June 5, 2017 Superintendents' Weekly Message

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Superintendents' Weekly Message

June 5, 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.

SBE Meeting

State Board of Education
Meeting Highlights


The State Board of Education last week approved revised math standards for grades K-8 and also cleared the way for two lab schools to open this fall, 14 new charter schools to open in fall 2018 and for high schools to offer advanced courses developed by Cambridge University.


The revisions to the K-8 Mathematics Standard Course of Study, which will be implemented beginning in the 2018-19 school year, were developed after extensive involvement of educators from North Carolina schools and districts and external review by educators from Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah. The Department of Public Instruction will follow an approach currently underway with revised standards for Math 1, 2 and 3 to support teachers in their use of the K-8 standards.


The board approved the revised standards by a narrow margin, with several members raising objections that the more rigorous standards could widen the achievement gap for minority students and leave teachers and parents unprepared to provide the kind of support needed to help students meet the revised standards.


In a related step, the board directed State Superintendent Mark Johnson to work with DPI staff to review the board’s strategic plan with respect to improving educational equity and closing the achievement gap. They asked that he report back to the board in October.


The advanced Cambridge International Examination courses, similar to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses in depth and breadth, will be offered in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. The courses will offer another opportunity for North Carolina students to take college-level coursework and earn post-secondary credit.


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

Revised K-8 Mathematics Standards Approved


The State Board of Education approved revised K-8 mathematics standards at its June 1 meeting. The new standards will go in effect for the first time in North Carolina classrooms in the 2018-19 school year. Student assessments given in 2018-19 will be aligned to the revised standards. During the 2017-18 school year, professional development and supporting materials will be developed and distributed statewide.


This action is the culmination of work underway since November 2016. Over those months, NCDPI staff members have been working on revisions to the K-8 mathematics standards beginning with a data review and followed by three drafts informed by teams of classroom teachers, public comments and surveys. More than 7,000 educators and 830 community members and parents provided survey feedback or participated in focus groups.


The third draft was presented to State Board members in May along with examples of the revisions that were made. In summary, 16 standards have major changes, 173 standards have a minor change, 19 standards stayed the same, 4 were removed, and 20 standards were integrated into others. Three new standards were added. Revisions were focused on content, vertical alignment, clarity and providing grade appropriate expectations.


The revised standards are available online for review.


Mathematics Education Survey


Now that the first year of implementation of revised high school mathematics standards is drawing to a close and K-8 revised mathematics standards were adopted by the State Board of Education last week, staff would like to request your assistance.


Knowing this is a very busy time for educators, we would not ask unless it was important. Revising and implementing standards is a collaborative process in North Carolina. Therefore, to guide our plans for Year 2 of high school and Year 1 of K-8, a survey will be sent out via email and GovDelivery.


As part of ongoing efforts to improve mathematics education in North Carolina, the survey will elicit responses from teachers, school-based coaches and administrators, district- and state-level personnel, and mathematics educators from universities and community colleges.


The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and includes questions about roles in mathematics education, professional networks, use of research, and conceptions of mathematics teaching.


The survey will remain open for a few months, but we appreciate your encouragement of educators taking it before leaving for the summer. It will help us inform resources that will be developed over the summer for Grades K-NC Math 3 as well as the upcoming 4th level mathematics review and revision process.


Please contact NCDPI Mathematics Section Chief, Dr. Jennifer Curtis with any questions.

NC Elementary Students Reading

K-3 Literacy Presentation Online


On Feb. 1, six K-4th grade teachers from across the state presented to the State Board of Education on "Teaching Young Children to Read." The teachers discussed and showed the progression of how reading develops over time from kindergarten to grade 4.


Short videos of their classrooms were shown along with brief presentations by each teacher. The entire video is available on NCDPI’s YouTube site.


Credit by Demonstrated Mastery
Refresher Webinar


A Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) refresher webinar will be held Tuesday, June 13, from 2 – 3:30 p.m.


The webinar is intended for those individuals directly involved with CDM implementation at either the school or district level. Staff will review the goals and key points to consider when implementing the CDM policy, share pertinent information from the CDM implementation guide, and share resources available within the CDM toolkit. This refresher is designed to support those individuals new to CDM implementation and those who may need support in developing effective CDM practices and policies at the school and/or district level.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have questions or comments, please contact Sneha Shah-Coltrane, director of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education.

Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children
Schedules Meeting


The Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children (CESEC) will meet June 13-14 in the Education Building, Raleigh.


The June 13 meeting will be held in Room 504 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This will be a training session for Council members regarding their roles and responsibilities.


The June 14 meeting will be held in the 7th Floor Board Room from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (this may be an abbreviated meeting). Agenda items include Council training debriefing, feedback on Significant Disproportionality and Committee (Reports & Data, Unmet Needs, Policies & Procedures, Executive Committee) reports. The June 14 meeting will be audio streamed for those who cannot attend.


The purpose of the CESEC – as established in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) federal regulations in §§ 300.167-300.169 and the North Carolina General Statutes in §115C-121 – is to advise the State Board of Education with respect to:

*  the unmet needs of children with special needs and in developing and implementing of policies related to the coordination of services for disabled students;

*  developing evaluations and reporting on data; and

*  developing corrective action plans to address findings in federal monitoring comments.

Home Base Opt-in Update; Deadline Approaching


More than 86 percent of the LEAs (see map below) have made their decision to opt-in to the Home Base suite of tools for the 2017-18 School Year. To ensure access to Schoolnet and local professional development components in Truenorthlogic by the start of the school year, a response must be submitted by the June 16 deadline. For more information about Home Base Opt-in, please click here.


If you have any questions please contact Project Coordinator Jamie Woodlief, or 919.807.3745. You also can access our FAQs for answers to the most common questions.

Home Base Opt-In Map

Digital Learning Competencies

Digital Learning Competencies for Teachers and Administrators


On June 1, the Digital Learning Competencies for Teachers and Administrators were approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) as part of licensure renewal requirements per G.S.115C-296(b)(1)c. This policy for Licensure Renewal (LICN-005) includes the requirement of two Digital Learning Competency CEUs, and will go into effect for teachers and administrators with licenses expiring on or after June 30, 2019.


Please see the presentation shared with the SBE in May for more information. Note the 5th slide for licensure policy changes.


We appreciate the feedback from all stakeholders in guiding this work to best meet the needs of North Carolina educators. The Digital Teaching and Learning Division looks forward to continuing to engage practitioners in supporting the implementation of these competencies.


To kick off the summer, staff are hosting regionally-based initiatives to support the implementation of the digital learning competencies. Click here for summer professional learning opportunities for educators by educators on the NC Digital Learning Competencies for Teachers.

PowerSchool logo

PowerTeacher Pro Resources


Spring training for PowerTeacher Pro (Gradebook) is finished. Another round of training sessions is being planned for July and we will have those dates out soon. As we get closer to the implementation of PowerTeacher Pro, we are sharing resources that you may find helpful.


Keys to a successful PowerTeacher Pro Rollout will help in ensuring your rollout is successful and your teachers are on board and happy. Another resource is the Using the PowerTeacher Pro Quick Reference Card. There are many other resources available in PowerSource.


We also have shared that Canvas has implemented a new solution for provisioning/rostering with their SIS integration platform. This new solution, specifically leveraging SIF 2.0 technology, transfers your PowerSchool data into Canvas with bulk uploads and/or near real-time events.


For more details, please see Canvas & PowerTeacher Pro - What are the plans in North Carolina for Canvas, PowerSchool, and PowerTeacher Pro? Coming Soon: self-paced PowerTeacher Pro course in Canvas.


The map below shows early implementers (cohort I) in green, and full implementation for the remaining districts will occur in Summer 2018. Charter School early implementers can be seen here.

PowerTeacher Implementers Map

If you have any questions regarding PowerTeacher Pro and the rollout, please contact Hunter Huffman, Special Projects Manager Hunter Huffman or 919.807.3633.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Support:
Support Systems


Often when people think of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), they think about a triangle. Although MTSS is about the layering of supports it also is about the systems that are in place to ensure those supports get to the stakeholders who need it for success.


This system isn’t just about the leaders in the districts and schools, it’s about the shared responsibility in those districts and schools as well. The NCDPI vision is that leadership in both district and school teams will build an effective and efficient school system by:

*  ensuring a culture of empowerment, focusing on those things they have control over;

*  communicating a clear vision of implementation to all stakeholders;

*  creating effective teams that use both student and staff data to problem solve; and 

*  providing ongoing staff support around academics, behavior and social emotional instruction.


District teams have access to targeted support to create this system that supports both staff and students through the MTSS professional development and coaching plan. The MTSS modules were developed to provide content, tools and a platform to reflect on the effectiveness of your current system in supporting all students.


Staff appreciate the vital role you play as a member of the MTSS leadership team and for supporting your district team in implementation. For more information on the professional development plan, visit the LiveBinder. You also may contact Amy Jablonski, director of Integrated Academic and Behavior Support.

NC Virtual Public Schools Logo

NCVPS Update


North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) staff would like to thank all local districts and schools for a fantastic school year. We had record enrollment again, and North Carolina students earned more online credits than ever before. We are looking forward to a repeat performance in 2017-18.


Several new initiatives are available or soon will be that will positively impact the way staff serve students, schools and districts:

*  Transition to Adobe Connect for our live classrooms. Students will experience Adobe Connect this summer with us.

*  Statewide rollout of our Math 1 Intervention program in the fall of 2017. See more details of this exciting new program here.


NCVPS staff forward to working with you in the new school year!


NCETA Seeking Teacher Nominations


The North Carolina English Teachers Association (NCETA) is requesting nominations for the annual Outstanding Literacy Teacher and Outstanding English Teacher Awards.


These awards seek to recognize excellence in literacy and English language arts instruction. The deadline to submit nominations is June 15. Visit the NCETA's website for more information.

Don't Miss This

Latest Messages Online


June 1, 2017  Principals’ Biweekly Message


June 1, 2017  Home Base Biweekly Update


June 2, 2017  Finance Officers’ Newsletter