Randolph students to get Election day, March 5, off

ASHEBORO – The Randolph County Schools Board of Education tweaked this year’s school calendar at its Monday, Feb. 12. meeting, adding election day — Tuesday, March 5 — as an additional teacher work day.

“Due to the March 2024 primary election being held on March 5, 2024 as well as… several schools… being used as polling sites, the following revision is being recommended for approval,” said executive director of operations Dale Brinkley.

‌“With all of this going on, we just felt like it was an appropriate safety measure with the presidential primaries,” said Superintendent Stephen Gainey. He told the board that RCSS has seven schools doubling as polling sites.

In other calendar news, the board approved the second reading of the 2025-26 school calendar.‌

“The first day for students will be Monday, August 25, 2025 and the last day for students will be on Tuesday, June 10, 2026. The calendar includes an inclement weather makeup plan for the first five days missed and then days will be made up as scheduled.”

The board expressed frustration that the year didn’t start earlier but, as Gainey explained, the district’s hands are tied.

“The calendar law is there,” Gainey said. “Multiple school systems have [gone against it] and they’ve received a lot of notoriety when they’ve done it. I don’t know how they have or have not been addressed, but we are continuing to follow the calendar law.”

He noted that districts have been asking the state for years to change the calendaring law, but admitted that summer break would be considerably shorter than normal for the first year with an earlier start.

The board was then updated on a pair of received grants, the North Carolina Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Going Local Teacher Grant and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Hygiene Products Grant.

“[Randleman Middle School] received $500 from the [Farm Bureau] grant and it will provide funding for materials to build outdoor raised beds,” said director of instructional support services Larry Chapel. “Julie Davis, an agriculture teacher, was responsible for submitting that request.”

The Student Services Department received the second, for $500, to provide funding to purchase hygiene products for students in the Randolph County School System. “Kathryn Gillispie, a school nurse, and Monica Hurley, a lead nurse, were responsible for submitting for this grant,” Chapel said.

The board signed off on a $200,000 Center for Safer Schools Safety Grant, to be used for new door access controls, security alarm panels, security cameras and AED units for use during athletic events.

The Randolph County Schools Board of Education will next meet March 18.

By Ryan Henkel