Weekly Message - State Superintendent June Atkinson

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

May 2, 2016

June Atkinson

I know that many of you were concerned to hear that New Schools has closed its doors after 13 years of service. Of special concern are those of you who have Cooperative and Innovative Schools. While we are still evaluating how we can support North Carolina schools that had been working with New Schools, please know that there will be no change with funding for the Cooperative and Innovative schools.


There are four NCDPI-funded staff at New Schools who will be returning to the Department to work, and we expect them to continue their support of the schools that they were serving all along. As we obtain more information during this transition time, we will let you know as soon as possible.


On another topic, the State Board of Education will discuss revisions to standards in Math I, II and III on Wednesday at its May meeting. These changes were developed as part of NCDPI’s five-year process to review and revise all of content standards. In doing this, many of your teachers participated through online surveys, in face-to-face meetings and in other ways through your district leadership. Their feedback made it clear that the three key high school mathematics courses needed adjustments to improve math instruction.


We have a work timeline in place to review K-8 mathematics this fall, but the high school standards’ needs seemed most urgent, according to teachers and other voices from the field. Thank you for your teachers’ participation in this process, and we look forward to sharing more about this in the coming weeks.


As always, the materials for the Board meeting agenda items are available online by clicking on SBE Meetings, top right corner.    

June Atkinson's Signature

NC State Board of Education Seal

State Board of Education Meets
This Week


The State Board of Education will hold its May monthly meeting this Wednesday and Thursday, May 4-5, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh.


Action items include final approval of School Reform Models, FY 2015-16 Final Allotment adjustments, and a host of consent agenda items including the Middle School Athletics Manual update. Discussion items include Digital Learning Competencies/Digital Learning Plan, Math I, II and III Draft Standards Revisions, and Career and Technical Education Licensure revisions. On Thursday, Board members will receive special presentations on The Military and Education Connection, Give Five – Read Five, and a Parent/Teacher Involvement program.


The complete agenda as well as supporting executive summaries are available online by clicking on the SBE Meetings tab. The meeting is audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen, please visit the above link and click on the live audio streams link to the right.

High School Math Standards Update


Thank you to all who submitted feedback on the first draft of the revised Math I, II and III standards in April. The survey data we received from your districts has been extremely helpful and critical in the revision process.


On Thursday, April 28, representatives from the Data Analysis Committee and Writing Teams met in Greensboro to analyze and apply your teachers' and districts' feedback to develop a second draft of revised standards for Math I, II, and III. Members of the NC Chamber of Commerce, NC PTA, and a Triad-area business executive had opportunities to address the group and observe the process.


The second draft of the revised Math I, II and III standards will be presented as a discussion item during the State Board of Education meeting on May 4. A public comment window will then be open from May 4 - 20. Public comment will be collected via the NCDPI website after the May 4 State Board meeting.


Recruiting NC Educators to Participate in the Test Development Process


NCDPI is recruiting highly qualified teachers and instructional coaches who are interested in participating in the North Carolina End-of-Grade, End-of-Course, and NC Final Exam test development process.


We are looking for teachers in grades 3-8 math, English/language arts, social studies or science and/or high school math (i.e., Math I, Math II, Math III, Advanced Functions and Modeling, Discrete Mathematics, Precalculus), English/language arts (i.e., English I, English II, English III, English IV), social studies (i.e., American History I, American History II, American History: The Founding Principles, World History), or science (i.e., Chemistry, Earth/Environmental, Physical Science, Physics). We also are seeking teachers of students with disabilities and English learners.


If there are teachers in your district who you feel are highly qualified to be a part of the state’s test development processes, please complete and submit this questionnaire. The principal nomination survey will be available through May 31; however, your prompt attention is appreciated. Individuals may be selected based on order of receipt. A follow-up survey will be emailed to the nominated individuals to collect and provide additional information.


Information about NC's test development process is available online. Questions may be directed to your Regional Accountability Coordinator.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Examining Core Beliefs


Individual and collective beliefs impact selections and implementation of practices and systems. Practices are how we support our students. Systems are how we support our staff.  


Belief work is challenging, incredibly rewarding and critical to MTSS implementation. North Carolina MTSS has identified these four fundamental beliefs:

*  All student groups can learn, make growth, and reach proficiency with current academic and behavior standards.

*  Core Instruction (Tier I) in reading, math, and behavior can be effective for the majority of our student groups.

*  Supplemental Instruction (Tier II) can ensure students achieve grade level benchmarks.

*  Intensive Instruction (Tier III) can ensure students are growing toward achieving grade level benchmarks.


How do the existing beliefs in your system align with these fundamental beliefs? NC MTSS provides a belief survey for implementing sites to assist with digging to this level of problem-solving.


If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Jablonski.


Green Ribbons Awarded to
Two NC Schools


Congratulations to Sandy Grove Middle (Hoke County Schools) and Wiley International Studies Magnet Elementary (Wake County Public Schools) for being among 47 schools nationwide to be named 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.


National recipients were honored for their “innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness of students and staff, and ensure effective sustainability education.” 


State Superintendent Atkinson commended the schools for setting good examples saying, “It’s easy to talk about environmental responsibility but it’s another thing to practice it. These schools are doing just that by providing green learning environments while teaching students how to minimize their ecological footprints.”


To date, five North Carolina public schools and two school districts have received this award.

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