OCS Weekly Newsletter for February 5, 2021

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6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- February 5, 2021

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!



Due by February 22


NCDPI has been asked by legislative staff to share how many students in your district/charter school are at-risk of academic failure.  We know that each of you is addressing this issue locally.  Since NCDPI does not collect this data statewide, we are administering a survey.

The purpose of the survey is to collect information at the district or charter school level of the number students who have been identified as at risk for academic failure and who are not successfully progressing toward grade promotion and graduation, beginning in kindergarten, pursuant to § 115C-105.41.  Legislative staff have also asked if you think this number of students will change significantly (more than 10%) and by what percent by the end of the year.


NCDPI is sending this request to Superintendents and their CAO/Academic Lead, and Charter School Principals.  Please see the survey and worksheet below.  In order to meet our deadline and respond to the legislative staff, please submit responses no later than Monday, February 22. 


Survey and Worksheet:

  • Survey to submit the data
  • Worksheet to gather local data. Helpful to use for preparation of the survey itself.



If you have any questions, please contact:   


Sneha Shah-Coltrane at sneha.shahcoltrane@dpi.nc.gov

Dr. Vanessa Wrenn at vanessa.wrenn@dpi.nc.gov

Spring 2021 Course Code Webinar Series


Please join the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for a Spring 2021 course code webinar series. PowerSchool Data Managers, PowerSchool Coordinators, School Counselors, Career and Technical Education Directors, Career Development Coordinators, CCP Coordinators, and  Curriculum and Instruction/Academic Leaders are encouraged to join the conversations. Please see details below and we look forward to seeing you (virtually) soon! 



Time:  2 - 3 pm EST

Platform:  Webex

Dates and Registration Information:


Questions? Please enter your questions in the Question Collection Form.


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. Check out the OEL One Stop Shop for Kindergarten Registration Resources!
9. NCCAT Offers: 
Brief Introduction to the Science of Reading
8. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Reminder
7.  Improve your outreach through empathy
6. Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant Webinar Recordings and Presentation
5. Digital Learning Day-February 25, 2021
4. PBS North Carolina Launches Classroom Connection
3. NCDPI Legislative Survey: Students At-risk for Academic Failure
2. Superintendent Truitt Presents Vision and Priorities Statement to State Board of Education
1.  Updated-StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (2.2.21)
Catherine Truitt: Superintendent on social studies standards - EducationNC (ednc.org)

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.

Strong Schools Toolkit Updated 2/2/21

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

Important Info Update from the School Financial Reporting Section

Charter Leaders, please see message from Alexis Schauss below:


Transfer of CRF Funds


S36 has been ratified and once this bill has been signed by the Governor and becomes law, the authority to transfer CRF funds between CRF allotment categories is NOT permitted.  Please submit any transfers that you need immediately.  Once this bill is signed, no further transfers may be accepted.  Transfers that are received prior to the day the Governor signs this bill will be permitted and processed.



This bill also permits the extension of CRF programs that were not automatically extended up to December 31, 2021, including


PRC 125   School Nutrition
PRC121     Summer Jump Start
PRC 122   Instructional Support
PRC 136   Mt Airy only

PRC134 Low wealth Supplemental Funds
PRC 137 Personal Protective Equipment


This will mean that all CRF PRCs have the ability for the Dec 31, 2021 expiration, pending SBE approval.




Also see Section 5(c) for required reporting for ESSER II funds.


Alexis Schauss

Chief Business Officer of NC Public Schools


Hello Charter School Directors, 

For the upcoming months, we are using #FamilyFridays on the @ncmtss Twitter Account. We want to stimulate thinking about your family engagement work that positively supports all students. Join us in lifting the by sharing a resource, shout out, or question that will ensure we keep this stakeholder group at the forefront of our work. This graphic was shared on Twitter in one of the first #FamilyFridays tweets. We are deeply grateful to collaborate with such a dedicated group of educators!

Lynn Bailey, M.A. Ed.

Strategic Outreach Consultant
(828) 226-2820
Division of District and Regional Support

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.

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 linked guidance communications.

Statewide Corrective Action MEMO LINKED – Technical Assistance Package #2

The North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP) 
Registration is now open for the 2020-2021SY Regional Compliance Forums.

Registration is now open for all upcoming regional compliance forums for both LEAs and charter schools. Forums will be held virtually in late February and early March. Liaisons should plan to attend the session designed for your region. Please contact your Program Specialist for an alternative attendance option if an LEA-schedule conflict arises. 


Dates for NCHEP Regional Compliance Meetings

McKinney-Vento Technical Assistance Solicitations


NCHEP is aware that many liaisons across the state have recently received a solicitation from an unofficial technical assistance organization for the provision of McKinney-Vento technical assistance, including provision of training to essential LEA staff per ESSA mandates. Unvetted technical assistance materials may lead LEAs into practices of noncompliance and should therefore be used with great caution.


All training and technical assistance requests should be directed to the NC Homeless Education Program (NCHEP). NCHEP is the NC Department of Public Instruction's (NCDPI) technical assistance center for homeless liaisons in NC and utilizes resources from the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) – the U. S. Department of Education’s technical assistance center.  


When applicable, NCHEP may recommend other partnering agency resources, such as those from SchoolHouse Connection (SHC) or the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). 


If you have questions about which resource materials or organizations to utilize, please contact your Program Specialist.

Laptop on desk

Homeless liaisons in LEAs are invited to join your NCHEP Program Specialist, Neely Laurens, for a virtual office hour from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM on Tuesday mornings. This time will allow for scenario processing, collaboration with other liaisons, discussion about needs to help support you in your role, or a time to just pop in for a quick hello. You will have the opportunity to build a relationship with your program specialist and other district liaisons from across the state. There is no required registration and attendance is optional. Join with the same reoccurring Zoom link.


Spam Folder Reminder 


Please check your spam folder for missing emails containing information, resources, and responses from our office.

For more information about serving North Carolina students experiencing homelessness,
visit the NCHEP website.

Lisa Phillips, State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth 

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of the Deputy State Superintendent of Innovation 

Federal Program Monitoring and Support Division
336-315-7491 or 336-543-4285

Website:  www.serve.org/hepnc or

School Business – February 5, 2021

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

Guidance Extract from NC Homeless Education Program

Healthful Living Update January 2021

AP/IB/CIE February 2021 Update

NC SEL Newsletter

*Updated* NCDPI Arts Education Newsletter - February 5, 2021

World Language Education News - February 2021

February First Tuesday Science Update

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

February Professional Learning Opportunities - ELA

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

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

2021 SECU Scholarship - Important Information Linked

Support with NC First in FAFSA Charter School Outreach




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:

Lab event

Charlotte Lab School is excited to share that we will be hosting an Educator Summit on Thursday, February 11th at 5pm. We would appreciate you sharing and joining this opportunity - designed by and for teachers - to promote sharing around remote learning practices that are working for all NC children. This event is open to all teachers k-12, as well as school leaders and other support personnel. Our staff is looking forward to the opportunity for networking and learning from those around the state.



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:

Old Main STREAM Academy School Principal

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

Pine Springs Prep Middle School Principal

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