New RSS superintendent to be sworn in Monday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 10, 2021

SALISBURY — New Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Tony Watlington is set to be sworn in on Monday and begin his district tour on Tuesday.

Watlington was tapped by the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education to replace now-retired Superintendent Lynn Moody in December.

He’s leaving Guilford County Schools as the district’s chief of schools. He has spent his entire 26-year career there as an educator and in other roles. The district will host a press event on Tuesday, and Watlington will begin visiting every school in the district that day. He plans to visit each school in the next few days.

The board is scheduled to immediately enter closed session after Watlington is sworn in during the board’s Monday meeting.

In other meeting agenda items:

• RSS Accountability Director Kelly Burgess will give the board an overview of calendar options for the upcoming 2021-2022 school calendar. The final draft to be shown to the board had an Aug. 2 start date and a full-time in person schedule for students.

The draft sets Dec. 17 as the last day for students before winter break and the last school day of the year would be May 20, 2022.

• Associate Superintendent of Resources Carol Herndon will present an overview of COVID-19 relief spending. The CARES Act has allotted $10.6 million to the district to date for a number of programs including $4.7 million in emergency relief. The district has spent $6.8 million so far.

The district has spent $1 million on summer learning, $890,000 on nutrition and $690,000 on personal protective equipment, among other expenses smaller expenditures.

• Associate Superintendent Kelly Withers will update the board on COVID-19. The district opted to return to in-person classes this week, though schools closed on Friday due to weather. There were 42 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in district staff on Monday and more than 120 quarantines.

Withers will discuss the district’s voluntary extension of COVID-19 leave benefits pending the Families First Coronavirus Response Act going into effect March 31. COVID-19 related leave for up to 10 work days will be available to employees who are unable to work on site due to the virus.

• Director of Construction Christopher Nuckolls will present a request from the Career and Technical Education Department to install a 20 by 30 foot metal building at Carson High School to store CTE materials. The building will be funded by the department for $7,000 and is to be located near the CTE classrooms at the school.

Woodworking and masonry classes would both store material in the building that has otherwise been stored in classrooms.

• The Board will review Title IX policy deletions based on rescinded guidance from the U.S. Department of Education even though the current polices rely on new regulations.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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