Rowan-Salisbury Schools will offer expanded summer options

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, May 25, 2021

SALISBURY — Local students will be able to take advantage of more summer school options in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools Assistant Superintendent Jason Gardner on Monday provided the school board with an overview of plans for summer school. Sessions will take place in blocks in June and July from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at elementary, middle and high school levels. Transportation and meals will be provided for all students as well. There will be English and mathematics blocks available for students at all levels.

Elementary and middle school students will be offered small group, personalized English and math instruction as well problem-based learning and some time for physical activity.

High school students will have remedial blocks available for English and math, credit recovery and flexible schedules that can meet the needs of each student.

Gardner said a number of the components of the daily programming are required by the state.

Gov. Roy Cooper on April 9 signed a bill that passed down summer learning requirements aimed at offsetting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, HB 82, received bipartisan support in the state House and Senate and requires components such as credit recovery and an elective course offering for high school students.

The bill also mandates transportation service to the facilities “in accordance with Plan A,” the modified full-time learning schedule option the district has been operating according to since early April.

There will also be credentialing courses for career and technical courses, including use of Adobe software, mechatronics and robotics and manufacturing. There will be enrichment camps available for gifted students, in-person science camps offered through Horizons Unlimited and the addition of virtual English tutoring via BookNook.

BookNook is a service that provides English tutoring. There are 350 slots available for RSS students. That includes nine weeks of tutoring, with two, 30-minutes sessions twice per week. The district is also exploring hiring student tutors from local colleges this fall.

In other business from the meeting:

• The board approved a student fee schedule for the coming year. Now included on the schedule is a $65 driver education course fee. Assistant Superintendent Andrew Smith said the fee is standard across the district but previously was not included on the list. There are no new fees and they have not changed otherwise.

Smith said the district will examine its fee schedule compared to surrounding districts over the next sixth months.

• The board approved its annual agreement with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College for the Career and College Promise Program. The agreement details the partnership programs between RSS and the college to provide transfer credit pathways, career and technical education pathways and work with cooperative schools, namely Rowan County Early College. The only changes in the agreement were the superintendent’s name and the date.

• The district is approaching closing the $300,000 sale of the Faith Elementary School property to Faith Academy Charter School. On Monday, the board approved a disposal resolution on the property. RSS board expects a final contract for approval at its June 14 meeting.

• Associate Superintendent Kelly Withers gave the board its regular COVID-19 update and the last one for this semester. As of Friday, there were 10 infected students, about .07%, and one infected employee. There were 265 quarantined students and three quarantined employees. The numbers have continued to decline since peaking in late April.

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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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