Weekly Message - State Superintendent June Atkinson

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

April 18, 2016

June Atkinson

I want to thank New Hanover County Schools’ Superintendent Tim Markley for the hospitality that his school district extended to NC Department of Public Instruction staff last week for the first Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Public Comment Session held at Ashley High School right after the Superintendents’ Quarterly meeting.


We appreciated the educators, parents and business leaders who came out to give their comments about what they consider to be important to include and consider in North Carolina’s ESSA plan, which is currently under development.

We have five more sessions ahead, each scheduled from 4-6 p.m.:

-  Thursday, April 21 – Green Hope High School, Cary

-  Tuesday, April 26 – Mallard Creek High School, Charlotte

-  Wednesday, April 27 – North Pitt High School, Bethel

-  Tuesday, May 17 – East Forsyth High School, Kernersville

-  Wednesday, May 18 – Charles D. Owen High School, Black Mountain


Here are the questions that we hope speakers will address in their comments:

•  What are the public’s expectations from NC’s public schools?

•  What school characteristics are the most important?

•  How should school success be measured?

•  How does North Carolina ensure that all schools are successful?

•  How should North Carolina recognize and celebrate school success?


In addition, the public is invited to submit comments to the Department of Public Instruction through Let’s Talk by selecting the ESSA dialog topic. Simply click on the Let’s Talk link on the NCDPI website by selecting the ESSA dialog topic.


Based on the feedback received, we will be scheduling a one-day meeting with superintendents to discuss and give recommendations about ESSA. We will coordinate the meeting with the NC School Superintendents Association. The state plan will be completed this fall and submitted to the US Department of Education in February 2017 at the earliest.

June Atkinson's Signature

High School Math Standards Update


Today you will receive a memo announcing the first draft of Math I, II and III standards’ revisions, a companion rationale document and a link to a survey. 


As an extension of the high school revision writing team, NCDPI staff would like to offer the opportunity for all LEAs to review the first drafts prior to review by the State Board of Education on May 4. The intention of this review is to give a first look to all high school math teachers and district leaders in North Carolina. The writing teams will then review this initial feedback and revise the drafts where appropriate. 


As shared with you at the Superintendent’s Quarterly meeting on April 13, and with your Curriculum Leaders at CCSA in March, please assemble a team of math reviewers in your district and submit a collective response to the survey link included with the memo by April 26. Additional feedback will be solicited from the public subsequent to the May SBE meeting.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Examining the School Improvement Framework


Intentional implementation of a school improvement framework is necessary for change to occur. However, systematically determining where you are and where you want to be can be difficult for teams.


Last month, 30 MTSS leaders from Cohort 2 were introduced to the Self-Assessment of MTSS Implementation (SAM). This tool was designed to assist district and school teams with identifying and prioritizing implementation steps. As district teams participated in the professional development modules, they were supported in how to facilitate administration of this self-assessment, which examines use of available resources, family engagement, problem solving around student and implementation data, and layers of instruction. The quality of an MTSS is associated with increased likelihood of instruction and interventions leading to successful student outcomes.


Additional information on SAM is available online. If you have questions, please contact Amy Jablonski.

Implementation Science

Implementation Science:
The Formula for Success


The formula for success, illustrated below, highlights the components necessary to create positive outcomes for students.

*  Effective innovation/intervention helps us to know “what it is” we are implementing.

*  Effective implementation methods are the infrastructure and the “how” of the equation for success.

*  Enabling contexts within the organization includes ensuring a “hospitable environment” through building competency, organizing the system, and supportive leadership. 



Opportunities to deepen your understanding about the implementation drivers needed for this Formula for Success may be found in this online module


Happening Now

District Implementation Teams across the state are meeting monthly with coaches and members of their Regional Implementation Teams to learn about effective implementation methods, which include the importance of implementation drivers and creating readiness and enabling contexts for effective innovations.

Give Five – Read Five

Give Five – Read Five Free Online Literacy Tool


As you are aware, the book drive portion of the annual Give Five – Read Five campaign is winding down in late May. This year as part of a partnership with myON, a division of Capstone, DPI is offering every student in the state access to the personalized literacy tool myON Reader.


If you would like to ensure that schools in your district can offer students free access to myON Reader this summer, please contact Darren Drye, myON Account Manager, or 704.219.9624. Contracts for summer access must be in place no later than April 30.


Visit the myOn North Carolina Give Five – Read Five website to learn more.


NC Textbook Commission Meets April 22


The North Carolina Textbook Commission will meet Friday, April 22, from 9 a.m. - noon, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh.


Agenda items include textbook evaluation week logistics and responsibilities, online evaluation forms, and updates on advisor selections.


The meeting will be audio streamed (click on the live audio stream link) for those who cannot attend. Questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Carmella Fair.

Student Leadership

Student Leadership Institute Scheduled for June


NCDPI staff will host its fifth annual Student Leadership Institute (SLI) June 13-16 at Pfeiffer University. The four-day Institute is for rising fourth through twelfth graders, and is designed to prepare students to take active roles in their schools and communities through service learning. 


Institute facilitators will engage participants in active, minds-on, hands-on learning that will assist students and their adult mentors with developing the skills needed to engage in service experiences that are aligned to the curriculum.


For eligibility requirements and an application, visit the Character Matters website. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Friday, April 29. Questions may be directed to Bernadette Cole, Fay Gore or Nakisha Floyd

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