OCS Weekly Newsletter for January 29, 2021

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- January 29, 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!


  • The Carolina Panthers are hosting a regional spelling bee and extending the opportunity to charter school students.  If your school is interested in participating please submit this form by January 31st and specify Charter School in the 'district' field. More info can be found at https://www.panthers.com/community/spelling-bee
  • As of January 22nd, there are some charter and lab schools that did not complete the Health Assessment Report for the 2020-2021 School year. Failure to complete the report will reflect as noncompliance in your Performance Framework for student health, A-17. There will not be an additional extension.

A combined compliance report is available this year, by school name, and must be completed on-line at this link: Annual Health Assessment and Immunization Report. You may use the link to access instructions as well as worksheets to gather your responses prior to entering the online report.
The report will close at 11:59 PM on Monday, February 1st. If your school believes they reported but does not have a confirmation email with a copy that they can produce, then they have not correctly reported and need to do so again. It is important to keep the confirmation email for your records. Please do not send a copy of the email confirmation to the Charter School Health Nurse Consultant.

Planning Year Session Four: Meeting the Needs of All Students, February 24th, 2021, 8:30am-4pm

This is an online event.

Registration is now open here: Planning Year Session Four

Please direct any questions to claire.porter@dpi.nc.gov

Target audience: Board members and school leaders from charter schools opening in 2021, as well as 2021 acceleration applicants, are required to attend 5 virtual Planning Year Sessions from September through 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. Register Today for the FREE, ONLINE, NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference
Test Date Options for ACT® Testing
8. Does Your District Need a Spelling Bee Sponsor? The Carolina Panthers want to help!
7. Avoiding Exclusions: Collaborative Efforts to Improve Student Health
 Here are 12 education podcasts you should know about - EducationNC (EdNC.org)
5. NCDPI & NCDHHS Preparing for the Next Issuance of P-EBT Benefits
4. Purple Star Deadline-Monday, February 1, 2021
3.  Statewide Corrective Action-Exceptional Children Division
2. Don’t Miss any Important NCDPI Information-
Update EDDIE by February 12!
1. National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness

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

PLEASE READ: January 2021 From the Board Room

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

The recording link from the January 21, 2021 leadership call is embedded in the following document:

FOLLOW-UP Charter-Lab-ISD Leaders Check-In

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

Charter Leaders, please see message from Alexis Schauss below:


CRF extension UPDATE


Finance officers of public school units,


As you know on December 27, the federal government extended the expiration of CRF funds from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021.  In accordance with State communication, NCDPI communicated that the extension date applied to all CRF funds that expired December 30, 2020.


We have been notified that for the CRF funds listed below the State legislation explicitly states that the funds shall be used for the purpose in the special provision by December 30 or in the school year 2020-21 and therefore the date limitations were not superseded by the federal extension.  


The following programs currently have an expiration of Dec 30, 2020 and are not extended to December 31, 2021 at this time.

PRC 125 School Nutrition

PRC121 Summer Jump Start

PRC 122 instructional Support

PRC 136 Mt Airy 


Please note that although expenditures after December 30 in these PRCs are currently on hold, public school units may transfer unused funds as of December 30 from these PRCs in to other unexpired CRF PRCs. Funds that have been encumbered may be liquidated with the appropriate documentation. 


The following programs have an expiration of June 30, 2021

PRC134 Low wealth



The legislative staff of the SBE and the State Superintendent are working to find a resolution to this situation, and we are hopeful that it will be resolved so that all funds may be extended to the fullest extent.


Alexis Schauss

Chief Business Officer of NC Public Schools

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.

January 2021 ESL/Title III Update

Please click on the link to access the January 2021 Update pdf version.                                                         

This and previous issues of the newsletter may be downloaded at simplebooklet.com/ncelsupdate


School Business News

Healthful Living Update January 2021

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

February Professional Learning Opportunities - ELA


AP, IB, Cambridge and CTE Teachers


Based on recent NCGA legislation, Session Law 2020-45, SB 818, the teacher performance bonus pay has been repurposed for the coming year. The $37.8 million will be used for the $350 bonus for all teachers in the upcoming year, instead of the AP/IB/AICE and CTE performance bonus pay. There will be no AP/IB/AICE and CTE credential bonuses for the 2019-20 academic year to be paid in January 2021.


SESSION LAW 2020-45, SB 818 (see Part 2)



As always, we appreciate your continued service and dedication to your students – especially during this time of COVID-19.



Sneha Shah-Coltrane

Director, Advanced Learning and Gifted Education

Rethink K-12

Rethink K-12 Education Models

Grant from the U.S. Department of Education

Strengthening remote learning instruction, content, and access across North Carolina



Program Kickoff Webinar Slides (Jan. 22, 2021) Webinar recordings:

Frequently Asked Questions from the kickoff webinar 

Send us additional thoughts and questions at rethink@ncpublicschools.gov

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



The 2021 Black History Month Theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.


Diversity is Black History Month, Inclusion is 365.  Please find curated resources for BHM loading February 1, 2021.  These resources were curated with the goal for planning and intentional experiences that resets where the history and diaspora of African Americans began and expands narratives of their individual and collective contributions that often are not included in traditional and mainstream resources.  If you need additional support, please do not hesitate to contact: darian.jones@dpi.nc.gov



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




Registration is now open for more free, equity-focused professional development. You can find session information, registration links, and other details at ncaccessprogram.com/learn. Share the link with your staff and check back regularly as new sessions may be added throughout the year. Please reach out to us at NCACCESS@dpi.nc.gov with any questions.

Other News about Our Charter Schools:


EdNC Perspective | The NC ACCESS program is freeing charter schools to live their mission

UA Character

Union Academy has been named a State School of Character for 2021. Well done UA!

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:

Socrates Academy Assistant Principal, School Counselor, AIG Teacher, High School Teacher, Media Specialist

Pine Springs Prep Math Teacher – 8th Grade

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