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RSS administration to recommend return to five-day school week

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools administration during Monday’s Board of Education meeting will recommend the district return to a five-day schedule this fall.

The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. at Wallace Educational Forum, 500 N Main St. If you can not attend in person the meeting can be seen via live stream at vimeo.com/rssboe. If the Board of Education approves the recommendation on Monday, this fall would mark the return to a normal school schedule for the first time in more than a year.

A memo from district Superintendent Tony Watlington said COVID-19 cases and quarantines decreased in the last weeks of school and the number of vaccinated staff is increasing.

About 30% of people in Rowan County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 28% of the population are fully vaccinated.

In other agenda items:

• The board will receive an overview of the $66 million in federal relief funding it has been awarded by the state.

The plans for the $2.4 million block of funding approved by congress in December will be split between curriculum, nutrition, operations, school support and technology. The largest part of that funding is about $12 million to be allocated for curriculum to address learning loss, support of special populations, early learning and technology.

The second largest piece is school support, notably salary expenses for tiered support of schools and middle school directors.

The $45.6 million block passed in March will be split between curriculum, operations and school support. The bulk of that funding, $34.4 million, will be dedicated to HVAC upgrades and repairs, ventilation, door and window replacement and building envelopes to aid air flow and water drainage.

• The board will view N.C. Purchasing Alliance Bid awards for approval. This is a regular re-bid year for the alliance, which handles purchases of food and supplies for the schools nutrition program. The recommended awards are for US Foods for both groceries and supplies and Foster Caviness for produce at a combined cost of about $3 million.

• The board will view a final version of the contract with Faith Academy Charter School to sell the old Faith Elementary property for $300,000.

• The board will review one-year contracts for instructional tools, including Achieve3000, Discovery Education and Freckle and STAR math assessments. The contracts have a cost of about $1.12 million.

• The board will review a quote for English language instructional materials from Cengage for $224,000. This includes curriculum and assessment materials for sixth to 12th-grade English-learner students.

• Associate Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann will recommend reopening indoor school facilities for community use starting in July. The facilities have been unavailable since March of last year.

• The board will review the district code of conduct for the coming year.

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