Weekly Message - State Superintendent June Atkinson

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

Aug. 15, 2016

June Atkinson

The State Board of Education’s September meeting agenda includes many significant items, including the presentation of the 2015-16 accountability and school performance grades and the cohort graduation rate for the 2015-16 school year. The results will be presented to State Board members at their Sept. 1 meeting at approximately 11 a.m. I plan to hold a media briefing immediately following the presentation to respond to any questions.


I know this annual presentation is important for your communities and for your district, so I encourage you to work with your communication and accountability staff to determine how you want to discuss your district and schools’ performance.


A background packet providing key information about the school performance grades, accountability tests, how those data are used and other information will be posted online by Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 17) on our home page under “Highlights.” Two webinars will be held on Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., for local communication directors/testing directors and for news media. This is a good opportunity for them to ask background questions and ensure understanding of the model and how it affects schools and districts.

June Atkinson's Signature

Math Student

Professional Development to Support Revised Math Standards Implementation


As part of the statewide implementation of revised standards in NC Math 1, NC Math 2 & NC Math 3, several professional development opportunities are scheduled for teachers and leaders.


In case your leaders or teachers were unavailable to attend one of the 13 information sessions held across the state this summer, an additional information session on the resources in place for math teachers and leaders will be held via webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. The registration link will be shared with your Curriculum & Instruction leaders and principals directly.

Virtual Support Sessions Scheduled


Virtual support sessions will begin Thursday, Sept. 8, for NC Math 1 teachers.


These sessions will be offered every Thursday for a different group. Math coaches, coordinators and other math curriculum leaders are invited to join all sessions, but will have a dedicated time on the fourth Thursday of the month. A calendar will soon be shared with leaders, principals and teachers.


Session dates and target groups are as follows:

  • Sept. 8 - NC Math 1 Teachers
  • Sept. 15 - NC Math 2 Teachers
  • Sept. 22 - NC Math 3 Teachers
  • Sept. 29 - District math leaders, coaches, coordinators

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Cohorts Update


The NCDPI Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) team is preparing to add 95 districts, charter schools and state-operated programs to Cohorts 3 and 4. When combined with Cohorts 1 and 2, 97 percent of all districts will be a part of an MTSS cohort.


In September, Cohorts 3 and 4 will examine readiness for installation of this school improvement framework. As these teams progress through professional development, they will explore the concept of defining core instruction, which impacts every student in the school system.


Cohorts 1 and 2 will explore installation of a system of support structures to address supplemental and intensive supports within an MTSS framework. 

MTSS is more than an intervention system, it seeks to answer the question, “Does our system make sense for our students?”

All districts, charter schools and state-operated programs have access to information regarding the school improvement framework online.


Please contact Academic and Digital Learning’s Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems Consultant Amy Jablonski for more information.

Implementation Science

Implementation Science Frameworks:
Implementation Drivers


Developing capacity within an organization to implement a new innovation as intended is important to achieving the benefits of the innovation. Implementation Drivers are one of five Active Implementation Frameworks identified within Implementation Science to build organizational capacity to effectively implement new evidence-based innovations.


The following definitions and links are based on the work of the National Implementation Research Network (Van Dyke, Blasé, Sims, & Fixsen, 2013).

  • Competency Drivers: supports to develop, improve, and sustain the ability of personnel to implement an intervention as intended in order to benefit students.
  • Organizational Drivers: mechanisms to create and sustain hospitable organizational and system environments for effective educational services.
  • Leadership Drivers: focus on providing the right leadership strategies for different types of leadership challenges. These leadership challenges often emerge as part of the change management process needed to make decisions, provide guidance, and support organization funding.

Implementation Science

Integration and utilization of Implementation Drivers build the necessary competencies within an organization to actively engage stakeholders in implementing the innovation as intended. Click here to view a module focused on the Implementation Drivers.


For more information, please contact Exceptional Children State Implementation Specialist and Data Analyst Heather Reynolds.

NC Global Education

Global Education News

Intent to Apply Form Available

The 2016 – 17 Global-Ready School and Global-Ready District Intent to Apply is now available. Submitting the Intent does not obligate the submitter to complete the application but it does ensure that interested applicants receive resources and updates to assist them through the application process. Additional information is available online.


Global Educator Digital Badge


As a reminder, if you have teachers and administrators pursuing their Global Educator Digital Badge (GEDB) their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) must be turned in to NCDPI. Once the MOA is received the GEDB candidate will have access to the online management platform where they may access resources and any additional forms or information to assist them through the process.


The MOA, Implementation Guide, April 2016 Webinar and other resources are available online.

Home Base

Home Base Update


Help Guides


The Help Guides page within the NCEES system has changed. The page has been updated by role to better serve educators and administrators. Please take a look at the newly improved, easier identifiable titles for resources with updated steps and images. We advise educators to review the newly-updated Evaluation (Comprehensive, Abbreviated, and Standard) and PDP Guides for detailed step-by-step information about the evaluation process. For administrators, the Principal/AP Evaluation guide has been updated as well. As the year progresses, more resources will be updated and added.

New Evaluation Rubrics


For the 2016-17 school year, NCDPI has added two additional rubrics for staff: Teacher Leadership Specialist and Career Development Coordinators. The principal must manually assign rubrics to staff.


New Step Confirming Evaluation Plans (OPTIONAL)


A step for Confirming Evaluation Types has been added to ALL of the evaluation plan types. LEAs can determine how they wish to proceed using this step. Please keep in mind that the teacher/support staff must start the evaluation plan to begin this step. For more information, please visit the Help Guides page within the system under the Principal/AP Guides and review the Evaluation Plans.


NCEES Webinars & Office Hours


Take advantage of the free Tuesday Webinar Series, which invite system users to join and discuss timely topics related to educator evaluation and professional development. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about best practices, tips for success, and new aspects of the system. Participants also are given a chance to ask live questions and connect with Educator Effectiveness experts real-time.


New this year, we will offer Educator Effectiveness Office Hours where educators and administrators are invited to bring questions to NCDPI Subject Matter Experts. The NCEES Webinars and Office Hours are all scheduled on Tuesday afternoons. August topics include:

For a full list of upcoming topics, descriptions, start times and registration links, please visit the NCEES Wikispace. (Please allow the flyer a minute to load.)

Schoolnet: Assessment Admin Workshop for Teachers


These two-hour workshops will be held in each of the eight regions for teachers. Workshop topics include understanding how students take a test, using the proctor dashboard, roles in Schoolnet, searching for assessment items, creating, scheduling and assigning a test (manual), testing Browsers, and brief preview of available student performance data (Classroom Module).


There will be three recurring sessions from 9-11 a.m., 12-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. held in each region. SPACE IS LIMITED. PLEASE bring your own device.


Review the flyer for workshop details. Register online by clicking here. Aug. 12 is the registration deadline.


Who Has Resources? We Do!


Have your teachers taught that same lesson year after year? Could your previous students come in a class and predict your teacher's classroom style? Change it up this year with instructional materials available through Home Base!


Within your IAM account you can access Schoolnet (IIS), which has several resources available for perusing and use. Click on the "Classrooms" tab in Instructional Materials. The filters will allow you to search for content (number of items in parenthesis) in Arts Education (4,172); Career and Technical Education (1,949)
; English as a Second Language (1,166); English Language Arts (8,379)
; Exceptional Children (58)
; Guidance (76); Health Education (2,625)
; Home Base Training (59)
; Information and Technology (9)
; Mathematics (7,736)
; Physical Education (825); Science (6,999); Social Studies (4,704); STEM (1,113); 
and World Languages (2,438).


If you need help locating these instructional materials, click on this link.

READY Principals

Save the Date: Principal READY Fall 2016


NCDPI is partnering with stakeholder organizations for the fall Principal READY series to share information about several initiatives relevant to the current needs of school leaders. Please attend to hear from NCDPI consultants, the Friday Institute, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Office, and the New Teacher Center.


Sessions include learning more about the state’s Digital Learning Plan to support administrators in transitioning to digital-age learning, national research on how National Board Certified teachers can be better utilized as teacher leaders, and the 2016 analysis of the North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey Data. In addition to these sessions, service support teams will offer regional-specific content based on evaluation surveys.


Register for any date that best fits your schedule; registration information will be released soon.


Principal READY Dates

Aspire Grants Help High School Students Reach their Potential


High school students in northeastern North Carolina and in Wilkes County will now have expanded access to integrated student supports starting this fall thanks to their recent receipt of AT&T’s Aspire Grants.


A total of 13 high schools will be impacted by a $1.2 million investment from AT&T over the next two years. Of that amount, $750,000 will be used to coordinate and implement targeted and school-wide interventions aimed at increasing graduation rates and improving student achievement in six new schools in the northeast. Wilkes County will receive $500,000 to expand the Increasing Intentionality Initiative into seven high-poverty, rural high schools in North Wilkesboro and Taylorsville.


AT&T received hundreds of applications for this grant. Two awards of the 18 total went to North Carolina, both to expand Communities in Schools services to students in rural communities with limited resources to help them reach their potential. The full press release is available on the NC Communities in Schools website.

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