North Rowan High’s new calendar begins in August

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

By Meredith Williams

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Editor’s note: This is one of a weekly series of articles from Rowan-Salisbury Schools to help keep readers updated on the restart and renewal process throughout the 2018-19 school year. 

As a restart school, North Rowan High School had the opportunity to spend the past school year planning how to best utilize the flexibility all Rowan-Salisbury Schools now have through the renewal school system legislation.

In our planning year, North teachers sought ways to design our students’ school experience to maximize their opportunities. Moving forward, our teachers seek to build their students’ capacity for critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and strong communication skills through the contents they teach.

RCCC and College and Career Promise

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has come alongside our staff and students to provide many relevant and engaging courses through the College and Career Promise Program. The program allows students to take tuition-free classes through RCCC. The classes can transfer directly toward a two- or four-year degree or lead to a wide array of vocational certifications.

In the past, College and Career Promise classes have proven difficult for our students to access, as the state-mandated start date for schools was two weeks after the start date for RCCC. Not only was North Rowan High School’s first semester misaligned with the college, but the spring and summer sessions were misaligned as well.

Calendar flexibility

Through the calendar flexibility granted in restart and now granted in the renewal school system, the faculty of North Rowan was able to draft a calendar for 2018-19 that starts before RCCC’s Aug. 13 date and closely mimics the breaks and holidays of the traditional calendar.

Our parents and community came together to analyze the calendars this spring. Thanks to their support and that of our Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education, we will start school on Aug. 9 this year and hold graduation on May 25.

Enrollment up; college courses scheduled

As a result, North Rowan High School’s College and Career Promise enrollment is up 500 percent from the fall of 2017. In the fall semester of 2018 alone, more than 40 North Rowan students will take college courses on campus with the opportunity to earn over 140 hours of college credit.

Another 35 students will take classes online or at the RCCC campuses this fall for more than 150 combined college credit hours.

This is only the fall semester, as there are more classes slated for the spring. Courses include college math and English, cosmetology, computer sciences, welding, early childhood education, electrical codes and graphic design.

Our students are excited to engage in classes that prepare them directly for the world they will experience after graduation all while being supported by the North Rowan community.

First semester and exams wrap up before Christmas

The earlier start date will not only open opportunities through College and Career Promise classes for all our students; it will also allow our first semester to conclude before the Christmas break.

Concluding first semester before this two-week holiday allows students a smooth transition into final exams and an equally smooth transition into the second semester beginning in early January.

Traditionally, exams in January have proven difficult because of the holiday break in addition to bad weather happening prior to administering exams. This compromises retention and student focus on exam preparation.

We are excited that the calendar flexibility provided through renewal legislation will allow our students to have a high school experience that is tailored to their passions and academic needs, while preparing them for vocational certifications, building a college transcript that is tuition-free, or exploring the many opportunities available to them in postsecondary education.

The full North Rowan High calendar for 2018-19 is available on our school website. Our school day will continue to run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Meredith Williams is principal at North Rowan High School and community principal for North area schools.