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School board to explore mobile unit use

By Andie Foley
andie.foley@salisburypost.com

After nearly voting to remove all school system mobile units not required to teach students, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education on Monday will explore how each of the system’s 88 units are currently being used.

The exploration follows talks at the board’s March 25 meeting, wherein member Dean Hunter questioned the use of mobile units or trailers at school sites that are under capacity.

According to a prepared spreadsheet by Superintendent for Operations Anthony Vann, five existing trailers are already scheduled for removal: three at Morgan Elementary and two at Henderson Independent.

The three Morgan Elementary units are part of an existing eight, though three are used as fifth-grade classrooms, one for AIG and one for art.

Four at Hanford Dole Elementary will be removed when the pod unit from the vacated Cleveland Elementary is relocated to its campus, and five are at the former Woodleaf Elementary property.

Of the remaining units, 66.2 percent are currently being utilized for classroom or office space, 5.4 percent as combined office and storage space, 16.2 percent as storage, and 12.2 percent are empty.

Monday’s discussion, held at 4 p.m. at the Wallace Education Forum at 500 N. Main St., will allow board members and staff to explore these current uses and evaluate next steps as they work to address the system’s growing capital needs.

In other business from Monday’s agenda:

  • The board will explore a second draft of its budget message to the county commissioners.

The message outlays 2019-20 budget requests of the system for county funding. Currently, it identifies a need for additional funding for salary and benefits, renewal efforts, capital improvements and more. The requests are due to commissioners by April 18.

  • The board will explore the possibility of expanding pre-k programming.

Kelly Street, director of Early Childhood, will present on the possibility of a tuition-based pre-k program at Mt. Ulla Elementary.

  • The board will consider approving two e-Learning days in the 2019-20 school year.

The requested days, Sept. 25 and Feb. 8, will provide time for teacher professional development and planning while students complete classwork from home.

  • The board will consider moving forward with an access easement with the city of Salisbury, allowing the existing Horizons trail to connect to the Salisbury Greenway.

The easement will also provide connectivity to the Catawba Ecological Preserve.

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