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Kannapolis school board talks strategic plan, new middle school and technology at meeting, retreat

KANNAPOLIS — Kannapolis City Schools’ Board of Education discussed its new strategic plan at its monthly business meeting Monday and board retreat Tuesday.

“We have three areas of focus,” said Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain.

They are STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, arts and math; literacy; and career and college readiness.

The board unanimously approved the plan Monday.

The district’s leadership has been working on the five-year plan since September, with feedback from staff, students, parents and community members.

The board approved a final 2015-16 academic calendar. When the calendar was presented to board members last, they asked the calendar committee to go back with election days in mind and rebuild the calendar.

There are three election days during the 2015-16 school year – one in November, one in February for the presidential primary and municipal elections in May.

“The calendar had to be readjusted to be out of school all three days,” said Community Relations Director Ellen Boyd.

The board also approved a measure to begin using procurement cards for the schools to pay their expenses.

The card works similar to a debit card with cash-back rewards, and eliminates the need for Kannapolis schools to write checks.

“A lot of districts use them,” Boyd said.

The board also discussed plans for its new middle school at the retreat. If all goes as planned, administrators hope to be in the building by Fall 2017. The current Kannapolis Middle School will become another intermediate school when the change occurs.

The board discussed how to improve technology in the school system at its retreat.

Cain said board members feel they need to have a line item for technology replacements and repairs in their budget, but figuring out how to do so is difficult since the state doesn’t give an “ample amount” of funding.

They plan to look at how the Rowan-Salisbury School System and Mooresville City Schools make their technology programs work.

“Technology is essential to our children,” Cain said. “We’ve got to be looking outside the box and creative.”

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