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Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools has been continuing its work on competency-based education, and the school board will receive an update about the work Monday.

Competency-based education, a component of what RSS wants to accomplish through its special renewal designation, makes time the variable in education. That means it focuses on a student’s individual progression in different subjects.

Students may progress quickly in some subjects but struggle in others. Competency-based education gives them the chance to move ahead in the areas they perform and not get left behind in the areas they are progressing more slowly.

In the 2019-2020 school year, district employees visited other districts. The district held professional development sessions for school leadership focused on grading mindsets last fall. The next steps for the districts are more development sessions for all employees and developing next steps.

The meeting will be 4 p.m. Monday, with the public able to tune in via meeting software Zoom by using the link rssed.zoom.us/j/98273299079.

In other agenda items for the meeting:

• The board will receive an update on the Woodleaf Elementary property, which was declared surplus after its closure. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted to claim the property after it was declared surplus. The county expressed a desire to turn the facility into a park.

The transfer of the property deed was recently completed.

• The board will review a contract to purchase ready-made resources from education company Defined Learning to support problem-based learning. The three-year contract totals $297,000 and will be entirely funded by the district’s Teacher and School Leadership Grant. The federal grant totals $26.3 million.

• Associate Superintendent Kelly Withers will present the board with its regular COVID-19 update. Withers reviews the district’s COVID-19 figures with the board and provides updates on other areas including vaccine distribution.

As of Monday, the district had six active student cases and eight active employee cases with 266 students in quarantine and 37 employees.

The district is planning to return elementary students to plan A at the end of the month, a week after students return from spring break. In-person elementary students will attend four days a week, though Wednesday will be virtual and the facilities will receive additional cleaning that day.

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