OCS Weekly Newsletter for February 26, 2021

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- February 26, 2021

Date: 2/25/2021
To: Charter School Leaders
From: Dave Machado
Subject: Teacher Evaluation Tool
Charter schools have the flexibility to use their own Teacher Evaluation Tool instead of the North Carolina tool, NCEES. State Board of Education policy TCED-016, and policy EVAL-004, specifically: A local board shall use the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards and North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Process unless it develops an alternative evaluation that is properly validated and that includes standards and criteria similar to those in the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards and North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Process.

These two policies allow schools to use their own teacher evaluation tool if it is (1) approved by the charter school board and (2) is properly validated by a third party. Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, clarified this week that the Office of Charter Schools can serve as the validating third party. This is great news for charter flexibility and autonomy. If your school is using a teacher evaluation tool other than NCEES, make sure you have followed the above-mentioned process. I want to thank the NC Coalition for Charter Schools and the charter school leaders who worked to make this happen, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Thank you.

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


OCS Office Hours Resumes Monday, March 1st. 

Here is the NEW OCS Office Hours LINKhttps://ncgov.webex.com/webappng/sites/ncgov/meeting/download/184509c605b64005a0671c573f999fe7?siteurl=ncgov&MTID=m63130db7d3357c89a7332d38b6921c79



Mark your calendars!

NCDPI COVID Updates Webinar

Tuesday, March 2, 2021  |  8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Topics Include:
Overview of NC and CDC guidance alignment, COVID-19 testing guidance updates, vaccine updates and status check, and Q&A.

 Local Education Leaders (Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Leaders, and Public Information Officers)

IMPORTANT! Please use this login to access the webinar: https://ncvps.zoom.us/j/84765208675
Or iPhone one-tap :
    US: +19292056099,,84765208675#  or +13017158592,,84765208675#
Webinar ID: 847 6520 8675

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! 


Note: Due to technical issues we have updated the webinar links below.



Time:  2 - 3 pm EST

Platform:  Webex

Dates and Registration Information:

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


EL Summer Conference Survey 

The NCDPI ESL/Title III team would like to invite you to join us for FREE summer training on working with English learners (ELs) in the content areas. 

From June through August 2021, online professional learning will be available. What topics are you interested in learning about? 

Please fill out this survey by February 26 to assist the team with the planning process. 

Planning Year Session Five: Our School Opens in Five Months! Now What?  

March 24th, 2021, 8:30am-4pm This is an online event.

Registration is now open here: Planning Year Session Five

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.  

Here’s a preview:

10. The Weekly Top Ten is Transitioning to GovDelivery!
The Environmental Protection Agency extends nominations deadline for the 2021 President’s Environmental Student and Teacher Awards
8. NCASA 2021 Virtual Conference on Educational Leadership (March 11 - 12)
7. 3 Questions to Help You Build Trust With Parents-Forthright Advising
6. NCSPRA Request: 
Share your Pandemic Pics!
5. At Home Learning-PBS North Carolina-Resources for Families
4.  REGISTER NOW for the FREE NCSPRA Spring Professional Development Series
3. Mark your calendars!  NCDPI COVID Updates Webinar
Superintendent Truitt Announces New Addition to DPI Staff
1.  NCDHHS COVID-19 Response Updates (Released 2.19.21)
  February is CTE appreciation month!

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

Joint Letter from Superintendent Truitt and Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry


Please see this letter from Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry.

Please note at the bottom of the letter that new guidance on vaccine operations is now available to help support your school personnel in getting vaccinated.

School Business Contact Information 


To ensure that School Business staff are able to contact you: 


NCDPI CAO/Academic Leaders Policy Update:  February 11, 2021




On February 4, 2021, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved the adoption of the K-12 Social Studies Standards. The approved standards can be found here. Installation of the standards is currently in progress. Implementation of the standards begins Fall 2021. A timeline for release of supporting documents is forthcoming.  


As a reminder, the following Social Studies high school courses will be required for graduation starting with Grade 9 students entering in 2021-22 (adopted in March 2020):

Four Social Studies credits which shall be:

a.               Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina:  Civic Literacy

b.               Economics and Personal Finance

c.                American History

d.               World History


Note:  NCDPI is still looking at the dual credit allowances course chart for the incoming grade 9 students regarding CCP.  For current students, the dual credit chart will remain in place.


GRAD-004 Possible Changes – High School Graduation Requirements

Based on input from the field, NCDPI has recommended that the SBE continue the CPR waiver for students graduating in May/June 2021 and change in OCS work hours requirement to 157 hours.  This was presented to the SBE in February and will be voted on in March.


Course Code Webinars

Begin this Friday.  This series is intended for both data managers and student support staff to better understand how course codes, transcripts and all sorts of other related issues work together.  Please contact your NC-SIS manager for details.


AP Testing Information

This information was released last week.  Paper/pencil and virtual opportunities will be available for most courses over three testing windows.  Please see your AP Contact for more information.



Please always check this link for NCDPI’s Weekly Top Ten.  This is a great way to stay in touch with new happenings and important reminders.


As always – we remain grateful for all that you do on a daily basis to support NC’s public schools.

Dr. Stegall and Sneha.


Follow-Up for Bi-Weekly Comms Call

Communications Leaders,

Good afternoon! Thanks to all who participated in Tuesday’s call. Click here to access the recording with integrated chat and transcript.

Additional resources referenced in the call:

2.16.21 Slide Deck

As a reminder, our next call is Tuesday, March 2, 2021 from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. This meeting will provide NCDHHS updates and will be advertised to our broader audience of school leaders. 


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

Monthly Leadership Call with DPI Senior Leadership

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

Growing Success for ELs banner

Update English Learners Contacts

The NC DPI ESL/Title III team is conducting its annual stakeholders EL Contact Survey.

To ensure you receive the most up-to-date information on Title III compliance and EL program quality, please share this survey with your English learner stakeholders (Please do not be concerned about duplicate entries as we will filter the responses).

Thank you for your participation.

Exceptional Children Division

Statewide Corrective Action – Technical Assistance Additional Support
Please see the linked guidance communications.

Statewide Corrective Action MEMO LINKED – Technical Assistance Package #2

Please see the following flyer regarding NCPTA's Inclusion Town Hall you can access registration through this link:

NCPTA Special Education for “Inclusion for ALL” Virtual Town Hall - North Carolina PTA

EC Event flyer

The North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP)  

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.


Resources Galore

February 2021 From the Board Room

School Business – February 26, 2021

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin 2/26/21

Feb. 18, 2021 - Home Base Bulletin

NCDPI Arts Education Newsletter - February 25, 2021

Monthly Update: NC Healthy Schools Feb 24 2021

K-12 Education Office of Government and Community Affairs Update - Tuesday, February 23, 2021

New Social Studies Course Codes 2/19/21

DTL Insider - February 19, 2021

Character Education News & Updates: February 2021

Guidance Extract from NC Homeless Education Program

AP/IB/CIE February 2021 Update

Global Education Newsletter--February 2021

Math Options Charts Update 2/18/21

February 2021: Social Studies Update

STEMtastic News - February 2021

World Language Education News - February 2021

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







Join the ImplementEd team to learn tips and tricks on how to use breakout rooms to enhance student learning and collaboration in the school community.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

3:30pm – 4:30pm


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

Support with NC First in FAFSA Charter School Outreach

Other News about Our Charter Schools:

UA Business

The Union Academy Business Office was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International. The complete press release is linked.


Black Minds Matter

Black-Owned School directory is the first-ever online directory to promote schools founded by African Americans. We are here to help, whether it’s finding a school for your child, advocating for more Black-owned school options, or expanding a network of supporters. 


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

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:

The Magellan Charter School Administrator

Old Main STREAM Academy School Principal

Telra Institute Early-Tenure Teacher

Telra Institute Grade Level Lead Teacher

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

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