began her first term this month, and welcomed back Mrs. Watkins, who began her second term.

To replay the July 12 School Board meeting, click here. The next School Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.

 

40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA 24012 Phone 540-853-2502