Weekly Message - State Superintendent June Atkinson

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

June 13, 2016

June Atkinson

Tuesday is the deadline to register for the Monday, June 20, Superintendents’ Quarterly meeting in Asheville. Please send in your registration to Communications if you have not already responded. I look forward to our conversation there.


Also, most of you have decided to opt-in for the full Home Base suite of digital tools for your classroom teachers and students. As of Friday, 103 districts have opted in. Let’s have 100 percent making this important decision. Last week, we sent you FAQs to assist you in your discussions.


We continue to watch legislation closely. As you know, the House did not agree with the Senate budget, so we expect major deliberations to occur in conference. With that in mind, please remember that your voice is important. Please let lawmakers know what your district’s and schools’ needs are and how they can help.

June Atkinson's Signature

High School Math Student

Information Sessions Scheduled on Revised High School Math Standards


The State Board of Education at its June meeting unanimously approved revised high school mathematics standards for NC Math 1, 2 and 3 – the key high school-level math courses required of all students. These new standards will go into effect this fall.


As part of the support and implementation plan, NCDPI mathematics staff will provide regional summer information sessions. This information was shared with curriculum and instructional leaders earlier this week. Please make sure your district is registered.

2016 Summer Information Sessions’ Details

Districts are asked to register a team of five-seven educators (ex. math lead teachers, district curriculum leaders, math coaches, math coordinators, etc.). The morning’s agenda is devoted to both general and specific changes in standards and courses along with the new resources that are available to aid in the implementation of revised standards. The afternoon agenda focuses on high school math content specific.


Please click on the region hotlink to register. The times and specific locations are located on the Eventbrite registration page.

Northeast Region: Tuesday, July 26, Plymouth

Southeast Region: Thursday, June 30, Jacksonville

North Central Region: Monday, June 27, Raleigh

Sandhills Region: Tuesday, June 28, Bladenboro

Piedmont-Triad Region: Tuesday, June 21, Asheboro

Southwest Region: Monday, June 20, Charlotte

Northwest Region: Tuesday, July 19, Morganton

Western Region: Tuesday, July 12, Waynesville


Please contact Susan Hart with any questions.

In Case You Missed It

School Connectivity Funding Update


School connectivity funding was expanded in the biennial budget passed during the 2015 long session. The school connectivity expansion includes $12M in recurring funding beginning in FY 2016-17 to support the procurement, installation and configuration of internal school network infrastructure and related services.


Based on the requirements of the expanded connectivity funding, the department has worked diligently with public schools during FY 2015-16 to identify and specify the needs, to establish contracts and purchase orders, and to file E-rate funding requests. All told, North Carolina public schools have established contracts valued at over $55 million and requested over $41million in E-rate funding, leaving nearly $14 million in local funding requirements — all of the local funding was budgeted for payment using school connectivity funds.


The recently passed Senate Budget reduced Connectivity funding by $10 million. The House did not adjust the funding in its budget, which means the final decision on funding will be decided in the upcoming Conference Budget discussions.


We are working closely with members of the General Assembly to provide information related to the E-rate process and how any changes would impact North Carolina public schools moving forward. We believe that this information will lead to a positive result in the Conference Budget. We will keep you informed as the budget process progresses.

Digital Learning Competencies

NC Digital Learning Competencies Training Scheduled for July


State Board of Education members approved the Digital Learning Competencies for Classroom Teachers and School Administrators on June 2. These competencies will go into effect July 1, 2017. Throughout the 2016-17 school year, NCDPI staff will be piloting the competencies and providing professional learning opportunities across the state.


The intent of the competencies is for teachers to improve their practice as they integrate digital tools and resources to drive student learning within their classrooms. The four focus areas, within the teacher competencies, have been aligned to the Professional Teaching Standards and the Digital Learning Plan with a subset of competencies that help to explain and ‘unpack’ each area. For more information about the Digital Learning Competencies, please visit bit.ly/NCDLCs.


To provide districts leaders and teachers with an initial insight and support for these competencies, NCDPI Digital Teaching and Learning staff will be providing professional learning sessions in July for district teams. Staff are partnering with various Institutes of Higher Education across the state to host these sessions. Together, we will dive deep into the competencies focusing on the scope of the competencies, exploring professional learning resources, and crafting a plan for district implementation.


Each district will need to select a lead member from their team to be the point of contact, attend the session, and facilitate the development of an implementation plan for their district. Staff recommend that a district team be comprised of five-eight members. Members of the team might include a professional learning coordinator, an administrator, an instructional technology facilitator, a school library media coordinator, or an instructional coach, along with teacher leaders.


Between now and Wednesday (June 15), staff request each district to identify and submit contact information for their lead team member and their first and second location choices by completing this online form. We will contact and provide follow up information to the lead team member to confirm the session date and location as well as register the rest of their district’s team.


For any questions, please contact Jill Darrough.

NC Virtual Public Schools Logo

July 1 is Last Day to Drop North Carolina Virtual Public School Summer Students


The last day to drop NCVPS summer session students is Friday, July 1. Some districts are on an abbreviated summer schedule for staff by this date. Be sure your NCVPS summer students know whom to contact in the district if they want to be dropped. NCVPS cannot drop students.


July 1 also is the last day districts and schools can drop students with no penalty for the student and no cost to the district. After July 1, all enrolled students will receive a grade, and the enrollment will count in the district’s allotment totals.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Data Evaluation for Implementation


One of the six critical components of a MTSS framework is Data Evaluation. While student assessment data tell us about student behavior, implementation data tell us how the adults are implementing the critical parts of the Multi-Tiered System of Support.


Traditionally, School Improvement Plans focus on student assessment data, rather than implementation data. As teams plan for implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Support, a shift in focus should occur, with implementation data becoming even more important. 


We cannot change student outcomes without changing how adults support students to get the outcomes. And, we cannot attribute a change in student outcomes without the implementation data. An example of how the DPI MTSS team is providing targeted assistance to support district and school teams to be intentional about collecting and using implementation data may be found in this online video housed in the NCEES modules.


If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Jablonski.

Implementation Science

Implementation Science Frameworks:
Implementation Stages


Implementation is a process that occurs in discernible stages through common components (Drivers) of successfully implemented programs. Understanding the stages of implementation provides improved planning and decreases frustration with the challenging work of systems change.


There are four functional Implementation Stages:

Exploration. Taking the time to consider change by exploring what to do, how to do it, and who will do it, saves time and money and improves chances for success.

Installation. Activities during this stage create the infrastructure and make instrumental changes necessary to begin implementation.

Initial Implementation. When the new program is first being put to use, practitioners attempt to use new skills during a season of change. This is the most fragile stage.

Full Implementation. This level of implementation is reached when 50 percent or more of the staff or team members are using the program with fidelity and good outcomes, and the new way of providing services is now the standard way of work.


Please visit the NCDPI State Implementation Team’s wikispace to learn more about Implementation Science. 

Happening Now

  • LEAs and charter schools across the state are currently in the Exploration Stage in the use of the LEA Self Assessment to improve services and programs for Exceptional Children.
  • Chatham County has used Implementation Stages to develop the work of a District Implementation Team. This team has reached the Installation Stage to support systemwide programs.
  • The work of building a Multi-Tiered System of Support in Wake County is in the Initial Implementation Stage. Current work is devoted to building teaming structures, cohorts for training and coaching support, and plans for data evaluation and communication protocols.  The MTSS team will begin supporting Cohort 3 schools in the 2016-17 school year.
  • Cleveland County has reached the Full Implementation Stage with its Behavior and Mental Health Support Framework. This framework includes school-based mental health supports through vetted outside agencies, as well as in-school behavior liaisons and interventionists.

Revised Middle School Athletic Manual Available Online


The Middle School Athletic Manual has been updated and may be accessed online. The most significant change comes from the rule addressing physicals.


Following the NC High School Athletic Association, the 365 rule has been extended to 395 days. This 30-day grace period will allow students more flexibility in acquiring their physicals. All physicals acquired after May 3, 2016 will be subject to the new rule.


Questions may be directed to Ellen Essick, section chief for Healthy Schools. 

NC Global Education

Global Education Workshops Scheduled for this Summer


NCDPI staff, in partnership with three of the Regional Education Service Alliances (RESAs), will offer two Global Education Professional Development Workshops this summer.


The Global Educator Digital Badge Capstone Project Workshop is for educators enrolled in the process of attaining the digital badge and also for school and district personnel leading the local evaluation of these projects before submission for state-level review.


The Global-Ready School and/or Global-Ready District Applicant Workshop is for those intending to submit or exploring submission of an application to NCDPI.


For more information and registration, please click here or contact Special Assistant for Global Education Helga Fasciano.

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