OCS Weekly Newsletter for December 18, 2020

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Weekly Newsletter- December 18, 2020

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


Update for Enrollment and Expansion Requests!!

If your school has requested an enrollment or expansion request requiring SBE approval in CSADM, you should have received an email with next steps this week from Ashley Baquero. If not, please contact ashley.baquero@dpi.nc.gov. All documentation is due January 5th in Epicenter or the request cannot be brought to CSAB at its January 11th meeting leading to a SBE vote in March.


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.  What Research Says About Supporting the Whole Child (Education Week)
Mental Health Support for Students of Color During and After the Coronavirus Pandemic (Center for American Progress)
8. 'Losing A Generation': Fall College Enrollment Plummets For First-Year Students (NPR)
7.  Save the Date! DHHS Update Call-Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Schools keep kids fed during pandemic (Smoky Mountain News)
For money and credit, Guilford County Schools recruiting its own students to tutor math  (Greensboro News & Record)
4. UNC-TV and NCDPI Bolster At-Home Learning Programming with Local Initiatives
3.  NEW! DHHS COVID Vaccine Resources
2. Moment of Hope-
Brought to us by the NC Public School Forum
1.  ‘Our best days are ahead of us’ — Meet Brent Williams, 2021 NC Superintendent of the Year (EdNC)

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.

Winter Holiday flyer and vaccine information from NCDHHS

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

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

Follow-Up-Charter/Lab/ISD Leaders' Check-In 12/10/20

Follow-Up-Communications Leaders' Biweekly Call-12.15.20


  Click here to access the recording with integrated chat and transcript.  


A very special thanks to our guests Katie Test Davis, Lauren Empson, and Ashley Peterson-Deluca, Haley Pittman, and Rebecca Planchard.  Also a big thanks to Ken Derksen and Freebird McKinney for moderating and Dr. Stegall joining the call and closing us out for 2020.


Additional resources referenced in the call:

12.15.20 Master Slide Deck (with DHHS slides)

Forthright Advising-Slide Deck
 DPI Enrollment Webinar_FINAL.pdf


TeachNC Slide Deck and Resources (Attached)

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

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

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.

North Carolina Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan Addendum


Raleigh, NC


December 4, 2020

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is seeking public comment on a proposed addendum to the North Carolina Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA State Plan). As required under ESSA, the ESSA State Plan addendum must be made available to the public for review and comment for 30 days.

The U.S. Department of Education has provided States the opportunity to make one-year changes to certain parts of ESSA State Plans for the 2020–2021 school year to address missing data from the 2019–20 school year.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is submitting an addendum to address missing data from the 2019–20 school year.  The addendum consists of four items:

  • Long-term Goals and Measures of Interim Progress
  • Indicator Adjustments—Growth
  • Identification of Schools for Comprehensive and Targeted Support
  • Exit Criteria for Schools Receiving Additional Targeted Support

Access the draft version of the template is available using the link, Draft ESSA Addendum.

Interested persons may submit their written comments by January 4, 2021 at 5:00 PM using the link below:

North Carolina Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan Addendum

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

Connect with myFutureNC

All of NC’s community colleges and workforce development boards have endorsed our goal and we are now hoping to have all LEAs and charters endorse as well.  It would be great if you would be willing to suggest this to the charter school boards and leadership and I’m happy to provide you whatever information would be helpful.  Either way, I hope you are remaining healthy and are ready for some downtime during this holiday season.

myFutureNC is a state-led nonprofit created to move the state’s educational attainment goal of 2 million by 2030 into action. Achieving this goal will only be possible with cross-sector support at the local level.  Over 120 organizations have endorsed the goal and work of myFutureNC and the hope is to have endorsements from all colleges and universities across the state.  To endorse the statewide myFutureNC attainment goal, please complete the template (PDF or Word Docx) and email it to communications@myfuturenc.org.  


All the best,

Cecilia, myFutureNC

Exceptional Children Division


Resources Galore:


School Business News

DTL Insider December 18, 2020

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

Dec. 17, 2020 - Home Base Bulletin

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

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

NCDPI December Performances: Keep Sharing the Joy!

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

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



From the desk of Dave….

….. as 2020 comes to close (not a minute to soon) I would like to share a few thoughts. Our charter schools have been leaders in North Carolina in adjusting and adapting to your communities needs. You have demonstrated that what is effective in New Hanover County might not be the best for Buncombe or Gaston Counties. This pandemic has shown that you, as charter leaders, need to continue to embrace charter flexibility, and make decisions that are in the best interest of your school community. The interest in charter schools is greater than ever because families are seeing that the decision makers are right there in the building, and charters can adapt to the ever-changing conditions. Thank you for all you have done to provide your students with the best education, in the safest environment, under very challenging times. On behalf of everyone at the Office of Charter Schools, I hope you and your families have wonderful Holiday Season.

Performance Framework Note:

2019-2020 Draft School Reports have been placed in Epicenter. Please review yours in the school center.  If you believe a mistake has been made, please send evidence of the correction needed to joseph.letterio@dpi.nc.gov by Monday January 4th with the subject "19-20 PF Correction".  We continue to see improvements in these results and we thank you for valuing accountability!

Professional Learning, RTO, and Renewals Newsletters

Professional Learning 101


The Scoop With Coop-All Things Renewals 


Ready to Open/Planning Year

2021 SECU Scholarship - Important Information Linked

Other News about Our Charter Schools:


The Office of Charter Schools is delighted to announce the 2021 Charter Teacher of the Year, Jeremy White, of West Lake Preparatory Academy. Jeremy is a Kindergarten teacher with a passion for early grades literacy,  model for teacher leadership, a published author, an inspiration to his peers at West Lake, and a superstar to his students and families. We are thrilled to shine a light on Jeremy and hear his voice amplified through the platform of the Charter TOY 2021. Congratulations!


Read more about it

The NC Coalition for Charter Schools hosted a virtual event with Superintendent Elect Truitt this past week, “Conversation with Catherine Truitt” 
If you go to this link you will be able to access the 50 minute Q&A with our Superintendent Elect regarding charter school concerns. 
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




The NC Advancing Charter Collaboration and Excellence for Student Success (ACCESS) Program has launched its third round of subgrantee applications.  Currently, the NC ACCESS team is holding several live (virtual) application training sessions from October 2020 – January 2021 to assist prospective applicants with the subgrant application process. In order to aid in the successful completion of the application, please view next steps below:


  1. Learn more about the NC ACCESS Program, view the full training schedule, and download all subgrant application materials (application, budget and guidance document) on our website.
  2. Don’t forget to register for a January 2021 training here.
  3. In order to submit a full subgrant application, you MUST first submit a Letter of Intent by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15 to NCACCESS@dpi.nc.gov.


If you have further questions, please contact the NC ACCESS Program at NCACCESS@dpi.nc.gov. We look forward to your participation!




Leadership Opportunities:

Carolina International Art, Biology, 6th Grade, Interventionist

Charter Schools USA Regional Grants Coordinator for the Carolinas

MINA Charter School – Lead Administrator

Telra Institute K-5 Director of Instruction

Brevard Academy Elementary and EC 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