OCS Weekly Newsletter for September 4, 2020

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6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- September 4, 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!


Charter Leaders Biweekly beginning Thursday, September 10, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

Click and bookmark, Office Hours for Charter Leaders, to access the schedule and link. 


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.

Non-Title III Subgrantee Language Instructional Education Program (LIEP) Service Chart

Webinar, Tuesday, September 8, 10:30 -11:30 am - Register


ALL public school units (LEAs and Charter schools) who reported at least 1 identified English Learner student in the October 2019 EL Headcount must complete the NC Language Instruction Educational Chart (LIEP). Title III Subgrantees complete the chart as part of the Title III Application process in the NCCCIP. 

Non-Title III subgrantees with at least one identified EL based on the October 1 headcount must complete the LIEP chart and submit to NCDPI for review and approval.

Join us on Tuesday, September 8 at 10:30 am to review the LIEP Guidance and template.

  • Charter Schools (who do not receive Title III funds): Submit the completed LIEP service chart via Epicenter.
  • LEAs (who do not receive Title III funds): Share the completed LIEP service chart link via email to the ESL/Title III Consultant assigned to your region.

All charter schools with EL students must complete the LIEP service chart as part of the A5 EL Component of the OCS Performance Framework via Epicenter.

Thank you for ALL you do to serve the English Learner students in your schools. 

EL Success


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

State Action Plan for School Safety: Public comment opportunity available through September(Linked).

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

Important Information Update RE: Annual Health Assessment and Immunization Compliance Reporting


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.  

9/2/2020 NCDHHS COVID-19 Response Updates


  • Please note that 109 of 194, 56%, charter respondents indicated they were opening Plan B as of July 31st.

  • Also note that the state COVID WEEKLY TOP TEN is not compiled with charter schools specifically in mind, or written by OCS. Charter schools retain flexibility by law, including but not limited to the issuance of emergency leave. If you ever have any uncertainty about a requirement, please reach out to the Office of Charter Schools.


Homeless training


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.

It should be noted that charter schools retain flexibility when it comes to the Read to Achieve assessments. They can use assessments not on the State Board of Education's officially approved list, they just need to cover the costs of those assessments in-house. If you ever have any uncertainty about a requirement, please reach out to the Office of Charter Schools. 

8.27.20 MEMO: English Learner Accommodations

State Superintendent Mark Johnson Announces Local Districts’ Reading Diagnostics Choices 9/3/20 Linked


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.

Letter from US Dept. Education Secretary DeVos re: Statewide Assessments

Public Schools of North Carolina


Reminder-Communication Leaders' Biweekly Call-Tuesday, September 8!


Communications Leaders,


A reminder that our next biweekly call is, Tuesday, September 8 at 8:00 a.m.  Given Monday is a holiday, we wanted to provide advance notice so you can mark your calendars.  As always, a recording will be provided in a follow-up email if you are unable to attend.  We welcome all communications leaders, superintendents, and any other interested district staff to join our biweekly calls.


Join Zoom Meeting


Topics/Presenters for Tuesday’s call include:

  • Hope4Healers-Free Social & Emotional Support for NC Educators
  • Becki Planchard-NCDHHS
    • NCDHHS K-12 Reopening Briefing
  • Freebird McKinney
    • Legislative Update
  • Idea Exchange
  • Deputy’s Update

Thank you for your leadership!  We look forward to continuing to work with you and support your efforts.  Please do not hesitate to reach out! 

Best, Jessica & The COVID-19 Comms Team


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

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:


K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, August 28, 2020

Additional Funding for School Counselors and Other Specialized Instructional Support Personnel 9/3/20

School Business Resources 9/4/20

HOME BASE Bulletin 9/4/20

Digital Teaching and Learning Insider 9/4/20

Fall 2020 NCStar Professional Learning Opportunities

Character Education News & Updates: August 2020

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


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

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



Charter Leaders, 8/31s 'OCS Office Hours' topic was “Managing Restart Option B”. There was a panel of school leaders sharing their experiences of opening school with a hybrid model. Watch the recording through Epicenter!


Also, COMMUNICATION CONSIDERATIONS & KEY MESSAGES: Addressing COVID-19 Positive Cases in Schools


Some additional FREE resources:


The Training Network

  • NC Department of Labor Library free web-based training library
  • In order to access the streaming safety videos via subscription, you will need to submit a completed, signed library loan agreement which can be accessed from this page:



                Nick J. Vincelli, Librarian
                NC Department of Labor Library
                phone: 919-707-7880

                fax: 919-807-2849


Charter leaders, did you miss the Charter Collaborative (OCS, EC, IABS/MTSS divisions) on August 27th? No worries, we have the presentation, recording and resources shared right here:

Video Link



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