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  –  January 9, 2018

Upcoming Events


February 12 - 13, 2018

Charter Schools Advisory Board Meeting


February 28 - March 1, 2018

State Board of Education Meeting 

Action Items Due Next Week


February 12, 2018

BT Twitter Chat

February 12 - 16

Bus Driver Appreciation


February 15, 2018

Annual Registration of Legally Blind Students

Future Action Items  


February 22, 2018

Reading Camp Webinar

February 27 - 28, 2018

March 1 - 2, 2018

CPI Training Opportunity

March 5 - 8, 2018

EC Institute


March 9, 2018

SECU Scholarship Information Due to OCS


April 3, 2018

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

April 23, 2018

DLI Grant Due


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

NC Charter Schools Advisory Board to Meet 

The North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board will meet Feb. 12-13 in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh. 

The agendas are available on the State Board of Education’s website under the Meetings tab. The meeting will be audio streamed for those who cannot attend.

Questions regarding this meeting should be directed to NCDPI Communications at 919-807-3450.

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.

Charter Schools Transportation Grant Update


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. 


Inclement weather during January delayed the review and disbursement process. Currently, we are reviewing submitted information and hope to disburse reimbursements by mid-March. Also, the report due to OCS for any schools receiving funds should be submitted by June 30, 2018

We apologize for the delay and continue to work diligently to get funds to the qualifying schools. Thanks for your patience. 


Contact with questions or concerns. 



Attachments:      Charter Schools Transportation Grant Application

Bus Driver Appreciation Week


February 12 - 16, 2018 is Bus Driver Appreciation Week. Please send in pictures to OCS at to show how you celebrated. We will feature the pictures in a future newsletter. 


Attachment:     Feb 12-16 Is School Bus Driver Appreciation Week  

North Carolina Public Schools Logo

Charter School Flexibility Update



Charter school leaders and boards of directors are reminded that charter schools have flexibility in many areas. As you exercise your flexibility, please remember that before implementing some policies and changes to your school, you may need State Board of Education (SBE) approval before implementation. This includes (but is not limited to) changes to your teacher evaluation process,  education plans, weighted lotteries, articulation agreements and other areas that are outlined in your charter application, charter agreement and SBE policy. While there are charter specific policies, there are other SBE policies that may impact charter schools. OCS is here to guide you through that process and answer questions or concerns. 


Not following the appropriate approval process could result in your school being noncompliant. OCS will work with schools to rectify any noncompliance area currently experiencing for failure to follow the appropriate approval process. 


The amendment process is found on the OCS website by using the following link - Please contact OCS at with questions or concerns about the amendment process. 

NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Updates


Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (CPI) Train-the-Trainer Opportunity


Please see below important information on a CPI Train-the-Trainer Opportunity.


When:     February 27th, 28th and March 1st, 2nd


Location:     Herbin Metz Education Center - 400 Oferrell St. Greensboro, NC


Please contact Joe Simmons with questions about this opportunity at

Digital Learning

2018-19 Digital Learning Initiative (DLI) Grant RFPs Approved by State Board



NCDPI Digital Learning is pleased to announce the release of Request for Proposals (RFPs) for Digital Learning Initiative Grants for the 2018-19 school year, approved by the NC State Board of Education. These competitive grants are intended to support our NC districts and charters as they address challenges, harness opportunities, and leverage resources for digital-age, personalized teaching and learning. As specified in the Digital Learning Plan, this grant program is intended to support the development and dissemination of local innovative digital teaching and learning across the state.

During this round of DLI grants there are three RFP applications: Planning, Implementation, and Innovation Academy. Please refer to the RFP materials on our website ( for detailed information about each grant opportunity and submission guidelines. The deadline for all application submissions is April 23, 2018, at 5:00 P.M.

Also, be sure to tune in to our upcoming webinars where we will provide details on the application process for each of the grant types. The webinars will be recorded and available for review at the Digital Teaching and Learning website.

Webinars will allow for brief Q&A. In addition, questions regarding these grant opportunities may be submitted by April 9, 2017, through our website where we will post responses. Emma Braaten (, our Digital Learning Initiative Specialist, is the lead on this effort and will be hosting the webinars and keeping track of the Q&A’s.

We look forward to many of our NC districts and charters engaging in this competitive process as we continue to foster digital-age, personalized learning across our state. If you have questions, please contact our DLI Specialist Emma Braaten at

To learn more about the great work that is happening this current school year around the state related to the 2017-18 DLI Showcase Grants, check out this overview document -

Significant Cognitive Disability Foundations of Math

Please see the attached upcoming professional development opportunity.  Space is limited to the first 30 participants.  

If you have any questions, please contact Ginger Cash at / 919 807-4024.


Attachment:     Memo-SCD+Foundations+of+Math-Spring+2018.pdf


Beginning Teacher (BT) Twitter Chat



NCDPI is pleased to begin quarterly BT Twitter Chats. Please see the information below and contact Dr. Karol McNeil-Horton at with questions or concerns. 






Reading Camp:  Imagine, Discover, Empower

The K-3 Literacy Division invites you to join us on February 22, 2018 at 3:30 pm for a webinar that will provide answers and support for planning and creating Reading Camps across North Carolina.  Please join us as we imagine and discover ways to create a reading camp experience that empowers students as they deepen their literacy skills.  

Please register here to attend the webinar: Reading Camp: Imagine, Discover, Empower for February 22, 2018 at 3:30 pm


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

2017 NC Deaf-Blind Census

Please see the attached information and documents regarding the 2017 NC Deaf-Blind Census.  The deadline for submission is April 6, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Dottie Snyder at / 919 807-3987.




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Charter Schools in the News


Pine Lake Preparatory Goes Digital with Canvas

Pine Lake Preparatory, a charter school in Mooresville,  is committed to using Canvas for continued communication and digital instruction. With more than 1,850 students on a K-12 campus, finding the best tool for connecting our community is critical. Canvas allows us to come together as teachers, students, and parent observers to reach our academic goals.


All students currently use Canvas to communicate with teachers, receive and submit assignments, and work collaboratively in groups. This year, we have created new roles that allow student club pages to be designed and maintained by students themselves.


Younger students use Canvas Discussion Boards in Literacy Blocks. The teacher will record directions and each student responds individually. Not only do the students enjoy seeing each other, but the teacher also has artifacts to include in portfolios. Even kindergartners are using Canvas. They practice typing their name, email address, and physical address to their profile page, along with sharing their favorite selfie. Kindergartners can then use Canvas to record short video responses to questions and access appropriate digital content.


Parents are able to login and see multiple children’s grades, assignments, and upcoming events in one convenient location.


Administrators and support staff are developing and maintaining courses for school documents such as weekly announcements and meeting agendas that assist in organization and record keeping for professional development CEUs.

Union Academy Wins Record Number of State Awards for School Communications and Public Relations


Monroe, NC – Union Academy was the only individual school and the only charter school to win Blue Ribbon Awards for outstanding school communications and public relations. The Union Academy communications team (Director of Communications Cynthia Robbins Shah-Khan and Communications Assistant Taylor Covington) was among 38 school districts to receive its awards from the North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) during the Association’s annual Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony and brunch on Friday, Jan. 26 at the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro.

Union Academy won awards in the following categories:

Gold Awards:

Silver Award:

  • Publications – News from the Nest

Bronze Award:

A Blue Ribbon Award is the highest honor a school district can receive from the North Carolina

School Public Relations Association. The award recognizes excellence in school communications and public relations in eight categories: digital media engagement, electronic media, excellence in writing, image/graphic design, marketing, photography, publications (print and electronic), and special events and programs. Members of the Georgia School Public Relations Association judged the entries, scoring each based on content, quality, effectiveness, and overall impression.


NCSPRA is the premier organization for school communications and public relations professionals in North Carolina. For more information, visit the NCSPRA website,

Charter Schools: Fact vs. Fiction

Other News


Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) New Charter School Health Nurse


The newest member of the Charter School Health Community is Kristin Wike and will be serving as your Charter School Health Nurse Consultant, for the NC Division of Public Health. 


She is a nationally certified school nurse with experience as a lead school nurse directing services for 4500 students in Western NC. Over the past four years, Kristin has been a regional nurse consultant for school health providing technical assistance and guidance to school nurses and other school health professionals.  She served as the primary resource person for local health departments, hospitals, and school systems (public, private, charter and specialty schools) in the west region for the assessment of student health needs and for the development, implementation, and evaluation of school nursing services and student health services.  As staff in the School Health Unit, her responsibilities included 1) program assessment, planning, and development, 2) program implementation, monitoring and quality assurance, 3) clinical and program consultation, 4) coordination and collaboration, and 5) training and resource development.  The Charter School Health Nurse Consultant position continues as a member of the regional nurse consultant team. She developed strong leadership skills while serving eight years in the United States Marines Corps.  Kristin received her BSN and MSN in Nursing Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as well as achieved the Bronze Medal for Executive Leadership. 


In the coming weeks you will add your School Health Coordinator in the EDDIE database. North Carolina’s charter schools are required to comply with the Care of Students with Diabetes law (G.S. 115C-375.3.) and with the School Supply of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors law (G.S. 115-375.2A.), as well as charter specific state board policies regarding some student health services. Annually, charter schools report on compliance with these, providing information that identifies staff educational and support needs related to compliance and student safety. Kristin will provide support and assistance to ensure you meet these requirements. Her email address is