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State superintendents unveil strategic plan

Over the last year, North Carolina’s public school superintendents have worked to develop goals and priorities for the state’s public schools.

In January, public school superintendents presented a “proactive education reform plan,” according to the document.

“Everybody has an opinion about public education,” said Rowan-Salisbury Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, adding that while everyone’s opinions are important and valuable, superintendents have a special perspective on the state’s public schools.

“The opinion of the superintendents of the state should be heard,” she said. “I think that’s really important.

“We should be leading public education. We should stand together on that,” she added.

The goals and areas of strategic focus are: to create a public education system that better prepares North Carolina’s students for success in globally competitive jobs and in higher education; frame the debate on education issues and the funding necessary to both sustain and increase the accomplishments that have been made; focus the attention of policymakers on what will make a difference in student achievement; establish and maintain a strategic direction for public education; and galvanize support of stakeholders who will enable continuous forward momentum for improvement in the quality of public education.

“I think all six are equally important,” Moody said. “You can’t just rank them.”

“If you pull one piece out you weaken the whole document,” she added.

Moody worked on developing the digital learning goals.

“Rowan-Salisbury is one of the districts in the state that’s leading that,” she said. “I felt like I could offer some expertise.”

The state’s technology goal is to “embrace digital learning to transform our public schools and communities.”

They plan to do this by making technology a central piece of lessons, proving state funding, stable infrastructures, technology facilitators and mobile devices for students and staff.

The superintendents also proposed a statewide public school construction bond referendum, which would “allow the voters of North Carolina to decide whether or not they want to ease the pressures from a mounting backlog of school construction needs,” According to Assistant Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann.

“The need for new schools, classroom additions, and facility upgrades continues to increase each year in our Rowan-Salisbury School System,” he said, adding that the issue isn’t unique to Rowan County. “School systems all across the state are experiencing the same building backlog issues. Current estimated backlogs across the state are in the billions of dollars.”

If a statewide construction bond referendum were approved, the district could receive some “much needed relief from the growing school facilities backlog,” Vann said.

Vann went to Raleigh in Moody’s place to present the strategic plan along with many of the other superintendents from across the state.

“A handful of superintendents spoke during the unveiling event as others stood in support of the plan and were available to answer any questions,” Vann said.

“By using a united voice, the hope is that it will be clearly heard by North Carolina lawmakers,” he added.

“Now the hard work has to be done, to continue that dialogue and put legs to those areas. This is an ongoing document,” Moody said. “It’s important that we revisit it constantly.”

She added that the state’s strategic plan aligns perfectly with Rowan-Salisbury’s, which was presented last year.

“They support each other,” she said. “Our strategic plan is right on.”

 

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