OCS Weekly Newsletter for May 1st, 2020

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  •  919.807.3491

Weekly Newsletter- May 1, 2020

Thank you for updating EPICENTER!!!

FYI: Our phone numbers are changing! NCDPI is updating its phone system, and assigning new phone numbers to staff members. We are in the transition phase now. So, it is best to email us with your requests. New phone numbers will be updated next week. Thank you for your patience.


Dear AP Colleagues,

Additional information is now available to help guide you and your students through the AP exam experience. If you have any questions about information below, please email Kathleen Koch, Senior Director of the NC AP Partnership.

New Resources

  • 2020 AP Testing Guide (.pdf/10.9 MB): The guide, designed for educators to walk their students through test day, provides information about logistics around exam day.
  • 2020 AP Exam Day Checklist (.pdf/526 KB): Teachers should have their students complete this checklist for each exam they take and keep it next to them while testing.
  • Explainer Videos: New videos are available to give students quick, easily accessible information about their test day experience, what they need to do to prepare, exam security, and more. Explore the playlist.

Other Reminders:


AP Exam Demo (available May 4): AP students should use the clickable exam demo to practice the different ways to submit their exam responses. The demo will help students confirm that their testing device will be able to access and run the online exam. If they can’t access the demo, the final slide of the Testing Guide can help them troubleshoot. The sample content in the demo will be the same for all users and isn't a practice exam. We’ll send educators and students an email to remind them when the demo is available. Please encourage your students to take this important preparation step.

Educator Webinars: Trevor Packer, the head of the AP Program, will walk participants through the 2020 AP Testing Guide. AP staff will answer questions during the presentation.

This series of webinars includes:

Online AP Classes and Review Sessions prep week: The week before exams, online AP classes will focus on the exam day experience and sample exam questions.


Student Outreach: If any of your students are having difficulty receiving College Board emails, walk them through the steps on the "Confirm your email address" page.


Information for AP Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams: These exams will be administered using a new dedicated app, the AP World Languages Exam App. Students taking these exams must use this app on smartphones or tablets. This free app will be available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store the week of May 11. We’ll email students and their teachers to let them know when the app is available to download. Visit our site for more details. If your students are unsure about accessing the app, or if they don’t have a device, they can fill out this survey (or you can complete it on their behalf) as soon as possible so we can help support them (applicable to U.S. and U.S. territories).


Information for AP Music Theory Exams: Before exam day, students will need to print or hand copy the 2020 Music Theory Answer Sheet and gain access to an audio recording app or software before exam day. Please see more information on the website.


Thank you so much for all you are doing to reach out to encourage and support your AP students during this unprecedented time. This example of grace and generosity is invaluable. Thank you again and again. Please contact me if you have questions or need support as well.


Take care and stay well,

Beth Cross,

NCDPI State Consultant,

Advanced Learning and Gifted Education



         Charter Leaders' Standing Thursday @ noon Zoom Meeting with Drs. Stegall & Emory

resumed on Thursday April 30; check your emails for the link. This meeting is for charter leaders only; select NCDPI division directors and regional case managers will be invited to join these calls.

            The 2020 New Charter School Leaders VIRTUAL Institute
will be held on Wednesday, June 10th from 8:00 - 4:00 .  Participants will have an opportunity to hear from experts from DPI, the Center for Safer Schools, and local charter schools on various topics. Some of the topics will include the Beginning Teacher Support Program, School Safety, EVAAS, EC Funding, and more!
School leaders and board members opening charter schools in 2020 are required to attend this Institute. New administrators and board members at existing charter schools may also attend. 
Registration is required and is now open at this link:  https://forms.gle/so2AhhntamrM54kk8 
Registration will close on Sunday, May 17, 2020.  
Please contact Dr. Kebbler Williams at kebbler.williams@dpi.nc.gov if you have any questions.
Kebbler M. Williams, Ed.D.
Education Planning and Development Consultant
NC Department of Public Instruction
Office of Charter Schools
6307 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-6307
Phone: 919-807-3920 

The Office of Charter Schools is delighted to share the charter school recipients of the 2020 SECU Foundation People Helping People Scholarship:


Kinsey Marie Arnold- Longleaf School of the Arts

Franklin Wyette Howey III- Union Academy

Jessica Marie Schuster- Raleigh Charter High School

We hope to share more about them with you soon.


The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year  timeline has changed due to these unprecedented times. Please find a link here to the new timeline. https://drive.google.com/file/d/19cGanTnK5KwiXlKe2BNp2mgtn7Eb5Xgr/view




Grading Policy Implementation Supports


A recorded webinar reviewing NC’s COVID-19 grading policies for grades K-12, as well as some initial FAQs, is available at:


PASSWORD: 3eZfmkx2

(We are exploring other file formats to make this easier to access.)           


The PDF of the webinar presentation is posted under Academics at: https://www.dpi.nc.gov/news/covid-19-response-resources


Homebase DTL Guides for PowerSchool data entry are posted here:


  • COVID-19 Grading for K-5 Quick Reference Guide
  • COVID-19 Grading for 6-8 Quick Reference Guide
  • COVID-19 Grading for 9-11 and Non-Graduating Seniors Quick Reference Guide
  • COVID-19 PowerSchool Grading At-a-Glance one-pager


By next Tuesday, you’ll receive an updated FAQ and Academic Program Updates, Spanish versions of the parent one-pagers and a presentation you can adapt for use locally with principals and teachers.






Sneha Shah-Coltrane

Director, Division of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education

NC Department of Public Instruction

Phone:  919-807-3849

Email:  sneha.shahcoltrane@dpi.nc.gov


Return to School Roadmap: Some Things to Consider



Charter Leaders, please note who your Charter Regional Support Team is for MTSS and all things IABS:


Whom should I contact?

Charter Regional Support

Karmen Mills, Sandhills and Southwest

Rhonda Harrell, Northeast, North Central and Southeast, Lead Charter School Consultant

Jennifer Phelps, Northwest, West, and Piedmont-Triad


What exactly is MTSS and what do I need to do in terms of data, systems, and practices within my school?  


NC MTSS Definition

NC MTSS is a multi-tiered framework which promotes school improvement through engaging, research-based academic and behavioral practices. NC MTSS employs a systems approach using data-driven problem-solving to maximize growth for all.



Every NC Pre K - 12 public education system implements and sustains all components of a multi-tiered system of support to ensure college, career and community readiness for all students.



NC DPI will prepare and support LEAs and charters to implement a multi-tiered system of support for total school improvement by providing professional development, coaching and technical assistance, research and evaluation, and communication and visibility that results in college, career and community readiness for all students. NC DPI believes that MTSS is the most effective and efficient approach to improving school outcomes and student performance thereby ensuring equitable access to a sound basic education.



·         Subscribe to Monthly Briefs

·         MTSS Implementation Guide

·         NC Star

·         Coordinator & District Teams

·         Family Resources



Data: Create and provide resources to ensure that every LEA/charter has access to an effective data system to make decisions about core, supplemental, and intensive supports.

Charter Schools Shine: See some highlights below.

So, when Alex Quigley isn't leading the Charter School Advisory Board, you might find him leading his school, Healthy Start Academy,

wishing his staff and students a happy birthday, leading his staff in a dance, ad libbing the news of the day, or leading his staff IN A DANCE!


Torchlight Academy Cooks and Delivers Over 700 Meals Per Day.


Franklin Academy Second Graders Go On a Virtual Trip to the Zoo.


Bonnie Cone Classical Academy Birthday Bubble Party


Socrates Academy's Virtual Science Fair:
All teachers at Socrates Academy have truly gone above and beyond to be creative during remote learning. They are striving for excellence and continuing to provide instruction through weekly synchronous sessions. Here's an example of the work our scholars were able to produce remotely withe the guidance of 5th Grade Science Teacher, Alyson VanAlphen: 

The Carolina Panthers Organization has several tools designed for teachers and parents.  Details of each virtual experience are listed below.  Please note the Sir Purr Zoom classroom visit request is designed for teachers to submit the online request form. We encourage teachers who participate with the Sir Purr Zoom classroom visit to post pictures of the experience on social media.  Because each district has different policies related to student photo releases, we recommend a personalized message from you to your teachers that includes a reminder about your district’s rules.  An example of a social media post from a Sir Purr Zoom classroom visit to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school is attached.   Have a great day! Best, Jessica

Teachers who would like to request a 10-minute Zoom visit by team mascot Sir Purr are encouraged to apply via the Virtual Classroom Appearances link directly below.  Class visits are limited, but a fun surprise for teachers/ students who would enjoy a brief high-energy "classroom visit" by Sir Purr!

Educators, if you want to add a little engagement to your virtual classroom, look no farther as Sir Purr wants to drop in on your K-4 classes for a little brain break with Play 60. Sir Purr and Coach Chandalae will join into your virtual classroom for a 10-minute visit to emphasize the importance of staying active and getting 60 minutes of physical activity each day. They will also engage your kids with some fun exercises for your kids to do with Sir Purr. 


To request a virtual visit please fill out the request form below. Sir Purr and Coach Chandalae will try to pop into as many classrooms as possible and will contact you if they are able to meet your requested time.


Keep Safe, Keep Active and Keep Pounding!


The Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleaders have choreographed a series of four dance lessons so students can learn a full routine - which they can practice, then post!  Great fun for aspiring dancers!




The popular read-along series that encourages the development of strong reading skills for K-3 students features five new "home edition" stories featuring Panthers TopCats cheerleaders, who away from the field, are also talented elementary school teachers!



Carolina Panthers 3rd and Goal Literacy Program

The Carolina Panthers “3rd & Goal Read Along” video series is a free resource for classroom teachers and parents.




Jessica B. Swencki | District & Regional Support-Sandhills Region

N.C. Department of Public Instruction-Sandhills RST

jessica.swencki@dpi.nc.gov | 910-524-7020 | @JessicaBSwencki


COVID 19 Federal Funding & Waivers


Remote Learning Resources from the NC DPI Digital Teaching & Learning Team

Coronavirus Impact Reporting – All Public School Units

In anticipation of requests from legislators, health organizations and others on the impact of the coronavirus, please collect data on the following:

  • School closures and number of days closed due to coronavirus
  • Lost wages in the event of school closure, by fund, differentiating hourly by salaried
  • Additional costs associated with School Nutrition services during school closure
  • Overtime paid due to coronavirus, if applicable
  • Staff absences due to coronavirus sickness (see next item)
  • Staff absences due to coronavirus exposure/closures.
  • Transportation costs associated with emergency management (recommend using the 4th digit of the purpose code)

Upcoming Events and Reminders!


May 15th deadline for the 2020 Governor's NCWorks Awards of Distinction


Save the Date!

Register here:

OCS 2020 Summer Huddle West Registration

OCS Huddle West 

July 28th, 2020

Brevard Academy

1110 Hendersonville Hwy, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

Charter School Leadership Institute 2020

October 22nd & 23rd

Triangle Math & Science Academy,

312 Gregson Dr. Cary, NC 27511

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



How to Stream Your Student Lottery(or Board meetings) via YouTube Live!

EC Grant Training: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/NCSBE/2020/04/29/file_attachments/1439082/Training%20Plans%20Update.pdf

NCDPI Remote Learning Resources Website (Free, Free, Free):

NCDPI’s Remote Learning Resources Website is continually updated with free or made-free-for-a-limited-time resources:

The link is https://sites.google.com/dpi.nc.gov/remote-learning-resources/home/instructional-resources?authuser=0


The resources are shared with educators in North Carolina to assist in finding effective instructional material. For delivery of content, explore the page on Learning Management Systems.


Performance Framework

We are extending the final deadline for submitting evidence that you met requirements to July 31st, 2020. Please continue following guidance provided through Epicenter.

Professional Learning & Renewals Newsletters

From NC DTL on PowerSchool for 2020 HS Seniors

The Home Base team would like to thank you for your patience as we worked to develop guidance for grading high school seniors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In consultation with multiple DPI divisions and a group of PowerSchool administrators in the field, the team has developed the COVID-19 Grading for Seniors Quick Reference Guide. Additionally, we have also developed a brief walkthrough video to help explain this process. This process has been designed with eyes toward both student equity and ease of entry for PowerSchool coordinators and administrators. Please be sure to review this documentation closely. If you have any questions or concerns about the process, utilize the form linked at the end of the quick reference guide or log a ticket with PowerSchool Support.

NC Charter Schools are innovating to support students and families. 

                        Please submit your stories through this survey!

An example from the field:

Asheville Charter School Addresses Student Mental Health in Face of Pandemic 

Perhaps the most widespread symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic is the least perceptible: loneliness. “Being home by myself all day has been hard,” says Azalea Forest, an eighth grader at Evergreen Community Charter School in Asheville. Like other schools in North Carolina, the K-8 public charter will not reopen for the 2019-2020 academic year, per a directive released by Gov. Cooper on Friday, April 24. This leaves Forest, whose mother is a public health nurse, to navigate middle school from behind a screen. “[My mother] is immunocompromised, and it's been scary thinking that she is at a high risk of getting the virus,” Forest says. “I'm trying to do healthy and empowering things every day, but it's hard.” Thankfully, Evergreen has instituted inventive social and emotional supports ranging from Friday dance parties to “Fix It Thursdays,” where students gather via Zoom to tinker with household items. Some supports, like LEGO building competitions or songwriting activities, are guised as opportunities to let loose and laugh. But as 5-8th Counselor Kriya Lendzion explains, these social visits also provide opportunities for teachers to monitor how students are coping with change. “We’re tracking student engagement and communicating as teams, making sure that someone is personally reaching out to kids and their parents so no one is slipping through the cracks and each family is staying tethered to the community,” says Lendzion. She also created the Virtual Zen Den—a digital repository of mindfulness practices, yoga how-to’s, and other calming tools. The site has gained national traction, and is being used across the country by children and adults alike. Opportunities for social and emotional learning are being extended to students in grades K-4 as well. Behavior Support Counselor Annie Mast is hosting weekly hangouts aimed at developing social skills like conflict resolution and positive communication, one-on-one counseling sessions, and office hours for families. She also created a K-4 counseling center, a social-emotional learning activity calendar, and a virtual regulation station where parents and students can explore supportive strategies. “One of my kiddos was feeling sad that her ballet recital got cancelled and that she wasn’t going to get to wear her costume,” says Mast. “So, during our session she put on her recital attire and I put on a costume too, and we had our very own ballet recital over Zoom.” The creative approach is felt and appreciated by students. “At first I didn't like waking up early for online classes, but it's been helpful. I feel so much better about myself when I'm still doing something with my life, even when this is really hard,” says Forest. “The support and love that I feel from Evergreen during this time is just proving why this school is so amazing.” Evergreen Community Charter School is a learning community committed to the pursuit of excellence in the holistic education of mind, body and spirit. We prepare students for successful lifelong learning, social responsibility, environmental stewardship and service. For more information on how to become involved with Evergreen Community Charter School, contact the school directly at (828) 298-2173 or info@evergreenccs.org. 

Did You Know?

Charter Schoolhouse
Online Resources from Finance & School Business Division
Topics with links to our most recent information:
Federal CARES Act
Funding and Allocations
PRC154 COVID-19 Supplemental Funds - State
Emergency Leave

DPI Logo

NCDPI Updates

EL Composite Scores Memo

MEDICAID Telehealth for LEA policy


Medicaid posted bulletin #34, the policy update allowing LEAs to participate in cost recovery for telehealth services. Please see the information in the link below.



Alternative Accountability Model Options 2020-21

EL Support Team Offerings During Remote Learning

ESY Services & Compensatory Education

Attendance Reporting in PowerSchool:

March 30 - May 15, 2020 

  • For days when remote learning is offered during this timeframe, these days are to be identified as in-session, regular school day
  • If there are times during this window in which your PSU is out of session and is not offering remote instruction, e.g., holiday, Spring Break, optional workdays, those days may be marked as such and labeled as out-of-session. 
  • For remote-learning days, denote the estimated number of instructional hours intended for your PSU in the Notes section of the Calendar Setup screen. It is a PSU decision about the amount of time to note. 
  • Student attendance from March 30 - May 15 will not be taken

NOTE:  These guidelines will help schools manage daily enrollment and capture what is happening in our schools during the COVID 19 pandemic. The SBE/NCDPI is working with the General Assembly to address the remaining calendar issues for the 2019-20 school year. While NCDPI has the authority to provide direction on how to capture the school day, we do not have the authority to determine the final impact on the school calendar.


Urgent High Priority Triangle

Hi EDDIE subscribed users,


PowerSchool turned off their feed of EDDIE data on Monday, April 20, 2020.  EDDIE is not down.  

The data in EDDIE must be current at all times, so please don't enter any changes in EDDIE for 2020-21 until after July 1, 2020. (The exception is new schools opening next year, those can be updated as needed.)


EDDIE will close at noon on June 30th to prepare for the rollover to 2020-21 and should re-open on July 1st.  A reminder notice and year end checklist will be sent out to all of the EDDIE subscribed users around the end of May or early June.

PowerSchool (PS) normally pulls data from EDDIE nightly.  PS will be turning off their data pull from EDDIE on April 20th.  This is done by PS to allow schools and districts to enter schedules and transitions for next year in PS.  


PS will determine when to turn their data pull back on after they complete their end of year process, usually sometime in July.  From July 1, 2020 until whenever PS turns their data pull back on, EDDIE must be updated with your 2020-21 changes, especially grade level changes that have been made in PS.  If EDDIE isn't updated before PS turns their data pull back on, the EDDIE data will overwrite PS and you will lose the schedules and transitions for those grades.  Contact your SIS or PS Coordinator for PS data pull dates and information.


Thank you, Nicola Lefler

EDDIE Administrator, NCDPI



May 15th Deadline Governor's NCWorks Awards of Distinction Nomination Forms Now Available

State Board Policy GRAD-004

A Special Announcement from Dr. Kebbler Williams: 

Friends and colleagues:  I am honored to announce that I have been named the Director of K-12 at The Hunt Institute.  My last day in OCS is Friday, May 29th. During my tenure in OCS, I have been a part of opening 82 charter schools across the state (with 10 more planned in 2020) and have provided support to many more over the years.  I am grateful for my time at DPI and for all that I have learned and all the wonderful people I have met and had an opportunity to grow with.  It has been a great privilege.  I leave behind an exceptional team that I know will continue to champion the mission and vision of the Office of Charter Schools.  May God's peace be with you until next we meet.

Leadership Opportunities:

CSUSA Human Resources Generalist

CSUSA School Enrollment Systems Specialist

The Institute for the Development of Young Leaders School Principal Job Opening 

Lake Lure Executive Director Job Posting

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Leadership Opportunity

Whom Should I Contact at the Office of Charter Schools? (Numbers are changing soon.)

OCS Main number: 919.807.3981 ocs@dpi.nc.gov

Dave Machado         919.807.3992

Director of the Office of Charter Schools


Georgia Maimone       919.807.3981

Program Administrative Assistance


Shaunda Cooper      919.807.3299

Consultant, Renewals & Performance Framework


Claire Porter              919.807.3980

Consultant, Professional Learning & Performance Framework


Ashley Baquero         919.807.3979

Consultant, Amendments & Compliance


Kebbler Williams      919.807.3920

Consultant, Ready to Open Process & Planning Year


Joseph Letterio       919.807.3870

Consultant, Epicenter Tech Support & Performance Framework


Darian Jones           919.807.3610

Consultant, Applications & Renewals


Jay Whalen              919.807.3925

Program Administrator, NC ACCESS Program


Barbara O'Neal        919.807.3307

Program Coordinator, NC ACCESS Program