Our schools offer transformative experiences for all of our community’s young people by teaching them teamwork and social skills as well as academics. Educators throughout our district continue to use creative practices to foster learning.”

Dear Neighbor, 

As a Frequent Flyer on Facebook, I am always delighted when the Rowan-Salisbury School District or individual local schools post photos of the marvelous activities and experiences being offered to all of our public school children. Notable posts include:

● An Isenberg Elementary science teacher who uses hands-on strategies with 5th graders
● Positive group interactions on Transformation Tuesdays at South Rowan High
● A students vs. teachers dodgeball tournament at China Grove Elementary
● Children browsing library shelves at Shive Elementary
● Young learners at Rockwell Elementary examining literary elements in stories
● East Rowan Culinary students teaching skills to Erwin Middle students
● Carson students learning the intricacies of design in their Engineering and Design class
● Morgan Elementary students using pipe cleaners to shape the letters in the alphabet
● West Rowan Elementary’s art teacher showing students how to use shapes and form to create graphics
● Hanford-Dole Elementary students exploring world geography
● Carson students expressing themselves through dance techniques
● Rockwell Elementary students learning their letter sounds through sand writing
● East Rowan students supporting the FFA program by constructing chicken coops
● Hurley Elementary student ambassadors greeting classroom guests
● Bostian Elementary students using reading skills to follow directions
● West Rowan High school students provided with hands-on experiences in equine science
● North Rowan Elementary students providing a presentation on human relationships and bullying prevention.

Rowan-Salisbury  Schools have a rich history and tradition that includes positive growth and change. My in-laws, who would have turned 92 this year, attended Rockwell High School and my mother-in-law continued on to Catawba College where she earned her teaching license and taught in Rowan County for many years.  

Larger regional middle and high schools built in the early 60s allowed my husband to graduate from Erwin and East Rowan as did our two daughters. The education and experiences our daughters received prepared them to pursue their goals and achieve advanced degrees.

My husband shares countless stories about former classmates who came from modest but hardworking families who leveraged their public school experience to move on to college degrees or technical training and achieve impressive and successful lives. 

And several weeks ago, I was filled with joy when I attended my 10-year-old grandson’s Open House at China Grove Elementary. I was taken by the enthusiasm of all of the educators in the building, including classroom teachers, bus drivers, administrators, and front office staff as they greeted my grandson by name and welcomed him back for the new year.

Our schools offer transformative experiences for all of our community’s young people by teaching them teamwork and social skills as well as academics. Educators throughout our district continue to use creative practices to foster learning. This includes multisensory techniques to teach literacy; hands-on life skills through positive peer engagement; and opportunities for artistic expression through art, music, and dance. By teaching skills that are transferable to the real world, schools prepare children for life in a fun and safe environment. Most importantly, our public schools are available to ALL of the children in our diverse and growing community!

With the release of the 22/23 state report card, I fear that the public is being misled when so much focus is placed on a single annual test score that emphasizes a benign recommended threshold rather than measuring the actual academic growth in individual children. We are mistaken when we judge our schools’ success or failure using only one metric, an isolated yearly measure that doesn’t tell the story about what the children have learned or of the creativity of the underfunded instructional teams that support them.

My hope is that community members will balance the scores that are reported with knowledge of the many positive things happening with teachers and staff. I appreciate what Rowan-Salisbury Schools have accomplished for multiple generations of my family as well as families throughout our community. I plan to continue celebrating all of the enriching student experiences in RSS throughout this school year and beyond.

 Dear Neighbor” authors are united in a belief that civility and passion can coexist. We believe curiosity and conversation make us a better community.”

Karen Puckett