OCS Weekly Newsletter for July 24, 2020

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6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- July 24, 2020


“The Office of Charter Schools is extremely proud to announce that Ms. Shaunda Cooper, OCS Educational Consultant, successfully defended her dissertation this week and is the proud recipient of an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Gardner-Webb University! Way to go, Dr. Cooper!”

Thank you for updating Epicenter!


OCS Guidance for Charter Schools SB681/Session Law 2020-78 Enrollment Priorities, Assessments Memo, and CARES Act additional funds available 7/17/2020 


FYI: Please email us your questions!


We are working remotely, and cannot always access our new phone system voicemail.



Please note the following updates to the Lighting Our Way Forward-Guidebook.  The Summary of Document Revisions is located on pages 3-4 of the Guidebook for your continued reference. 




Handling Suspected, Presumptive or Confirmed Cases 

Added note about NCDHHS guide:

Reference Guide for Suspected, Presumptive, or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 (K-12)

(Note:  This is as of July 14.  NCDPI is anticipating an updated document with the new guidance for fever-free timeline from NCDHHS.)  Pg.29  THIS IS NOW UPDATED SO NOTE HAS BEEN REMOVED.


Handling Suspected or Presumptive Cases 

Added new tool for LEA use

See this optional Tracking Template as a possible tool to use. Pg. 30


Water and Ventilation Systems

Align with new NCDHHS guidance

Discontinue use of drinking directly from water fountains, post signs requesting water fountains be used for bottle filling stations only. Pg. 47



NCDHHS recommendation added that was overlooked.  Pg. 60


 Key updates to the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12):

  • Plan B social distancing and density requirements now offer more flexibility for districts to limit the number of people inside school buildings to the extent needed to meet 6 feet social distancing requirements
  • Cloth face coverings are required for all students from Kindergarten through 12th Grade in school and on buses, and for all teachers, school staff, and adult visitors
  • How teachers and staff should interact with each other in the safest ways possible
  • Recommendations provided for physical education, music, and band
  • Remote learning options must be provided for students who are at high-risk for severe disease due to COVID-19, or whose family members are at high-risk



Click here to see the updated StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12)


Click here to view all public health guidance documents for K – 12 schools 


Download the social media toolkit (English | Spanish) including images and language for social media posts. Help share this important information with students and their families across North Carolina!


Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document (English | Spanish) for additional support.

"Lighting the Way Forward" FAQs



State Legislative Update:




Education Leaders,

We are pleased to share the following information from the UNC System Office with our NC public schools to support our students and their transition to post-secondary education. This is great news for our upcoming graduates during this time of COVID-19.

UNC Board of Governors – Testing Waiver for Admissions

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on testing availability and the likelihood of additional cancellations, the UNC Board of Governors waived the standardized test requirement for first-year students applying for admission in Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021.

Students have the option to submit test scores to the 16 public universities in the UNC System, but test scores will not be required for admissions decisions. Students who do not submit an ACT or SAT test score must meet the minimum weighted GPA requirement of 2.5 to be considered for undergraduate admissions.

Please see attached memo from Dr. Bethany Meighen, Vice President for Student Affairs, for more details.

With continued appreciation for your service and dedication during this particularly challenging time,

Sneha Shah-Coltrane

Director, Division of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education

NC Department of Public Instruction



NC Arts Education:



School Financial Reporting:




Communications Team:

Please note-    Our biweekly Tuesday calls will continue to be held at 8:00 a.m. and recordings will be provided in a follow-up email if you are unable to attend.  We welcome all communications leaders and superintendents to join our biweekly calls. Our biweekly calls occur in the off week of the standing superintendent and charter leaders calls by design, to keep an open channel between NCDPI and the field open each week. 


Dates for our upcoming call is: July 28. 




Charter leaders, please take a look at the timeline and requirements for the Second Annual NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year Award! Recognize your amazing beginning charter leaders. All the details are right here!


Second Annual NCCAT BTOY Award



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


Click for latest DHHS Guidance

Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


OCS Huddle West 

July 28th, 2020

OCS 2020 Summer Huddle West Registration

Charter School Leadership Institute 2020

Charter School Leadership Institute 2020 will be postponed until Spring 2021.



Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



Performance Framework

NOTE: All Epicenter submissions must be submitted by July 31st. Please check your task queue and carefully follow the guidance returned on any items due. Make any and all corrections that are necessary and resubmit evidence by July 31st in order to be deemed compliant with applicable State Statute, SBE Policy, and the Charter Agreement. Thank you to all who have turned everything in correctly!
99% of Charter schools met operational expectations last year. Let's make it 100%!

Professional Learning & Renewals Newsletters

OCS Huddle West Interest Survey

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

Attendance Reporting in PowerSchool:



Leadership Opportunities:


Socrates Academy Elementary school teachers, middle school ELA teachers, and middle school band teacher.

The Experiential School of Greensboro: 5/6th grade Teacher, 7/8th grade Teacher, EC Teacher, Part-time Social Worker

Whom Should I Contact at the Office of Charter Schools?

Please note that response times to voicemails left on our phones will be much slower than usual due to the COVID-19 response efforts. Sending us an email is ideal.  Clicking the link on our names will bring up an automatic email prompt. Thank you!

OCS Main number: 984 236 2700 ocs@dpi.nc.gov

Dave Machado         984 236 2702

Director of the Office of Charter Schools


Georgia Maimone       984 236 2701; Please use email: Georgia.maimone@dpi.nc.gov

Program Administrative Assistance, Communications


Shaunda Cooper      984 236 2707

Consultant, Renewals & Performance Framework


Claire Porter              984 236 2709

Consultant, Professional Learning & Ready to Open Process


Ashley Baquero         984 236 2708

Consultant, Amendments & Compliance


Joseph Letterio       984 236 2703

Consultant, Epicenter Tech Support & Performance Framework


Darian Jones           984 236 2705

Consultant, Applications & Renewals


Jay Whalen              984 236 2711

Program Administrator, NC ACCESS Program


Barbara O'Neal        984 236 2706

Program Coordinator, NC ACCESS Program