OCS Weekly Newsletter for December 4, 2020

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Weekly Newsletter- December 4, 2020

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


  • GPA and Grade Scale Automation Q&A for Charters

On Monday, December 7, DTL will be holding two Q&A webinars for the GPA and Grade Scale Automation. Details regarding these changes can be found in the 2021-2022 GPA and Grade Scale Automation memo. During this Q&A we will be reviewing the changes for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year within PowerSchool as well as providing an opportunity for LEAs and charter schools to ask any questions or concerns regarding any of these changes.  

Charter School’s Q&A Webinar – December 7 from 2:30-3:15 Webex Link for Charter School's

If you have any questions or concerns prior to this meeting please email brandon.young@dpi.nc.gov. 

Digital Content & Canvas Grant Applications - Now Open!

Digital Teaching and Learning held an information webinar regarding PRC 165 (Digital Content) and PRC 166 (Canvas), on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. Grant applications are now open for both PRC's and due by 5pm on Friday, December 11, 2020.


You can view the webinar recording at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRiI2V1EIz0.


The accompanying slide deck can be accessed at: https://bit.ly/prc165and166slides.


Application links:   PRC 165 (Digital Content)        PRC 166 (Canvas)


Please view our Funding and Resources page for additional information and links to help you with the application process.


If you have questions about PRC 165, please reach out to Jill.Darrough@dpi.nc.gov.


If you have questions about PRC 166, please reach out to Pamela.Batchelor@dpi.nc.gov.

Planning Year Session Three: Charter School Accountability & Operations

Wednesday, Jan. 27th 2021 at 8:30am-4pm

This is an online event.

Target audience: 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 in 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, the target audience is new school leaders and baords.  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. 

IMPORTANT: COVID State PRCs will close as of December 30, 2020


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.  

*Note, due to the holiday, there will not be a Top Ten issued next week.

Here’s a preview:

10. General Information and Resources-Public Records Requests
9.  Digital Content & Canvas Grant Applications - Now Open! 
8.  Reminder-NCStar Student Success Comprehensive Plan Report Submission Due Tomorrow-December 4th
7. Second Round of DLI Grant Opportunity
Join us for the Cultural Arts LIVE Conference-December 15th and 16th
5. Extra Credit Grant Deadline Extension
4. NCDHHS Webinar Recording & Slide Deck 12.1.20
3. EDDIE Review-Help ensure we have the most up to date contact information!
2. Holiday Card Drive 2020 (Deadline-Friday, December 11, 2020)
1.  NCDHHS Update: Language to Support Masking Guidance Change
Bonus: Important-Digital Content Funding Applications
From the field...US Department of Ed announces the
 2020 CubeSat Mission Finalist

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.

Application now open - COVID-19 Testing Pilot K-12 Public Schools

Dear education and health partners, 


We are excited to share that North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) opened the application process for its pilot program to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing in K-12 public schools to quickly identify students and staff who may have COVID-19 to help slow the spread of the virus. 


To participate in the pilot, a school or school partner organization that wishes to perform testing must be able to meet certain requirements, including: the ability to obtain parental/guardian consent prior to testing, maintain adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, have trained personnel to administer tests, and report test results to state and local public health agencies. Local education agencies can identify individual schools in their jurisdictions that are interested and able to meet these requirements.  


A local education agency must work with their local health department to complete a readiness checklist and submit a pilot application to NCDHHS. 


Pilot applications are due December 8, 2020. NCDHHS will deliver the rapid tests to pilot sites at no cost to the sites as soon as December 14, 2020. 


Ready to apply? For more information about the K-12 COVID-19 testing pilot, including step-by-step application instructions and frequently asked questions, please review the application packet, available online here: https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/guidance/education/NCDHHS-K-12-Testing-Pilot-Application-Packet.pdf


Questions? Applicants should direct questions about the K-12 COVID-19 antigen testing pilot application process to StrongSchoolsNC@dhhs.nc.gov with the subject line “COVID Testing Pilot Question.” 


Thank you so much for all that you do for our kids, their families, our educators, and our communities. 


With gratitude, 

NCDHHS K-12 COVID-19 Testing Pilot Team 

Application now open - COVID-19 Testing Pilot K-12 Public Schools

Immunization assessments extended to December 30, 2020

The requirements to submit a certification of immunization and a school health assessment will be reinstated on December 1, 2020.  The 30-day grace period will end December 30, 2020, or 30 calendar days from the child’s first date of attendance, whichever is later, after which point a student would have to be excluded from in-person and remote learning until compliant with requirements. Schools will have until February 1, 2021 to file annual immunization reports. 

Monthly Update: SIS and NC Healthy Schools

EDNC - Perspective | COVID-19 through the eyes of one principal

Professional DevelopmentReminder:  PowerSchool IPT Certification in February 2021

The Home Base Team will be offering a virtual IPT certification training from February 1-5, 2021.  This training will span five full days. Participants will have 90 days to take and pass the certification test after training. Each PSU is allowed a certain number of technical contacts based on their ADM. If you are unsure of your current technical contacts, please contact PowerSchool Support at 1-855-339-4790. 


NCDPI has created an IPT FAQ document  to help answer questions you may have. Please review this document for frequently asked questions about the training and certification.

Those who can attend the DPI offered IPT Training include: 

  • Anyone replacing a previous technical contact from their allotted number.
  • A local charter school employee who is not employed by a data management company. 

Those who cannot attend this training are: 

  • Charter school data management company employees
  • PSUs wanting additional technical contacts above their desired allocation
  • Anyone who has attended training previously and failed the certification test. 

Note: Anyone who is not eligible for this training will need to arrange training and/or certification directly through the vendor, PowerSchool, and cover the cost incurred. To do so, please reach out to the PowerSchool training team, training@powerschool.com.   


Those who are eligible for this training session, please fill out the registration form.


Thank you,


Yolanda Wilson
NC Department of Public Instruction
Digital Teaching and Learning

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

Follow-Up-Charter/Lab/ISD Leaders' Check-In 11/19/20

Superintendents and Charter School Leaders,

Please see the attached memo, 2020-21 Testing & Accountability Update, from State Board of Education Chairman, Eric Davis.

Thank you for attending the 2020-2021 Purple Star Application Overview Webinar. Links to the recordings and other helpful sites are provided in this attachment. For questions, please email Angie.Mullennix@dpi.nc.gov.

Please see the attached memo regarding changes with automation of GPA and Grade-Scale beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

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

Please see the attached memo, K-3 Formative and Diagnostic Assessment Data Sharing, from Deputy Superintendent, Dr. David Stegall and Director of K-3 Literacy, Dr. Tara Galloway.

As outlined in the attached memo, K–3 Formative and Diagnostic Assessment Data Sharing, public school units (PSU) are required to submit student assessment data from the selected Read to Achieve diagnostic assessments for K–3rd grade students. The suggested method for this data collection is submission of the data by the vendor.   If PSUs choose to provide the data to NCDPI instead, the attached directions should be used.

 Direct any questions concerning the assessment data to your NCDPI K-3 Literacy Consultant.  Direct any questions about processing the data files to your Regional Accountability Coordinator.


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.


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.

Action Needed: Funds for Digital Content

Greetings Technology Directors, 


As part of the Coronavirus Relief Funds, NC DPI directed $10.8 million to be allocated to all PSUs to fund digital content. 


Due to the nature of these funds, each PSU must apply to accept or decline the funding. To date, 48 of the 340 PSUs (LEAs & Charters) have completed the application to claim or deny their portion of funds.  


The application is set to close on December 11 to allow us to drop funds in late January 2021. These funds expire on September 30, 2022.   


If you or your designee have not yet accepted or declined, please do so by December 11, 2020.  


The application link is located here:   PRC 165 (Digital Content)     


For more information, please view the  Funding and Resources page for additional information and links to help you with the application process.


If you have questions about PRC 165, please reach out to your regional consultant,  Jill.Darrough@dpi.nc.gov or me at vanessa.wrenn@dpi.nc.gov

Opportunity for EL Program Coordinators, Lead Teachers, and Testing Coordinators to participate in ACCESS for ELLs Roundtable Discussions

We are pleased to announce the ACCESS for ELLs Roundtable Discussions. These roundtables are hosted by EL Program coordinators and Testing coordinators across the state to share ideas, ask questions, find answers, and discuss ways we can safely and successfully administer ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLS assessments.

Our topics in these sessions will include discussions around preparing for the testing window, testing locations, communication with parent/family caregivers, student transportation, and other relevant information.

Please register for the session that reflects your school’s characteristics (e.g. a small population or a large population of ELs) - Space is limited.


ACCESS for ELLs Roundtable Registration Links

ACCESS for ELLs Roundtable Discussions

Exceptional Children Division

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

Please review the below 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.

Resources Galore:


Coalition hosting webinar with Superintendent-Elect Catherine Truitt, Tuesday 12/8 9AM

Superintendent-Elect Catherine Truitt Announces New Hires to DPI Staff

School Business – December 4, 2020

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletins

NCDPI Arts Ed Newsletter - December 1, 2020

Reminders from our NC AP Partnership - AP Exam orders

New standards mapping resource for SEL from the NC SEL implementation team

Advancing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as a Lever for Equity and Excellence - Equity Insights Report

December First Tuesday Science Update

Monthly Update: SIS and NC Healthy Schools

CSI Connections Newsletter

NC Homeless Education Program

Global Education Newsletter: International Education Week & More!


2021 NC Governor's School Announcement

NCDPI Webinar Series: Integrating SEL in the Content Areas

Fall 2020 NCStar Professional Learning Opportunities

Digital Learning Standards & ELA Standards Crosswalk - New Resource

November - December 2020: World Language Opportunities

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

LinguaFolio: Middle of the Year (MOY) Webinars

DL/I Discourse: IHE- Strategies for Online Academic Language Learning for DL/I

NCDPI December Performances: Keep Sharing the Joy!

"Civil Rights in American History" presented by Hillsdale College

Please Share- Ready, Set, App! Mobile App Development Competition

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



2021-2022 Calendar Reminder

We have been receiving inquiries about the 2021-2022 school calendar. As a reminder, the remote learning days were required in law for the 2020-21 school calendar year only.  We will wait for the General Assembly session starting January to see if they make changes to the requirements for the 2021-22 school calendar.

Professional Learning, RTO, and Renewals Newsletters

Professional Learning 101


The Scoop With Coop-All Things Renewals 


Ready to Open/Planning Year

Other News about Our Charter Schools:


New Triangle Charter School Administrators
Collaborative meets December 11th

The following topics will be discussed:

Covid and Reopening

Schoolwide strategies for student success utilizing remote instruction

Plan C Ideas for Social Involvement

Contact williams@longleafschool.com for more information.

Four More NC Charter Schools Add Diversity Measures To 2021 Admission Lotteries

WFAE Charlotte reports - Four More NC Charter Schools Add Diversity Measures To 2021 Admission Lotteries

Brevard Academy on Overcoming Adversity in 2020

Brevard Academy on Overcoming Adversity in 2020

School flooding Corvian

WSOCTV reports - 'Totaled’: Charter school raises funds for teachers after floodwaters destroyed cars


"The school launched a teacher assistance fund to help the teachers. Click here or here or here to help."

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:

Charter Schools USA Regional Grants Coordinator for the Carolinas

MINA Charter School – Lead Administrator

Telra Institute K-5 Director of Instruction

Brevard Academy Elementary Teacher

Pine Springs Prep Exceptional Children’s 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

Island Montessori Charter School Instructional Coordinator

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

Melanie Rackley     984 236 2712

Consultant, Charter Applications

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