Education briefs: RSS named to Rethink Education cohort

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2021

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Schools district has been named one of 51 school districts, 28 charter schools and one lab school to participate in the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s inaugural Rethink Education cohort. 

NCDPI recently announced the initial cohort of educators will help lead the development of effective instructional approaches and content that teachers can use when schools must close due to unforeseen disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Rethink Education initiative was funded by a $17.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and it aims to help school districts across the state prepare for any short- or long-term learning disruptions by creating tailor-made plans designed for the specific needs of individual school communities. 

RSS participants in the first cohort will start training this month to become experts in how to use new, statewide blended learning models that add online learning to classroom teaching practices. They will then become trainers and leaders in our school system. 

“I am excited Rowan-Salisbury Schools was selected to be a part of this work. I am confident it will help us strengthen remote and in-person learning, and help us facilitate blended learning for students in kindergarten through eighth grade across the school system,” said Dr. Tony B. Watlington, superintendent. 

Hood International Center for Faith, Science and History to host fall conference

SALISBURY — The International Center for Faith, Science and History at Hood Theological Seminary presents the inaugural Governor Jim and Dottie Martin Religion and Science Lecture as the 2021 Fall Conference.

It will be a virtual event hosted via Zoom titled, “The Language of Faith and Science” held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 22.

The keynote address will be provided by renowned American author Karl Giberson. Giberson is a widely published author on matters of science for the general public. This lecture will feature the topics from his book “The Language of Faith and Science: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions.”

Giberson co-authored this widely acclaimed book with Francis Collins, the current Director of the National Institute of Health.

The public is invited register by Eventbrite here: to receive a link to view this event on Zoom. The event will also be streamed on Hood’s Facebook page: For more information, contact Sharon Grant at

State officials issue response to safety concerns at school board meetings

State Board of Education chairman Eric Davis, vice chair Alan Duncan and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt issued the following response on Tuesday to safety concerns at some school board meetings over the course of the last month: 

“As education leaders in our state, we are united by our fierce passion for serving students and in our commitment to providing all students and those serving our students with a safe environment. As we continue to see instances of violence unfold during some local school board meetings, we are yet again unified. The increased hostility and threats of force that we have seen across the state are not reflective of what we expect and ask of our own students: treating others with kindness and respect.

As educators, as parents and as concerned citizens, we respect the rights of our fellow citizens to share their concerns and voice their opinions. However, this must be done without the use of intimidation or intentionally inspiring fear. Every one of us has a responsibility to instill in our children their first amendment rights and responsibilities, but we have an even greater responsibility to model good behavior while doing so.

Our schools and district buildings should remain safe havens, and these acts of aggression cannot be tolerated. Our school board members and local leaders should not be threatened. Especially in times of disagreement, we should act with civility and respect for our teachers, local boards, superintendents, and school staff who are doing their best throughout this unprecedented time to lead, guide and educate our students. We invite you to join us in this endeavor.”