Roanoke City Schools reminds students about mask protocols, possible bus delays as 2021-22 school year kicks off

Back to School

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Public school students in Roanoke City are heading back into the classrooms Tuesday morning after a year of remote learning.

Last year, many students learned from home, but now, children will be attending classes in-person five days a week.

However, in order to do so, Roanoke City Public Schools has taken extra precautions to keep students and staff safe as the school year kicks off on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

The school district is requiring face coverings for all students and employees — regardless of vaccination status — where medically and developmentally appropriate for the first nine weeks of school or until further notice.

Because of recent coronavirus cases in other school districts, Roanoke school officials are reminding parents and guardians to keep your kids home if they show symptoms of the virus or have been exposed to the virus. Then, you are asked to contact the school nurse for a return-to-school date.

Air purification and filtration systems have also been installed, says the school district. In addition, everyone who is able to receive the vaccine is encouraged to do so.

For more information on Roanoke City Public Schools’ back-to-school plan, click here.

Meanwhile, there is a bus driver shortage both nationally and locally amid the coronavirus pandemic. This shortage is also impacting Durham School Services, the bus company used by Roanoke City Public Schools.

As a result, Roanoke school officials asked for patience and issued some reminders for bus riders ahead of the first day of school:

  • For students in preschool and Kindergarten, as well as students with disabilities utilizing special transportation, a parent or guardian is required to meet their student at the bus stop each afternoon. Students who are not met by a parent or guardian will be taken back to their school until they can be picked up.
  • If a bus must return students to their schools in the afternoon, remaining middle and high school routes for this bus will be delayed.
  • The Durham Bus Tracker is available and may be downloaded on your mobile device to track your student’s bus progress.
  • If there are delays on Tuesday, a pop-up alert will appear on the Roanoke City Public Schools website in case you need to contact transportation.
    • For transportation concerns, call Durham School Services at 540-970-3000.
    • For any first day of school questions or concerns — including transportation concerns if Durham is unavailable — call the school district’s hotline at 540-853-1000.

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