July 21, 2016 Principals' Biweekly Message

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Principals' Biweekly Message

July 21, 2016

June Atkinson

This month, the 2016-17 school year kicked off with the opening of year-round schools for students in a number of districts.


As we enter this new school year, I want to thank you for your leadership and your pursuit of excellence for all students. These can be trying times as we adjust to changes that seem to be increasingly swift, and yet our students have this one opportunity to build a strong foundation for adulthood.


Thank you for recognizing this and for your dedicated service. Best wishes for a successful new school year!

June Atkinson Signature

Digital Learning Competencies

Digital Teaching and Learning Updates

Digital Learning Competencies (NC Digital Learning Plan) PD Sessions Being Held Statewide


NCDPI’s Digital Teaching and Learning Division staff are engaging district teams across the state in regional professional learning on the Digital Learning Competencies. These sessions, which began last week, have been well attended and have provided district teams with a robust overview of the Digital Learning Competencies as well as an opportunity to begin the planning process for implementation in July 2017. As you know, the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan provided recommendations for state actions that will support K-12 schools as they become digital-age learning organizations.


In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 23, which called on the State Board of Education to develop digital teaching and learning competencies that would “provide a framework for schools of education, school administrators, and classroom teachers on the needed skills to provide high-quality, integrated digital teaching and learning.” These competencies demonstrate skills that teachers and leaders should integrate into their practice in order to create digital learning environments. The State Board of Education approved the competencies on June 2.


Much of Digital Teaching and Learning Division staff’s work over the next few years will be supporting district staff as they implement these competencies. If you have any questions, please contact Digital Teaching and Learning Director Verna Lalbeharie.

PBS Regional Teacher Summit


NCDPI’s Digital Teaching & Learning Division is partnering with the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and UNC-TV to engage K-12 educators to join staff on Aug. 4 for a day of learning, sharing and networking with colleagues around the state on learning in the digital-age classroom. This partnership helps introduce NC educators to resources that can be utilized in instruction.


Participants will have hands-on opportunities to work in small groups, share ideas, and make lasting connections. The Summit will be held at the UNC-TV studios in Durham. Participating teachers also can earn CEU credits.

This professional development opportunity advances the state’s digital learning plan efforts, which recommend supporting the use and sharing of high-quality open educational resources and teacher-created resources.


The Department of Public Instruction engaged the Friday Institute at NC State University in developing the NC Digital Learning Plan, recognizing that digital learning requires very different tools and resources than traditional modes of learning. NC is committed to preparing educators and students for the digital age. This session has received an overwhelmingly large response and is already at capacity. Additional sessions like this one will be planned for a future date.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Collaborative District-School Partnerships


Cohort 2 District Teams are meeting this month to discuss MTSS Professional Development content around creating readiness, essential elements of core instruction, and analyzing the effectiveness of core instruction. The goal of these meetings is to review the online content and plan for implementation at the school level. A critical portion of planning is related to narrowing the focus of the work by connecting the dots for the school teams.


The District Teams planned MTSS implementation using these components:

  • rating current level of implementation;
  • prioritizing implementation items;
  • identifying resources and barriers to implementation;
  • determining action items for successful implementation; and
  • mapping action steps using a Gantt chart to organize implementation effectively.

As the District Team defines and communicates these priorities, a shared vision between the schools and district will result. A carefully cultivated partnership between these two teams can yield results that far exceed expectations.


If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Jablonski.

NC Virtual Public Schools Logo

NCVPS Schedules Open House


The North Carolina Virtual Public School will hold its 2016 Open House on Thursday, Aug. 11, from 6-7 p.m., via an online classroom.


NCVPS staff and teachers will provide presentations on Who is NCVPS, Teaching and Learning with NCVPS, Meet the Teacher, See the Classroom, Support All Around, and Q & As.


While the presentations are geared toward parents and students in public schools, private schools, and home schools, the NCVPS Open House has something for everyone. Educators will learn about the NCVPS teaching and learning process, and the general public will discover what online learning is all about!


Follow this link to register. Once registered, additional details will be sent.

Professional Development

Professional Development Update


Modules for Teachers by Teachers in Home Base PD System


NCDPI Educator Effectiveness released its seventh self-paced modules based on action research projects developed by teachers for teachers through the Governor’s Teacher Network (GTN) project.


This module, Writing to Learn: Action Research from the GTN Project, showcases actual instructional techniques piloted in classrooms across the state. By incorporating writing with reading and subject-area instruction, teachers can help students increase comprehension and academic performance. This module summarizes current research on writing to learn and explores several specific strategies teachers can use occasionally or every day.


For a complete description of this module or to learn more about the modules created through the GTN project, please visit http://rt3nc.org/. The module is worth one general CEU credit. If you have questions about this course, please contact Dr. Geetanjali Soni, Educator Effectiveness Instructional Design Lead.

New Module Released on Professional School Counselor Standards


Educator Effectiveness staff have created self-paced modules to support educators in understanding the professional standards that govern their roles. The latest module, North Carolina Professional School Counselor Standards and Evaluation, is designed to enhance understanding of the North Carolina Professional School Counselor Standards and Evaluation and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program aligned with The ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs, third edition.


Since this module is designed for implementation, it is best suited for practicing school counselors; however, other education professionals with interests in school counseling may also want to participate and consult with the school counselors in their schools regarding the implementation activities included. This module should take approximately 30 hours to complete. 3.0 CEUs.


Please visit Educator Effectiveness' Online Professional Development Catalog to learn more about the following modules that focus on professional standards:

North Carolina School Executive Standards. These standards have been developed as a guide for principals and assistant principals as they continually reflect upon and improve their effectiveness as leaders throughout their careers. The standards serve as an important tool for principals and assistant principals as they consider their growth and development as executives leading schools in the 21st century. 1.0 CEU


North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards. The demands of 21st century education have required new roles for teachers in their classrooms and schools. The North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards define what teachers need to know and do to teach students in the 21st century. 1.0 CEU

NC Teacher Leadership Specialist: Understanding the Evaluation Process. Teacher Leadership Specialists directly support teachers, informing instruction for student achievement though they are not assigned student rosters. This module covers the standards and evaluation process for teacher leadership specialists, which is aligned with the process for teacher evaluation. It is designed for teacher leaders and administrators who evaluate them as well as curriculum facilitators and literacy coaches. 0.5 CEU


The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers. State Board policy TCP-C-014 defines the code of ethics for all North Carolina educators, which sets standards of professional conduct. This module reviews those standards. It is an essential tool for beginning teachers’ and lateral entry teachers’ growth and development. 1.0 CEU

Project-Based Learning: Newest Feature in
Home Base PD System


Project-based learning (PBL) is a type of unit design in which students meet content standards and learn 21st century skills by working for an extended period to research and respond to a challenging problem or question that is based in real-world contexts.


This module introduces participants to the essential elements of PBL along with current research about the practice and will give you the opportunity to begin implementing PBL in your own classroom.


Not interested in this PBL course worth 1.0 CEU? Please check the Online Professional Development Catalog to learn about the approximately 75 self-paced/facilitated courses available for North Carolina educators. Join over 20,000 NC educators who in the 2015-16 school year discovered the value of professional learning anytime, anywhere through the Home Base PD System.


If you have questions about this course, please contact Dr. Geetanjali Soni, Educator Effectiveness Instructional Design Lead.