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That number could increase after the Labor Day holiday, the superintendent said.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Preliminary figures show Roanoke City Public Schools enrollment is up by 280 students, including 209 elementary school students.
"That's good news," Superintendent Rita Bishop said. "The really good news is that we didn't have all 200 at one school."
By comparison, the numbers were also up last year at this time, but most of the additional elementary students were at Round Hill Elementary School, which absorbed the third- through fifth-grade students after Huff Lane Intermediate School closed.
Bishop told school board members during a meeting Tuesday to expect a full report on the opening of school in the future, but in the meantime she gave an overview of some of the enrollment figures.
She also warned they could continue upward after Labor Day because more students tend to trickle in after the holiday.
"People just seem to have a little slow motion returning to school," she said. "Beginning next week, we will start making adjustments."
Some of those adjustments could mean shifting teachers around, though Bishop said she doesn't expect moving a lot of educators.
While the system is up by 209 elementary school students, it has only 71 additional secondary students.
In other news, the board:
-- Considered whether to approve a resolution supporting a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a statewide district to take over schools. No action was taken on the resolution, but officials are expected to take it up at a meeting next month.
The statewide district refers to the Opportunity Educational Institution, which the General Assembly established earlier this year. The OEI has the authority to take over any school that has been denied accreditation, or those that have been accredited with warning for three consecutive years.
The OEI was a key part of Gov. Bob McDonnell's education agenda this year and he spent Tuesday in Norfolk defending the measure. The Norfolk School Board voted last week to join the Virginia School Boards Association in a lawsuit aiming to invalidate the OEI.
-- Received the system's summer 2013 discipline, crime and violence data, which showed a declining number of incidents.
Bishop said none of the system's schools is labeled as persistently dangerous and the system had just one expulsion.
-- Discussed the system's upcoming bus contract, which the board will likely take up at a meeting next month. In 2009 the school board voted to outsource busing to Mountain Valley Transportation.
Deputy Superintendent Curt Baker said the current contract expires in June 2014.
"We're close to completion on discussion of a renewal contract," he said.
Baker said since privatizing the busing system, the average age of school buses transporting students decreased from 12 years to 6.3 years.
He also said the newer fleet is more fuel efficient, and because Mountain Valley Transportation installed a fuel tank at the transportation facility, the system has saved $165,000 by cutting out the commute to fuel buses.
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