SALISBURY, N.C. – As the Rowan County educational community prepares to welcome students for the fall semester, local colleges and Rowan-Salisbury Schools are committed to ensuring the safety of faculty, staff and students by requiring that all individuals wear appropriate cloth face coverings while on each of their campuses.

The Rowan Educational Collaborative, which includes Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Livingstone College and Catawba College, has determined that anyone visiting local educational campuses should wear a mask and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We know this scenario is not what anyone had in mind when picturing what this fall’s educational landscape would look like. These are unprecedented times that require an abundance of safety, flexibility, patience and compassion as we work to ensure that students can continue to meet their goals,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Rowan County educational institutions will deliver a combination of remote and in-person instruction at all levels as the semester begins.

Rowan Education Collaborative membersThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all campus reopening plans require behaviors to curb the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks consistently and correctly, staying six feet from others, and practicing proper hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizers.

“With the common goal of safely providing the best possible education and learning environment for the students of Rowan County, we also share a strong commitment to the well-being of our community,” said Dr. Lynn Moody, superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools. “We will wear masks, and we ask others to join us in doing the same. Wearing masks, along with maintaining physical distancing and implementing stringent cleaning and disinfecting measures, is our best defense. We ask for grace and patience as together we open this historical new school year.”

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19 via respiratory droplets in the air. Schools and local colleges also will take steps such as limiting class size, conducting health screenings, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

“These measures are necessary for us to stay as safe as possible as we continue our mission to deliver quality education, no matter what the circumstances,” said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., president of Livingstone College. “I am confident in the ability of our faculty, staff and students to move forward with resilience and courage.”

The Rowan Educational Collaborative, which also includes representatives from the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and Economic Development Commission, meets regularly in an effort to align educational priorities across the county. The overall goal is to provide quality education that exceeds national attainment rates and prepares students for in-demand local careers.

“Rowan County is fortunate to have a robust educational community that is focused on working together for the benefit of our entire area,” said Catawba College President Dr. David P. Nelson. “We are in this together, and together we will meet the challenges of COVID-19 and continue to prepare students for success.”

For more information about the Rowan Educational Collaborative, contact Sarah Walker, Chief Officer of Governance, Advancement & Community Relations at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at