Randolph Board of Education approves SRO contracts for additional elementary school support

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Schools Board of Education met Monday, November 21, where they were given an update on SRO contracts, school improvement plans, and a potential calendar plan for future school years.

The board was given an update on the school system’s new SRO contracts.  

“It’s been in the works for a while to add some SRO presence at the elementary schools,” said Superintendent Stephen Gainey. “We wanted to make sure we could get the officers trained and recruited, and that was handled by the Sheriff’s Department. Just the need to have some presence there. Right now, we have 13 SROs between our middle and high schools, and they are all assigned to an elementary school. So these will be additional support. There will be four officers divided between the 17 elementary schools. One officer will have five, and the other three [schools] will have four apiece and just provide additional support as we can and build additional relationships between children and officers. These officers, these elementary schools will be their sole roles.”

The contract will pay a sum total of $119,007 which includes the cost of salaries, benefits, training, and supplies.

The board also heard a naming request for the Trinity High School Gymnasium.

“The Randolph County Schools System has been approached about naming the Trinity High School gymnasium after Tim Kelly,” said Executive Director of Operations Dale Brinkley. “Tim Kelly is the current boy’s basketball head coach at Trinity High School and has served in this role for 34 seasons. Since starting his career in 1989-90 as Trinity High School’s head boys basketball coach, Coach Kelly’s teams have won various conference, sectional, and state-level championships. He also has received various coaching awards and has served as a role model and mentor. The request is to name it Tim Kelly Gymnasium.”

Since Kelly is technically currently classified as a volunteer and is no longer an employee, there would be no conflict with the naming rights should the board approve the request at their next meeting.

The board was also given an update on a grant that was received by one of the district’s elementary schools.

“Tabernacle Elementary School received the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Go Outside Grant in the amount of $1,800,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Waddell. “The grant was received on September 28, and it will go towards the funding for 5th-grade students to attend Camp Caraway for outdoor science activities.”

The board then approved the first reading of the 2024-25 school calendar.

“The Calendar Committee met and developed a draft of the 2024-2025 school calendar,” Brinkley said. “The calendar includes 180 student days, 14 teacher workdays, 11 holidays, and ten annual leave days for a total of 215 days as required by the calendar guidelines. It also includes an inclement weather makeup plan, similar to the 2023-2024 school calendar.”

In accordance with the calendar, the school year will begin August 26, the first semester will end January 17, the second semester will begin January 23, and the school year will end June 10.

The calendar will now go out for public comment before being voted on again at the next meeting.

The board also approved the school improvement plans for the 17 schools that were not designated as low performing. The other 15 schools that were designated as low performing are still undergoing board review.

The Randolph County Schools Board of Education will next meet December 19.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal