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New Rowan-Salisbury school plan could help retain principals

By Jessica Coates

jessica.coates@salisburypost.com

Retaining veteran principals can be difficult, according to Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Lynn Moody.

“The days when a principal (went) to a school and stayed for 10 years is long gone. I think the national average is about 3.1 years now,” Moody said during a City Council budget meeting Wednesday.

To combat the high turnover rate, Moody got together with several county principals to see if they could come up with a way to keep better principals around longer.

“I called it the ‘Salisbury Community Schools Plan,’” she said as she passed out printed versions of it to council members. “(It’s) for those inner-city schools that are hard to recruit and retain (for).”

The schools listed included Koontz Elementary School, Hanford Dole Elementary School, Isenberg Elementary School, Overton Elementary School and Knox Middle School.

“Those (elementary schools) feed to Knox (Middle School) … and Knox is the real problem because it’s middle schoo l…the most difficult time,” she said.

Because of the inherent difficulties of middle school ages, Moody said, she often sees a “middle school loop.”

“We have a lot of parents who will go to elementary schools,” she said, “and then they’ll pull out in middle school and …go back for (high school).”

The Salisbury Community Schools Plan offered the council two options to consider. One option would offer smaller supplements to more principals, while the other would offer larger supplements to fewer.

A third option could also be created, should the council have ideas of how the two original options could be improved.

Moody added that, in trying to stay within the council’s $61,000 Rowan-Salisbury Schools budget, cuts would need to be made.

“As we were building this plan, I was trying not to let anyone go backward. But on the same hand … we’re just in a different situation,” she said.

In response to this, Councilman Brian Miller suggested that the council might think about changing the budget amount to $100,000.

The council agreed unanimously to at least allow Moody until the next City Council meeting to come up with how Rowan-Salisbury Schools might be able to use the extra $39,000.

The next City Council meeting will be June 6.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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