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Local Government, Civic Affairs and Education

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NEWS RELEASE: ROANOKE – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 367 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020 including Hidden Valley High School – one of eight schools and the only high school receiving the award in Virginia. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“I’m extremely proud of the staff and students at Hidden Valley High School.  Their commitment to engaging and purposeful learning is shown by this recognition,” said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools.  “Hidden Valley is just one more example of how we are working in Roanoke County to encourage deeper learning so that our students become opportunity ready,” Dr. Nicely said.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Secretary DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13.  Schools will each receive their plaques and flags via mail.

MGN

UPDATED NEWS RELEASE: The City Registrar’s Office wants citizens to know that even though it has temporarily lost partial electrical power in its early voting building today, enough power is available for early voting to now resume. AEP is working to restore full power as soon as possible.

PREVIOUS: The City Registrar’s Office wants citizens to know that it has temporarily lost electrical power in its early voting building today, Sept. 24, 2020.  As a result, citizens will not be able to do early voting at the Registrar’s Office today. AEP has been made aware of the situation and will work to restore power as soon as possible.

NEWS RELEASE: With the recent increase in business activity in downtown and elsewhere in the City and based upon the requests of merchants and property owners in an effort to ensure turnover and availability of on-street parking, the City of Roanoke is announcing that enforcement of on-street parking regulations will resume for City streets beginning Monday, Oct. 19. In addition, the Center in the Square and Tower parking garages will return to normal operating hours and fee schedules on Monday, Oct. 19.

Due to the Governor’s Stay-At-Home and Safer-At-Home Executive Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, enforcement of regulations for on-street parking was suspended temporarily, and hours and rates were temporarily changed for Center in the Square and Tower parking garages. With recent relaxing of COVID-related restrictions and an increase in business activities it has become necessary to take additional steps to ensure the availability of on-street parking.

Citizens, as well as those who do business and work in the City, are asked to be aware of this change as they park on City streets and in City garages.

In recognition of how business practices have changed in response to COVID-19, the City has worked with local restaurants and businesses in the downtown area, along with DRI to designate 16 curbside pickup locations creating a total of 30 spots for patrons to use. Signage will be erected to mark these locations, and there will be a 15-minute time limit. A map showing these curbside locations will be available on the PARK Roanoke website at parkroanoke.com. Parking enforcement will be monitoring the designated curbside pickup locations.

If you have questions, please contact PARK Roanoke at (540) 343-0585 or send an email to parking@parkroanoke.com.

Two open seats on Roanoke City Council will be filled on November 3rd via the ballot box – but another will appointed by Council in October – after an unusual application process. How Roanokers can apply for that vacancy from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

9-24 City Council Wrap#2-WEB

To contact the City Clerk’s Office, please call 540-853-2541 or send an email to clerk@roanokeva.gov

Here is link to Roanoke City website application page:

https://www.roanokeva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1321

Photo: David Bowers Facebook

Roanoke City Council will ask a Circuit Court to approve a plan to fill the unexpired seat of council member Djuna Osborne with a “qualified voter” from Roanoke City, to run through December 2022. Applications from the public would then be accepted through October 1.  City Council plans to hold that public hearing at its October 5th public meeting and then vote on a replacement for Osborne October 19. But this morning Independent Mayoral candidate David Bowers criticized the City’s decision to not to call for a special election to replace Osborne, who resigned last week.

9-22 Bowers Sound-WEB

Djuna Osborne

Roanoke City Council will ask a Circuit Court to approve a plan to fill the unexpired seat of council member Djuna Osborne with a “qualified voter” from Roanoke City, to run through December 2022. The City could go to court as early as tomorrow; applications from the public would then be accepted through the October 1. The City has opted not to call for a special election to replace Osborne, who resigned last week for family reasons. City Council plans to hold a public hearing at its October 5 public meeting and then vote on a replacement for Osborne October 19.

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Roanoke City Councilwoman Djuna Osborne will be resigning on Wednesday; her first term had still two years to run. She said in a release today that due to the global pandemic she has had to make significant adjustments to accommodate the needs of her family; that includes new obligations as a full-time stay-at-home mom and educator, along with her private counseling practice

(from City News Release) Effective Sept. 16, 2020, at 5 p.m., Councilwoman Djuna Osborne will be resigning from Roanoke City Council.  Ms. Osborne joined Roanoke City Council on July 1, 2018, and her term was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022. “It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation as a Roanoke City Council Member.  I want to be completely transparent with the residents of Roanoke.  Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 I, along with each of you, have had to make significant adjustments to accommodate the needs of my family.  As a result, I am no longer in a position to meet the full obligation of my Council duties while also meeting my new obligation as a full-time stay-at-home mom and educator, along with the ongoing responsibilities of my private practice. I have to focus on my family’s education and health, so I have made the difficult decision to step down as a Roanoke City Council Member effective Sept. 16, 2020, at 5 p.m.  I have the deepest respect for my colleagues on Roanoke City Council and am confident that they will work with City Administration to fully discuss options on how to fill the vacancy.  I am so incredibly grateful for the two years I have been able to serve the citizens of our City. Thank you for what we have accomplished together, and for your support and understanding.” – Djuna Osborne

Roanoke City Council will participate in a special meeting on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, to discuss next steps in filling Ms. Osborne’s vacancy.  If you have any questions, please contact the Roanoke City Attorney’s Office at 540-853-2431.

For the past 14 years, the Rescue Mission’s Drumstick DASH fundraiser has been held in Downtown Roanoke on Thanksgiving morning but due to concerns over COVID-19, it was announced today that race will be fully virtual this year – and does not have to be run or walked on Thanksgiving.

(full release from Rescue Mission)  First, we want to thank you for your support for the Drumstick DASH and the thousands of meals we serve every year because of your enthusiasm towards helping others. “Move your feet so others can eat” may be the tag line but what it really means is “Move your feet so a child can focus in school”, “Move your feet so the elderly can get a full meal” or “Move your feet so a mother doesn’t have to make a choice between a mortgage or a month worth or groceries”. Your support has helped thousands rise out of poverty, and with your support this year, that won’t change.

We do have a big change to announce however. For the past 14 years, the Drumstick DASH has been held in Downtown Roanoke but unfortunately due to concerns over COVID-19, we have decided to make the Drumstick DASH a fully virtual race.
This was a very hard decision, one that did not come with ease. There was no excitement in making that call, but what we are excited about is what we can offer with a virtual race. This is where the 2020 Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick DASH comes in! The Drumstick DASH is a month long Virtual Run that you can do anytime, anywhere between November 1st – 30th. Walk your 5K or run the 5k or 8k on your own accord and receive all the awesome race swag you’d expect from a traditional race! (It’s actually even better this year!)
If you have already signed up for the DASH, no worries. Your registration will roll over and you will be registered for the virtual race.
 Sign up and receive: – Official entry into the 5k virtual walk or run or the 8k virtual run
– High performance hooded t-shirt, perfect for showing off at Thanksgiving dinner
– 2020 Finisher’s Medal (Runners only)
– Printable Race Bib
– Virtual Swag Bag (local businesses, great value!)
– Shipping of all items (at additional price)
If you have any further questions, or would like to sign up for the race, go to www.drumstickdash.net to find out more.
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