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Strategic Plan Renewal 2027

Renewal 2027

Strategic Plan 2027.We are Listening.


Rowan-Salisbury Schools provides extraordinary education to our students every day. We have high graduation rates and low dropout rates, and we have a nationally recognized reputation for innovation. We are the ONLY Renewal school district in the state of North Carolina and are recipients of a $26 million federal grant.

During the process of developing the strategic plan, it was important to me that we are transparent, student-centered, data-driven, and equity-focused. Our strategic plan will serve as our roadmap to think creatively about how we can best utilize our Renewal flexibilities to accelerate learning for all students. 

Our Strategic Plan Renewal 2027 will allow us to build on our successes, harness our innovation and cohesively utilize the unique opportunities that have been given to us. 

Externally, Renewal 2027 will help us align our entire school community around better student outcomes.  Internally, Renewal 2027 will help us align our time, budget, and professional learning; and narrow our focus on the key focus areas, goals, and strategies we will work to accomplish over the next five years.

A 45-member steering committee and more than 35 focus groups were involved in the development of Renewal 2027.  We extend a special thank you to the committed members of our Strategic Plan Steering Committee who reviewed data trends and provided valuable input on emerging trends and feedback on draft strategic plan goals.  Additionally, we extend a special thank you to the more than 35 focus group participants who provided valuable insight into the development of the strategic plan.  


Strategic Plan News

Strategic Plan Steering Committee

Community Leaders

Greg Alcorn, CEO Global Contact Services; Gemale Black, President Local NAACP; Amy Brown, Executive Director Rowan Smart Start; Rod Crider, President & CEO Rowan EDC; Steve Fisher, CEO at F&M Bank; Ella Gegorek, Realtor; Alyssa Harris, Director of Rowan County Health Director; Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, President of Livingstone College; Jamie Morgan, CEO of Rowan County YMCA; Dr. David Nelson, President of Catawba College; Melissa Oleen, Director of Rowan Public Library; Mary Ponds, Former Educator & Mayor; Dr. Carol Spalding, President Rowan-Cabarrus Community College; Mary Heather Steinman, Officer Manager Robertson Family Foundation; Jason Walser, Executive Director Robertson Family Foundation; and Rev. Rhodes Woolly, Pastor St. John’s Lutheran Church

Parents and Students

Nathan Chrismon, student; Ali Khatib, student; Khoron Miller, student; Madison Morgan, student; Thomas O’Kelly, parent; Andres Ordonez, student; Monica Otten, parent; Hannah Schmeltzer, student; Lori Swink, parent; and LaSheka Walker, parent; and Holly Winn, student

RSS Staff

Zebbie Bondurant, principal; Dr. Jamie Durant, principal; Alexis Greer, teacher; Shonda Hairston, Executive Director of Elementary Schools; Cassandra Martin, Director of Equity & Inclusion; Christina Rary, assistant principal; Jason Rollins, teacher; Jordi Roman, Executive Director of Parent Engagement & Partnerships; Sally Schultz, teacher; Rena Taylor, teacher; and April Williamson, principal.

RSS Senior Leadership Team

Dr. David Blattner, Senior Information Officer; Dr. Jason Gardner, Chief Academic Officer; Dr. Jill Hall-Freeman, Chief Human Resources Officer; Carol Herndon, Former Chief Finance Officer; April Kuhn, Esq., Chief Student Services & Compliance Officer; Dr. Tracey Lewis, Senior Marketing & Communications Officer; Dr. Andrew Smith, Chief Administrative & Strategic Planning Officer; Anthony Vann, Chief Operations Officer; and Dr. Kelly Withers, Former Chief Schools Officer

Independent Consultants

Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner - Economic Leadership LLC; Dr. Susan Brookhart, Professor Emerita - Duquesne University and former Editor - Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice; Dr. Steve Cantrell, Chief Impact Officer - NewGlobe and former Senior Program Officer - The Gates Foundation; Dr. Amy Holcombe, Dean - Stout School of Education at High Point University; Jason Stricker, Co-Founder - Insight Education Group; John Tanner, Founder - BraveEd

Consulting Organizations

Bellwether Education Partners; North Carolina State University Friday Institute; and RTI International

Strategic Plan Development Alignment 

Strategic Plan Alignment

Building the Strategic Plan

  • April 8, 2021: Community Survey launched to the public
  • April 12, 2021: Launch of the Strategic Planning Process 
  • April - July 2021: Steering Committee Meets (April 19, May 3, May 17, June 7, June 28)
  • May 6, 2021 - May 19, 2021: 12 Internal Stakeholder Focus Groups
  • June 1, 2021 - June 3, 2021: 14 Internal & External Stakeholder Focus Groups
  • June 29, 2021 - June 30, 2021: 12 Internal & External Stakeholder Focus Groups 
  • Fall 2021: Strategic Plan Unveiled

Strategic Planning Timeline



West Rowan Middle School PBL Showcase

At West Rowan Middle School, students learn about Sustainability through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also known as the Global Goals. The SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. WRMS students focus on 11 of the 17 goals which fall under the areas of: Environment, Economy, Equality, and Wellness.