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RSS board meets

Pending approval from Rowan County commissioners, all Rowan-Salisbury teachers will receive a laptop computer before leaving for the summer and all students would receive digital devices by the end of next school year.
The school board plans to shift existing funds to cover the $12 million dollar lease for devices over the next three years.
“There’s a lot of those things we don’t need when we go one-to-one,” said Rowan-Salisbury Chief Financial Officer Tara Trexler, adding that printing costs, paper supplies and computer lab costs will diminish once a one-to-one ratio of devices per students is in place.
“We just want to use our money differently,” added Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody.
Teachers would receive laptops June 13, high school students would receive laptops next fall, middle schoolers would receive iPads next winter and elementary students would receive iPads next spring. Third- through twelfth-graders would be able to take their devices home.
Allowing students to use these devices will “prepare them to be digital citizens and literate in all areas,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Julie Morrow, adding, “It has an economic impact on Rowan County.”
Providing these devices will promote literacy, the district’s primary goal, by providing thousands of books to students, as well as putting reading tools at their fingertips. It would also provide engaging work for students, the district’s secondary goal.
The district would be leasing roughly 8,500 Mac Book Air laptops and iPads each.
The school board also discussed repurposing or eliminating the roles of media assistants, curriculum coaches and technology facilitators in the district.
These changes are “in order to meet the needs for our strategic plan,” Morrow said.
Media assistant positions will be eliminated, but according to Morrow and Director of Human Resources Kristi Rhone, those staff members will be moved into different roles in the district.
“We would be eliminating those positions, but not those people,” Morrow said.
The role of media assistants primarily dealt with checking resources in and out, supervising the use of technology and a multitude of other tasks.
The role of curriculum coach will be redefined as a “reading design coach” and is being changed to better meet the needs of the district’s push toward literacy. Current curriculum coaches will be able to apply for the reading design coach position, but because of the vast differences between the two positions, those who chose not to apply would be offered another position, Morrow said.
The people in the technology facilitator roles will stay the same, but they will focus more on professional development.
“It redirects the focus,” Rhone said.
In addition, several technology facilitator positions will be added so that there will be one at each school in the district.

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