Feb. 18, 2016 Principals' Biweekly Message

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Principals' Biweekly Message

Feb. 18, 2016

June Atkinson

The State Board of Education will be considering policy changes to teacher licensure and evaluation processes at its March meeting. ES&P 2 - Policy Recommendations for Teacher Licensure and Evaluation Process was on the Board’s discussion agenda in February and will be back on the Board agenda for potential action in March. The policy recommends that Standard 6 for teachers and Standard 8 for principals be eliminated. However, as a part of the formal evaluation, student growth would be used as another artifact in informing needed improvements and successes. 


Currently, state law citations for student growth requirements include:

a. The General Assembly’s stated intent to use, in part, student growth as part of a future performance pay plan. SL 2013-360, Section 9.5 "Pay for Excellence;" 

b. Student growth measure as requirement for "clinical educator" (i.e., supervising teacher of student teacher). SL 2015-241, Section 8.41(a) [new G.S. 115C-296.11]; and

c. Student growth as 20% of A-F School Performance Grade formula. G.S. 115C-83.15.


According to state law, the State Board of Education can no longer give waivers to its policies. That is the reason why school growth can no longer be used to give an individual teacher a student growth measure.


In addition, I want to draw your attention to the other licensure changes that are outlined in the Board item for March. The policy changes are intended to provide you with some relief from the Highly Qualified requirements so that you will have a broader pool of potential teachers to hire, especially in the elementary grades. 


If you or your staff members are interested in providing us with feedback on these changes, please note that you may do so by going to the Department’s website and clicking on Let’s Talk. In Let’s Talk, there is a dialog topic called Education Policy Feedback. Please use this tool to send me your feedback. It routes your feedback directly to my office. 

June Atkinson Signature

READY Principals

Spring 2016 Principal READY Launches in March


Spring 2016 Ready sessions will begin in March and extend through April across the state. Fall Principal READY session participants requested more session choices, more time to discuss information with colleagues from across the region, and more actionable resources to take back to schools.


NCDPI Educator Human Capital Policy and Research Director Tom Tomberlin and his team will be back to discuss 2014-15 educator effectiveness data results and State Board of Education student growth updates for the 2016-17 school year.


Please visit the Educator Effectiveness NCEES Wiki to reserve your seat today.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week: March 6 – 12

With winter on its way out and peak severe weather season looming, Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed March 6 – 12 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week to encourage schools, families and residents to prepare now for unpredictable, severe weather including thunderstorms.


These storms can produce damaging winds, hail, tornadoes and even flash floods. Faculty, staff and students need to know what to do in the event that a tornado touches down during school hours.


North Carolina will hold its annual tornado drill on Wednesday, March 9, at 9:30 a.m. Most NOAA weather radios will NOT sound an audible alert to mark the beginning of the drill. As such, schools are encouraged to self-initiate their tornado drills at 9:30 a.m. as if an alert had been broadcast. The drill will conclude when participants complete their drill activities. No all-clear message will be issued. If this time is not convenient for your school’s instructional program, you may reschedule the tornado drill on another day close to March 9.


North Carolina Emergency Management encourages everyone to follow four simple steps to prepare for severe weather: make a plan, practice the plan, have an emergency supplies kit and stay informed. Teaching students how to be ready for disasters can get the entire family ready. For details, visit www.ReadyNC.org

NC Global Education

Global Readiness Webinar


Join NCDPI and World View staff on Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., for a webinar on the Five Levels of Global Readiness. This webinar will provide context and examples of what it means to be global-ready at the individual, classroom, school, district and state levels. Global education best practices and resources will be shared, and the State Board of Education Global Education Initiative along with other statewide global initiatives will be highlighted. This webinar is appropriate for administrators and teachers of all disciplines and grade levels.


You may register online. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with participation instructions.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Data Evaluation


Implementation data, paired with student data is essential in a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). MTSS implementation challenges districts and schools to analyze both in order to determine the effectiveness of implementation, which is driving the outcomes.


The following are recommendations for creating and sustaining a comprehensive, balanced assessment system:

*  District MTSS team determines which district-level support personnel and school-based staff members should understand and have access to this comprehensive, balanced assessment system.

*  School staff understand and have access to data sources that address the purposes of assessment.

*  Clear procedures and protocols are created to administer assessments, use data and allow teams to problem-solve around student data.

*  In addition to student data, district and school leadership collects data on fidelity of MTSS implementation to examine the current academic and behavioral practices and improve MTSS implementation.


Teams representing 10 districts/charters attended last week's first Data-Evaluation Session. In the coming weeks, an additional 175 participants will attend this session focused on data accessibility, outcome data, and student data needed to implement an MTSS. Additionally, registration for teams is now available for Problem-Solving in a MTSS Framework taking place in March.


If you have any questions, please contact Amy Jablonski.

Teacher Working Conditions Survey

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Launches March 1


North Carolina educators are just a month away from making history with the NC Teacher Working Condition Survey (NC TWCS): 100 percent response rate from every school in the state! The window for this anonymous, online survey is March 1-25.


For the past 12 years, the survey has been a platform used to amplify educator’s voices concerning working conditions in their schools and districts. It also is used to inform state level policy decisions.


Please visit the NC TWCS website or talk to your school’s NC TWCS representative if you have questions about the survey process. If your school does not have a representative, please contact your Regional Educator Facilitator for assistance.

Governor's Teacher Network

Governor’s Teacher Network Action Research Portal Available


Are you looking for the most innovative practices in today’s classrooms? Look no further. The Governor’s Teacher Network is a database of approximately 220 action research projects done by North Carolina teachers in North Carolina classrooms.


Dana Wells, 5th grade teacher in Henderson County, wanted to see if the direct teaching of discussion techniques in mathematics deepened students understanding of problem solving strategies and math concepts and increased instances of students giving correct feedback. Dana, with the help of her vertical math PLC, proved that directly teaching discussion techniques improved the quality of discussions and participation. It also fostered the use of high-yield instructional strategies.


For more details on Dana’s action research project or to explore projects covering a wide-range of topics, check out the NC Teacher Action Research Portal today!

Home Base

Educator Effectiveness’ Guide to Getting the Most from Online Professional Development


“Self-paced” professional development doesn’t have to be done alone! If you’re looking for ways to use online professional development more collaboratively, look no further. The modules in the Home Base Professional Development system are designed to allow districts to implement them in the way that best suits their resources, calendars, and professional development implementation plans.


Educator Effectiveness’ newly updated online guide, Getting the Most from Online PD, describes six different models for implementation at the district level, including best practices and facilitation strategies. The guide is available online.


Literacy Credit Available in Home Base PD System


The module, Preparation for Foundation of Reading Licensure Exam, provides an excellent resource for teachers wanting to refresh their knowledge on the foundations of reading development and comprehension. This course is just one of over 88 self-paced and facilitated modules available in the Home Base Professional Development System.


For a full description of the course, please visit www.rt3nc.org. Courses are added monthly so bookmark this link! This self-paced module is worth 1.0 Literacy Credit.

Professional Development

Educator Effectiveness 2016
Webinar Series


NCDPI staff invite you to take advantage of the weekly Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series, which invites system users to discuss timely topics. These webinars are always free and offer attendees the opportunity to learn about best practices, tips for success and new aspects of the system. Participants also are given a chance to ask questions and connect with experts.


Upcoming topics include:

*  Home Base PD System: Organizational Tools for District Administrators - Feb. 23

*  NCEES Process: End of Year for Teacher Evaluations - March 8

*  Home Base PD System: Office Hours - March 15

*  Home Base PD System: Course Dashboards and Course Approval System - March 22

For a full list of upcoming topics, webinar start times and registration links, please visit the NCEES Wikispace. Please give the flyer a minute to load.

NC Virtual Public Schools Logo

NCVPS Professional Development Opportunities


The North Carolina Virtual Public School is hosting a webinar on Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at no cost to administrators and teachers who are interested in learning more about leading, teaching and supporting teachers in an online and blended environment. Registration for Assessment and Feedback for Teachers in Online and Blended Learning Environments is available online.

College for Every Student


College for Every Student (CFES), a non-profit organization committed to helping underserved students get to and through college, has received funding to select four low-income schools for a Closing the Gap program award: a three-year school program to help underserved students become college and career ready.


CFES currently supports 25,000 students in 200 rural and urban K-12 schools in 30 states and Ireland by providing a framework that allows schools to customize the implementation of three core practices (Mentoring, Leadership Through Service and Pathways) proven to help students develop essential skills for college success and 21st century job readiness.  


Information on the College for Every Student Closing the Gap program awards can be found online. Interested schools should complete the application by March 1.

2016 NC Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Awards Nomination Deadline Approaching


April 1 is the deadline to nominate elementary teachers (grades K-6) for the 2016 North Carolina Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.


The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science teaching.


Anyone – principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public – may nominate a teacher by completing the nomination form available on the PAEMST website. To submit a nomination, you’ll need the teacher’s name, email address, and school contact information. If you know more than one teacher deserving of this award, you may submit more than one nomination. Teachers also may apply.


One mathematics teacher and one science teacher will be selected. Each will receive a $10,000 award and a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Awards Recognition Program. Secondary school teachers (grades 7-12) will be eligible to apply during a future cycle.

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