Postponed RSS School Board Retreat to be on Monday – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education will hold its annual retreat on Monday a few weeks later than originally scheduled and discuss a founding document for the district.

The meeting originally scheduled for January 18 was postponed due to hazardous road conditions after snowfall the previous weekend turned to ice on local roads. Monday’s meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Wallace Education Forum’s third-floor Innovation Center.

The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss dozens of strategies to achieve the goals set out in the district’s upcoming strategic plan. Here are some of the items the board will discuss:

• Create a student advisory committee for the superintendent and administration.

• Create classroom and home libraries of high interest and culturally relevant material in partnership with the community.

• Use kindergarten screening to target support to students before they start school.

• Continue the competency-based learning pilot project at Morgan Elementary School and add a learning management system that supports personalized learning.

• Provide staff with professional development on social-emotional learning.

• Set up an early warning system for students at risk of dropping out.

• Implement quadrennial plans in secondary schools.

• Expand paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities through industry partners.

• Align courses with community needs.

• Create advancement pipelines for staff.

• Create a teacher advisory committee to the superintendent

• Create internal capacity-building programs, such as teacher assistant programs, partnerships with local colleges, and focus on hiring more Hispanic and Latino staff.

• Audit the district’s energy consumption.

• Review district expenditures for proper return on investment.

• Develop a marketing and communications plan.

• Create a parent academy and a parent advisory committee to the superintendent.

The administration has been working on the plan for an entire year. Superintendent Tony Watlington identified the plan as one of his top priorities when he started working for the district just over a year ago.

The plan aims to lead the district to 2027 and achieve measurable gains on a long list of goals ranging from academics to interpersonal skills and operational efficiency. It was created with a large steering committee and consultants, including nonprofits Bellwether Education Partners, the Research Triangle Institute, and NC State’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

The district also worked with six independent consultants on the project from universities and education companies.

The original retreat program included a recommendation to resume masking required in schools due to the rise of the omicron variant. The board addressed the issue at last week’s board meeting and voted unanimously against bringing back masking.

During this meeting, the council also discussed the district’s quarantine policy. Board Chairman Dean Hunter has also called for quarantines to be added to the retirement discussion, but that is not on the agenda.

The board has a closed session to discuss personnel matters and information subject to solicitor-client privilege on the agenda.

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