October 2019 From the Board Room

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

From the Board Room: Activities of the NC Board of Education




The State Board of Education is comprised of the State Treasurer, the Lieutenant Governor and 11 citizens appointed by the Governor. This newsletter highlights the Board’s activities on behalf of the 1.5 million public school students in our state and the more than 100,000 educators who provide services to children. You may view all State Board of Education member and advisor information online. To access current and archived versions of From the Boardroom, visit the State Board of Education’s website.



FAST NC Hurricane Recovery Fund Expanded to Include Dorian Relief


The Florence Aid to Students and Teachers of North Carolina (FAST NC) effort launched last year under the State Board of Education’s oversight has been expanded now to also include recovery from Hurricane Dorian, which brought severe flooding to Ocracoke Island last month.


Stephen Basnight, superintendent of schools in Hyde County, where Ocracoke is located, briefed board members on the extensive damage caused by Dorian’s floodwaters and efforts by the school system and community to find temporary classroom space for students who attend Ocracoke School.


The board also heard from former state superintendents June Atkinson and Mike Ward and former State Board of Education Chairman Phil Kirk about FAST NC efforts that raised approximately $1 million in contributions and allocated nearly as much to assist school districts affected by Hurricane Florence.

paemst awards

Board Meets Finalists for Presidential Awards in Math and Science Teaching


Six teachers from across North Carolina were announced to the board as 2019 finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which are the highest honors bestowed by the federal government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. The President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.


Awards are given to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group. The award recognizes teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Since the program's inception, more than 4,800 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.


This year’s finalists for excellence in mathematics are:

  • Tyler Erb - Community House Middle School  (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)
  • Cheryl Gann - North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
  • Adria Hardy - Brevard Senior High School (Transylvania County Schools)

The finalists in science are:

  • Jill Francis - CHASE High School (Rutherford County Schools)
  • Robert Gotwals - North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
  • Danielle McCaslin - Mills Park Middle School (Wake County Public School System)

Two New Members Join the State Board of Education


The General Assembly this month confirmed two new members of the State Board of Education and another member who had been appointed previously to fill an unexpired term.


Joining the board are:


Donna Tipton-Rogers

Donna A. Tipton-Rogers of Brasstown as an 8th education district representative. Tipton-Rogers is the President and CEO of Tri-County Community College. She serves as Vice-Chair on the Legislative Committee for the NC Community College System Presidents Association and as Co-Chair of the North Carolina Task Force on Rural Health.

J. Wendell Hall of Ahoskie as a member at-large. Hall serves on the Hertford County School Board. Hall served as the Interim Superintendent for Northampton County Schools, Warren County Schools and Weldon City Schools. He also served as President of the NC School Boards and Association and the NC Association of School Administrators.

Wendell Hall

Board Updated on ACCESS Charter Grant Program


The State Board of Education learned this month that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Office of Charter Schools an additional $10 million to support a statewide initiative to help meet the needs of educationally disadvantaged students. North Carolina was awarded a $26.6 million federal grant last year under the Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter Schools Program, which is aimed at expanding opportunities for all students – particularly educationally disadvantaged students – to attend high-quality charter schools and as well as increasing the number of high-quality charter schools across the state.


The additional funding will help expand the state’s Advancing Charter Collaboration and Excellence for Student Success, or ACCESS, program. Under the five-year program, the Department of Public Instruction will award subgrants to high-quality charter schools seeking to serve more educationally disadvantaged students and to provide professional development for charter school leaders.


The total funding, including the additional award, in North Carolina will be used to:

  • Award 60 competitive subgrants to new and existing charter schools to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students attending high-quality charter schools and expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to educationally disadvantaged students.
  • Develop a cohort of 160 charter school leaders who can develop and demonstrate best practices in serving educationally disadvantaged students.
  • Broadly disseminate best practices in serving educationally disadvantaged students and foster collaboration in the charter school community and between charter schools and traditional public schools.

The funds are intended for new and existing charter schools to better meet the needs of traditionally underserved students – those who are economically disadvantaged, homeless, non-native English speakers, students with disabilities, immigrant students, migrant students or are or unaccompanied youth. The Office of Charter Schools awarded nine schools earlier this year with five-year subgrants ranging from $250,000 to $600,000.


The State Board of Education and Charter Schools Advisory Board will approve all eligibility criteria and granting of awards. The funding also will support the yearlong ACCESS Fellowship, an immersive professional development experience for charter school leaders intended to provide support and technical assistance to effectively develop, expand, and replicate schools. The goal of the effort is that by the conclusion of the five-year ACCESS initiative, the program will have created a community of 160 charter school leaders who have developed and demonstrated best practices in serving educationally disadvantaged students.


The application for the next cycle of subgrant awards will be posted Nov. 15. More information is available on the Office of Charter Schools website.

NC State Board of Education Seal

Board Announces Fall 2019 Planning and Work Session


The State Board of Education began making substantial changes last fall to its strategic plan. In August of this year, the board approved a new strategic plan and adopted guiding principles of equity and whole child as the framework for the plan. Per G.S. 115C-12(9): in making substantial policy changes in administration, curriculum, or programs, the board should conduct hearings throughout the regions of the state, whenever feasible, in order that the public may be heard regarding these matters. Additionally, SBOP-006: SBE Rules of Procedure, states that “within a four-year cycle, the Board shall hold a meeting in each of the eight education districts.”


To comply with statute and SBE policy, the board tries to hold one meeting offsite each year. This year's offsite meeting will be held in the Piedmont-Triad region. The strategic plan sets the direction for education in our state, and the November planning and work session allows the board to hear from stakeholders from the community and across the state to reach the desired outcomes outlined in the strategic plan.


Board Chairman Eric Davis reminded all members that the November meeting includes a planning and work session. The dates are Nov. 5 and 6, and the board’s regular monthly meeting will be held Nov. 7. The planning and work session, along with the one-day meeting, will be hosted by our partners at NC A&T University in Greensboro. The board’s Strategic Planning Committee has put together an agenda with a “call to action” to ensure that the board begins to see progress toward its goals and objectives.