OCS Weekly Newsletter for September 11, 2020

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6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- September 11, 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. NC ACCESS News
  6. Other news about our charter schools
  7. Employment opportunities at charter schools
  8. OCS Contacts

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


Charter Leaders Biweekly Thursday, September 24, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

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

  • September 14th&15th 9am: Charter Schools Advisory Board Monthly Meeting (livestream link)
  • Charter Leaders, our last OCS Office Hours topic of “Managing Restart Option B” was so popular we thought we’d bring it back and check in with a few more charter leaders to see how their year has started and to share take-aways with each other.  If you’d like to be on the panel for September 21st, to share a few things that have gone well, or perhaps not so well, we’d love to hear from you!

    Please email Claire Porter at claire.porter@dpi.nc.gov, by September 17th, if you’d like to share. If you have slides, send them her way as well.

    OFFICE HOURS: Will Resume Monday September 21st, 11:30am-12:30pm


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


Strong Schools Wear Cloth Face Coverings: https://youtu.be/fJBH7g33EuM

Las Escuelas Fuertes Usan Cubiertas Faciales de Tela: https://youtu.be/WXO5EQcit-s


  • 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.

A case for returning to the classroom sooner rather than later

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

Charter, Residential, Lab, ISD Leaders,


NCDPI is required by the Office of State Budget and Management’s Pandemic Recovery Office established by the Governor to track Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) and to collect and report monthly metrics from all PSUs on their impact. To facilitate this requirement, each CRF PRC has been assigned a specific goal and metric. These goals and metrics touch many departments within your systems. In order to complete these monthly reports in an accurate and efficient manner it is important that each district identify a single point of contact.  Your point of contact will interface with designated NCDPI staff to submit district specific information.  A successful point of contact at the local level will know who within the district to interface with to collect the required information.  Your point of contact will submit the information to NCDPI on a monthly basis.  The following examples give you an idea of the information that will be reported:


Example: PRC 124

Goal: All students have equitable access to digital resources needed for remote learning.

Metric: Student devices provided


Example: PRC 125
Goal: Food insecure families have access to week-day meals for school age children.

Metric: Monthly Meals Served


Example: PRC 132
Goal: All students are provided equitable services; Missed services, ESY or Comp Ed is delivered as appropriate.

Metric: EC students served; types of services provided


Reports are due by the 20th of each month so we are asking for you to please complete this form to identify your point of contact by Tuesday, September 15.  Once identified, NCDPI staff will be in touch with this individual to provide additional information and instructions. 


Because of the short turn around for the first reporting period, please forward the attached spreadsheet that lists all of the CRF PRCs, goals, and metrics to the individual you select so they can begin reaching out to appropriate staff to gather information.  There is also a “Notes” tab at the bottom of the sheet which provides helpful information on reporting metrics.  


Thank you so much for your assistance.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Best, Jessica


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


Please review the guidance from Deputy Superintendent of Innovation, Dr. David Stegall and Director of Accountability Services, Dr. Tammy Howard.

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

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


The School Allotments section was recently provided with updated free and reduced-price lunch data from our School Nutrition Division that included corrections to the data for non-participating charter schools. Because these corrections impacted last year’s data, it was necessary for the School Allotments section to recalculate the planning allotments for the non-participating charters for the Title I, Part A (PRC 050), Title II, Part A – Supporting Effective Instruction (PRC 103) IDEA VI-B Grants to States (060), IDEA VI-B Preschool (PRC 049), and Career and Technical Education – Federal: Program Development (PRC 017) grant programs for FY 2021. These recalculations for the non-participating charter schools also required corresponding adjustments for LEAs and participating charter schools, as updated data for the non-participating charters also impacted the overall statewide free and reduced price lunch data.


As a result, the School Allotments section will be processing a revision next week (September 14-18) that will provide the corrected planning allotments for each of the above listed PRCs for each LEA and charter schools whose planning allotment was impacted by the updated data and the consequent recalculations. Please note – these allotments are updated planning allotments only and do not represent initial allotments of FY 2021 funds. These adjustments to the planning allotments could require updates to previously submitted budgets and program plans; if your district or charter has questions as to whether changes are needed, please contact your DPI point of contact for each of the affected programs. If you have questions about the revised planning allotments themselves, please contact John Keefer or Lydia Prude.


School Business hopes to have a first installment for several of our larger Federal programs (e.g., PRC 050, 060, 017) allotted for LEAs and charter schools by the end of September at the latest. Once these first installments are processed, we will resume our normal operations to allot the remaining Federal programs, including the eventual final calculations for programs to address the inclusion of new and significantly expanded charter schools. We will provide further updates on the first installments in webinars over the coming weeks as we have more information available.


Alexis Schauss

Chief Business Officer of NC Public Schools


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




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

NCCDA’s 55TH Annual Poetry and Art Contest Kicking Off Soon!

(shared by 2020-2021 NCCDA Career Development Month Chairs: Morgan Ray and Kelsey Hines)

NCCDA is hosting the 55th Annual Poetry & Art Contest in celebration of National Career Development Month in November. Every adult and student enrolled in public, private, and parochial schools, and colleges are eligible.  NCDA details are not live at this time – keep your eyes open to the NCCDA site for more information https://nccdaonline.org/Poetry-and-Art-Contest

The annual NCDA Poetry and Art Contest provides an opportunity for NCCDA to promote career development and awareness in North Carolina.  


Sept. - Nov. 2020: Advertise and hold local, district, and/or county contests

Nov. - Dec. 2020: Announce school or local winners (1st-3rd place); (send to county or district wide contest by December 20, if applicable.)

January 25: All Submissions due for judging By mail to:

Morgan Ray, 311 Thistle Downs Dr., Burlington, NC 27215

By email: mbray@waketech.edu or khines1123@gmail.com

Feb./Mar. 2021: State winners will be notified

(1st prize –$50, 2nd prize –$25, 3rd prize –$10; all winners receive a certificate)

April 2021: National winners will be posted June 2021 - National winners work is displayed and recognized during the NCDA 2021 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (June 30 –July 2, 2021)

Resources Galore:


K-12 Education Legislative Update - Thursday, September 10, 2020

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

School Business Resources 9/11/20

HOME BASE Bulletin 9/11/20

Digital Teaching and Learning Insider 9/4/20

Fall 2020 NCStar Professional Learning Opportunities

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


The OEL info you're looking for....9/8/20

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

North Carolina Public Schools - School Social Work September Update

School Counseling Webinars & Updates 8/25/20

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

STEMtastic Newsletter - September



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



September Special Edition: Social Studies Update

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

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

High School Environmental Science Teachers: September Virtual PD Workshop Opportunity

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 


The NC ACCESS Program recently hired two new staff members. Meet the newest members of the Access team:


Davida Robinson | Subgrant Program Manager

I am excited to join the NC Access Team as its new Subgrant Program Manager. With over 10 years of experience in both the Dallas higher education and public charter K-12 systems, I am excited about adding my skills and talents to North Carolina’s public charter system. With the collective resources offered by our NC Access team, North Carolina’s charter leaders will certainly grow and soar to new dimensions.


Lakisha Robbins | Finance Administrator

I am excited to become a part of the NC ACCESS team and the work done on behalf of our North Carolina charter schools and student community. I bring several years of experience in grant management, and program compliance in a financial and project management capacity. I look forward to working with each subgrantee for fiscal program compliance.

The NC ACCESS Program recently launched Cohort II of the Fellowship Program Institute on August 20, 2020

The NC ACCESS Program is committed to increasing access for educationally disadvantaged students in high-quality charter schools in the State of North Carolina. As a result of this commitment, the NC ACCESS Program has developed the Fellows Institute for subgrantee charter school leaders to learn, develop, and demonstrate best practices in serving educationally disadvantaged students and fostering collaboration within the charter school community and between charter and traditional public schools. The Fellows Institute is designed to support the mandatory attendance from two key school leaders from each NC ACCESS subgrantee school in the first year of the subgrant. The sessions will include opportunities to build supportive and collaborative networks, share best practices, and engage in critical conversations with state and national experts who have experience in leadership best practices, developing, expanding and replicating successful high-quality schools, and/or working with educationally disadvantaged populations. The theme for the 2020-2021 Institute is “Leading with Purpose.” The keynote speaker was Tru Pettigrew of Tru ACCESS, LLC. The next Institute meeting is September 17, 2020 with a presentation from the Educational Equity Institute.


NC ACCESS PROGRAM Profiled with the National Charter School Resource Center

The NC ACCESS program was recently profiled by the National Charter School Resource Center, The Charter Connection, Volume 4.  Also in this Volume, the NC ACCESS program participated a NCSRC webinar with leaders. Leaders from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC ACCESS) and New York State Education Department offered insights on how their organizations are working to increase the number of high-quality charter school seats and close the achievement gap. They also share how they are disseminating best practices in their States. Volume 4 can be found here.

NC ACCESS Program Launches

Educational Equity Aspiring Minority School Leaders Program


The North Carolina Advancing Charter Collaboration and Excellence for Student Success (NC ACCESS) grant program in the Office of Charter Schools is excited to embark on the newest phase of the grant: the Educational Equity Aspiring Minority School Leaders Program. The purpose of the program is to recruit, select, and train a cohort of twenty (20) aspiring minority school leaders over the life of the project to prepare for service in a leadership role in NC charter schools.

The Aspiring Minority School Leaders Program is designed to recruit, support, and build a pipeline of minority school leaders prepared to meet the challenges of leading schools for educational equity. North Carolina charter schools will benefit by having access to a cohort of school leaders or color who are exceptionally trained, ready to be part of cutting-edge school reform initiatives, and ready to move into leadership positions with strengthened organizational and instructional leadership skills. The Aspiring Minority Leadership Program includes coursework, internship experiences, professional development, and mentoring.




NC charter school leaders can nominate one (1) potential candidate per school for the program. The nominating school leader must write a one-page letter stating why they are nominating this person. Candidates must complete a brief application and an essay to enter the pool of nominees. The deadline for submission of Nominations and the Aspiring Minority School Leaders Program application is October 1, 2020. The applications will be reviewed by the NC ACCESS Program staff and selections will be made by October 5, 2020. Once selections have been made, we will host a virtual webinar with the MSA Program Coordinator from Appalachian State University to answer questions about the program. The program is a collaboration with Appalachian State University. The program is online only.

Click here for:  Program Information and Application Package


Removing Mask

NC ACCESS Program Reading List featured Monthly

Removing the Mask

Dr. Paul Slocomb

Ruby K. Payne is best known for her work on the "hidden rules of economic class" and how they affect learning, after 30 years in public education. Now a speaker and publisher, she teams with Dr. Paul Slocumb, former president of Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Dr. Slocumb is now consulting and writing and speaks extensively on this subject. Removing the Mask provides identification instruments and processes to identify gifted learners from poverty, thus enabling schools to achieve equity in their gifted program. Behavior interventions and support systems for the students, once identified, helps keep them in the program and succeed.

Other News about Our Charter Schools:

Arts in Charters

Arts Education Partnership reports on The Arts in Charter Schools

T74 Achievement Gap Closing

T74 Reports - Charters Close Achievement Gap With District Schools, Study Finds, With Black and Low-Income Students Making the Greatest Gains

East Spencer charter school reopens with strong enrollment

Salisbury Post reports - East Spencer charter school reopens with strong enrollment

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

Leadership Opportunities:

Southern Wake Academy Head of School

Pine Springs Prep 8th Grade Science Teacher and 4th Grade Teacher

The Exploris School K-8 ESL Teacher

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


Davida Robinson   984 236 2878

NC ACCESS Subgrant Program Manager


Lakisha Robbins  984 236 2704

NC ACCESS Finance Administrator