It was a first for Roanoke City School Board last week as their regular meeting was a virtual meeting held on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Chuck Marcum welcomed each one of the board members as they attended the meeting from their homes. The meeting had a relatively short agenda, which was taken care of in a short period of time.

Chromebooks/laptops

Marcum made a recommendation to renew the lease on some 500 Chromebooks for students and 160 laptops for the teachers. The lease agreement will be good for three more years. "Our teachers and students are doing a good job using them during this time out of school, and we need to make sure they are in good shape." The board unanimously voted to renew the lease.

Personnel actions

In personnel matters, the board

  • Accepted the resignation due to retirement of Gail Heard from her position as second-grade teacher at Knight-Enloe Elementary, effective June 1.
  • Accepted the resignation due to retirement of Jamie Taylor from his position as Roanoke City Schools maintenance/transportation supervisor, effective Oct. 1.
  • Approved Randy Nolan to RCS maintenance position, effective June 1.

Superintendent's report

Last week Roanoke City Schools served a total of 5,494 meals to RCS students. Marcum commended child nutrition program director Regina Fulgham for her leadership in providing breakfast and lunch each day to the students. HHS lunchroom manager Mary Cagle, HMS lunchroom manager Wendy Brown, HMS lunchroom worker LaDonnia Bonner and KES lunchroom worker Johannah Hand have taken the lead role each day in making sure meals are prepared. They have been assisted by employees throughout the system who have volunteered to help with meal preparation and distribution. No employee has been required to work this program due to some having preexisting health conditions and/or concerns with being out in public due to the coronavirus. A special thanks goes to Lynn Langston for her work. She has been delivering approximately 100 meals each day to students who did not have a way to HMS or HHS to pick up the meals. Another great example of servant leadership is special education direcor Lyn Perry, who delivers meals each day to some of our special needs students. "The work of the meal program is an example of what makes Roanoke City Schools special," said Marcum.

"I could not be more proud of the job our teachers are doing providing virtual instruction during this time with our school buildings closed. The game changer for our students during this pandemic has been the fact that all RCS students have Chromebooks, our teachers already owned the skills needed to effectively use technology and our students have continued to receive quality instruction," said Marcum.

"This investment began years ago with our great technological leadership from Dr. David Crouse and presently by Mr. Blake Treadwell. Our commitment to professional development prepared our teachers and our school system has provided the technology our students need to be successful. This is happening at all three schools. Mrs. Tena Musick reported to me that last week, 89 percent of KES students completed their online assignments. One way our teachers are continuing to communicate with their students is through the Zoom App. It is obvious to me that our students are enjoying using Zoom to see their classmates. I will add that we are having a system leadership meeting by utilizing Zoom once a week to review our progress."

The superintendent congratulated Tanyiah Rachel for being named 2020 HHS Salutatorian and Taylor Marcum for being named 2020 HHS Valedictorian. Taylor was also the recipient of the Region 3 Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete Award on April 13. This award included a $3,000 scholarship.

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