OCS Weekly Newsletter for January 15, 2021

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- January 15, 2021

Important information for your annual audits

Charter Leaders,

Our office has received multiple inquiries concerning the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and the NC Statute concerning the indebtedness clause. DPI leadership has determined that the indebtedness clause is required by law. We realize that federal PPP application forms cannot be modified and suggest that the indebtedness clause be included via an addendum to the loan documents provided by your lending institution. Please reach out to Dave Machado if you have any questions.

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


  • JumpStart Report Clarification and PRC167 Grant Deadline

After careful consideration, the agency decided to disregard the data pull and deadline originally communicated in late December 2020 to allow districts an opportunity to better ascertain the impact of the Jumpstart Program. Please be on the lookout for an update to the Jumpstart Report that will be communicated later this week with a more feasible deadline to allow districts to more holistically respond.


Also the grant is due Jan 15. The application is located in CCIP.

PRC 167 Grant Application

The application for CARES Act – ESSERF- Exceptional Children Grant (PRC 167) opened in the NC CCIP platform on Friday, December 11, 2020.  The due date for the completed application submission is January 15, 2021.


  • Charter Leader Check-In
    Thursday, January 21, 
    12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 916 8613 5661

  • Please note our next communications leaders’ biweekly call will be held Tuesday, January 26 at 8:00 a.m.  We will send a reminder and topic preview next week.


    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

Planning Year Session Three: Charter School Accountability & Operations

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

This is an online event.

  • Registration opened November 1st and is now closed. Please direct any questions to claire.porter@dpi.nc.gov
  • Agenda
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


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. Center for Mental Health in Schools and Student/Learning Supports-Resources
Even before the pandemic, students were struggling with mental health challenges. (EdNC)
8.  myFutureNC launches NC First in FAFSA
7.  NC Early Learning Inventory (NC ELI) Checkpoints-Due January 22, 2021
6. Duke, UNC study finds low rates of in-school COVID transmission (ABC11)
5. Public School Forum Hosts 7th Annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast (Virtual)
4. Legislative preview | Advocates hope early learning issues, on full display from pandemic, gain traction in long session (EdNC)
3. Tw0 NC Public School Nationally Recognized for Academic Achievement in 2020!
2. Possible SBE Policy Amendments due to COVID-19
1. View State Employees’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Program online at noon Friday, January 15

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.

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

High school principals, please read:

NCDPI is considering presenting to the State Board of Education some temporary relief for the following policies, based on LEA/Charter requests due to COVID-19:

  1. CPR Graduation Requirement, even though this is typically taught in Grade 8, there are some seniors who still may not have been able to participate in these requirements due to COVID-19.  This would apply only to graduating seniors in Spring 2021.  (GRAD-004)
  2. Occupational Course of Study Work Hours.  Lessen those hours for this year’s graduating class like last year.  This would apply only to graduating seniors in Spring 2021. (GRAD-004)
  3. Driver’s Education Eligibility:  Eliminate the need for passing of at least 70% of possible courses to be eligible for driver’s education but keep “making progress towards graduation…which means… meet promotion standards established by the LEA.”  (DRIV-004)

Please use the google form below for feedback.  If we do not hear from you, we will take that as you support these changes. 

NCDPI plans on taking these possible policy changes to the State Board of Education in February, depending on your feedback.

Jan2021 Policy feedback

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.

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.

Superintendents and Charter School Directors,

Please see attached memo regarding Beginning Teacher Support Programs.

Thank you.


Dr. Beverly R. Emory, Executive Director of Leandro Support

Dr. Thomas R. Tomberlin, Director, Educator Recruitment and Support

Dr. Cynthia M. Martin, Director, District and Regional Support

Exceptional Children Division

Please see the attached Parent Newsletter.

School Business News

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

AP/IB/CIE January 2021 Update

NC SEL Newsletter

Digital Learning Standards Course for 2021

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

Summer Nutrition Programs Offer Meals for Children at No Cost While School Is Out

NCDPI Arts Education Newsletter - January 15, 2021

Global Education Newsletter-- January 2021

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



Spelling Bee opportunity being extended to charter school students
The Carolina Panthers have partnered with the Scripps National Spelling Bee program and are pleased to sponsor the Carolina Panthers Regional Spelling Bee to designated school districts that otherwise would not have a local Bee sponsor. The Carolina Panthers Regional Spelling Bee will be held March 21, 2021 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.  The top three (3) finishers in the competition will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in June.  Interested schools/ districts can learn more and find registration information by clicking on the enclosed link:
OCS will share additional info as it becomes available.

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:


NC Association for Public Charter Schools hosting

FREE Webinar – Registration Required – Charter School Myths: Setting the Record Straight with Corey DeAngelis

January 19 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

celebrating School Choice Week

Charter schools are celebrating School Choice Week virtually this year. You can too!

TOY 2020

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


From Mr. White

My name is Jeremy White. I am 34 years old and was born in Memphis TN. I have lived in 5 different states including, NJ, WI, OH, TN, and currently reside in North Carolina where I teach Kindergarten at West Lake Preparatory Academy. I lived in Japan for five years after graduating from college in 2008. I taught at 2 private English schools and 7 public schools during my time there. I moved back stateside in 2014 and received my Masters in Teaching Elementary Education in 2017. I have been working with and teaching kids for 15 years. I enjoy anything that has to do with Marvel. I am excited to be the 2021 Charter School Teacher of the Year!

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:

Cape Fear Center for Inquiry: School Director

Carolina International Art, PE, Biology, 6th Grade, Interventionist

Charter Schools USA Regional Grants Coordinator for the Carolinas

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