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High School Education

Welcome to the Department of Secondary Education. We are committed to preparing our students for college and career by providing meaningful and personalized experiences for all students. We offer a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities aligned to state standards to assist students to meet their individual goals and excel beyond their high school experience. Our partnerships with higher education allows students to earn dual college credit with free tuition while in high school. Our six traditional high schools offer a unique experience to include specialized academies with courses and pathways that lead to industry credentials. Our schools offer more than 21 Advanced Placement course options, and a robust Career and Technical Education program. Visit our High School Academies page and Curriculum page for more details.

All RSS high school students receive a MacBook Air for use at home and at school. We provide numerous digital tools for student success including access to FREE ACT preparation through Method Test Prep, Discovery Education Digital TechBooks for relevant and up-to-date mathematics, science, and STEM interactives, and rigorous literacy texts via Achieve3000.

In 2017, high school students in Rowan Salisbury Schools earned more than 25.9 million dollars in college scholarships! The average high school increased their performance composite +17.5 points on the North Carolina Accountability Model in 2016. Our students consistently win state and national awards.

Welcome to parents and students

Parents and Students,

Welcome to High School! The Secondary Education Department provides the curriculum, leadership and professional development for the eight high schools within Rowan Salisbury School System, working collaboratively with principals, teachers, and district leadership to provide a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that meet the standards set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The information within this website was designed to provide parents and students important information needed to navigate through the expectations for successful completion of a North Carolina high school diploma and become college and career ready.

The eight high schools within Rowan Salisbury Schools offer a comprehensive curriculum for students. Our six traditional high schools also boast unique academy programming where students can take courses within career pathways in an area of focus. Rowan County Early College students can earn a college associates degree along with their high school diploma within four years of study. Henderson Independent High School offers an alternative environment to best meet the personalized needs of students. Visit the High School Academies tab of this website to learn more about the outstanding programming we offer to our students.

For the fourth school year, the Rowan Salisbury Schools System is leading the way by providing each student 1:1 access to technology. Every high school student in RSS will have access to a laptop and additional learning software 24/7 during the school year to help best prepare our students to become career and college ready.

As a district, our number one goal is literacy. All students this year have access to Achieve 3000, an interactive digital program designed to provide differentiated nonfiction reading and writing instruction tailored to each student’s reading level. High school math I, math II, math III, and biology students all have access to Discovery Education TechBooks. These are interactive digital textbooks that provide up-to-date resources for students and teachers. TechBooks assist student learning in a variety of ways including audio, video, images, and digital investigations and real-world application of math and science.

Additionally, the district has purchased Method Test Prep once again for all high school students. This program is designed to strengthen the rigor in the instructional program and provide resources for students to be successful on the ACT. Full ACT test prep and practice materials are available through this program at no cost to the students and can be used both in school and out of school.

As you plan for your high school experience, consider taking advantage of the Career and College Promise Courses. Career and College Promise (CCP) is North Carolina’s dual enrollment program for high school students. Eligible students can take courses that count for both high school and college credit, tuition-free. Some classes are available online, at the community college, and also may be available at your high school. For details, please ask your high school guidance counselor for more information. CCP courses are found in the Dual Credit section of the website.

We are excited to partner with families as our students set and achieve goals and make choices about their future. A successful high school experience is dependent upon the hard work and dedication of students and the partnership between home and school to support and encourage students along the way. Together, we will help your child achieve his/her goals and graduate college and career ready and prepared to succeed along life’s journey.


Eisa M. Cox, Ed.D.
Executive Director of Secondary Education
Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Links - General

Curriculum

Rowan Salisbury Schools offers a comprehensive and rigorous high school curriculum to include in Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Physical Education, Performing and Fine Arts, World Languages, and Career and Technical Education courses. We are committed to preparing our students for college and career by providing meaningful and personalized experiences for all students. We offer a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities aligned to state standards to assist students to meet their individual goals and excel beyond their high school experience. Our partnerships with higher education allows students to earn dual college credit with free tuition while in high school. Our six traditional high schools offer a unique experience to include specialized academies with courses and pathways that lead to industry credentials. Our schools offer more than 18 Advanced Placement course options, and a robust Career and Technical Education program. Visit our High School Academy page and Course Guide by School page for more details.

Students should begin planning for high school prior to entering the 9th grade to ensure the most flexibility in course choice while in high school. Explore this website to learn more about the opportunities available within Rowan Salisbury Schools. For additional information, make an appointment with a high school counselor.

Courses

For the Course Guide by School, please click here. In the bottom left corner of the page that opens, select your school. If it does not automatically send you to the course guide for the school selected, select another Internet browser. We recommend using Firefox or Internet Explorer for the Career Cruising site.

The course guide by school is a comprehensive listing of courses that could be offered at each high school. However, it is not a guarantee that a course will be offered or available. While we make every effort to offer a wide range of courses for our students, scheduling and specific course offerings are determined each year based on student interest, teacher availablity, funding, and scheduling logistics.

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery

Credit By Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) is the process in which local education agencies (LEAs) employ a body-of-evidence to award a student credit in a particular course without requiring the student to complete classroom instruction for a certain amount of seat time. The CDM process is open to all NC public school students in grades 9-12 in high school courses and grades 6-8 for high school courses offered in middle school, based on LEA availability.

CDM is intended for any public school student who is able to show a deep understanding of the content without seat-time and classroom learning experience. The specific requirements are listed on the next page. While CDM is intended for highly advanced students in specific content areas, any student eligible to earn high school credit can participate in the process.

Students shall demonstrate mastery through a multi-phase assessment, consisting of (1) a standard examination, which shall be the EOC/EOG where applicable, or a final exam developed locally and (2) an artifact which requires the student to apply knowledge and skills relevant to the content standards. LEAs may require additional requirements, such as performance tasks. This multi-phase assessment process builds a body-of-evidence that allows a committee to determine if the student has a deep understanding of the standards for the course or subject area, as defined by the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, thereby earning credit for the course without experiencing it in the school setting. Students must attain minimum scores to earn Credit by Demonstrated Mastery.

The following courses are excluded from Credit by Demonstrated Mastery:

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) work-based learning courses (co-op, internship, apprenticeship);
  • CTE courses that have a clinical setting as a requirement of the course, such as ProStart, Early Childhood Education I/II and Nursing Fundamentals;
  • CTE Advanced Studies courses;
  • English Language Learner (ELL) courses;
  • Healthful Living required courses;
  • AP and IB courses; and
  • Occupational Course of Study (OCS) Occupational Preparation I, II, III, and IV courses.

CTE

Dual Credit and Off-Campus Courses

College and Career Promise

Career and College Promise provides seamless dual enrollment education opportunities for eligible North Carolina high school students in order to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to college transfer or provide entry-level job skills. North Carolina community colleges may offer the following Career and College Promise pathways aligned with the K-12 curriculum and career and college ready standards adopted by the State Board of Education:

Course tuition is Free. Students are responsible for the textbook and related materials.

DUAL CREDIT: To support high school students who are earning college credit while in high school through Career and College Promise, NCDPI has determined dual credit allowances for courses included in the Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA). UGETC courses will transfer for equivalency credit from NC Community Colleges to UNC Institutions. Students who enroll in and pass these college courses will also receive high school course credit based on the chart below. Eligible high school students may enroll in these courses year-round through CCP.

For purposes of calculating student Grade Point Averages on the high school transcript, courses included on this chart are weighted in accordance with SBE policy GCS-L-004.

Dual Credit Courses

Career and College Promise Booklet

CCP courses can be taken through Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Several online course options are available. Please see your school counselor for more information.

Earn your Associate of Arts or Associate of Science while in high school! The document below is a general outline of courses that will enable you to earn an AA or AS through Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Ask your counselor to help you plan to earn your associate degree while in high school.

Stay on target with these planning Documents:

Planning Document as Excel

Planning Document as PDF

Free Additional Courses Offered at Catawba College
Qualified 11th and 12th Graders can take free dual-credit courses at Catawba College. See your Guidance Counselor for details.

Students who are taking courses in a school outside of their domicile and/or outside of RSS, provide their own transportation and must have the below forms on file.

Insurance Waiver

Liability Release

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements for Ninth Graders Entering in 2012/13 & Later


North Carolina Virtual Public School

North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS) is a leader in virtual learning for students. The purpose of NCVPS is to provide courses students are unable to take at their local high schools. NCVPS will provide courses to supplement the local high school's program of study. All courses will be taught by teachers who are certified by the state of North Carolina to teach the course. Once the online course is completed, the student receives credit on his/her school transcript.

Online learning is not for everyone. It takes commitment, self-motivation and conscientious time management. The student should have strong computer skills, the ability to comprehend written instructions, effectively communicate through the written word and be an independent learner.

To register, a student must receive approval from the principal and school counselor. All courses require a class period during the day. Yearlong classes require a class period in both the fall and spring semesters. Students may take 2 year-long courses in the same class period. Successful completion of a year-long course will only earn one credit. All students will use their school-issued email for communications and coursework.

For more information, talk with your school counselor and visit https://ncvps.org .

Academies

High School Academies offer specialized curricula and courses and are aligned to specific career pathways.

Rising 9th grade students who are unable to obtain academies or concentrations in his/her regularly assigned school, may apply to another school within RSSS in order to enroll in a program of study or academy not offered at their school. Transfers into high school academies for rising 9th graders will be granted on a space available basis, with students in the academy host school given first opportunity for enrollment in the academy. The transfer window for high school academies closes on March 29, 2018.

General information about academies is below, for more detailed Academy Information and requirements, please contact a guidance counselor at the high school.

Early College

Earn your high school diploma AND a college associates degree in only four years of high school.

Fast Facts

  • 100% Graduation Rate three years in a row!
  • In addition to a high school diploma, and in only 4 years of high school, the Rowan County Early College CLASS of 2016...
  • 92% earned an Associates Degree! (National Average - 25%)
  • 27% earned both an AA and AS Degree!
  • 99% will continue their education!
  • 64% of RCEC students are on Free or Reduced Lunch.
  • 80% of RCEC students are First Generation College going.

Career Pathways

Grade Weighting

Courses eligible for weights include higher-level high school courses that fall into one of the following categories:
  1. Honors sections of standard-level academic courses, including NC Virtual Public School courses and other on-line courses, that are in accordance with the philosophy, rubric, procedures, guidelines, and standards for curriculum, instruction, and assessment as described in the North Carolina Honors Course Implementation Guide. Such courses are assigned additional quality points in accordance with section 3.1.2 of North Carolina policy GCS-L-004.
  2. Pre-calculus, non-AP/IB calculus, mathematics courses beyond the level of calculus, and world language courses beyond the second-year level are considered inherently advanced and are assigned Honors-level weighting in accordance with section 3.1.2 of NC policy GCS-L-004.
  3. Arts education courses meeting the standards for proficient and advanced dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts are assigned Honors weighting in accordance with section 3.1.2 of NC policy GCS-L-004.

ALL COURSES, WEIGHTED AND NON-WEIGHTED, ARE OPEN TO ANY STUDENT WHO MEETS THE COURSE PREREQUISITES AND DESIRES TO ENROLL. Availability of specific course offerings may vary from school to school, year to year, according to student enrollment and school scheduling. Please check with your guidance department for availability.

The weighted grade point average will be used to determine the following:

  • Honor Roll
  • Class Rank
  • Junior Marshals
  • Honor Graduates (3.5 GPA calculated at the end of the 8th semester- Class of 2017 and 2018; Class of 2019 and beyond GPA TBD)
  • Distinguished graduates (3.0 GPA calculated at the end of the 8th semester- Class of 2017 and 2018; Class of 2019 and beyond GPA TBD)
  • Eligibility for honor societies and other academically oriented organizations at the high school level
  • Scholarship competitions
  • Other school-based honors or recognitions at the discretion of the principal and/or the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education

For students who entered high school for the first time BEFORE Fall of 2015:
A weighted system is used to encourage students to take more challenging and rigorous courses, to reward successful completion of these classes and to determine class rank and grade point averages (GPA). Weighted GPA will determine class rank.

Courses Eligible for Weighting:
1. Each honor course will receive one additional weighted point provided the course is “above” and “beyond” the standard course of study.
2. Advanced Placement courses recognized by national curricula and validated with standardized assessments will receive an additional two weighted points.
3. Select college level courses may receive one weighted point. (The high school principal and the college require prior approval.)

Weights are figured as follows:
In the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, all courses will be designated as ‘4.0’, ‘5.0’, or ‘6.0’. Only courses designated as weighted courses are eligible to receive a designation above ‘4.0’ and have additional weighted points awarded for grades above failure. As the degree of difficultly increases from ‘4.0’ to ‘5.0’, to ‘6.0’, the number of weighted points, which can be earned for a particular grade, increases. Weights are assigned to courses in accordance with North Carolina policy GCS-L-004; GS 116-11(10a). (Refer to scale below)


Freshmen entering high school for the first time in the fall of 2015 and beyond:
A weighted system is used to encourage students to take more challenging and rigorous courses, to reward successful completion of these classes and to determine class rank and grade point averages (GPA). Weighted GPA will determine class rank.

Courses Eligible for Weighting:
1. Each honor course will receive .5 additional weighted point provided the course is “above” and “beyond” the standard course of study.
2. Advanced Placement courses recognized by national curricula and validated with standardized assessments will receive an additional one (1) weighted point.
3. The state weighting system adds the equivalent of one (1) quality point to the grade earned in community college courses included on the most recent Comprehensive Articulation Agreement Transfer List, and for courses taught at four-year universities and colleges. The high school principal and the college require prior approval.

Weights are figured as follows:
In the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, all courses for students entering high school for the first time in the fall of 2015 or later, will be designated as ‘4.0’, ‘4.5’, or ‘5.0’. Only courses designated as weighted courses are eligible to receive a designation above ‘4.0’ and have additional weighted points awarded for grades above failure. As the degree of difficultly increases from ‘4.0’ to ‘4.5’, to ‘5.0’, the number of weighted points, which can be earned for a particular grade, increases. Weights are assigned to courses in accordance with North Carolina policy GCS-L-004; GS 116-11(10a). (Refer to scale below)

Testing Requirements

  1. North Carolina End-of-Course (EOC)Exams: All students enrolled in a course with an End-of-Course exam must take the exam. Students who do not take the End-of-Course exam will not receive credit for the course. The exam grade will count 20% of the final course grade. End-of-Course exams will be administered for the following courses: Math 1, Biology, English II.
  2. PreACT: The PreACT is a curriculum based achievement test in English, Math, Reading, and Science, that measures college and career readiness, serves as a midpoint assessment, and is also a predictor for the ACT. The PreACT is administered to all students in grade 10.
  3. ACT: The ACT Plus Writing assessment will be administered to all students in grade 11 at no cost to the student. The ACT is a curriculum based achievement test in English, Math, Reading, and Science that measures college and career readiness.
  4. WorkKeys: WorkKeys will be administered to students in grade 12 who are CTE concentrators with at least one Level II credit. The purpose of WorkKeys is to assess a student’s job skills so that future employers can select, hire, train, develop and retain a high performance workforce.
  5. Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: Students enrolling in an AP course(s) are expected to take the AP exam(s). Each AP exam has a fee which is determined by the College Board. Please see your high school counselor for current AP exam fees. (Fee waivers may be available for qualified students.) Students who take Advanced Placement courses and take the Advanced Placement Exam offered by College Board may receive higher consideration for admission to colleges and universities along with college/university course credit and/or placement. AP Fees have been waived for NC students during the past several years.
  6. CTE Post Assessments: All students enrolled in courses in which CTE Post Assessments are administered must take the tests. Students who do not take the CTE Post Assessments will not receive credit for the course. The CTE Post Assessment counts 20% of the final grade. (Occupational Course of Study students will be tested according to their CTE Blueprint based on their IEP.) *Some courses may include credentialing options that replace CTE Post Assessments.
  7. North Carolina Final Exams: are North Carolina’s Common Exams for select courses. The final exam grade will count 20% of the final course grades.
  8. Teacher-made Exams: Most courses have a final that is weighted no more than 20% of the final grade.

*Testing requirements are subject to change.

Optional Assessments:

  • Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT): Students may take the PSAT in preparation for the SAT. The PSAT is administered in every high school in October. A student will receive a comprehensive analysis of his/her results after the test.
  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB): The ASVAB is a test of mechanical and technical skills that can be used to predict vocational aptitudes and interests. The results can be helpful in making career choices. The ASVAB is used to qualify for all branches of military service and is administered in the 11th or 12th grade to interested students.

Optional Diploma Endorsements

Students may earn the endorsements listed below as additional recognitions to their high school diploma. Students may earn more than one endorsement. Earning an endorsement is not required for graduation.

For more information see the North Carolina Public Schools Endorsement Information.

Career Endorsement

A. Except as limited by N.C.G.S. §115C-81(b), the student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the student’s post-secondary plans. Acceptable fourth math courses for the Career Endorsement include any math course that may be used to meet NC high school graduation requirements, including applied math courses found in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) domain.

B. The student shall complete a CTE concentration in one of the approved CTE Cluster areas (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/cte/curriculum/):
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Architecture and Construction
Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
Business, Management and Administration
Education and Training
Finance
Government and Public Administration
Health Science
Hospitality and Tourism
Human Services
Information Technology
Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
Manufacturing
Marketing, Sales and Service
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

C. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.

D. The student shall earn at least one industry-recognized credential. Earned credentials can include Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) at the Silver level or above from WorkKeys assessments OR another appropriate industry credential/certification.

College Endorsement

A. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the students post-secondary plans. The fourth math course must meet University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements or be acceptable for earning placement in a credit- bearing college math class under the North Carolina Community College System’s Multiple Measures Placement policy.

B. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.

College UNC Endorsement

A. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements that include a mathematics course with Math III as a pre-requisite.
B. The student shall complete three units of science including at least one physical science, one biological science and one laboratory science course that must include either physics or chemistry.
C. The student shall complete two units of a world language (other than English).
D. The student shall earn a weighted grade point average of at least 2.5.

North Carolina Academic Scholars

A. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements that include a mathematics course with either Math III as a pre-requisite.

B. The student shall complete three units of science including an Earth/Environmental science course, Biology, and at least one physical science course that must include either physics or chemistry.

C. For students entering 9th grade in 2012-13 or later the student shall complete four units of social studies including World History; American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics; and American History I and American History II.

D. The student shall complete two units of a world language (other than English).

E. The student shall complete four elective credits constituting a concentration recommended from one of the following: Career and Technical Education (CTE), JROTC, Arts Education, Second Languages, any other subject area.

F. The student shall have taken three higher level courses during junior and/or senior years which carry quality points such as Advanced Placement; International Baccalaureate; Dual or college equivalent courses; Advanced CTE and CTE credentialing courses; Online courses; Honors level courses OR two higher level courses during junior and/or senior years which carry quality points such as Advanced Placement; IB; Dual or college equivalent courses; Advanced CTE and CTE credentialing courses; Online courses; Honors level courses and a Graduation Project.

G. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 3.50.

Global Languages

A. The student shall earn a combined 2.5 GPA for the four ELA courses required for graduation.

B. The student shall establish proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, using one of the options outlined below and in accordance with the guidelines developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

  • i. Pass an external exam approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction establishing “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale.
  • ii. Complete a four-course sequence of study in the same world language, earning an overall GPA of 2.5 or above in those courses.
  • iii. Establish “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the ACTFL proficiency scale using the Credit by Demonstrated Mastery policy described in GCS-M-001.
C. Limited English Proficiency students shall complete all the requirements of sections A and B above and reach “Developing” proficiency per the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) proficiency scale in all four domains on the most recent state identified English language proficiency test.

ACT Information

All students take the ACT in spring of their Junior year of high school. This test is given one time for FREE, and is accepted by most colleges and universities to help meet admissions requirements. Below are some resources to assist students to prepare to be successful on this exam.

Method TestPrep

A special program for ACT preparation, Method Test Prep, has been purchased for all high school students. This program is designed to strengthen the rigor in the instructional program and provide resources for students to be successful on the ACT. Full ACT test prep and practice materials are available through this program at no cost to the students and can be used both in school and out of school. All RSS students have a unique login and can access Method Test Prep through Career Cruising. If you have questions on how to obtain student access to Method Test Prep, contact your school principal or guidance counselor.

Method TestPrep

Benchmark Scores

These benchmarks are scores on the ACT subject-area tests have shown to predict a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit bearing first year college courses. Based on a sample of 214 institutions and more than 230,000 students from across the United States, the Benchmarks are median course placement values for these institutions as such represent a typical set of expectations. The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are organized by ACT subject area:

English

College Course: English Composition
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 8: 13
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 9: 14
ACT Plan Benchmark: 15
The ACT Benchmark: 18

Mathematics

College Course: College Algebra
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 8: 17
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 9: 18
ACT Plan Benchmark: 19
The ACT Benchmark: 22

Reading

College Course: Social Sciences
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 8: 16
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 9: 17
ACT Plan Benchmark: 18
The ACT Benchmark: 22

Science

College Course: Social Sciences

ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 8: 18
ACT Explore Benchmark Grade 9: 19
ACT Plan Benchmark: 20
The ACT Benchmark: 23

ACT Links

College Planning

Staff

Dr. Eisa Cox

Executive Director of Secondary Education

Deborah Jones

Admin Assistant Secondary Education
School: 7046306040

Angela Waldo

Instructional Math Coach

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