OCS Weekly Newsletter for August 28, 2020

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6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- August 28, 2020

This week's outline of content:

  1. OCS Guidance on recent legislation
  2. OCS Saves The Dates 
  3. Updates and resources from beyond OCS
  4. OCS updates and resources
  5. Other news about our charter schools
  6. Employment opportunities at charter schools
  7. OCS Contacts

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


OCS OFFICE HOURS: Monday August 31st, 11:30am-12:30pm
Charter Leaders, next week’s 'OCS Office Hours' topic will be “Managing Restart Option B”. There will be a panel of school leaders sharing their experiences of opening school with a hybrid model. You don't want to miss this!


Board members from charter schools that are opening in 2021, as well as acceleration applicants, are required to attend 5 virtual Planning Year Sessions from September to March; this year we have spaced the sessions out more throughout the year.  Schools is a delay year are not required to attend but are welcome to. The school leader and some of the board members are also required to attend the New Charter School Leaders Institute in June 2021.  As a customer service, the Office of Charter Schools continues to open up these sessions to all charter schools; however, if our sessions are over registered, we will prioritize planning year and acceleration schools.  If you have a new school leader and/or a new board member interested in attending any of the sessions, he or she must register to attend.  Registration for the September 30 virtual Planning Year Session I is OPEN NOW THROUGH THIS LINK.


Please note the schedule below:


2020-21 Planning Year Professional Development Schedule





September 30, 2020

8:30 – 4:00


Charter School Governance

October 28, 2020

8:30 – 4:00


Charter School Finance

January 27, 2021

8:30 – 4:00


Charter School Operations & Accountability

February 24, 2021

8:30 – 4:00


Meeting the Needs of All Students

March 24, 2021

8:30 – 4:00


Our School Opens in 5 Months!  Now What?

Note: Dates and topics are subject to change.  If needed, other trainings may be scheduled.  Site visits and/or board meeting observations may be scheduled during these months, as well.


NC Dept. of Public Instruction

Task Force Meeting

September 24

10:00 am until 2:00 pm

Virtual Link and Additional Info Coming Soon

Safer Schools

DHHS Important Resources for Charter Schools: (Please Read by clicking each downloadable link)

Charter School Diabetes Memo


Charter School Epinephrine Memo


Annette Richardson, MSN, RN, NCSN

Charter School Health Nurse Consultant

Division of Public Health - Children and Youth Branch

NC Department of Health and Human Services


To help recap important news of the week, we are pleased to bring you the NCDPI COVID-19 WEEKLY TOP TEN.   The link does not change.  New content is added to the top of the document weekly.  

8/13/2020 NCDHHS COVID-19 Response Updates


Please review the attached memos, Adherence to the 10/20 Day Rule & Request for Testing Exceptions Based on Significant Medical Emergencies and/or Conditions, from Deputy Superintendent of Innovation, Dr. David Stegall and Director of Accountability Services, Dr. Tammy Howard.

8.27.20 MEMO: English Learner Accommodations


State and Federal Zero outs for Charters

DPI will process state and federal zero outs starting with the month of August.  Remember that the year-to-date (YTD) cash certifications must equal the YTD expenditures each month. 

If you have questions, please contact Roxane Bernard at roxane.bernard@dpi.nc.gov.


Emergency Cash Request

DPI Financial Services cannot prepare emergency cash requests. Make sure your charter school enters the cash request information into the cash management system correctly.  Please review the information that you have entered.


The School Nutrition Section has provided additional guidance on the use of PRC125 CRF School Nutrition.  This document is posted on our website at https://www.dpi.nc.gov/districts-schools/district-operations/financial-and-business-services under “PRC125 School Nutrition 75m”


The 2020-21 Allotment policy manual is posted at



The 2020-21 Salary Schedules are posted at



The 2020-21 Salary Manual is posted at




Confirmation of Funds for Annual Financial Statement Audits by CPA firms


DPI is providing the appropriate reports to your independent auditors via the internet. These reports for FY20 are now posted in a public application at: http://apps.schools.nc.gov/auditorconfirmationreports (Annual Reports).

Please direct your independent auditor to the site provided.


Please contact Roxane Bernard at roxane.bernard@dpi.nc.gov with any questions.

Public Schools of North Carolina


Heads-up...ODS Sync Issue Resolved


We are aware that some districts were experiencing issues with student data not syncing between PowerSchool and various state systems such as NCEdCLoud IAM Service, ECATS, Child Nutrition Direct Certification and Verification, and other state systems via the state ODS or Operational Data Store.  NCDPI staff worked with the vendors and are pleased to confirm the ODS sync issue is resolved and student records should now be in the state systems.  Moving forward, if your team  determines there are students who are not in in any state system, please instruct them to submit a Service Now ticket so it can be further investigated.  Currently we are aware that less than 100 students are still not showing up in some target systems due to a faulty Date of Birth for these students in PowerSchool.  Our PowerSchool support staff will reach out to the districts with the affected students to help.  


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


 Charter School Teacher of the Year process


Please remember to nominate your Charter Teacher of the Year.  The NC Teacher of the Year is recognized at the school, regional, and statewide levels. Individual public charter schools nominate a Teacher of the Year who participates in a selection process facilitated by the Office of Charter Schools at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Once the charter school nomination processes are completed, the teacher finalists vie as one of the state’s nine Regional Teachers of the Year. The state is divided into eight geographical regions and NC Charter Schools are clustered together to form the ninth region of the state. The Charter School Teacher of the Year joins the Regional Teachers of the Year team as a finalist for the state Teacher of the Year. This selection process is facilitated in each region by Regional Education Facilitators, linked below.  If you need additional information please reach out to your Regional Educator Facilitator or Dr. Sonja Brown at Sonja.Brown@dpi.nc.gov

Regional Education Facilitators


Second Annual NCCAT BTOY Award


Hello from NCCAT!


The 2020 NCCAT BTOY Nomination Form is now open for submission. Please complete this form by October 2, 2020. 


As a reminder, the nominee should be in their second year of teaching during the 20-21 school year and be employed in the same district/charter school as last year. See the BTOY timeline here.

NC Elementary Teacher and Student

NCPAPA has recently partnered with DPI to host a new virtual PD program, Distinguished Leadership in a Remote Learning Environment (DLR). This program is available to all NC practicing principals to attend individually or attend with their leadership team. Please see detailed information linked here.

North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals' Association

To:  Superintendents, Charter Leaders, Middle School Athletic Directors


On August 12, 2020, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) amended the 2020-2021 High School Sports Calendar.  While middle schools in many LEAs and charter schools will mirror the NCHSAA calendar, final determination for middle school sports calendars are to be made by each LEA and charter school.  The resources below are available to help guide athletic activities.



Reopening Sports/Activities

2020-2021 Sports Season


Interim Guidance for Administrators and Participants of Youth, College & Amateur Sports Programs

(July 22, 2020)


NC DHHS StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) 

 (July 24, 2020)


NCDPI Lighting Our Way Forward

Sports update 8-21-20

Please see the attached Parent Newsletter and message from the Director.



I hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy, as we continue to face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. School year 2020-21 has begun, unlike any other school year we have experienced. Districts and schools are working hard to provide instruction to students, while doing their very best to keep students, families, and staff safe. Parents are juggling schedules, advocating for their children, and being supportive. We all are dealing with moments of frustration, anxiety and much stress!

These unprecedented times require patience, grace and sometimes a deep breath from all of us as we work to support our students and families in their educational settings. As a Division, we are providing guidance, support and a listening ear to parents and school administrators alike, to support problem-solving and identification of solutions. Here’s hoping our students, families, teachers and school staff have a successful school year in spite of these difficult times.

May we all continue to be well!


Sherry H. Thomas
Director, Exceptional Children Division

Exceptional Children

Resources Galore:


HOME BASE Bulletin 8/28/20

Fall 2020 NCStar Professional Learning Opportunities

Character Education News & Updates: August 2020

Opportunities to Explore Social Emotional Learning (SEL) 8/21/20

School Business Resources 8/21/20

Digital Teaching and Learning Insider 8/21/20

The OEL info you're looking for....8/25/20

August NCDPI K-3 Literacy Newsletter

Growing Success for ELs 8/26/20

August 2020 ESL/Title III Newsletter Update 8/28/20

August 2020 From the Board Room 8/26/20

School Counseling Webinars & Updates 8/25/20

Monthly Update: SIS and NC Healthy Schools 8/26/20

K-12 STANDARDS, CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION Dual Language/Immersion 8/25/20




K-12 STANDARDS, CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION: Social Studies Update 8/12/20

K-12 STANDARDS, CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION - World Languages 8/26/20

NCSciFest Statewide Elementary School STEM Initiative 8/19/20

Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems(IABS) 8/10/20 Message

High School Environmental Science Teachers: September Virtual PD Workshop Opportunity

Some Special Education Apps covered recently by NBC4:

Special Education Apps NBC4

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



2020 Applications Press Release:

Twenty-five Charter Schools Seek Approval to Open in either 2021 or 2022

Professional Learning & Renewals Newsletters

Professional Learning 101


The Scoop With Coop-All Things Renewals 

Other News about Our Charter Schools:

Learning at Charter Schools

T74 Reports - Charters Were Quicker to Provide Instruction, Regular Contact During Closures, Reports Say. But That’s Also How They ‘Keep the Kids,’ One Expert Explains

Learning during a pandemic: How a Brevard school is keeping students safe

abc13NEWS Reports - Learning during a pandemic: How a Brevard school is keeping students safe

WBTV Reports on our ACCESS Grant

WBTV Reports on our ACCESS Grant


Also, a SBE Press Release!

Leadership Opportunities:

Southern Wake Academy Head of School

Pine Springs Prep 8th Grade Science Teacher

The Exploris School K-8 ESL Teacher

Brevard Academy Assistant School Director

Lake Lure Classical Academy Classroom Teacher K-12Curriculum Resource Teacher (CRT), and Assistant K-12 Principal

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

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


VACANT       984 236 2701

Program Administrative Assistance, Communications


Shaunda Cooper      984 236 2707

Consultant, Renewals & Performance Framework


Claire Porter              984 236 2709

Consultant, Planning Year & 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


Please join us in welcoming:

Davida Robinson   984 236 2878

NC ACCESS Subgrant Program Manager


Lakisha Robbins  

NC ACCESS Finance Administrator