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This is Michela Broadnax and Daniel Acree, we will be rising seniors at Roanoke Rapids High School for the Class of 2021. 

We are emailing you to give our opinions and options, on how to give us a chance to attend school. 

With review, we have examined the RRGSD numbers, provided on the board meeting presentation, and determined the following:

For Clara Hearne Pre-K, with 10 needed rooms and 10 rooms available, Clara Hearne Pre-K would be able to resume face-to-face learning 5 days a week.

Belmont Elementary with 49 classrooms needed, with only 45 classes available, we propose setting up the additional 4 classrooms in the gym, library, and cafeteria, with 2 — 12-person — classes in the gym, and 1 — 12-person — class in the cafeteria and library. This will allow Belmont Elementary to resumen face-to-face learning 5 days a week. 

Manning Elementary with 51 classes needed and 43 classes available, we propose keeping K-4 at Manning as is now, and additional building space options, including the cafeteria for 1 — 12-person class — and the gym for 1 — 12-person class — and the library for 1 — 12-person class. 

Manning 5th graders could be moved to community buildings, such as Kirkwood Adams, church classrooms, amongst other options, for face-to-face- learning 5 days a week. 

Five additional staff members would be needed for the 5th grade. 

Chaloner 6th graders remain in the 6th-grade hall and, and have face-to-face learning 5 days a week. 

Chaloner 7th graders and 8th graders have an A/B schedule, due to them preparing to go to high school, high school possibly doing the same, and 7th and 8th graders are more capable of being at home by themselves, so childcare would not be needed. 

Chaloner 7th graders use the 8th grade and 7th-grade halls on week 1, and then week 2 is the 8th graders. 

This would allow less confusion on bus schedules, days of going to school and could be coordinated by parents’ schedules. 

Seventh and 8th graders A/B schedule would be similar to that of many other schools such as Stanly County Schools, and Nash-Rocky Mount schools. 

Roanoke Rapids Early College has 6 rooms which can be composed of a total of 72 students face-to-face, the armory could be set up for sections of 12 students. 

Another reason for this, Early College students are not on campus all at the same time, many seniors have classes not on campus throughout the day, therefore the 145 students number is not correct in that they will be present on campus at the same time. 

Early College could also, if really needed, use community buildings around the city or churches. Roanoke Rapids High School could be set on an A/B schedule, any days in person, composed of 50 percent of the students at all times. This could be done in a variety of different formats.

Formats include; splitting the grades, doing 2 grades at all times while 2 are virtual, 9th and 10th on week #1, 11th and 12th on week #2. 

Alternating schedules would allow for all students at RRHS to attend every other week while giving the students that learn hands-on a chance at learning the information while still providing safety and a 7-day period of at home for students. 

Another suggestion, keep the RRHS teachers on campus 100 percent to teach their classes in-person and the virtual classes while using Zoom or a very similar format instead of Apex, which would take away from the face-to-face in person or virtually with teachers. 

High school teachers also do not teach in the same way as Apex may be more difficult for students to grasp. An example of this — a student that takes Math I on Apex, and then next year takes Math II in person with a high school teacher, would need to understand Math I in the format of similar teachers. 

Why depend on Apex to teach when you can have a virtual face-to-face with your teachers?

This way, students will be more intrigued into the lessons, knowing that they will see their teachers face-to-face the following week. 

Apex could still be used as an additional tool, but only when teachers request for additional help. 

Furthermore, by having one week of face-to-face you increase the student’s morale, which in return would produce more effort and drive to succeed and learn. 

This is a way for the 9th-12th grade to receive a chance to succeed fully virtually and face-to-face while taking safety precautions and then allowing the entire Roanoke Rapids Graded School District to attend school. 

In this we want all students collectively to be given the opportunity to learn in both ways virtually and face-to-face so everyone has the option to have a successful learning process. 

Another idea would be to have time after 2:30 for teachers to schedule meetings with students in-person and clubs to meet, with a max of 12 people, as similar to Jacket time. 

By allowing high schoolers to attend every other week, this would allow for clubs to still be active and give somewhat of a normal high school experience, which will increase students’ morale by being in clubs and not just the classroom! 

This will allow us to provide seniors with more of a memory of their senior year in high school and not just being put on the back end. 

High schoolers could still paint their parking spots, have a spirit week, and other school events that do not require mass gatherings. 

Once again, providing something else to satisfy students and especially seniors, a chance for something more. 

A few other considerations —  building example usage such as RRHS auditorium, library, band room, choir room, JROTC room, gym, the classroom in the administrative building, as well as other community and church buildings that have been offered for usage. 

To provide answers to your concerns, storage space could be located at the maintenance building, the building in the senior parking lot, and ACES school. 

ACES is also another option for building usage. 

Police departments and the sheriff’s office would be willing to provide safety for any community buildings used. 

As far as nurses, we would only need 1 nurse to either transition back and forth or be the nurse for the 5th graders of Manning. 

As we say all of this, we are aware of the safety precautions for ourselves, staff, teachers, and others, and we are aware of the numerous documents outlined by the state. 

We can come together and make sure those safety precautions are taken to the fullest extent so all students can be equally included and successful while attending school. 

We appreciate your time and effort to make this year better than expected.

We hope you use these ideas for the betterment of our school system. We understand that this may not satisfy everyone, but it does provide everybody with something!

We are customers. We deserve better!


Michela Broadnax and Daniel Acree

Editor’s note: The following letter was emailed to the superintendent, school board members and central office staff.