Superintendents' Weekly Message: Jan. 15

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Superintendents' Weekly Message

Jan. 15, 2019


Letters of Recognition from the State Superintendent

Do you know of a student or faculty or staff member who has achieved something extraordinary? State Superintendent Mark Johnson would like to recognize individuals and groups who have earned such accomplishments with a letter applauding their achievement. Examples of excellence include special service to one’s community, receiving recognition or awards, excellence in competition, athletics, or academia, and more.


If you wish to request a letter of recognition from Superintendent Johnson, go to and provide the information requested. We look forward to hearing about your good news.


PowerTeacher Pro Update

As a follow-up to last week's communication concerning grade calculations, it has been determined that 168 districts/charter schools were potentially affected. Students within these districts whose calculated term grades end in .3, .4 or .5 may be affected. DPI is currently sending lists to each of these districts and will continue to do so throughout the day.


If you have not received your list, feel free to contact Justin Conner,

Project SERV grant requests

This is a reminder to LEAs in eligible counties affected by Hurricane Florence who are submitting requests for the Project SERV grant funds that the deadline to submit your information is January 25, 2019. Those eligible should have received information regarding submitting requests before and after the holiday break. If you have questions, please contact Cynthia Floyd at 

Partial Federal Shutdown Information

School Nutrition operations will not be affected by a potential government shut down. These programs are entitlements, therefore federal funds have already been placed in a reserve account for their continuation. The department can access those funds electronically to support operations through the current operating year. It will be business as usual for School Nutrition Programs.


2019 CCES Conference - Registration now open

The Connecting Communities of Education Stakeholders conference will be held March 18-21. The conference, themed Innovative Pathways to Personalized Learning, merges the best of Home Base Symposium and Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA).


Early Bird Registration is now open. Rates will increase on Feb. 15. All teachers, student services personnel, principals, superintendents, parents, school administrators, community and business representatives are invited. The new registration options provide additional flexibility for schools and districts. Visit the Participant Registration webpage for more information.


The conference will be located at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel & Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC (3121 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro). Click here for more information.

The Regional Education Facilitators (REF) Wikispace has moved

As of Jan. 1, questions about Beginning Teachers Support Programs, Teacher/Principal of the Year Recognition Programs, TWC Survey, or upcoming training activities, and all materials pertaining to them, can be found at Simply click the link, find your region, and stay informed.


Updated Assessment Items in Schoolnet

DPI is excited to announce that over 30,000 assessment items in Schoolnet have been updated to reflect the recent changes in K-12 ELA and Math standards content. These NCDPI authored items are divided into two item banks - NCDPI_Classroom and NCDPI_Benchmark. Educators can use the advanced search feature in Schoolnet to search by publisher and enter the name of the item bank. The NCDPI_Benchmark item bank is restricted from classroom teachers unless they have been granted additional permissions in Schoolnet.


You can view a detailed standards coverage map with the updated items for NCDPI_Benchmark and NCDPI_Classroom item banks. If you notice any issues with the alignment of these items, please have your LEA Schoolnet lead submit a Home Base Support ticket with the item ID and a short justification.


Thank you for sharing this valuable information with your teachers and staff.


Cursive and multiplication instruction survey

The Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction Division will be sending a survey to each LEA and charter school on Jan. 16 to gather information regarding cursive and multiplication instruction, per § 115C-81. To attend a brief, informative webinar explaining the legislation and survey, join the Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction team at DPI on Jan. 16 from 9-10 a.m.


To register, visit:

Statewide chief academic officer and curriculum email list updates

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction remains committed to providing communication to Chief Academic Officers and Curriculum Leaders throughout the state. The Department is taking a collaborative approach across all academic areas to ensure that you receive information and updates, as well as opportunities for professional learning and collaboration, throughout the year.


One of the ways DPI communicates is through the C and I Leaders Update, which is sent to CAOs and C and I Leaders across North Carolina twice per month. Please be sure that your Chief Academic Officer or Central Office Curriculum Leaders are subscribed to receive this resource by contacting with the subject line "C and I Leaders - Subscribe."


Thank you for all that you do to support the education of NC’s over 1.5 million school children!


2019-20 Kenan Fellowship application deadline approaching

Applications for 2019-20 Kenan fellowships will be accepted through Jan. 21, 2019. These fellowships address the critical need to develop and empower high-quality teachers who can drive innovations that make learning more authentic and engaging for students.


The fellowship begins with a summer internship in a higher education laboratory or local industry setting and is supported by 80 hours of professional development that focuses on instructional leadership, elevating teacher voice, strengthening ties between the school and the local community, peer coaching and mentoring, and growing professional learning networks that extend beyond the school and local district.


Each Fellow is awarded at least a $5,000 stipend and must develop and implement relevant educational materials and/or programs based on their internship experience. Fellows remain in the classroom while completing the year-long fellowship.


Applicants must submit an essay detailing their desire to have influence beyond the classroom and two letters of recommendation. Final candidates are invited for an in-person interview to be conducted in their local area. Fellowships are based on funding and awarded each spring.


Click here to read more. 


Principal Fellows Program for future school leaders

The Principal Fellows Program (PFP) is a competitive, merit-based scholarship loan program for those who desire to become a school leader in a North Carolina public school. Admitted Fellows have the opportunity to earn a Master of School Administration (MSA) degree over the course of two years. Fellows engage in full-time academic study during their first year and a one-year, full-time internship during their second year. They also participate in enrichment opportunities to better prepare them to become an Assistant Principal or Principal. Eleven universities across North Carolina participate in the NC Principal Fellows Program.


Applicants must complete the application process at the university or universities of their choice, including: Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, and Western Carolina University.


Click here to view the application. In addition to the online application, Fellows must submit a statement of purpose, a district notification form, three references, their resume, transcripts, and a $45 application fee. The program is currently accepting applications. The application deadline has been extended to Feb. 1, 2019. Please encourage teachers in your districts to apply to become a NC Principal Fellow and future school leader.