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School system will present fundamental standards for ‘renewal’

SALISBURY — Five days after school performance grades remained flat across the Rowan-Salisbury School District, the school board will discuss system-wide fundamental standards under the “renewal” district.

As defined by the Rowan-Salisbury School System, fundamental standards are what’s recognized by educators in the district to “be crucial for every career path. These standards each have an evident, real-world application and will be taught in their respective classes with a strong focus.” The standards are also expected to be key in determining how the system will measure performance for students and schools.

During the school board’s 4 p.m. meeting Monday at the Wallace Educational Forum, 500 N. Main St., Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Julie Morrow is set to present documents with standards for English and language arts as well as math for every grade level.

In a video accompanying the presentation, Superintendent Lynn Moody said developing the academic skills of students is about teaching standards.

“We don’t deny that we want our students to learn certain standards, but we are very specific about the fundamental standards that we’ve chosen,” Moody said. “These aren’t power standards. These aren’t the ones that are on the test more often. These are the standards that we believe matter in real life, that students will actually use and they will need as they progress throughout their careers.”

Reacting to school performance grades last week, Moody said RSS would seek to measure fundamental standards and, as a result, academic skills in its new accountability model through some sort of standardized test, but that measurement would also include specific evidence of work by the student and a means by which a teacher’s opinion can be included.

The system will also measure unique life goals and interpersonal skills as part of a new accountability model expected to be reader in October.

Some of the fundamental standards set to be presented Monday include:

• Students in grades 11 and 12 should be able to cite evidence to support an analysis of what an informational text says explicitly as well as drawing inferences from the text and saying what’s left uncertain.

• Students in 8th grade should be able to solve real-world mathematical problems by writing and solving equations and inequalities in one variable, recognize linear equations as having one solution.

• Students in 5th grade should be able to analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view.

• Students in kindergarten should be able to identify squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders and spheres as either being two- or three-dimensional.

Morrow’s presentation is also set to include so-called supporting standards, which have connections to specific career paths rather than being crucial for every path. An example of a supporting standard is that 11th and 12th graders should be able to analyze the impact of an author’s choices about how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama.

In other business:

• The Rowan-Salisbury School Board will continue its discussion about renovations to Knox Middle School.

• The school board will receive a “Finance 101” presentation that’s set to include discussion about the basics of the budgeting process as well as the fact that a state budget hasn’t been finalized yet.

• The school board will receive a presentation about three “digital badge experiences.”

Monday’s agenda state’s the badges are intended to allow students to personalize their learning experiences and “capitalize on their unique talents, characteristics and interests.”

The three badges are creative writing, sustainability and leadership and service.

To obtain the badge, students would need to complete an online learning module, field experience and a showcase of their work.

• The school board will consider a request from the exceptional children department to hire six, full-time substitutes for the current school year.

Contact editor Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4248.

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