Charter Schools Weekly Newsletter (Includes Action Items)

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Office of Charter Schools

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

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER  –  December 21, 2017


Happy Holidays!

Upcoming Events


January 3 - 4, 2018

State Board of Education Meeting 


January 8 - 9, 2018

Charter Schools Advisory Board Meeting

Action Items Due 


December 2017 December Headcount Schedule


Future Action Items  


December 31, 2017

Charter Schools Transportation Grant Application


January 26, 2018

CSD Fresh Take Conference - Fresh Take website.


February 5, 2018

EC Directors' Webinar - 10:00 - 11:00 am


March 9, 2018

SECU Scholarship Information Due to OCS


April 3, 2018

EC Directors' Webinar - 10:00 - 11:00 am


June 5, 2018

EC Directors' Webinar - 10:00 - 11:00 am


August 7, 2018

EC Directors' Webinar - 10:00 - 11:00 am


October 2, 2018

EC Directors' Webinar - 10:00 - 11:00 am


December 4, 2018

EC Directors' Webinar - 10:00 - 11:00 am

NCDPI Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates


From the Desk of Mr. Dave Machado, Director, Office of Charter Schools


In 1996, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Charter School Act, authorizing the establishment of a system of charter schools to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and the community to create and sustain schools that operate independently of existing schools. Charter schools were specifically established to accomplish one or more of the following:


(1) Improve student learning;

(2) Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for students who are identified as at risk of academic failure or academically gifted;

(3) Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods;

(4) Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunities to be responsible for the learning program at the school site;

(5) Provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system; and

(6) Hold the schools established under this Article accountable for meeting measurable student achievement results, and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.


Twenty years later, how are we doing? My answer is…. Pretty darn good! In my travels visiting schools across the state I have seen examples of the aforementioned reasons for the existence of charter schools. 


Sometimes the most innovative practices are common sense things schools do to reach all students, build a strong culture of learning, and meet the needs of your communities. While we should reflect the diversity of the communities we are a part of, we should not just be another school in our community. We must constantly meet academic expectations, try new and innovative practices and be willing to share successes with the charter school community and our traditional public school counterparts. We still have room to improve; and I do not think anyone can deny that school choice in general and charter schools in particular have had a positive impact on the education of North Carolina students. 

Thank you for all your hard work and enjoy your holiday break.

Buses and Buses

Charter Schools Transportation Grant Opportunity - Final Reminder


2.5 million dollars was provided to the NC Department of Public Instruction to establish a Charter School Transportation Grant Program for the 2017-18 school year.



The purpose of the Charter School Transportation Grant pilot program is to reimburse a charter school that has a student enrollment of at least fifty percent (50%) of its students residing in households with an income level not in excess of the amount required for a student to qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program. 



The Letter of Intent was the first step in the established process and was due September 1, 2017. Attached is the Letter of Intent for any school who did not complete initially and the Grant Application which is due December 31, 2017.  



Contact with questions or concerns. 






2017-18 Transportation Grant Letter of Intent



Charter Schools Transportation Grant Application


Community School of Davidson to Host its Fresh Take Conference - January 26 - Reminder



January 26, 2018 is this year’s Fresh Take: Strategies for Student Success conference in Davidson, NC. We are excited to present our 6th conference for teacher by teachers.  Each session, as you will see on the list below, honors and encourages those in the honored profession of education.


The keynote address will be presented by Dr. Lacretia Berry will address the fact that if we want multi-ethnic communities where bias is not attached to skin tone and race does not matter, we must get good at educating and engaging our children and students. She will also speak about educator’s responsibly to normalize conscious conversations about skin tone and race, and how to empower students to be competent, comfortable, and courageous as they navigate our hyper-racialized society and seek ways to bring healing and change.


Information about Fresh Take and a link to register to attend the conference can be found on the Fresh Take website.

Early bird rate is still available until December 15: individual registration is $75 or $325 for a group of five attendees ($65pp). Registration includes breakfast, lunch, a swag bag, t-shirt, and snack. CPU certificates will be available at the end of the conference.

Join us to celebrate the profession of education and learn from one another.


Fresh Take website:


State Employees Credit Union Foundation (SECU) High School Scholarship Opportunity - Reminder


Since the SECU Foundation was established in August 2004, it has awarded annual $10,000 “People Helping People” four-year scholarships – increasing from two to three in 2014 – to graduating seniors attending North Carolina Charter Schools. These scholarships will be awarded to students attending one of the 16 constituent campuses of the University of North Carolina. These funds are made possible through the contributions to the Foundation by members of State Employees' Credit Union.


Below are the steps for applying for this scholarship opportunity:

 - Review the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA and share scholarship information with eligible students and their parents. New for 2018: The SECU People Helping People Scholarship is only available to graduating public high school seniors who are either members of SECU or the child of a parent/guardian who is a member of SECU.

 - Develop a school-level scholarship selection committee comprised of three or more members who will make the final decision on the school-level nominee. The scholarship selection committee must also identify an alternate (runner up) for each school-level nominee in the event the named nominee becomes ineligible (i.e., receives a full scholarship, declines the scholarship, chooses to attend a private or out of state university, etc.).

 - Submit the following information for the school-level nominee:

  • Completed Student Application and Essay. Note: This document must be sent as a Word Document only. The document is enabled to allow SECU Foundation to import student data into our database directly. Please do not send this document as a PDF or Google Doc.
  • Copy of University Acceptance Letter
  • Photo of Nominee (head shot only)
  • A Brief Bio Written by Nominee with Accomplishments and Awards Noted. A guide for writing them bio is provided HERE.
  • Written Scholarship Selection Committee Statement (signed by all committee members verifying the selection of the nominee). In this letter, include the name of the selected school-level alternate nominee.
  • Signed Consent Form. Each recipient of the scholarship and their parent/guardian must sign the Consent Form to release their names and images for press releases to the local news media as well as within State Employee’s Credit Union and the SECU Foundation. In addition, the nominee and their parents are asked to complete all the information on the Consent Form which will be used to verify their eligibility as an SECU member.
  • Scholarship recipient information from each school must be received by the NCDPI Office of Charter Schools by 5:00 pm EST on March 9, 2018. Application information must be sent via email to Dr. Deanna Townsend-Smith at should only submit application information for the school-level nominee. Application information should be collected for the alternate nominee, but the information should not be submitted until requested.



 - Schools should notify the Office of Charter Schools if the school-level nominee or alternate are no longer eligible for the scholarship.


The Office of Charter Schools appreciates the dedication and hard work by the members of each school’s Scholarship Selection Committee. Please contact Dr. Deanna Townsend-Smith @ if you have any questions or concerns about the scholarship opportunity.



SECU Foundation also provides each North Carolina Community College two (2) $5,000 scholarships. Recipients are selected by the Scholarship Selection Committee at the community college. If you have a student who will be attending a community college and exemplifies the membership philosophy of credit unions, “People Helping People”, please direct them to the Financial Aid office at the community college.

Training Opportunity


Board members from charter schools that are opening in 2018 are required to attend 5 face-to-face Planning Year Sessions from September to January.  The school leader and some of the board members are also required to attend the New Charter School Leaders Institute in June.  


As a customer service, the Office of Charter Schools continues to open up these sessions to all charter schools.  If you have a new school leader and/or a new board member interested in attending any of the sessions, he or she must register to attend.  Please note the schedule below:


Registration is now open for the January session.  Registration ends on Sunday, January 21st.  Please use this link to register.

For questions, please contact Dr. Kebbler Williams at



2018-19 Charter School Teacher of the Year Announcement


OCS along with the Educator Effectiveness Division is pleased to announce the 2018-19 charter school Teacher of the Year (TOY), Ms.  Courtney Samuelson from The Capital Encore Academy. Ms. Lisa Godwin (NC Teacher of the Year), Capital Encore staff and the OCS participated in the formal charter school TOY presentation on December 20, 2017.  Ms. Samuelson will now move forward to participate for consideration as the NC Teacher of the Year. 

Congratulations to Ms. Samuelson and to The Capital Encore Academy!! 

NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Updates 

Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf Advisory Council to Meet

The Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf Advisory Council will hold its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10, from 2-5 p.m., in the Massey Building, Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf Campus, 1311 Highway 301 South, Wilson.


A tentative agenda for this meeting is attached.


American Sign Language and voice interpreters will be provided at the meeting. Prior notice of other languages requested will be required to make suitable arrangements.


Questions regarding the meeting may be directed Eartha Butler.

Attachment:     011018+ENCSD+Quarterly+Agenda.docx

NCDPI Math Social Media Logo

K-8 Mathematics Revised Standards Regional Meetings


Winter/Spring, 2018


This session, designed for District Level Curriculum Leaders or designees, will focus on supports and information for the implementation of the Revised North Carolina K-8 Mathematics Standards to be taught and assessed beginning in the 2018-19 academic school year. The session will include an overview of the substantive changes to the standards, a sampling of the resources that will be available to support implementation, and a tentative timeline of the resource roll-out. The session will also serve as an introduction to the follow-up workshop in late spring/early summer that will be designed specifically for teacher leaders that will be heavily involved in implementation within their districts. Therefore, it is highly encouraged that districts thoughtfully choose two individuals that can contribute to the planning and roll-out in their districts. 


Session Logistics:

Audience: District Level Curriculum Leaders or designee (please read session description above)

Times: Registration beginning at 8:30 am; Session from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lunch: On your own from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm


Please use the following links to register EXACTLY two individuals for your LEA based on your assigned educational district. Please register participants at the same time so that we have an accurate account for who is coming. Additionally, we ask that you please refrain from sending the links to individuals to register themselves.


District 1 – February 20, 2018 – Plymouth, NC                      

District 2 – February 22, 2018 – Kinston, NC                         

District 3 – March 7, 2018 – Henderson, NC                          

District 4 – March 5, 2018 – Hamlet, NC                                

District 5 – March 2, 2018 – Winston-Salem, NC                   

District 6 – February 26, 2018 – Charlotte, NC                      

District 7 – March 21, 2018 – Wilkesboro, NC                       

District 8 – March 22, 2018 – Asheville, NC                           

Public Charter Schools – March 16, 2018 – Raleigh, NC       Register Here*


The training is free; however, schools/systems are responsible for all other costs relative to travel and lodging; to include payment of substitutes for classroom teachers.

Testing and Accountability Updates


Please see the attached memo linked below from Dr. Stacey Wilson-Norman and Dr. Tammy Howard providing information on ESSA-related changes and general accountability changes for the 2017–18 school year.



Attachment:     Testing_Accountability+Updates_SWN_TH_121817.pdf


Correcting Invalid Account Codes (Charter Schools Only):

As NCDPI prepares for School Business Modernization, we anticipate implementing a change to the Uniform Education Reporting System (UERS) process for Charter Schools.

The new process involves NCDPI dropping all invalid account codes prior to posting the Monthly Financial Report (MFR) totals. When a Charter corrects the expenditure account code on their General Ledger to a valid account code, the MFR file will reflect the change the following month. The corrected account code will then post to Management Sciences America (MSA).

As part of the monthly data file process, NCDPI currently includes a list of the invalid codes in the Monitoring Letter. Please note when the new process is implemented the zero-out process and per pupil process will not recognize any expenditure posted to an invalid account code. You must use valid account codes to report your expenditures.

Prior to the implementation of this process, Charter Schools are required to correct all invalid account codes. NCDPI anticipates implementing the new MFR processing in the 2018 calendar year.

Please contact Roxane Bernard at should you have any questions about the process of clearing the invalid account codes.

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