OCS Weekly Newsletter for October 2, 2020

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6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- October 2, 2020

Follow-up: Charter/Residential/ISD/Lab School Leaders' Check-In 9.24.20 Click here to access the follow-up and recording link.

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


Personal Protective Equipment Training for Charter School Staff

On October 6th, from 10 to 11:30, a repeat webinar will be offered on the use of personal protective equipment as described in the StrongSchoolsNC Infection Control and PPE Guidance (K-12). This webinar is intended for charter school staff who do not have access to a school nurse (Registered Nurse, RN) and who have been selected to assist COVID-19 symptom positive students and staff in their school. The content will be provided via Google Meets at  https://meet.google.com/oox-tnpo-ehn . Questions may be directed to Annette.Richardson@dhhs.nc.gov


Reminder-Communications Leaders' Biweekly Call-Tuesday, October 6!

Mark your calendars for our next biweekly call on Tuesday, October 6 at 8:00 a.m.  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.


Once again we welcome an all-star line-up that promises to share tools you can use in your districts and schools!


Here’s a sneak peek:

  • Henderson County Public Schools & Henderson County Department of Public Health-Collaborating to Develop Unified & Consistent Messaging
    • Molly McGowan-Gorsuch & Andrew Mundhenk
  • Bladen County Schools- COVID Response Flow Chart-Internal Communication Tool
    • Valerie Newton
  • NCDHHS-Getting Ready for Flu Season! How communication leaders can help…
    • Betsey Tilson & Rebecca Planchard
  • Idea Exchange
  • Deputy’s Update


Join Zoom Meeting


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

Notice from the Chief School Business Officer, Division of School Business, DPI


In accordance with HB1105, the SBE approved a hold harmless provision funded ADM for all public school units at its meeting on September 28.  In summary the approved policy states that charter schools shall be funded using at a minimum either the 2021 projected ADM submitted by the school in June 2020 or the schools 2019-20 funded ADM.  The basis of which ADM is applied to the hold harmless is determined by the accuracy of the projections submitted historically by the school. 


The entire language is in the attached approved policy .


The Division of School Business is in the process of finalizing calculating the hold harmless ADM by school and will publish this as soon as it is complete.  As you may be aware, due to Powerschool issues there is a delay in the Month 1 PMR, but we shall compute Month 1 ADM and the allotments as a top priority when the numbers are available.  Please refer to the School Business newsletter for the most up to date information.  In addition, Charter school leaders are encouraged to attend the monthly School Business webinar for Q&A – the next meeting is scheduled for Oct 21.


If there are questions related to this policy, please email Alexis Schauss at alexis.schauss@dpi.nc.gov


Alexis Schauss

Chief Business Officer of NC Public Schools

P-EBT - Benefits information for this school year


Family Facing-Pandemic-EBT Information-1_SPANISH.pdf

Family Facing-Pandemic-EBT Information-2_SPANISH.pdf


Issuance of Fall P-EBT Benefits to Eligible Households


As you will recall, the federal Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program was launched in the spring to help support food-insecure families purchase food for their children while schools were closed to students. to help meet this statewide need. The program provided a benefit on an EBT card that could be used to buy food at authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.  We have been notified by NCDHHS of a brief extension of P-EBT benefits.  Under the new federal guidelines, many families that received P-EBT benefits in the spring may not be eligible to receive benefits this fall. Under USDA’s new guidance and September 30 deadline, DHHS provided P-EBT benefits to as many children as possible, with the wish they could have helped every family in need.  More than 600,000 students will qualify for the fall P-EBT program compared to the more than 900,000 who qualified in the spring.


Children are eligible for the fall P-EBT program if they meet these criteria:

  • Received P-EBT benefits last school year (2019-2020); or have been Directly Certified for free meal benefits for the current school year (2020-2021); or attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) School for the current school year (2020-2021); and
  • Their school district or charter school is approved to participate in the National School Lunch Program during the 2020 – 20201 school year; and,
  • Their school district or charter school utilized virtual learning for all students for at least five consecutive school days between August 17th and September 30th.

This is different than the eligibility criteria for P-EBT benefits in the spring, which was available to all children who normally access free or reduced-priced meals, regardless of school circumstance. The new eligibility criteria are based on guidance from the US Department of Agriculture.



NC School Districts and Charter Schools Eligible for P-EBT in Aug & Sept_final (1).pdf


We are reaching out because the fall P-EBT program has rolled out rapidly and households are beginning to receive benefits on their EBT cards. While there is technically very little district leaders are asked to do to support this effort, we wanted you to be aware of the following important points:


  1. Fall 2020 eligibility is different than spring eligibility.
  2. Eligibility requirements are established by federal regulations.
  3. Funds are already being loaded onto existing cards.
  4. P-EBT eligible districts are asked to share NCDHHS information (attached) with families through local communication channels.
  5. NCDPI encourages non-eligible districts to communicate with families how parents, guardians, or designees of students opting to participate in remote learning can pick-up or preorder meals that are provided to students receiving face-to-face instruction.
  6. Eligible families with questions about their P-EBT card should call the NC EBT Call Center at 1-866-719-0141.

Thank you for your leadership and understanding. 


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


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.  

Check out this week's preview:

10. NCSPRA Hosts PR Check-In-Fridays at 11:00 a.m.
9. International Education Week-November 16-20, 2020
8. 2020-2021 FAFSA Opens October 1, 2020
7. Free Online Course for Educators of English Learners
6. Free Communications Webinar! Build Powerful Messaging: 3 Tips for Successful Advocacy
5. World Day of Bullying Prevention-October 5 #BlueUp
4. Helpful CDC Guidance on When to Quarantine
3. P-EBT Benefits Update
2. Summary-State Board of Education Meeting-9.28.20
NEW! COVID-19 Remote Learning Facility Registration Form

Please note that the state COVID WEEKLY TOP TEN is not compiled with charter schools primarily 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.

School Nurse PPE Booster Packs on the way to Charter Schools

9/23/2020 | NCDHHS COVID-19 Response Updates

10/1/20 Announcement: COVID-19 Remote Learning Facility Registration Form


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


Follow-up on superintendent and charter leaders' calls 9/24/20

From Jeff Coltrain, Governor Cooper’s Senior Education Advisor

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

Very Important: NCDPI Academics Policy Check-In: September (linked)

Please see attached the Read to Achieve's September edition of "K-3 Lit Bits" newsletter, which includes:

  • Regional RtA contact support
  • Comprehensive Plan for Reading Achievement (CPRA) introduction
  • NCDPI K-3 literacy resources
  • RtA legislation links
  • And many more helpful resources and links

K-3 Literacy September 2020 Lit Bits (1).pdf

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.


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. 

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

Important Info Update from the School Financial Reporting Section

What’s New – FY 20-21

Please check out the What’s New section of DPI’s website at https://www.dpi.nc.gov/districts-schools/district-operations/financial-and-business-services.  It will provide you the latest information about the COVID funding and Teacher and Instructional Support Bonus.


Teacher and Instructional Support Bonus

Charters received their Teacher and Instructional Support Bonus per their ADM in your PRC 036 installment.  The bonus must be paid by October 31, 2020.  Code the bonus to object code 180 as it is not subject to State Retirement (TSERS). However, the bonus is subject to FICA withholdings, using social security object code 211.  Please review state PRC 045 for the list of eligible purpose codes for this bonus.

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


COVID Funding

Review the COVID Allotment Policy manual 2020-21, which reflects which COVID PRCs charters are eligible.

If you have COVID funding questions, please contact Sue Holly at susan.holly@dpi.nc.gov.


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




UPDATED GUIDANCE: $350 Teacher Bonus FAQ

$350 Teacher Bonus Legislation

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)

Exceptional Children Division

Memo: The 2021 Session of the North Carolina Governor's School
Superintendents and Charter School Leaders,

Please review the attached memo, The 2021 Session of the North Carolina Governor's School, from Dr. Beverly Emory, executive director of the Leandro Implementation, and Sherry Thomas, director of the Exceptional Children Divison.


Please review the attached ECATS communication. 

Tip Sheet: Related Service Support Descriptions (RSSD) The EC Division has received questions regarding how to document supplemental aids and supports that were previously included on a separate stand-alone form, RSSD, prior to the implementation of ECATS and the new EC forms. While this information was previously provided at the May 2017 Regional Director’s Meeting, it is appropriate to update the information and re-release in a Tip Sheet.  Please see the updated version attached. 

Resources Galore:


School Business Resources 10/2/20

October 2020 - AP/IB/CIE Update

Free HS Student and Educator - Ethics and Leadership Conference: October 30th

2021 NC Governor's School Announcement

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

NCDPI Webinar Series: Integrating SEL in the Content Areas

School Financial Reporting SCHOOL BUSINESS DIVISION FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES 9/15/20 Independent, Charter & Lab Schools Webinar

Fall 2020 NCStar Professional Learning Opportunities

Missed Our ELA September Office Hours? Sign up for October!

Mark Your Calendars for International Education Week!

LinguaFolio PD: Archived Webinar & New Cafes 9/25/20

Upcoming PD from the CARE Project 9/22/20

NCDPI Webinar Series in October: Integrating SEL in the Content Areas 9/21/20

Arts Ed Newsletter *FEEDback BUFFET* 9/21/20

NCDPI Webinar Series: Integrating SEL in the Content Areas 9/21/20

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:




Professional Learning, RTO, and Renewals Newsletters

Professional Learning 101


The Scoop With Coop-All Things Renewals 


BRAND NEW! Ready to Open/Planning Year

Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership is a huge opportunity for current and aspiring charter school leaders. Hosted by Gardner Webb University. Click and download to read all about it!



There are three available slots open! APPLY NOW!

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



Leading Equity-Based MTSS for All Students 1st Edition

NC ACCESS Program Reading List featured Monthly

Leading Equity-Based MTSS for All Students 1st Edition

Amy McCart and Dawn Dee Miller 

Ensure that Every Child Achieves Academic and Social Success 


An equity-based multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) helps school teams engage all students across the full range of learning needs. MTSS ensures that the vision of equity for every student is achieved, with high expectations and quality instruction, while not straining a school’s budget or personnel. This strategy filled book teaches you how to  • Engage all students in learning through an equity-based approach   • Analyze and utilize your resources  • Apply strengths- and evidence-based principles for implementation  • Incorporate effective tools to systematize MTSS



MINA Charter School Building Is Complete

MINA, founded in Sanford, Lee County, the heart of North Carolina, is open in August 2020 for students entering grades K-5. (Remote learning now) Specializing in small class sizes, and non-traditional classroom settings, the technologically based educational program begins with Kindergarten. Each student will be assigned either a tablet/laptop as a component of their MINA education. The STREAM curriculum focuses on project-based learning integrating Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Students enjoy a dual language curriculum beginning in Kindergarten. If a student’s primary language is English, he/she will learn Spanish while those whose primary language is Spanish will learn English.

The diverse faculty and staff reflect the educational, cultural and social needs of the students. Not only are staff members certified and licensed by the State of North Carolina, but some of them are among the most accomplished educators in their area of expertise. These experts carry out the mandates of our specialized curriculum and our students learn from the best.

Other News about Our Charter Schools:


The Wells Fargo Cup recognizes the top overall athletic program in each of the four classifications. Seven out of the top ten 1A schools are charter schools. Congratulations to Lake Norman Charter for finishing in the Top Ten in the 2A division.

1A Wells Fargo Cup Final Standings

1st – Lincoln Charter – 302.5

2nd – Pine Lake Prep – 270

3rd – Research Triangle – 240

6th – Community School of Davidson – 220

7th – Franklin Academy – 195

8th – Mountain Island Charter – 192.5

9th – Raleigh Charter – 175

UA Forum

Union Academy is Hosting a Forum on Charter School Issues

Charter School Forum Oct. 13.pdf

PDF Panel Forum.pdf



Union Academy Business Office Awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from both the ASBO and GFOA


Staff morale

ArtSpace Charter School is employing creative ways to boost staff morale!

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

Leadership Opportunities:

Island Montessori Charter School Instructional Coordinator

Voyager Academy Operations Manager

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

Shaunda Cooper      984 236 2712

Consultant, Renewals & Stakeholder Support

Claire Porter              984 236 2707

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, Professional Development

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

Please join us in welcoming:

Melanie Rackley

Consultant, Charter Applications