Roanoke's School Superintendent Pushing for 11-Month School Year

Roanoke, VA - Roanoke's School Superintendent wants to see more students getting more schooling.

More than 2,100 Roanoke City School kids volunteered to stay in school deep into this summer as a trial effort district leaders believe was a big success. It was a program called RCPS+.

"Most school districts you spend the entire first month of school playing catch up. I believe that our RCPC students walk into school energized, ready to go and there will be no need for any of that, and that would be my dream for all children," said Dr. Rita Bishop, the Roanoke City Schools Superintendent.

Dr. Bishop believes it was a success but won't know for sure until data comes out near the midterm. That will allow her to measure whether the kids in the RCPS+ program actually benefited.

"I honestly believe, with the database we have this may be the finest thing I've ever seen in my career, in terms of what really happened. And I believe we will be attractive to other funders," she said.

It's that data Bishop hopes to take to private foundations to help complete her vision; a vision that sees offering all students in the district the 11-month option similar to this year's RCPS+ program.

She says the first phase will happen this year as she expects funding for students at three of the district's elementary schools to opt into a permanent version of RCPS +.

"If I can get the state to consider those three schools while I go out and work very hard with foundations to fund everybody else, I think we would have a winning program," said Bishop.

While the goal this year for this program does target these three specific elementary schools, Dr. Bishop says she will do whatever is necessary to accommodate any interested student whether that's through the program or other comparable options.

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