Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
A preview of Roanoke City Schools’ 2015 fiscal year budget revealed a mixed bag for the school system. While an uptick in enrollment and a change in the composite index — a formula used to determine a locality’s ability to pay for its schools — could mean more funds, the outlook also showed anemic sales tax revenues. Margaret Lindsey, the system’s executive director for fiscal services, told board members during
More musical instruments will soon be in the hands of Roanoke’s elementary school students. The VH1 Save the Music Foundation, a nonprofit that works to preserve music education by putting musical instruments in schools, plans to expand its presence in Roanoke next year to all of the city’s elementary schools. Currently in a dozen elementary schools, the group first partnered with Roanoke in 2009 and since then has donated instruments
Five local school systems have joined nearly 60 others across the state calling for a dramatic overhaul of the state’s aging system of standardized tests that measure learning. Since 1997 Virginia students have taken Standards of Learning assessments, which are used to hold school systems accountable and gauge student achievement. While the curricula and tests have seen revisions over the years, what’s been missing, some say, is large, systemic change.
Calendar control and funding are, not surprisingly, top priorities for area school systems as they lobby lawmakers and line up agendas before the General Assembly convenes in Richmond next month. Most local divisions are once again trying to overturn Virginia’s “Kings Dominion law,” which prohibits schools from opening before Labor Day without a waiver from the state. A bill to repeal the law was pre-filed this week. Intended to protect
A carefully choreographed routine plays out in the cold, pre-dawn hours. The players wake up at 3 or 4 a.m., climb into a four-wheel drive vehicle and brave slick roads. They’re on a deadline. Primarily facilities and transportation staffers from area school systems, they also monitor weather reports and talk to the Virginia Department of Transportation and law enforcement before making a recommendation to a division superintendent about whether it’s
Shrieks, yells and the sound of footsteps racing up and down stairs could be heard down a hallway at Stonewall Jackson Middle School. The ruckus was more than just excitement before a school holiday, it was science in action. Students tested homemade parachutes by dropping them down the stairwell from a couple of floors up, on a special assignment from NASA to construct a landing system with enough drag to
Roanoke health officials will test 150 students and employees at William Fleming High School for tuberculosis on Dec. 6, following the announcement this week that a student has been diagnosed with an active case of the bacterial infection. Permission slips and information letters will be sent home with students on Monday, said Stephanie Harper, director of the Roanoke and Alleghany health department districts. She urged parents and guardians to sign
A policy on the books in Roanoke prohibits students from having unauthorized electronic devices at school, even though many high school students usually have their smart phones in tow. During discussions about a potential policy change to officially permit the possession of phones, Roanoke School Board members said the system has an unenforceable rule because the phones are ubiquitous. “We’re just criminalizing our students by saying they aren’t supposed to
ROCKY MOUNT — Each morning when school is in session, the three slim garage doors of Franklin County High School’s West Campus building yawn open and the equipment stored inside is rolled out methodically. Then the slick, oil-stained concrete cavities are refilled with cars that have passed their prime. And while problematic cars are the point of Jeff Heinbaugh’s automotive mechanics class, the difficult logistics of the facility aren’t supposed
A William Fleming High School student has been diagnosed with an active case of tuberculosis , a bacterial infection that can spread through the air. School system officials announced Monday that the health department contacted the division late Friday afternoon with information that a student has the disease. “It is a single student,” Superintendent Rita Bishop said during a news conference Monday. “He or she actually has tuberculosis.” TB, which
RICHMOND - An initiative to increase college attainment in a horseshoe-shaped swath of rural Virginia has received a $2 million gift. Michael Smith and his family owned Valley Proteins company will each donate $1 million to the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education for its Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. The gift was announced this week at the two-day annual meeting in Richmond of the State Board for Community Colleges and
Masons Cove Elementary, which was once Roanoke County's last coal-fired school, is now among the most energy-efficient schools in the state. Built in 1961, the old Masons Cove was torn down in 2011 and the new facility later opened. The new school features a solar-powered hot water tank, geothermal heating and cooling systems, natural lighting, a water filtration system and pavement that reduces storm water runoff. The school was recently
Louis D. Rubin Jr., a curmudgeonly patron of contemporary Southern writing who as an author, teacher, editor and publisher helped establish and advance the careers of Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard and dozens of others, has died. He was 89. Eva Redfield Rubin said by telephone that her husband, who lived at a North Carolina retirement home, died Saturday, just three days before his 90th birthday. Married in 1951, the
WILLIAMSBURG — High school students in Williamsburg-James City public schools are one step closer to being able to use their own electronic devices in classrooms. The school board on Tuesday reviewed a draft of formal guidelines for the program, dubbed “Bring Your Own Device,” which is set to be launched in the second semester of the 2013-14 school year pending the policy’s approval. Its basic tenet allows for students to
University of Virginia students Friday sounded off to the Board of Visitors about a decision it made several months ago to scale back the state flagship’s signature financial aid program. Approved in August, the move reduces the amount of grant money provided under AccessUVa. The program’s cost has quadrupled since it began in 2004. Representatives of various student organizations broached the topic with the board’s Special Committee on Diversity. It
“What is the measure of angle XYZ?” The question seems simple enough – the kind that has appeared on standardized tests for decades. But some Virginia educators say now that the state Standards of Learning tests, or SOLs, are given online, questions like these present entirely new hurdles. When Virginia lawmakers required all elementary schools to give last year’s tests on computers, education researchers applauded the state for being one
Concerns surrounding a high school renovation and potential outsourcing dominated Thursday night’s Roanoke County School Board meeting where about 80 people attended and left standing room only. County officials got an earful from the crowded room where speakers made pleas for the board not to privatize busing and were critical of initial renovation plans for Glenvar High School, which neighbors fear could negatively affect the surrounding neighborhood. Twenty people, including
If planning for the future of Virginia’s community colleges is an ongoing effort, then officials across the state are moving into the next leg of the marathon. Virginia Community College System leaders, who started a statewide listening tour in September, made a stop in Roanoke on Thursday to begin efforts to draft a new strategic plan. “You can see the finish line,” system Chancellor Glenn DuBois said of the current
Education and business leaders raised questions Wednesday in Roanoke County about how to prepare students for a changing global economy, and were hopeful answers will come with time and collaboration. The county’s public schools and computer company Dell hosted the “Innovation in Learning and Teaching Think Tank,” a panel discussion with local and national participants, including students, business executives and education officials. The event was streamed live online to audience
More than 140 students from Roanoke Valley Christian Schools volunteered with eight area organizations as a way to support and encourage “unsung heroes.” Students assisted at Roanoke Rescue Mission, Ronald McDonald House, Straight Street, Blue Ridge Women’s Center, Friendship Manor, Manna Ministries, Baptist Community Center and Camp Eagle, according to a news release from the school. “The students are demonstrating that their generation has a vested interest in the betterment
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