Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
About 2,700 students, most of them from elementary schools, have enrolled in RCPS+.
Friday, May 3, 2013
About 2,700 students will participate in Roanoke City Public Schools’ inaugural summer enrichment program when it begins next month, about 700 more students than projected, according to preliminary numbers from the system.
Superintendent Rita Bishop said she will be able to stay within budget and won’t have to make changes.
“We’re fine,” she said.
The ambitious program, known as RCPS+, was approved by the school board earlier this year and will add significant class time for some students on an opt-in basis. It is taking the place of traditional summer school for elementary and middle school students and will more than triple the amount of time students have spent in class during the summer.
Bishop has repeatedly stressed RCPS+ is an enrichment program and not remediation, and is necessary to increase achievement. The program will focus on reading and math and include hands-on lessons and student collaboration.
“I think it just proves our parents are making good decisions and we got the word out about the value,” she said of the enrollment figures, adding Friday she even had a parent in her office asking why the school system hadn’t offered the program last year.
Several months ago the concept of extending school time caused concern among parents. The idea of more class time was first brought up by Bishop in January during a joint city council and school board meeting and without firm details or a specific proposal concern spread among parents who saw their summer plans in peril.
Specifics were hashed out and in February the school board approved the plan and its cost of about $1 million. Enrollment started March 25 and ended last week. Students begin classes June 17.
RCPS+ will be divided into three programs: elementary, middle and a transition to high school for rising ninth-graders.
Bishop said most students are at the elementary level. The enrollment includes 1,997 elementary students, 581 middle schoolers and 127 rising ninth graders.
“We were a little concerned we didn’t have the expected number of middle schoolers, but we do now,” she said.
There are also several people on a waiting list, Bishop said, but that’s because they didn’t turn their applications in on time and not necessarily because they can’t be accommodated.
She said the staffing for the program was completed Thursday. A personnel report with the placements will come to the board for consideration at its May meeting.
Bishop said officials will now create bus routes for the program, and she wants to do some extra work on the math curriculum.
She said parents can expect to get additional information from the school system about a week before the program begins.
Weather JournalIce threat may grow into Sun PM