May 22, 2017 Superintendents' Weekly Message

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

May 22, 2017

Please see this week’s information items from across the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's departments and divisions of interest to local superintendents.


NC Virtual Public Schools Logo

NCVPS NC Math 1 Intervention
Co-Teaching Program Webinar


Does your district have struggling NC Math 1 students? Are your teachers and principals looking for innovative ways to support these students? Have you contemplated integrating online learning into your NC Math 1 classes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to ensure that your district has someone attend an upcoming NCVPS webinar on an innovative approach to addressing students who are struggling with NC Math 1.


The NCVPS NC Math 1 Intervention Co-Teaching Program webinar will be held Wednesday, May 31, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Visit the above link for more information, including registration.


If you have questions, please contact NCVPS Director of Outreach and Support Mia Murphy.

Digital Learning Initiative

NC Digital Learning Data Dashboard Released


The Friday Institute, in partnership with the NC State Board of Education and NCDPI, has developed the NC Digital Learning Data Dashboard to demonstrate statewide progress in digital learning. This dashboard will serve as a public, interactive, web-based tool used for analyzing and displaying data about local and statewide digital learning efforts.


The statewide transition to digital-age teaching and learning is an innovative change in the state’s overall approach to education. This data will be useful to state policymakers and education leaders, as well as to the education stakeholders who are tasked with implementing the initiatives locally. This dashboard contains performance indicators and other information at the school, district and state levels about digital learning leadership, infrastructure, professional learning, content and instruction, and data and assessment.


For more information, please contact Jeni Corn, director of Evaluation Programs, Friday Institute at NC State.

PowerSchool logo

PowerTeacher Pro Update


Training for the new PowerTeacher Pro (Gradebook) for Cohort I is going well. There are approximately 500 educators from 91 districts and charter schools attending 16 full-day teacher and 12 half-day administrator training sessions in all eight regions. More training dates are planned for July.


Districts participating in Cohort I are indicated in green on the map below. All remaining districts will be part of (Cohort II) the full implementation in summer 2018.

PowerSchool Participation Map


There are many other resources available in PowerSource. In June, staff expect to have a self-paced PowerTeacher Pro course available in Canvas.


If you have any questions about the PowerTeacher Pro implementation timeline or Cohort I, please contact Special Projects Manager Hunter Huffman or 919.807.3633.

PowerSchool 10.0 Implementation Date


PowerSchool 10 will be deployed into all NC PowerSchool instances the weekend of July 14. This release will feature PowerTeacher Pro - the new grade book that will be phased into the districts. Testing continues with Canvas and Schoolnet to ensure grade pass-back functionality is successful prior to implementation.


For more details about this upgrade, refer to the PowerSchool 10.0 Release Notes located on the NC SIS website.

Home Base

Home Base Opt-in Update


The Home Base Opt-in process has been working nicely with the new tool. As of Friday, May 19, 73 districts and 33 charter schools have opted-in for the 2017-18 school year. To see if your district has made a decision, please click here. You also will find additional information on the Home Base website.


To ensure access to Schoolnet and local professional development components in Truenorthlogic by the start of the school year, a response by your district finance officer must be submitted by the June 16 deadline.


If you have any questions, please contact Project Coordinator Jamie Woodlief or 919.807.3745.

Schoolnet icon

Schoolnet News


Staff are excited to announce increased Certica items in the item bank for Schoolnet for the 2017-18 school year. New items will include:

-  an expansion of English language arts and math progress checks into the middle grade levels (6-8);

-  more than 500 new English language arts items with an emphasis on high Depth of Knowledge and technology enhanced item types;

-  500 new math items;

-  600 new science and social studies items; and

-  2,000 new trans-adapted Spanish items.


The Social Studies Coverage report highlights the areas of expansion for social studies along with the North Carolina Coverage Report Summary based on the upcoming release.


Further Roadmap Progress


-  Continued expansion of all content areas with emphasis on high Depth of Knowledge and technology enhanced items. The specific areas of focus are being determined at this time.

-  Tighter integration with AB connect focused on expanded searching capabilities including concept and topic-based searches.


More information will be shared as these new items become available. If you have any questions about Schoolnet and/or Certica items, please contact Yanisha Mann or 919.807.3249.

DST EdCamp

EdCamp Scheduled for June 21 as Part of Connected Educator Series


The Connected Educator Series developed by NCDPI District and School Transformation in partnership with NCSU Northeast Leadership Academy is sponsoring EdCamp NELA-DST on Wednesday, June 21, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at Louisburg High School, Louisburg. Lunch will be provided.


This collaborative event will be an innovative professional development opportunity for school leaders. Check out this informative video about EdCamps to learn more about an unconference. To register, click here.


For more information, please contact Amelia McLeod or 919.835.6101 with NCDPI District and School Transformation.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Importance of a “Compelling Why”


The NCDPI team is working with over 200 district /charter Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) teams across the state. These MTSS teams are charged with guiding implementation at each school. As each team joined an MTSS cohort, they identified a “compelling why” for installation of this school improvement framework. The compelling why provides the team a motive to begin the work as well as a purpose when they begin to lose focus. Here is a sampling of “whys” from Cohorts 3 and 4:

*  “To provide ALL students with a high quality education that prepares them for future successes after graduation.”

*  “To provide safe and engaging learning environments that prepare students for their tomorrow.”

*  “Empower all teachers with the framework, process and tools necessary to help all students reach their full academic, social and emotional potential.”

*  “When the data reflects there is a need for change to help students reach their greatest potential, this becomes our compelling why and motivates us to examine our current practices.”


Cohort teams have demonstrated extraordinary collaboration and commitment to installation of this school improvement framework. Staff also recognize the visionary leadership superintendents provide that is necessary to meet the needs of every student in North Carolina.


For more information on MTSS, contact Amy Jablonski, director of Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems, and follow us on Twitter @ncmtss.

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child

Data Driven Prevention + Data Responsive Problem Solving = Healthy School Environments


This year, the North Carolina State Board of Education passed a resolution establishing the use of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model as the framework for its work.


Research shows that healthy children learn better. School districts and individual schools are encouraged to use this framework to organize work in supporting positive student outcomes and creating healthy school environments for all students.


The NC Healthy Schools Section at NCDPI is available to assist schools and districts in using data to target priorities, work with community partners and find potential resources. Resources to help support this work using the WSCC framework include:

- an assessment tool to help review and compare local, state and national data over time;

- an action planning template to help prioritize and collaborate;

- a dedicated team to help guide, support and identify possible resources;

- a monthly webinar series to help promote the WSCC framework; and

- an annual training for School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) leaders.


If you have any questions, please contact Healthy Schools Section Chief Dr. Ellen Essick or 919.807.3859.

Professional Development

Financial and Business Services’ Summer Conference


NCDPI Financial and Business Services will hold its annual Summer Conference on July 27 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, Research Triangle Park. On July 28, there will be a half-day of sessions provided by the Office of Charter Schools geared toward charter schools.


The full-day conference will offer participants a variety of sessions regarding the latest legislative/budgetary updates, personnel updates, charter schools, and other essential information about new and continuing issues concerning local districts and charter schools.


Conference information and online registration is available on the FBS website. The Sheraton Imperial has created a personalized hotel website for room reservations. Guests can access this site through June 27.


Questions regarding the conference may be directed to Alexis Schauss or Doris McCain with Financial and Business Services.

Superintendent Job Openings

Superintendent Vacancy Announced: Durham Public Schools


The Durham Public Schools 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 in Durham County. The application deadline is July 10.


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.

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