OCS Weekly Newsletter for October 9, 2020

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- October 9, 2020

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


Action Required- Request for Student Home Connectivity Funding- Due October 21, 2020

$335 Relief Payment to Help Parents, BUT you must apply or amend by October 15, 2020!


Parents, Caretakers, and Educators – 

Thanks to a program recently created by the NC General Assembly, most North Carolina families with school-age children are eligible for a $335 coronavirus relief payment to help with virtual schooling and childcare costs.

Most families should receive this relief automatically before the end of the year. Importantly, I want you to know that some families need to apply or need to amend their 2019 NC tax returns by October 15! Please see the information below from the NC Department of Revenue.

This $335 is meant to be some help for families dealing with the challenges of remote learning. Even during this crisis, our work continues to eliminate high-stakes testing, improve state standards, and promote all pathways to success for students. But please know that our top priority at your Department of Public Instruction is to support local education leaders as they work to help students, educators, and families get back into classrooms if they want to return to school.

My own child is learning remotely these days. I share in many of these struggles with you, and we will get through this together. I wish you and your families the best as we finish what has been a year filled with unimaginable challenges and continue to transform education in the future.


Mark Johnson
NC Superintendent of Public Instruction

Additional Information (please refer to www.ncdor.gov/extracredit for all information on qualifying)

The $335 payment is for individuals with at least one dependent child who was 16 or younger at the end of 2019. Individuals must have been residents of North Carolina for all of 2019. 

The NC Department of Revenue has identified an issue with third-party tax preparation software that may require individuals to submit an amended return in order to receive the $335 payment.

From NC DOR:

Taxpayers that were allowed a federal child tax credit are advised to review their 2019 Form D-400 as filed and look at line 10a to determine if the return correctly reported a qualifying child. If the return incorrectly reported “0” children on line 10a, but the taxpayer would otherwise qualify for the grant, the taxpayer may file an amended return prior to the October 15, 2020 deadline.

Click this link for details: https://files.nc.gov/ncdor/documents/files/2020-9-21-Extra-Credit-Grant-Program.pdf

If you did not file a 2019 state return because your gross income for 2019 did not exceed the state’s filing requirements for your filing status (generally $10,000 per year if you are single and $20,000 per year if you are married), you may still be eligible for the $335 payment.

BUT you must apply or amend by October 15, 2020!


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


The State Board of Education recently approved the policy and distribution of the funding for PPE, and in order for the Division of School Business to have the information needed, we are requiring that all public school units (PSU) report the Phase under which the PSU is operating on specific dates.


Please submit this document - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5FYXN2Q -by October 19th with the local boards approved Phase as of October 15 or before.


Failure to report may affect the allocation for your PSU and will delay the allocation for all PSUs.


We appreciate your cooperation.


Nicola Lefler

School Business


Child Count Transfer System -   The FY 21 Child Count Transfer System will open to enter transfers on Oct 14, 2020.  We appreciate your patience while we prepared the system for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year.  We ask that you please submit your transfers promptly to avoid missing the deadline. Please be advised that the deadline for submitting transfers for students who enrolled from July through October is Nov 10, 2020.  


For New Charter Schools opening in 20-21, please have your transfers for students enrolled from July through September submitted no later than October 21st. Students enrolled in October need to be submitted by November 10th.  We need this information earlier to calculate Federal Planning allotments for the Budget and Application process for New Charter Schools.

More detailed instructions will be emailed directly to the Directors of the New Charter Schools.


To access the Child Count Transfer System, please use the link below:




Remember Access to the System for input has been granted to Data Managers that were reported to the Exception Children Division.  If you have a new Data Manager or want to report a change in Data Manager, please contact matt.hoskins@dpi.nc.gov or 984-236-2552.


If you have any questions about the HC transfer system, please contact melissa.dearman@dpi.nc.gov or 984-236-2444.

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. Top 6 Things Educators Should Know about NC Countdown to College!  (Number 2 will be your favorite!) CFNC.org
9. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month!
8. Reminder-CCRG Implementation Training Webinars
7. NC Community College System Dashboards-Postsecondary Enrollment Outcomes
6. NC Independent Colleges and Universities College Fair:  Week of October 19
5. Purple Star Application Webinars-Wednesday, October 14
4. LEA Preschool Classroom Survey-COMING THIS WEEK TO CAOs!
3. JUST RELEASED! October NCDHHS K-12 Guidance Updates & New Resources
2. Highlights-2020 Fall Planning and Work Session of the North Carolina State Board of Education 10.6.20-10.8.20
1. DTL Update: Connectivity & Safety Management Funding Opportunities-
Apply Now!

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


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


10/6 PPE training for Charter School Staff-PPT presentation:

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

Follow-Up-Communications Leaders' Biweekly Call-10.6.20 Lots of info linked!

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

Please send the attached memo, Summer Programs 2020–21, from Dr. David Stegall and Dr. Tammy Howard to all Charter School Directors.

State PRC 016 – Summer Reading Camps is closed as of June 30, 2020

We noticed that few of the charters coded expenditures to state PRC 016 Summer Reading Camps which closed as of June 30, 2020.  Do not code expenditures to state PRC 016.  We currently have state PRC 121 CRF Summer Learning that have some of the eligible account codes like the closed state PRC 016.

Remove the expenditures from the closed state PRC 016 as soon as possible.

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

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.

UPDATED GUIDANCE: $350 Teacher Bonus FAQ

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:


K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, October 9, 2020

School Business Resources 10/2/20

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin 10/9/20

October 2020 - AP/IB/CIE Update

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

2021 NC Governor's School Announcement

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

Mark Your Calendars for International Education Week!

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

October First Tuesday Science Update

Cross-Curricular Opportunities for K-5 Teachers and HS Students 10/7/20

SALC PD on 10/24 for French and German Teachers

October 2020 K12 Mathematics Monthly Update

STEMtastic Newsletter - October

Digital Learning Standards & ELA Standards Crosswalk - New Resource

Character Education News & Updates: October 2020

10/13 @ 3:30 pm: LinguaFolio Café

Please Help Announce the Senate Youth Program Opportunity through December 6th

Please Share- Ready, Set, App! Cycle 2 Live for HS Students

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



The Office of Charter Schools is thrilled to announce that the NC ADVANCING CHARTER COLLABORATION AND EXCELLENCE FOR STUDENT SUCCESS (ACCESS) PROGRAM has launched a new website at ncaccessprogram.com. The site is designed not only to provide more information about the NC ACCESS Program and its impact on North Carolina charter schools, but also to provide resources and development for charter school leaders to remove barriers and support all students. Some of the great new features of the site include:

  • Subgrant Program Application Resources
  • Best Practices and Strategies for Charter School Leaders
  • Professional Development Opportunities Open to All Charter Schools
  • Aspiring Minority School Leaders Program Information and Application

Visit the site today and check back regularly as new strategies and professional learning opportunities are continuously added. We look forward to your continued support of the NC ACCESS Program.

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(now 10/15/2020). 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

Other News about Our Charter Schools:

UA Forum

Union Academy is Hosting a Forum on Charter School Issues

Charter School Forum Oct. 13.pdf

PDF Panel Forum.pdf


Devos at Piedmont

NEWS BREAK reports - Piedmont Community Charter School was visited by US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for a roundtable discussion Monday, October 5th.

NECP US Cellular recognition

North East Carolina Preparatory School distributes
mobile hotspots to keep classrooms connected for
remote learning. Recognized in US Cellular Business publication for "A True Commitment to Education"

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Kindergartners make learning about apples fun and engaging.

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Kindergartners make learning about apples fun and engaging.

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:

MINA Charter School – Lead Administrator

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