Next steps for approval of the renewal school system framework in Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2018

By Andrew Smith

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

SALISBURY — On June 28, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a resolution asking the State Board of Education to implement the Renewal School System framework throughout the district.

This framework provides beneficial charter-like flexibilities to all 35 Rowan-Salisbury schools.

The school board’s approval of the resolution puts in motion a process outlined in House Bill 986 that includes the creation of a renewal plan to be submitted to the state by July 15.

At the June 28 Board of Education meeting, district staff members presented the plan. The components include:

• Strategic goals: This includes our intended outcomes for the renewal school system flexibilities and alignment with our district’s strategic plan.

• Policies and procedures: This section addresses how we will govern the organization. To support the implementation, we believe educators must be the driving force for developing individual schools’ policies and procedures. By allowing educators to drive the design process at each school, we believe they will feel valued, be engaged in the process and ultimately ensure each school’s plan best matches student and community needs.

• Human resources: This outlines the process the district will undertake to ensure that we attain and retain high-quality school personnel. Based upon input from educators, possible strategies for examination include differentiated pay models; early contracts; creatively sourced classified positions; and new lateral-entry partnerships.

• Implementation overview: Using the district’s “Guide to Innovation,” a framework for redesigning schools, teacher-led design teams will examine their student and community needs, identify outcomes and examine the areas of flexibility afforded to their schools.

• Evaluation methods and goals: The process we will use to evaluate our progress toward the strategic goals outlined in the plan. Based on teacher input, we will design a district accountability report to communicate our work to the community.

The plan was submitted to the State Board of Education earlier, and it is our hope that it will appear on the board’s Aug. 2 agenda for discussion and a vote. The state board’s vote represents the final approval step for Rowan-Salisbury to implement the renewal school system framework.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the outcome of the meeting as we enter the final approval process for implementation of the Renewal School System framework in Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

Andrew Smith is chief strategy officer for Rowan-Salisbury Schools.