Jan. 9, 2017 Superintendents' Weekly Message

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

Jan. 9, 2017

Thank you for responding over the weekend with your school closings in the wake of the Jan. 6-7 snow storm.
It is helpful to the NC Emergency Management efforts when we are able to supply them with up-to-date information about the status of public schools statewide.
Please see this week’s information items for you from across NCDPI’s divisions.

Mark Johnson Bill Cobey

State Board of Education
Meeting Highlights


State Board of Education members on Thursday cleared the way for performance bonuses to be paid to third grade teachers and high school teachers of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses whose students achieved strong outcomes last year on standardized tests.


The board also approved district plans for paying merit bonuses for state-funded employees who are not paid from the teacher salary schedule, including school-based administrators, central office and non-certified personnel.


Funds for the bonus pay were appropriated by the General Assembly last year based on student outcomes during the 2015-16 school year. About 1,300 third grade teachers who were in the top 25 percent statewide according to last year’s EVAAS student growth index score for reading will share $5 million, or about $3,523 per teacher. In addition, third grade teachers also are eligible for a separate $5 million allocation for bonus pay if they were in the top 25 percent of teachers in their respective districts, also based on the same EVAAS measure. Those bonuses range from $1,824 to $8,770, depending on district size and numbers of eligible teachers.


In other business, the board approved proposals for 13 new schools under the state’s provision for Cooperative Innovative High Schools. The proposals will now advance for review by the governing boards of the UNC system and NC Community Colleges with which the schools would partner.


The board also heard detailed presentations about the state’s ongoing digital learning plan, school connectivity initiative, processes for standards revisions for English Language Arts, K-8 and fourth-level math in high school.


The complete list of this month’s Board actions is available on the Board’s website. The Board’s January agenda as well as supporting executive summaries are available online by clicking on the SBE Meetings tab.

North Carolina Standard Course of Study Update


English Language Arts


NCDPI staff would like to thank school districts for submitting feedback on DRAFT 1 of the K-12 English Language Arts standards in November. The writing team convened in December to incorporate the feedback and create DRAFT 2.


NCDPI staff are now seeking public comment on DRAFT 2 of the English Language Arts Standard Course of Study. DRAFT 2 can be found HERE. The survey can be accessed HERE. The survey closes Jan. 30. From the feedback, DRAFT 3 will be developed for State Board of Education discussion as early as March.


Please remember that standards are what we want students to know and be able to do by the end of a grade. Curriculum is the collective resources and learning experiences used for students to learn the standard and is developed locally by school districts. This survey focuses on standards. Your feedback is important to the standard revision process.


K-8 Mathematics


As part of the K-8 mathematics standards review process, the NC Department of Public Instruction requests LEA feedback on the DRAFT standards. This is an opportunity for district mathematics content experts to give input before the draft standards are sent out for public comment and presented to the State Board of Education for discussion in the coming months.


Below is an overview of the steps in the review/revision process. Please note that there is an LEA action item (denoted by asterisk) that will contribute to this process. 

  • November 2016 - Data Review Committee met to review extensive feedback retrieved from surveys and focus groups and to make recommendations to the Writing Teams
  • December 2016 - Writing Teams met to begin revisions based on these recommendations.
  • *January 2017 - LEAs will receive an email containing the DRAFT NC Standard Course of Study for K-8 mathematics the week of Jan. 16 and have a 3-week window to submit the feedback via survey. Districts will receive the survey questions in advance.

Additional information on the timeline is available online.


In preparation for the LEA input window, districts are asked to select the members of your K-8 mathematics Standards Review Team. We suggest that your team members review the draft standards individually prior to working as a whole team to complete ONE survey per LEA.


If you have any questions, please contact NCDPI Mathematics Section Chief Jennifer Curtis or 919.807.3846.

STEM Education

STEM School Recognition Deadline Extended


The deadline for applications for the STEM Recognition program has been extended to Feb. 13.

Information about the process, including rubrics, can be found on NCDPI’s STEM Education and Leadership website.

Questions may be directed to Carol Moore.

NC Virtual Public Schools Logo

NCVPS Still Enrolling for
Spring Classes


Early calendar classes have already begun. Traditional calendar classes begin on Jan. 23, and the last day to register students is Feb. 3. After that date, schools still have a number of enrollment options:

  • Credit recovery enrollment will remain open until March 24.
  • Schools can continue to add OCS students to their already existing OCS sections throughout the semester.
  • NCVPS will accept transfer students until March 24. This is a good solution for students who move into the district, homebound students, and suspended students.
  • Schools can enroll students into NCVPS Mastery Learning courses through the semester.

For more details, contact NCVPS Director of Outreach and Support Mia Murphy.

love the bus

February is Love the Bus Month


Feb. 13 - 17 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in North Carolina. It’s also the week when schools are encouraged to celebrate Love the Bus by talking with students about school bus safety.


This is an excellent opportunity to generate positive media attention on the whole system of safely transporting students to school. More information is available on the NC School Bus Safety website.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Data-Evaluation Sessions


Throughout January and February, NCDPI’s MTSS team is hosting Train-the-Trainer Sessions for MTSS cohort coordinators. The winter session topic is Building a Data-Evaluation System. Training materials will be provided for use in district, charter or school settings. The goal of the content is to support development and sustainability of a comprehensive and balanced assessment system.


Through this professional development and engagement in MTSS modules, MTSS teams are deepening knowledge and planning implementation for this system. One critical area of the system is universal screening measures. Universal screening measures provide data to assist with these questions:

-  How healthy is our core instruction?

-  Have we made gains with core?

-  Which of our students are at-risk?

-  Are our students on track to meet outcomes?

-  Are there skill deficits for all students?


Thank you for the vital role you play as a member of the MTSS leadership team and for supporting your district team in implementation. For more information, please contact NCDPI Director of Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems Amy Jablonski.

READY Principals

Principal Ready Sessions: Spring 2017


Spring dates for the annual Principal Ready sessions starting early February and extending through April are set. Each region will host a session that is planned by Educator Effectiveness’ statewide service support teams in collaboration with principals from each zone.


Participants are free to choose the date that best fits their schedule. Principals are not required to attend the session in his/her home region if another date works better.


Participants will engage in an analysis of their 2015-16 school data including the PLC process. Service Support Team members will facilitate specific sessions based on regional principal feedback and data collected by service support teams.


Session information may be found on the NCEES wiki. To register, click here.

Superintendent Job Openings

Superintendent Vacancy Announced: Asheville City Schools


The Asheville City Board of Education is seeking a superintendent to lead the school system in its continuing pursuit of excellence. Candidates must have or be qualified to hold a North Carolina superintendent license. Central office and building-level experience are preferred. A doctorate degree or progress toward a doctorate degree is preferred but not required. The individual chosen will be required to live within the city limits of Asheville. The application deadline is March 13.


An electronic version of the application is available by going to the N.C. School Board Association's website and clicking on the appropriate link. Inquiries and requests for applications also can be directed to Allison Schafer, Legal Counsel/Director of Policy, North Carolina School Boards Association, PO Box 97877, Raleigh NC 27624-7877, telephone 919/841-4040, fax 919/841-4020, email. All inquiries will be kept confidential.

CCSA: Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement

Champion for Student Success Award Nominations Open


Do you know a principal, teacher, administrator, support staff or volunteer who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to student success? Someone who exemplifies leadership in education? Someone you believe has made a significant impact on students in NC?


Then consider nominating them for the Champion for Student Success award. NCDPI will recognize those individuals during the 2017 Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA). The purpose of the award is to share our collective belief in the power of public education and to celebrate everything that is right about our local schools and the people who make it so.


Visit the CCSA Champion award web page for information on submitting a nomination, nomination criteria, selection criteria, and application process. Completed forms are due no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Grant Opportunity:
Education Innovation and Research Programs


The Office of Innovation and Improvement is providing grant funding totaling $15M to create, develop, implement, replicate or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students. A 10 percent in-kind fund match is required.


The deadline to apply for these early-phase, mid-phase and expansion grants is April 13.


For more information click on the appropriate link(s): Early-phase Grants, Mid-phase Grants, and Expansion Grants.

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