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Education briefs: Nearly all Communities In Schools students are promoted to next grade

SALISBURY – Communities In Schools of Rowan County has released new data from the 2018-19 school year showing 99% of students served are promoted to the next grade despite high levels of poverty and other significant barriers
to success.

This impact is attributable to individualized integrated student supports or wraparound services provided to students in eight schools here in our community. CIS Rowan employs highly trained and dedicated Student Support Specialists who are
in schools daily to work with students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Community volunteers and partner agencies bring resources of time and skill to serve as mentors and tutors.

Executive Director Dr. Ron Turbyfill described CIS as using a “proven model of student success, combining research- and evidence-based practices with regularly checking in and connecting with students, ensuring school attendance, improving behavior, closing gaps on coursework and engaging parents. I am very proud of the work of our staff and appreciative of the great support in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, our volunteers, and community partners, funders and donors.”

CIS Results:
In 2018-2019, CIS Rowan served students in kindergarten through 12th grades, in
eight schools. Among 329 students served with targeted/intensive supports –

  • 99% were promoted to the next grade.
  • 86% improved attendance in school, which increased likelihood of academic success.
  • 75% improved behavior at school, increasing their time on task in the classroom.
  • 94% improved their coursework/classwork.
  • 199 community volunteers gave 5,476 hours of service.
  • 100% of Seniors served at Henderson Independent High School were graduated.

Last year, 3,084 students were supported by school-wide programs, in addition to the
329 receiving targeted, intensive supports and services. School-based CIS staff create
unique plans to meet each student where they are and help them reach their full
potential, including increasing attendance, improving behavior and enhancing
coursework — indicators of student success as identified by research from Johns Hopkins University. CIS also collaborated with 1,164 parents/caregivers to ensure the long-term success of each child served.
Dr. Lynn Moody, Superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Lynn Moody expressed her gratitute for the partnership between RSS and CIS.

Course will hep law enforcement officers make wise decisions about using force

SALISBURY – “Was it avoidable?” This is the question at the core of every incident where a law enforcement officer uses force. We see frequent stories in the news questioning the decisions of officers, who must make these choices in the heat of the moment, under great pressure.

“Legally Justified… But Was It Avoidable?” is an eight-hour course designed to help officers analyze their behavior and make the best possible decisions when faced with a situation where force may be required. Presented by Calibre Press and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the course includes topics such as how to avoid using force, research on stress and other factors that affect officer decisions, and much more.

Three sessions of the course will be offered: March 24, 25 and 26, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at The Laureate Center, 401 Laureate Way, Kannapolis. The course is free for North Carolina state and local sworn law enforcement officers and $70 for out of state or federal officers. For more information, or to register, please contact Chuck Adams at 704-216-3745 or email LETrain@rccc.edu.

Sessions offered March 24, 25 and 26 in Kannapolis.

RCCC welding program receives grant for virtual welding equipment

SALISBURY – The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College welding program produced the first graduating class when the institution opened in 1963. Since then, both the program and the College itself have been committed to changing with the times to meet the needs of the job market and industry.

“We are experiencing a strong increase in interest in welding as a career,” said Rowan-Cabarrus Welding Program Chair Brandon Hoffner, who is a 2005 graduate of the Rowan-Cabarrus program. “It’s a lost art that is coming back. The need is there, and people are realizing it.”

Rowan-Cabarrus was one of only eight national recipients of the 2019 Welding Workforce Grant from the American Welding Society, which provided $25,000 that the College used to purchase high-tech virtual welding equipment. As technology enters the industry, upgrades are needed to educate students to perform 21st century jobs.

The welding department also has met the requirements to be a Lincoln Electric certified LEEPS program and offers NC3 certification through the National Coalition of Certification Centers.

“Our program is not about sitting in a welding booth for three or four hours to get a grade on something,” Hoffner said. “This is about giving our students practical knowledge and hands-on training to prepare them for a good job. Our biggest problem right now is that we need more space to develop and expand the curriculum. Welding technology is changing at a fast pace, with computerized equipment and robotics. It takes the latest equipment to train the best graduates.”

Welding enrollment spiked when Pillowtex suddenly shut down operations in 2003 and has continued to increase as trade job openings have become more plentiful and more lucrative.

The Rowan-Cabarrus program features classroom and lab instruction, including three levels of gas tungsten arc welding, three levels of shielded metal arc welding, mig plate welding and orbital welding, with plans to incorporate flux cored arc welding, a process which is in high demand.

The American Welding Society predicts that by 2024, 400,000 jobs will be available in the United States for qualified welders.

“Our thriving, diverse welding program is a great example of our commitment to preparing our citizens for sustainable careers and contributing to the region’s workforce needs and economic development,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Nothing is more important to us than imparting the skills that help people change their lives for the better.”

After her husband passed away in April of 2003 and she was laid off from her job at Pillowtex the following June, Lori Safrit wasn’t sure where to turn, but knew she needed a good job to continue to pay the bills and take care of her three young daughters.

She turned to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College for a new career, after having worked only in textiles and the food industry, and decided to earn her degree in welding. Today, she is a full-time welding instructor at the College and is seeing more women following her lead.

“I wanted to show my daughters that, through perseverance and hard work, you can make it in life,” Safrit said. “I know my job is worthwhile when I get students with the fire and passion to be good welders. I enjoy teaching all students, but I have to admit I love it when I get females in my classes. They make really good welders and are very detail-oriented.”

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