Rowan-Salisbury Schools to declare surplus schools, review redistricting

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 24, 2021

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools administration on Tuesday will recommend two schools be declared “surplus,” effective June 18.

Associate Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann will present a recommendation to the school board that Faith and Enochville Elementary school properties be declared surplus at the end of the school year. Both schools are already set for closure and the process of declaring a property “surplus” allows someone else to make use of the building before it’s demolished. Rowan County government has first right of refusal on both properties, but Faith Academy, a new charter school, has expressed interest in purchasing the Faith Elementary property to the district in writing.

The charter school hopes to purchase the property to begin classes this fall, but will otherwise bring in mobile units for its first year of classes if it is not able to secure the property soon.

The Enochville property sits on about 9 acres of property. Faith sits on 12 acres.

The school board on Tuesday will also view a redistricting map prepared by the transportation department based on the closure of the two schools.

The school board’s Tuesday meeting will be held virtually starting at 5 p.m. It can be viewed using the following link: rssed.zoom.us/j/95763305693.

Anyone who wishes to speak during the public comment period must register by 3 p.m. Tuesday by emailing mulkeysh@rss.k12.nc.us

In other agenda items:

• Assistant Superintendent of Transformation Andrew Smith will present a proposed contract with Foley Jones and Associates. The firm provided grant writing services for the district, which ultimately lead to the award of a $26.3 million federal grant. The original contract includes technical assistance to provide grantees for a year for a 1% fee of the total grant.

The amount totals $265,291.61, to be paid out of funding budgeted for consulting services. Among the assistance the firm will be contracted to provide is weekly support calls, help develop a year one plan for the grant, provide feedback on communication with the U.S. Department of Education and help district staff with “ongoing TSL program evaluation and related DOE requirements.”

The grant will provide teacher incentives and allow the district to fund work on its special renewal status, which has been underway district-wide for about two years.

• Associate Superintendent Kelly Withers will provide an update on COVID-19. The board is revisiting the issue at every meeting with updated figures provided by Withers. A teacher at Knox Middle School died last week due to COVID-19.

• Withers will also provide the board with an update on the progress of a committee formed to rework the district’s alternative program. The program currently primarily serves students with serious conduct violations out of Henderson Independent School. The board is generally in agreement the program is successful and important but the current facility is inadequate.

At a public hearing about closing the facility, Henderson faculty spoke out about having a separate physical home for the program.

• The board will discuss possible time change for its regular business meetings.

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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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