OCS Weekly Newsletter for March 12, 2021

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- March 12, 2021

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Regarding next school year...


  • The General Assembly has not passed any legislation regarding the school calendar for next year and whether full remote will be an option for charter schools.
  • If such legislation is passed, OCS will alert all charter schools and provide guidance as needed.
  • For now, we suggest drafting regular school calendars for in-person learning with the understanding allowances for remote/hybrid learning may be made by the state. It may be helpful to draft multiple calendars for contingency purposes.
  • If parents reach out about virtual learning, you can inform them the state legislature has to make that allowance and at this point it has not been made.

Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


OFFICE HOURS RESUME ON MONDAY, MARCH 15th with special guests from the EC Division.


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

Charter call will DPI Senior Leadership
Thursday 3/18 @ 12:00


Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 916 8613 5661

One tap mobile

+19292056099,,91686135661# US (New York)

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.

NC Office of Charter School Petition Bootcamp - 2021 Application Cycle 

Hosts: Melanie Rackley / Dr. Darian Jones
Date: Thursday, April 1, 2021 
Time: 5:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00) 
Session number: Not Available 
Registration password: This session does not require a registration password. 
To register for this session, go to https://ncgov.webex.com/ncgov/k2/j.php?MTID=t3843308ba1978cf717be0a64ec8737cc and register. 

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session. 
Note: If you have already registered for this session, you do not need to register again. 


COVID Header



Mark your calendars!

NCDPI COVID Updates Webinar

Tuesday, March 16, 2021  |  8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Topics Include:
COVID-19 anniversary, P-EBT updates, Virtual Tips and Best Practices, Superintendent Truitt’s Advisor for Educator Engagement

 Communications Leaders

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



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! NEXT WEEK!
FREE NCSPRA Spring Professional Development Series Continues March 12!
8. Analysis: How Do You Measure a Year? How States Should Assess Student Learning in a Pandemic
7. Three (more) tools for incorporating racial equity into your communications
6. Child Nutrition Waivers Extended Through Sept. 30 by USDA
5. Educator Edition-March 8, 2021 (Please Share with Teachers)
Analysis: Mentors, Team Teaching, 7-Week Class Cycles 12 Months a Year — Some School Innovations in Staffing and Scheduling During COVID-19
3. NEW! Let’s Get Ready! A Family’s Guide to Support Kindergarten Readiness
2. ESSER II Information Session-Follow-Up
1. Senate Bill 220-The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021

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.

3/5/2021 | NCDHHS COVID-19 Response Updates

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.


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: 


EWIC, CTE Grant Applications now Available

Charter School Leaders,

The North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission (EWIC) invites interested schools to apply for grant support through The Education and Workforce Innovation Program fund (EWIF). This Career and Technical Education (CTE) grant is established to foster innovation in education that will lead to more students graduating career and college ready.

To apply please click here.

This is a competitive grant. Upon receiving applications, a special committee within the EWIC Commission will be average the amount of qualified applications with the overall grant amount. Grant applicants can expect an award amount between $35,000 and $50,000, depending on how many applicants are approved.

Grant descriptions can be found in the respective legislation, hereThe application is available until April 20. Please contact Jacqueline Wyatt, Career Readiness Specialist, Career and Technical Education at NCDPI, Jacqueline.Wyatt@dpi.nc.gov with any questions.


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

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.

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


EC Office Hours: REMINDERS


Topic: Statewide Corrective Action - General Monthly Check-In (Optional)

Friday, March 26, 2021


Join Here -or- https://ncgov.webex.com/meet/carolann.hudgens

Hosted by: Carol Ann Hudgens, EC Division and IABS Staff



Corrective Action

Technical Assistance Materials Statewide corrective materials have been made available through the shared drive http://bit.ly/SEAcaFOLDER


Local leaders should continue to access this drive to support local implementation of required corrective action. The only new items that will be posted to this location will be the FAQs from the EC Office Hours. The FAQs will be posted within five to ten business days after the scheduled EC Office Hours.


MTSS LiveBinder

The purpose of the NC MTSS LiveBinder is to act as an implementation guide for NC districts and schools. Updates live on March 1, 2021, include the following:

  • Revised Tab: “SLD Eligibility in an MTSS” tab has been renamed to “MTSS and Students with Disabilities”
  • Resources formerly available on the “SLD Eligibility in an MTSS” tab are now located on the EC Division Webpage: SLD Policy and Resources
  • New Tab: “Communication with Stakeholders”
  • This tab includes parent communication resources including a template for Parent/Guardian Notification of Intervention and Resources for Parent Conferences
  • Revised Resource: “Problem Solving Steps and Questions” resource updated to include the “Essential Questions to Ask During Problem Solving”

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.  


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

School Business – March 12, 2021

Let’s Get Ready! A Family’s Guide to Support Kindergarten Readiness

2021 Recycle Regatta – FREE – Accepting Submissions until March 31

25th Anniversary Art Contest

March PD for World Language Educators

March Global Education Newsletter

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin 3/12/21

College Board AP Exam Update March 2, 2021

March First Tuesday Science Update

March Monthly K-12 Math Newsletter Updates

STEMtastic News - March 2021

NCDPI Arts Education Newsletter - February 25, 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

Math Options Charts Update 2/18/21

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

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



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.


Free March Professional Development Opportunities


The NC ACCESS Program is providing free, equity-focused professional development opportunities to all North Carolina charter school leaders, teachers, and staff. Visit ncaccessprogram.com/learn to view upcoming sessions and register. All sessions are free to participants, but space is limited and they fill up quickly! Check out some of our upcoming March sessions below. 


*As schools begin to re-open, we have scheduled multiple Spring sessions related to social emotional learning, grief, and mental health as you support your students in the wake of the pandemic. 

This workshop focuses on serving under-resourced students by providing hands-on techniques that help you eliminate the achievement gap for all students. Serve under-resourced students with hands-on techniques that help you narrow and then close the achievement gap.


March 16, 2021 | 10:00am – 4:00pm | REGISTER

With Jim Ott

The impact of implicit bias becomes even more significant when people are under stress. 2020 was a year of stress unlike any most of us have experienced and certainly for a more prolonged period of time. As we begin to look at bringing children and adults back into regular group meetings in various ways, it is important for us to examine our own implicit biases. Our team will assist you in doing so in a positive way that addresses not only the obvious biases, but also more subtle biases that impact how we deal with each other as coworkers and with the families, adults, and children we serve.

March 17, 2021 | 3:00pm – 5:00pm | REGISTER


Join ImplementEd as they explore tips and strategies to develop and bring efficiency to your instructional practice.

March 23, 2021 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | REGISTER

With Michael McIntosh

In many of our schools with chronically low achievement, students experience additional marginalization as a result of their intersecting identities and other identity-related factors. These identities fall under the categories of “minority,” “at-risk,” “Latino/Latina,” “African-American,” “disabled”, and “low socio-economic,” which are often accompanied by exposure to factors like trauma, racism and classism. The combination of these identities and factors “compounds” or intensifies students’ struggles to create opportunities that allow them to move beyond their status and prosper.

March 30, 2021 | 2:00pm – 5:00pm | REGISTER

With Jim Ott

This workshop provides a model of mental health that is easy to understand and apply. Everyone knows that “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” even from an early age. Understanding this ourselves as well as understanding what children do with the problem is essential in dealing with the mental health challenges we see in both adults and children.


Professional Learning, RTO, and Renewals Newsletters

Professional Learning 101


The Scoop With Coop-All Things Renewals 


Ready to Open/Planning Year

Other News about Our Charter Schools:


Charter School Students Competing in Carolina Panthers Regional Spelling Bee!


At this point, all participating charters have competed at the "district" level. Each school had their champion compete in a Zoom competition, which was extremely impressive. The top four charter spelling champions from NC that will be going to regionals on March 20th:

Eden J, Bradford Preparatory
Campbell B, Lincoln Charter

Anusha C, Queen City STEM

Krithi S, Triangle Math and Science

KIPP Halifax

WRAL reports - Participation skyrockets after school offers evening classes for students in Halifax County

Hilda Parler

Bragging on the Charter School Advisory Board's own Hilda Parlér! Educator extraordinaire, entrepreneur, and leader! Kudos, Hilda! https://t.co/4DiT8FCkH4


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

Leadership Opportunities:

Lincoln Charter Human Resources Director

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