Weekly Message - State Superintendent June Atkinson

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

Aug. 1, 2016 

June Atkinson

Thank you for participating in the legislative update webinar earlier today. I hope the information provided was useful.


Over the coming months, it will be important for us to continue to keep the lines of communication open between NCDPI and you as we address the General Assembly’s new laws and as we craft North Carolina’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan to submit to the US Department of Education in March.


A second series of public comment sessions will be held in October in six cities and towns, and those locations and dates will be announced soon. Also, I will be meeting with you in your RESA meetings this fall, and on Nov. 10, we plan to hold a special superintendents’ meeting to provide more time to collect feedback from you on North Carolina’s ESSA plan.


There are many new opportunities ahead of us to strengthen public schools in our state to benefit all of our students. Thank you for making time to stay involved and in communication with us.

June Atkinson's Signature

Man Taking an Online Survey

Aug. 5 is School Calendar Flexibility Survey Deadline


This Friday, Aug. 5, is the deadline to complete the General Assembly Program Evaluation Division’s survey on School Calendar Flexibility. As of this morning, not quite 10 percent of districts had completed the survey. It is critical that we have 100 percent participation. You may access the survey online.

If you have any questions, please contact Pat Madej with the NC General Assembly Program Evaluation Division.

NC State Board of Education Seal

State Board of Education Meets This Week


State Board of Education members will meet this Wednesday and Thursday, Aug 3-4, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Board action items include an update to the Interscholastic Athletic Policy, applications for reform models, and charter application recommendations for schools opening in 2017. Discussion items include 2017-19 Biennium Expansion Budget requests, a restart of the school funding model, revision of licensure fees, and high school accreditation.


On Thursday, Board members will welcome Amy White and Todd Chasteen and new advisors Freddie Williamson (superintendent), Melody Chalmers (principal) and Bobbie Cavnar (teacher). Members also will receive a special presentation on Connecting Classrooms to the Future: Project-Based Inquiry Global.


The complete agenda as well as supporting executive summaries are available online by clicking on the 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 stream link to the right.

High School Math

Resources to Support Implementation of Revised Math Standards Online


North Carolina State Board of Education members unanimously approved revisions to the NC Standard Course of Study for NC Math 1, 2 and 3. The first set of resources – Math Resource for Instruction for NC Math 1, 2 and 3 – to support the implementation of the revised standards is now available online.


These are living (continuously growing) resources that should be accessed electronically due to the many active links to curricular resources that are embedded in the overall guide. Included in the Math Resource for Instruction for high school courses are links to feedback and contribution folders. NCDPI Mathematics Section staff are very interested in all comments, feedback and additions of local tasks/curricula to share and include in the Math Resource for Instruction.


Please share the resources with your instructional leaders and teachers. Additional resources such as optional pacing guides will be sent next week.

Should you have any questions about the resources, please contact NCDPI Secondary Math Consultants Joseph Reaper at or Lisa Ashe.

US Department of Education

Updated Guidance on Section 504


On July 26, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.


Among other things, the guidance discusses the obligation to provide services based on students’ specific needs and not on generalizations about disabilities, or ADHD, in particular. The guidance also clarifies that students who experience behavioral challenges could have ADHD and may need an evaluation to determine their educational needs.


In addition to the guidance, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document that provides a brief overview of schools’ obligations to students with ADHD.

For questions regarding Section 504, please contact NCDPI Federal Program Monitoring and Support Division Title I Program Administrator Kenneth Kitch.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Coordinator Support for District Teams


Cohort 1 and 2 coordinators are meeting with Regional MTSS consultants this week. The focus of these regional meetings is to:

*  preview Module 2 on "Best Practices for Building an Intervention System;"

*  provide orientation supports for new coordinators or new team members; and

*  spotlight resources and develop our regional Community of Practice.


In September, Cohort 1 and 2 Teams will be introduced to Module 2 and Cohort 3 and 4 Teams will be introduced to Module 1.


Coordinators support district and charter teams to implement an MTSS. The work of the coordinator is outlined through Selection Criteria. Districts and charters will be more successful in implementing MTSS when leadership has established common language and vision.


To develop common language, consider viewing this 21-minute video on MTSS. NCDPI Director of Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems Amy Jablonski provides the introduction to this school improvement framework. Feel free to contact Amy with feedback or questions.

STEM Education

Recognizing Outstanding STEM Schools and Programs: Intent to Apply


Schools around the state are being recognized and honored as STEM Schools of Distinction for their outstanding and effective STEM strategies in teaching and learning. Are you a school employing the 11 essential STEM Attributes and 21st century skills for students to be globally prepared? If so, we need to hear from you.


Schools planning to apply for potential STEM recognition for the 2016-17 school year need to fill out the following intent to apply to ensure you receive information about the application, timeline, and resources that will provide assistance in this process. The intent to apply request is due no later than Oct. 14.


For more information on the application process and timeline, please contact NCDPI STEM Project Manager Tina Marcus.

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