Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education approves plan outlining goals and focus areas through 2010

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Sarah Nagem
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education on Monday approved a systemwide improvement plan through 2010.
The plan outlines goals and focus areas for the school system. It is similar to the system’s current improvement plan, Board of Education Chairman Dr. Jim Emerson said.
Part of the plan involves the LINKS grant ó a $6 million federal grant the school system will receive over the next four years to target at-risk students.
As part of LINKS, which stands for Learning, Intervention, Nurturing, Knowledge and Student Achievement, the school system will hire social workers and early-intervention specialists.
The improvement plan also calls for implementing a “comprehensive dropout program” that would identify at-risk students. Under the program, the school system plans to conduct exit interviews with students who are dropping out and to track dropouts.
The school system wants to reduce the number of out-of-school suspensions. The improvement plan calls for the use of “on-site alternative programs” instead.
The system also wants to participate in more in-state and out-of-state career fairs to recruit highly qualified educators, according to the plan.
The plan mentions consolidating the administrative offices to one central location. Rowan County Commissioners are still in talks with school leaders about possibly turning the former Winn-Dixie building on Jake Alexander Boulevard into a central office.
Emerson said the improvement plan is a good starting point.
“It doesn’t have a solution to all of our problems, but it gives us a road map to work with,” he said.
The goals outlined in the plan are as follows:
– Provide an inviting, nurturing and safe learning environment for all students and staff.
– Provide a rigorous, relevant curriculum designed to prepare students for a globally competitive world.
– Recruit, train and retain highly qualified professionals.
– Develop and maintain strong communications and partnerships with all stakeholders.
– Align system operations for all program areas to provide efficient use of resources.