Students return on Thursday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
Nearly 20,000 children in Rowan County and more than 5,200 in Kannapolis will rise and shine Thursday morning for the first day of school.
Here are a few things to pay attention to this year.
New leadership
Scotty Adcock will take over the top spot at North Rowan Elementary after Rick Hampton retired in June.
Adcock worked as a teacher at North, where he was named teacher of the year twice, before taking over as assistant principal at Shive Elementary when the school opened in 2007.
It remains unclear who will be leading Henderson Independent High this year. Principal Trisha Baptist has been suspended with pay since July 5.
The district will not be replacing Gene Miller, who retired as the assistant superintendent of operations at the end of July. The position has been frozen.
Dr. James Davis will start his first year at Knox Middle School. The current principal of the year requested to move from China Grove Middle to Knox after Rodney Burton stepped down last year.
Burton was reassigned to China Grove Elementary, where he’ll continue this year.
Linda Johnson is replacing Davis at China Grove Middle. She comes to the district from Uwharrie Middle School.
STEM Academy opens
Kannapolis City Schools will open its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Academy to students Thursday.
The academy, located on the campus of A.L. Brown High School, will give students the opportunity to study a variety of topics including microbiology, robotics, three-dimensional engineering, computer engineering and horticulture.
The $8.1 million facility is more than 83,000 square feet and includes science and computer labs, as well as general and foreign language classrooms.
It will also feature a culinary arts lab and performing arts classroom.
Driver’s education
The state budget includes a measure that allows school districts to charge students for driver’s education classes.
The Rowan-Salisbury School System will continue to offer the classes for free this year, but spokeswoman Rita Foil said that could change next year.
The Kannapolis City Board of Education voted earlier this month to charge students $45 for the course.
New medication policy
The change requires authorization from a health care provider and a parent before any prescription or over-the-counter medication is administered to students.
The previous version of the policy allowed for parent authorization only.
School officials say the original prescription bottle with the student’s name, dosage information and physician information will be accepted as a form of authorization by a health care provider.
High school students will be allowed to carry and self-administer a one-day supply of over-the-counter medicine such as cold medicine or ibuprofen.
The former policy did not allow students to possess over-the-counter drugs in any manner.
• The Rowan Early College, housed on the campus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, will have its first graduating class this year.
• Knox Middle will become the district’s first STEM middle school.
• South Rowan High celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
• Advantage Sports Surfaces of Charlotte will be done replacing the track at East Rowan High by the end of this week.
• The renovation to the Knox Middle gym is expected to wrap up soon. The project closes up all the glass within the gym and adds air conditioning.
• Southeast Middle is the first school to start each day at 7:20 a.m. Rowan County Early College is the last to dismiss at 4:30 p.m.
• Breakfast costs $1 for students in Rowan-Salisbury. Lunch is $2 for middle and high school students and $1.85 for elementary children.
• Breakfast costs $1.10 in Kannapolis City Schools. Lunch is $1.90 at elementary and intermediate schools and $2 at middle and high schools.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Who to call
Rowan-Salisbury Schools
Adminstration: 704-636-7500
Exceptional children: 704-639-3064
Transportation: 704-639-3051
Kannapolis City Schools
Adminstration: 704- 938-1131
Exceptional children: 704-938-3151
Transportation: 704-938-4848