Roanoke Schools “21st Century” program being investigated by the VDOE


ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The Virginia Department of Education says a $1.3 million dollar Roanoke after school program is not meeting expectations.

This comes after investigators reviewed the 21st century program twice in one year.

Looking at the full report, it explains most of the faults are on the administrative side.

Things like not signing off on time sheets for staff hours or not using any volunteers to help run the program, but some of the issues are much more glaring.

For one, the school system had an initial goal of a 90 student per day attendance in the 8 schools participating in the program.

Right now, it’s about 41 students every week.

It also shows the school system neglected to record SOL scores for the students, one of the main things the program is supposed to be helping them improve on.

WSLS reached out to Superintendent Rita Bishop, who responded in an email.

She says she disagrees with the state’s findings, stating “The school system accepts the suggestions made in the monitoring report but we have several issues. The superintendent will meet later this month with officials from Virginia’s Department of Education to discuss our concerns.”‘

This is the second time the state has inspected this program, and the Department does have the ability to revoke that $1.3 million dollar grant, but School Board Chair Annette Lewis says she’s confident it won’t come to that.

“I don’t believe we’re going to lose it. I see whatever the state has identified as areas of concern, findings as ones that we will address and we will make the improvements necessary,” said Lewis.

As immediate improvements, in its report the state recommends meeting more often with parents.

The grant required 60 hours of parent-teacher interaction, but the report says there were only five and a half recorded.

The report also recommends keeping better records of student attendance.

In addition to that meeting with the state, Bishop will also be meeting with the School Board to present her improvement plan.

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