RALEIGH — The superintendent of the Innovative School District asked for and received on Thursday a 60-day extension in the selection of the group to manage Southside-Ashpole Elementary School, the lone school in the pioneer program created by the General Assembly.
Eric Hall made the request to the 13-member North Carolina Board of Education at its monthly meeting Thursday morning. Hall said that the delay should not be interpreted as a subpar review of either of the two groups bidding to manage Southside-Ashpole for the next five years.
“We were determined not to make a recommendation merely for the sake of expediency,” Hall said. “This is far too important. I needed more clarity, and time to negotiate some areas.”
Even with the delay, Hall believes there is time for a school management team, whether from the two bidders or another organization, to be comfortably in place for the start of the 2018-19 school year.
“We are fully committed to getting the right fit for Southside-Ashpole and honoring the partnership we have with the Rowland community,” he said. “If the negotiations with the entities do not produce the clarity and assurances we need, we will seek other options.”