Charter Schools Weekly Newsletter

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Office of Charter Schools

6303 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6303  •  919.807.3491

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER  –  August 5, 2016

Upcoming Events

August 9, 2016

Charter Schools Advisory Board Meeting

Action Needed


November 1, 2016

Kindergarten& & 7th Grade Immunization Report Due


NCDPI Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates


NC Charter Schools Make 2016 Best School Districts in North Carolina

Congratulations to the following charter schools for making the list for the 2016 Best School Districts in NC! Attached below is the link to review the specifics of each ranking. 

  • #2 -   Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy

  • #3 -   Franklin Academy

  • #4 -   Woods Charter School

  • #5 -   Lincoln Charter School

  • #6 -   Pine Lake Preparatory

  • #7 -   Union Academy 

  • #14 - Community School of Davidson

  • #28 - Clover Garden

  • #32 - River Mill Academy

  • #37 - Gaston College Preparatory

  • #49 - East Wake Academy

  • #56 - Voyager Academy

  • #97 - Queens Grant Community School

Attachment:     2016 Best School Districts in NC

NC Charter Schools Advisory Board to Meet

The North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board will meet next Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 9 – 11:15 a.m., in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh.



Agenda items include updates from representatives of Rocky Mount Preparatory School and Northeast Academy of Aerospace and Advanced Technologies, Fast Track Application Policy recommendations, and the 2016-17 Charter Application Cycle.



The draft agenda is attached. The meeting will be audio streamed for those who cannot attend. Questions regarding this meeting should be directed to the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.




Attachment:     CSAB Aug. 9 Meeting Agenda.docx

Professional Development

2016 Charter School Leadership Institute

The OCS will host its 2016 Charter School Leadership Institute October 10 - 11, 2016 at The Expedition School in Henderson, NC. The two-day event will feature relevant charter school topics and several guest speakers. A specific agenda outlining topics and registration information will be sent in the next few weeks.  


Don’t miss this exciting charter school professional development event!

State Board of Education Approves New Charters to Open August 2017


On September 25, 2015, twenty-eight (28) applicants submitted applications ahead of the 5:00 PM (EST) deadline. The Office of Charter Schools reviewed all twenty-eight (28) of those applications to ensure that they were complete.  Thirteen (13) applications were certified to be incomplete by the CSAB.  Consistent with the State Board-approved application timeline and process, any applicant group whose application was deemed incomplete was then granted five (5) business days to submit any missing information.  At the end of this "second chance" process, all twenty-eight (28) applications were deemed complete.


From October through December 2015, external evaluators possessing multiple years of experience in the areas of finance, governance, operations, and academics, read the twenty-eight (28) complete applications and provided feedback on them through a standard rubric to inform the CSAB’s review and decision-making.  Each applicant group received five (5) business days to provide written clarification regarding any item in the application that the external reviewers deemed to be less than clear.  All twenty-eight (28) applications (along with clarification documents, where applicable) were forwarded to the CSAB for review.


The CSAB invited each of the twenty-eight (28) applicant groups to be interviewed by the full CSAB. Each applicant group was provided the opportunity to respond to questions posed by the CSAB concerning deficiencies and clarification from the submitted application.  At the end of deliberations regarding each applicant group, the CSAB voted on whether to recommend the group to the SBE as ready to enter the Planning Year.


The CSAB met on December 7-8, 2015; January 11-12, February 8-9, March 7-8, and April 12, 2016; and, consistent with the SBE-approved timeline, finalized all application recommendations in time to submit the recommendations below to the SBE in May 2016.

The SBE discussed/reviewed all recommendations from the CSAB and granted final approval for 8 applications to receive a 5-year charter starting July 1, 2017 upon successful completion of the planning year. With the addition of these 8 approvals we could have 180 charter schools operating in the 2017 school year!  The specific schools approved by the SBE on August 4, 2016 are listed below and charter application information can be found on the following website:




2017 Approved Schools:


  • Discovery Charter School - Durham County

  • Emereau: Bladen - Bladen County

  • Johnston Charter Academy - Johnston County

  • Montcross Charter Academy - Gaston County

  • Movement School - Mecklenburg County

  • Rolesville Charter Academy - Wake County

  • Twin City High School - Forsyth County

  • UpRoar Leadership Academy - Mecklenburg County

Financial and Business Services Newsletter

NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Updates

2016-17 Budget Bill Clarification

Over the last few weeks, OCS and the Division of School Business has received questions on which parts of the budget bill include charters related to teacher salary increases. 


While there were increases to teacher salaries, some of those increases were not applicable to charter schools. The specifics outlining what does and does not apply to charter schools is listed below:



 - Third Grade Teachers – to be paid in January:

  • Those in the top 25% in the State – Charters are eligible.
  • Those in the top 25% in their respective LEA. Charters are not eligible per legislation.


 - AP and IB Teachers – to be paid in January 

  • Charters are not eligible per the definition in legislation.  NCDPI working with legislators to get a correction to include charters.  This will not be determined until January.


 - CTE Teachers – to be paid in January

  • Charters are not eligible per legislation definition.  NCDPI working with legislators to get a correction to include charters.  This will not be determined until January.


 - One-time bonus of 0.5% (not subject to retirement) – to be paid in October 2016.

  • Charters are not required to pay the bonus, however the base allocation includes a per pupil share of the state funding ($5.59)


 - Merit Based Bonus for Non-Educators

  • Charters are not eligible per legislation stating employing agency is local education agency.

Ms. Alexis Schauss provided a presentation on the budget at the Financial and Business Services conference in July 2016 which is attached below for your reference.  Please contact Alexis Schauss at with questions or concerns. 




Attachment:   FBS Conference Budget Presentation  

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Updates

Please see the attached memo and attachments from Dr. June Atkinson to all Charter School Directors.

Attachment:    Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

US Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance to Schools on Ensuring Equity and Providing Behavioral Supports for Students with Disabilities


The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued guidance on August 4, 2016 in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) that emphasizes the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. It also clarifies that repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that many children with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports. When schools fail to consider and provide for needed behavioral supports through the Individualized Education Program, it is likely to result in a child not receiving the free appropriate public education to which they are entitled under federal law.


The DCL on the Inclusion of Behavioral Supports in Individualized Education Programs is now available on the Department’s website: available is a suite of accompanying resources, including a Summary for Stakeholders, which lays out the main points of the issued guidance in an easily-digestible format.

For more information, please visit the Rethink Discipline website, or follow the press link

Consent for Release of Contact Information to NCDPI and the Residential Schools for the Deaf and Blind

Please open the attached memorandum and corresponding materials from NCDPI Deputy State Superintendent Rebecca Garland regarding Consent for Release of Information to NCDPI and the Residential Schools for the Deaf and Blind. 





HB1030 Spreadsheet.xlsx



Consent for Info Release Memo.pdf



Consent Release.pdf


Charter School Coordinator for the NC School Report Cards


It is time to update the contact information for your school’s NC School Report Card (SRC) Coordinator. The Coordinator is responsible for reviewing and validating the data in the SRC before it is released to the public and is the primary contact for information regarding the Welcome Letter and the data preview period.

Work has already begun on the 2015-16 NC School Report Cards (SRC). The tentative release date is October 18. Please keep the following in mind:




  • Save the date for the SRC Coordinators’ training, scheduled for August 22 (Monday) at 9:30 – 11:30 AM. This training will be delivered online. See below for the webinar information. For those unable to attend, all of the materials will be recorded and posted to the SRC Communications website. 

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.


You can also dial in using your phone.

United States : +1 (224) 501-3412

Access Code: 206-433-925 


First GoToMeeting? Try a test session:




For a current list of coordinators, please check the NCDPI website (bottom of the page). To update the information, please contact Rebecca Chong by e-mail ( or by phone (919-807-3690).  

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance On Civil Rights of Students with ADHD


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.


Over the last five years, OCR has received more than 16,000 complaints that allege discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary education programs, and more than 10 percent involve allegations of discrimination against students with ADHD. The most common complaint concerns academic and behavioral difficulties students with ADHD experience at school when they are not timely and properly evaluated for a disability, or when they do not receive necessary special education or related aids and services.   

This  guidance provides a broad overview of Section 504 and school districts’ obligations to provide educational services to students with disabilities, including students with ADHD. The guidance:

  • Explains that schools must evaluate a student when a student needs or is believed to need special education or related services.

  • Discusses the obligation to provide services based on students’ specific needs and not based on generalizations about disabilities, or ADHD, in particular. For example, the guidance makes clear that schools must not rely on the generalization that students who perform well academically cannot also be substantially limited in major life activities, such as reading, learning, writing and thinking; and that such a student can, in fact, be a person with a disability.

  • Clarifies that students who experience behavioral challenges, or present as unfocused or distractible, could have ADHD and may need an evaluation to determine their educational needs.

  • Reminds schools that they must provide parents and guardians with due process and allow them to appeal decisions regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of students with disabilities, including students with ADHD. 

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.

NCDPI Math Social Media Logo

North Carolina Math 1, 2, and 3 Testing Updates


Please review the attached memo, North Carolina Math 1, 2, and 3 Testing Updates, from Dr. Rebecca Garland and Dr. Tammy Howard to all Charter School Directors.

Don't Miss This

NCDPI Newsletters

Superintendents' Weekly Message

Finance Officers' Newsletter


Principals' Biweekly Message


Other Important Updates


NC Health and Human Services Immunization Reporting 



The school immunization reporting is now open for the 2016-2017 school year. All schools, including charter schools, are required to report on the immunization status of Kindergarten and 7th grade students by November 1 of each school year.  



Attached is a .zip file with the memo and related immunization forms for data collection. All reports must be submitted electronically and the submission link and form is found on the Health and Human Services website at under the appropriate grade level. The data collection forms are in both PDF and Excel format. Please use either version of the form to submit your information. 


Please contact the Health and Human Services Department with questions or concerns about immunization reporting at 919-707-5558 or email

Attachment:     Annual Immunization Reporting