Randolph County Schools receive grants, discuss improvement plans

ASHEBORO – The Randolph County Schools Board of Education met Monday, Nov, 20.

The board was presented with two grants received by RCS.

The first was the Bright Ideas Education Grant in the amount of $1,675 that was received by Farmer Elementary School to provide the funding to purchase a STEM activity cart with hands-on activities.

The second was the Run 5 Feed 5 Grant in the amount of $400 that was received by Northeastern Randolph Middle School to provide for the BackPack Program to address childhood hunger.

The BackPack Program, which is hosted by the Feeding America network, offers families free groceries for weekends and school breaks.

The board was then presented with the 2023-24 School Improvement Plans for review.‌

“These school improvement plans were developed following a comprehensive needs assessment process that started in February,” said Assistant Superintendent Cathy Waddell. “The 23-24 plans were revised by school improvement teams to reflect the current data and the school improvement template was provided by the NCStar electronic platform.”‌

RCS had 15 schools designated as not low-performing; those being Archdale Elementary, Coleridge Elementary, Farmer Elementary, Grays Chapel Elementary, Hopewell Elementary, John Lawrence Elementary, New Market Elementary, Providence Grove High School, Randolph Early College High School, Seagrove Elementary, Southmont Elementary, Tabernacle Elementary, The Virtual Academy, Trindale Elementary and Wheatmore High School.

‌RCS also had 17 schools designated as low-performing; those being Eastern Randolph High School, Franklinville Elementary School, Level Cross Elementary School, Liberty Elementary School, Northeastern Randolph Middle School, Ramseur Elementary School, Randleman Elementary School, Randleman High School, Randleman Middle School, Southeastern Randolph Middle School, Southwestern Randolph High School, Southwestern Randolph Middle School, Trinity Elementary School, Trinity High School, Trinity Middle School, Uwharrie Ridge Six-Twelve and Wheatmore Middle School.

When asked if there were concerns about employees switching out of low-performing schools, Waddell commented that that doesn’t really happen anymore.

“I think people are truly invested in the schools that they go to and they want to see them improve and they feel like they can stay and help that process,” Waddell said.

‌Finally, the board approved the Superintendent’s 2023-24 budget, which has a total operating budget of $193,315,130.63, and the first reading of the 2025-26 school calendar.

“The calendar committee met and developed a draft of the 2025-2026 school calendar,” said Executive Director of Operations Dale Brinkley. “The calendar includes 180 student days, 14 teacher workdays, 11 holidays and 10 annual leave days for a total of 215 days as required by the calendar guidelines.”

According to Brinkley, the district also has an inclement weather make-up plan similar to the 2024-25 calendar.‌

The 2025-26 calendar features a start date of Aug. 25 with the end of the first semester on Jan. 16 and the final day of school on June 10.

The Randolph County Schools Board of Education will next meet Dec. 11.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal