OCS Weekly Newsletter for April 16, 2021

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logoOffice of Charter Schools

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- April 16, 2021

Updated Lighting Our Way Forward Guidance


Superintendents, Charter Leaders, and Public Information Officers


Click here to see the news release marking the one-year anniversary of school closures, as issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt and State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis.


As of April 1, 2021, the following guidelines shall apply:

  • Kindergarten – 5th Grade Students Public school units must provide in-person instruction at least 4 days a week while following all public health protocols in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit with one exception: Schools serving children kindergarten – 5th grade do not need to adhere to the Six Feet Physical Distancing Requirements detailed on page 6 of the Toolkit. (Plan A).
  • 6th – 12th Grade Students  Public School units must provide in-person instruction either in Plan A at least 4 days a week  (minimal physical distancing) or Plan B to the maximum extent possible (six -feet physical distancing) while following all the other protocols in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit.  All local school boards that choose to return under Plan A for 6-12 students must participate in the ABC Collaborative and also must notify the Department of Health and Human Services and describe the unit’s plan, as required by NC Session Law 2021-4, Section 2.(1)b.2.

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!



Hello, Education Leaders!  


We need your input with a fast turnaround.   


Please provide feedback on this brief survey to help us understand if and which Competency-Based Education diagnostic tools that you are using to inform student learning progress.  


We are collecting this information to help support SL2021-7, which requires a Competency-Based assessment.


 Feel free to forward this survey to the appropriate person as needed. 


Competency-based education is a system of instruction where learning becomes the constant and time becomes the variable. CBE focuses on content mastery rather than mere content completion. Besides instruction, CBE focuses on meaningful assessments, fast feedback, and is intensely data-driven. 


If you have questions, please reach out to Vanessa Wrenn at vanessa.wrenn@dpi.nc.gov or Jill Darrough at jill.darrough@dpi.nc.gov.


*Referenced Survey link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScM0iZZ00qPHaBe34i_xbz1zOMtoxP9TQgMPclMLd8Z-xIe_Q/viewform?usp=sf_link

Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


OCS OFFICE HOURS IS BACK Monday, April 19th at 11:30 a.m.


Special Presenter:  Alex Quigley, Healthy Start Academy, Principal, and CSAB Chair will lead a 90 minute session about All Things Re-opening, 2021-2022.

Join Us!  Bring one of your Admin with you!  This is a can’t miss…


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

EWIC, CTE Grant Applications Due April 20th

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.

Register for April 17th Ready, Set, App! Competition and Professional Development!

PRC 172-ESSER II Application is open in CCIP


Technical Assistance Sessions on 4/22

Morning, 11:00 am

ESSER II- PRC 172 Technical Assistance

Hosted by LaTricia Townsend


Thursday, Apr 22, 2021 11:00 am | 1 hour | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Meeting number: 185 754 5682

Password: GRyPJzWb842


Join by video system

You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

For internal <sitename> users, dial <Pilot Number>.


Join by phone

+1-415-655-0003 US Toll

+1-904-900-2303 United States Toll (Jacksonville)

Access code: 185 754 5682


Afternoon, 3:00 pm

ESSER II- PRC 172 Technical Assistance

Hosted by LaTricia Townsend


Thursday, Apr 22, 2021 3:00 pm | 1 hour | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Meeting number: 185 028 4819

Password: sXD9BdKNt74


Join by video system

You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

For internal <sitename> users, dial <Pilot Number>.


Join by phone

+1-415-655-0003 US Toll

+1-904-900-2303 United States Toll (Jacksonville)

Access code: 185 028 4819



Please find info about general ESSER II:


ESSER II Technical Assistance Webinar Recording Link: https://ncgov.webex.com/ncgov/ldr.php?RCID=dc0f174e81fa4887b8d5bf5c57529197

Password: fMAKYXh2




ESSER II (PRC 171) Opened in CCIP on April 1st - Due by May 7th

ESSER II (PRC 172) Supplemental Funding for Charters – Due by May 7th

ESSER III (PRC 181) Opens in CCIP the week of April 12th – Due by May 7th

*May 7th due date allows for funds to be distributed in FY21 for access to the funds for Summer 2021 and for planning/expenses for the opening of the 2021-2022 school year. If funds are not disbursed in FY21, it will be late July into August before funds would be distributed in FY22 for your charter.

2021-2022 Home Base Opt-in Process is Scheduled to Begin in May


The NC DTL Home Base team is preparing to open the 2021-22 Home Base Opt-in Process during the month of May. District finance officers and charter school directors will receive further information as to when the system will be taken offline and returned to service for the opt-in process to begin.  Please ensure all finance officer and charter principal information in EDDIE is up to date.  This information is used to identify who is eligible to opt in for the districts and charter schools.

NCDPI COVID Updates Webinar Tuesday, April 20

Follow-Up for Monthly NCDHHS Joint COVID Call

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

MEMO - Alternative Schools’ Modified Accountability System Options

Charter school leaders,

Please thoroughly read the memo, Justification Required for Exceeding 1.0 Percent Participation in the Alternate Assessment, from Dr. Catherine Edmonds, Dr. Tammy Howard, and Ms. Sherry Thomas.


School Business Contact Information 


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



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

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.

Exceptional Children Division

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.

Resources Galore

School Business

April 15, 2021 - Home Base Bulletin

AP/IB Update - April 2021

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

April Science Update

2019-2022 Allotment Policy Manual for Funding that is Pandemic Related

Advanced Placement Update - April 2021

Principal of the Year info - Submission Due April30!

NC Center for Safer Schools NEWSLETTER - Apr. 2021

Monthly Update: NC Healthy Schools 3/31/21

STEMtastic News - April 2021

NCDPI School Counseling Updates 3/31/21

Announcing the First Annual Student-Led Computer Science Virtual Summit May 15th- Student Registration

CFNC's Take Your Dreams Off Hold Initiative for Seniors

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

25th Anniversary Art Contest Entries Due May 1st

LinguaFolio Webinar on 4/8 and Canvas Course

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

Available ELA Professional Learning Opportunities!

Weekly COVID Top Ten-April 8, 2021

Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates




Evaluation Instrument Validation & Crosswalk


In State Board Policy TCED-016, it is stated that a local board shall use the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (NCPTS) and North Carolina Educator Evaluation System (NCEES) unless it develops an alternative evaluation that is properly validated and that includes standards and criteria similar to those in the NCPTS and NCEES.


Critical Considerations:

  • The validation study should be conducted by an external agency. This means that the LEA or vendor should not be conducting its own validation study, but that an unbiased third party should conduct the validation study.
  • The third-party evaluator should submit a summary of its methodology along with its findings.
  • The LEA/charter school or the vendor should submit a crosswalk between the new instrument and the state instrument which demonstrates the coverage of all the domains of the state evaluation system.
  • *Note – A charter school is only required to use a validated/aligned evaluation system when it is used for the purpose of a Beginning Teacher Support Program in pursuit of licensure.

Per policy, if the charter school is using a tool REGARDLESS of when it was prepared, it must be resubmitted for validation.  This includes any evaluation tools used prior to 2018 that may or may not have been written into your approved charter agreement.  The agreement was approved, however the evaluation tool itself still MUST be validated by a third party.  No beginning teachers can be transitioned to career teachers on alternative evaluation instruments until said instrument has been validated.  DPI has indicated no exceptions. 


The Office of Charter Schools has been approved as a third party validator and we are in the process of developing a validation tool for charters that desire to use alternative evaluation instruments.  As such, we are preparing to have it as an upload in Epicenter for both your instrument and crosswalk.  OCS will then provide either validation or feedback for revision of your instrument.  Again approved validation by OCS or another third party MUST occur prior to using the instrument for evaluation purposes of Beginning Teachers.  We will keep you updated when the tool and the upload is ready.


If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office, Dr. Darian C. Jones, darian.jones@dpi.nc.gov


April Professional Development





Tuesday, April 20, 2021 3:30pm – 4:30pm



Wednesday, April 21, 2021 3:00pm – 5:00pm



Tuesday, April 27, 2021 3:00pm – 5:00pm



*Limit: 50 participants

Note: This PD is presented in two parts and you MUST commit to attending both sessions.

Thursday, April 29, 2021 9:30am – 2:00pm

OCS Consultant Sites:

BRAND NEW Performance Framework Companion Site


Professional Learning 101


The Scoop With Coop-All Things Renewals 


Ready to Open/Planning Year

Other News about Our Charter Schools:

The 2021 People Helping People Charter Scholarship Winners Are:  DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!

  1. Kathryn Karla Ximena Dukelow – Eno River Academy (NC State/UNC)
  2. Tray’von Malik Hanks – Henderson Collegiate (ECU)
  3. Kylie Lane Bradley – Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (NC State)

TOY JWhite

Charter Schools were very well represented by Jeremy White, West Lake Preparatory Academy Kindergarten teacher and Charter Teacher of the Year 2021, at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year awards April 9th. Jeremy is an alum of Elon University and UNC Charlotte, with 9 years of teaching experience, including several years teaching in Japan. He is also a published author. State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, recognized Jeremy and other NC regional candidates before announcing the 2021 NC Teacher of the Year, Ms. Eugenia Floyd, of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Purple Star Designation

OCS thanks and congratulates 5 schools recognized by the 2021 Purple Star Award for serving the families of those serving in our nation's armed forces:

  • Alpha Academy
  • Anderson Creek Academy
  • Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies
  • Peak Charter Academy
  • Wayne Preparatory


Carolina Charter Academy celebrated their groundbreaking ceremony on April 5th, 2021.

Leadership Opportunities:

Brevard Academy School Director

Lincoln Charter Human Resources Director

The Magellan Charter School Administrator

Old Main STREAM Academy School Principal

Old Main STREAM Academy Staff

Telra Institute Early-Tenure Teacher

Telra Institute Grade Level Lead Teacher

Socrates Academy - Multiple Opportunities!

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