Although it's summer time, over 2,000 Roanoke City students are heading back to the classroom for an enrichment program called RCPS+, a new initiative launched by Roanoke City Schools to bridge the learning and retention gap between school months.
The program is for rising first graders through rising ninth graders.
"Many students lose ground during their summer break," fourth grade teacher Sally Heller said. "This enrichment program is going to help students not lose those skills over summer."
RCPS+ has a heavy focus on mathematics, reading, and writing.
"It gives students and teachers opportunities to do things that we normally don't get time for in a normal school year," Heller said.
The program also has a heavy focus on children using laptops. School Superintendent Rita Bishop says that's important to know for scoring high on the Virginia-mandated Standards of Learning tests.
"We got a real curve ball this year from the state of Virginia," Bishop said. "The reading assessment was very complex as to what it expected of the students in terms of computer skills."
Bishop says she is working to help students take on that challenge. She says that this past year, the school system discovered that students struggled on state assessments tests because many students do not have computers at home.
RCPS+ is free and voluntary. It runs Monday through Friday from June 17- July 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Transportation, breakfast, and lunch are provided.