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School board to discuss restart schools Monday

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Restart schools will be the topic of the day at Monday’s Board of Education work session.

In 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly ruled that continually low-performing schools may apply for and be granted freedoms similar to charter schools. If approved, the schools have the ability to set their own calendar, design their own curriculum and to have hiring and financial flexibility.

Thirteen Rowan-Salisbury Schools were approved for charter restart last year, including: Erwin Middle, Overton Elementary, China Grove Elementary, Corriher-Lipe Middle, Koontz Elementary, Isenberg Elementary, Hurley Elementary, Knollwood Elementary, Landis Elementary, North Rowan Elementary, North Rowan High, Southeast Middle and West Rowan Middle.

All 13 schools gained approval from the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education, and were green-lit for restart by the state. According to district staff, they are using the 2017-18 school year as a planning year to design charter-like curriculums. China Grove Elementary submitted its plan to become an arts-integrated school at a recent board meeting.

Following the September 2017 release of 2016-17 test scores, three other schools are now eligible for a charter restart: Hanford Dole Elementary, Knox Middle and Salisbury High.

Knox Middle and Salisbury High failed to meet state growth expectations for the 2016-17 year, and while Hanford-Dole did meet growth, the school still ranked on the district’s low-performing list.

An update on the other 13 schools shows that a district restart team meets weekly to review school plans and progress. The district has also joined The Innovation Project; a collaborative, state-wide collection of school districts.

The board will meet Monday at 1 p.m. in the Wallace Educational Forum board room, 500 N. Main St.

In other business, the board will:

  • Receive an update about how state class size mandates could affect specific schools.
  • Discuss substitute pay and the possibility of hiring full-time substitute teachers.
  • Receive an update on the new West Rowan Elementary School.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.

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