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Henderson public hearing, consolidation update on agenda for school board

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education will forge ahead with consolidation plans on Monday.

The board will host a virtual public hearing on the proposed closure of Henderson Independent School and receive information about the impending closures of Faith and Enochville elementary schools. The meeting will be at 4 p.m. and can be viewed by using meeting software Zoom and the following link: rssed.zoom.us/j/92250822857.

The district has no plans to discontinue the alternative program that exists at Henderson and administration intends to create a committee to create a new plan for the program. The board has shown agreement the program is successful and needed, but Henderson is in a state of disrepair not appropriate to host students.

Comments can be submitted online by visiting: rssed.org/school-closure-hearing. Members of the public can sign up to speak to the board by emailing mulkeysh@rss.k12.nc.us before 3 p.m. Friday.

The board is already moving ahead with closing Faith and Enochville elementary schools, and Associate Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann will give the board an update on the process. The district held informational meetings on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 with school staff at Enochville and Faith, respectively.

The district will begin making alternate staff placements and open a staff transfer window. There is no intention to lay off any staff.

There is some interest in the Faith property from charter school hopeful Faith Academy, but otherwise the district would normally declare the properties surplus with the county gaining first right of refusal. Staff and equipment will be moved in June.

Other agenda items include:

• Superintendent Lynn Moody will update the board on the district’s current blended attendance model under plan B.

• Accounting firm Anderson Smith and Wike will present the district’s annual audit report. The report will outline the district’s accounting for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and makes not of the district’s special renewal status under the state.

•  Transportation Director Tim Beck will bring a request to the district to purchase a new activity bus with special lift equipment for $96,702.48. The bus would be equipped with a lift and be able to transport three wheelchairs. When activity buses are used, there are reimbursement funds deposited into the district’s activity bus replacement fund.

• District Athletic Director Rick Vanhoy will present an update on athletic program finances updating information to remove additional funds in accounts not used for some routine expenses.

• Associate Superintendent Kelly Withers will share findings by The Innovation Project that show the continuing decline of students attending school districts in the state, with more families moving to charter, private and homeschools.

• Assistant Superintendent of Transformation Andrew Smith will present an updated policy on staff responsibilities to move the policy into compliance with the North Carolina School Board Association.

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