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Grissom column: Summertime and the school work is not easy

Rowan-Salisbury School System employees have been hard at work all summer preparing for the new school year. Here are just a few of the activities that have taken place.
Budgets: Much of the summer was spent closing out financial budgets and setting up new budgets for the coming year based on local, state and federal allotments. Setting up new budgets also requires making decisions about which financial codes will be used to pay the salary of each employee. There are a total of 154 budget codes that can be used, so this was no easy task!
Summer programs: Staff at high schools and middle schools have been involved in many summer programs, such as recovery options for summer school at Carson and Salisbury high schools. The 6-Up (for students entering the sixth grade) and 9-Up (for students entering the ninth grade) programs at Knox, North, Salisbury and Southeast were funded by grants from the United Way and Salisbury Police. Both of these programs were well attended. Salisbury High provided a Math-Science Summer Camp that attracted students from throughout the county.
Professional development: Summer is the opportune time for professional development for teachers and administrators. Some of the workshops conducted this summer were:
– Technology integration training for selected elementary teachers
– Read 180 Training
– Professional Learning Communities training for high school staff
– Problem Based Learning Training for AIG teachers
– Singapore Math Training
– Brain-Based Learning Seminars
– IMPACT Model Training
– Training for 21st Century Model Classroom Teachers
– Anti-Bullying Training for Middle School
Many of our high school teachers were involved in Graduation Project Plan revisions and attended a Graduation Project Summit in Raleigh. Elementary and middle school curriculum coaches and teachers participated in a weeklong Math Partnership training through the State Department of Public Instruction as part of our Math Partnership Grant. Several schools had staff that participated in Positive Behavior Support training offered by the Exceptional Children’s Department.
Career-Technical Education (CTE) programs worked on activities including:
– Summer internships for students
– FFA summer training programs
– Farm Days at South High
– 65 CTE staff members attended the state summer conference.
Principals: Principals and central office personnel have been heavily involved in interviewing and hiring for vacant positions. Several principal vacancies have been filled. Principals and their administrative staff were busy with attending and preparing staff development, registering new students, hiring teachers and support staff, planning the upcoming school year schedules and ordering textbooks and supplies. All principals and several central office staff attended statewide two-day training on the new principal evaluation instrument.
Maintenance: Our maintenance crews try to avoid interrupting classroom instruction time as much as possible during the school year. Therefore, the bulk of heavy cleaning and maintenance at the school level is done during the summer months. New lights, carpeting or flooring, plumbing and electrical work have been completed at sites across the school system. Some schools and classrooms received new paint, and heating and air conditioning work has been completed. Summer cleaning consisted of waxing floors, shampooing carpets, cleaning windows and moving and repairing furniture. Major projects are in the works, such as the addition to the West Rowan Middle cafeteria, resurfacing South Rowan High’s tennis courts and track, replacement of gym bleachers at North Rowan High and refinishing of gym and auditorium floors. Mobile classrooms have been moved and are being installed at Koontz Elementary School.
Technology: Personnel have been busy expanding infrastructure, equipping and outfitting new labs, re-imaging computers and enhancing hard drives; and replacing three middle school technical labs with new equipment.
Transportation: Personnel have been busy preparing regular and activity buses for the new year. Maintenance, routine service work, major repairs and overall cleaning must be performed. Bus routes are reviewed, and parents have been contacted with new bus route information. With the challenge of funding fuel for buses for the school year, staff is working hard to identify ways to be more efficient.
Summer brings images to mind of warm weather, beaches, and lazy mornings. But for the 12-month employees in the Rowan-Salisbury School System, summer means that the opening of a brand new school year is coming quickly.
– – –
Dr. Judy Grissom is superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System.

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