OCS Weekly Newsletter for July 13, 2021

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Office of Charter Schools

Office of Charter Schools Logo

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- July 13, 2021

Charter School legislative Update

A huge thank you to the NC Coalition for Charter Schools for hosting a very informative legislative update for all charter school leaders. Here is a summary of what was discussed.


Mask requirements 

  • Complicated issue involving multiple levels of govt
  • Toolkit became a requirement thru the initial emergency Covid leg that applied to 2020-21
  • The reopening bill (S 220) required LEAs to follow toolkit; the bill does not apply to charter schools 
  • The authority now requiring schools to follow the toolkit are executive orders
  • EO 220 (6/11/21) lifts most masks requirements but requires schools to continue using masks and requires PSUs to follow the toolkit
  • This is now where the requirement to follow the toolkit comes from
  • Last toolkit updated 6/11/21 – masks required in school with some exceptions
  • Toolkit will likely be amended in the next few weeks following amendments to CDC guidance
  • S 173, currently in conference, would give PSUs authority to make decisions regarding mask requirements


  • LEAs vary greatly in terms of what they require to process local payments 
  • H335 passed w/bipartisan support
  • Requires LEAs to pay per pupil funds within either 30 days of enrollment verification form from charter school or receiving monies into local current expense fund
  • Sets out consequences if LEA does not pay by deadline – includes procedures charters must follow to notify LEAs of late payments
  • If doesn’t pay after those procedures are followed (LEA has 15 days) the charter receives 3% late fee and 8% continuing interest
  • Requires State Superintendent to establish uniform procedures and forms for invoicing LEAs
  • Bill sets out what charters are required to provide – LEAs cannot ask for other information

PoTY McKoy


Two Charter Leaders Share 2021 Charter One North Carolina Charter Schools Principal of the Year Recognition

As charter schools celebrate 25 years in North Carolina, two outstanding charter school leaders were recognized as Principal of the Year. Congratulations, Thomas McKoy of Reaching All Minds Academy and Steven Pond of Peak Charter Academy!


Click here to read the full press release.


Check it out on Twitter.


See more on our OCS PD Padlet


Various coverage of this momentous milestone:

25 Years

Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


2021 Charter Conf

"Vision Casting: Bringing Clarity to 2021 and Beyond," the annual NC Association for Public Charter Schools conference, is coming up on July 15th and 22nd, 2021. Registration is free! Learn more and register here.  


Rethink Ed Webinar Information; July 15th & 29th. Click for details.

Renewals 2023

OCS OFFICE HOURS is on Summer Break and Will Return in August.

REGISTER: New Technical Contact PowerSchool IPT Certification in August 2021

OPEN NOW: 2021 NC Charter Applications

The 2021 NC Charter School Application process is open as of Friday, May 28th at 5 pm Eastern Time (ET). The 2021 charter application window will close on July 30, 2021 at 5pm ET. Applicants who are interested in opening a charter school in 2022 under the accelerated timeline, or in 2023 under the standard timeline must submit their charter applications on or before the July 29, 2021 application close date.

Both the online application and $1,000 application fee must be submitted on or before July 30, 2021 at 5pm ET.

The link to the 2021 NC Charter School application is posted on the NCDPI Charter Schools Application page found here

NCDPI Agency Horizontal Logo

MEMO - Key Dates for 2020–21 Reporting and Updates for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021

IB Important Update - Invoices

Governor's Educator Discovery Award Now Open!


We are excited to announce that Cycle 7 of the Governor’s Educator Discovery Award is now open! The Governor’s Educator Discovery Award is open to all NC preK-12 traditional public and public charter school teachers. Teachers will enter for the chance to win a stipend up to $1,000 to pursue the professional development experience of their choosing. We are so glad to have this opportunity to give back to our educators and support their growth. Click here to learn more about the Governor’s Educator Discovery Award and to access the application. This cycle ends on August 13th, so don’t miss your chance! The graphic below gives details about the application and how to apply. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at ciera.tucker@nc.gov.


Check out the CTE pathways, courses, and credentials here: LINK


Save the date! 2021 CTE Summer Conference (#CTESC21) is Virtual - July 19-23, 2021

#CTESC21 Registration Link: https://bit.ly/ctesc21

Required Participation in USED’s Office of Civil Rights Data Collection


Superintendents and Charter Leaders, 

Please find the attached letter from Superintendent Truitt containing information on the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection, which requires the participation of every PSU. 

MEMO: Science of Reading Professional Learning and K-3 Formative/Diagnostic Assessment

ESSER Reminder

Dear Charter Directors,
This is a reminder that the 2021-2022 Eligible Schools Summary Report (ESSR) must be submitted in PowerSchool for all local education agencies (LEAs) and charter schools in North Carolina. All charter schools are required to report these data regardless of whether they accept any federal funds and the report is used to meet several requirements, such as School Report Card, CEDARS and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Information regarding the data collection can be found at  https://www.dpi.nc.gov/districts-schools/federal-program-monitoring/federal-program-data-collection

School Mental Health Policy Report

Dear Charter School Leaders, 

As you may know, all charter schools are required to report their progress on meeting the guidelines set forth by the NC State Board of Education's SHLT-003:School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) Policy.  This is a new reporting requirement, and we have included the required reporting questions in the Healthy Active Children's (HAC) policy report.  You will be able to complete your report online. In the online reporting portal, you will indicate that you are a charter school, and you will be directed to the SBMH policy questions.  To make it easier for you to assemble your report information prior to going online, a Word version of the online survey is attached to this email. Please complete the online survey to submit your report.  

The information needed to complete the SBMH progress report will come from your School Mental Health Improvement Plan, which is required to upload and must include the mental health training program and suicide risk referral protocol.  

Please note the deadline to complete the HAC Progress Report / School Mental Health Policy Report is September 15, 2021. 

You can access the reporting portal through the link below.   

2021 Healthy Active Children Policy Report Survey

If you have questions or challenges in completing this online survey, please contact Les Spell at Les.Spell@dpi.nc.gov 

We appreciate the time and energy spent in completing this report and look forward to reading each submission. The Healthy Active Children Report / School Mental Health Policy Report is a valuable tool in efforts to provide quality school health systems that will raise academic achievement and promote physical and mental health among North Carolina’s schoolchildren.  

Thanks for all you do.


Les Spell

Data and Policy Consultant

NC Healthy Schools

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction



School Mental Health Policy Report pdf

School Mental Health Policy Report doc

Exceptional Children Division

CECLI is our Charter Exceptional Children's Leadership Institute we offer to charter coordinators in their first couple of years, to provide support and guidance in navigating EC as the EC coordinator/director. This PDF contains a link that provides the memo outlining what we are offering, a registration link and directions to ensure the application is completed and submitted on time.  

Please review the attached EC Division communication updates and Guidance. 

Corrective Action

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

Follow-Up for Monthly NCDHHS Joint COVID Call

Additional resources referenced in the call:

7.6.21 DPI Slide Deck

7.6.21 DHHS Slide Deck

ASTHO Guide with Testing Resources (Includes examples of what other schools are doing and insights from their experience thus far. Several schools cover considerations around parental consent.)


Resources Galore

School Business Website

School Business – July 9, 2021

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

NC Center for Safer Schools NEWSLETTER - July, 2021

July 2021 K-12 Monthly Mathematics Update

NCDPI Arts Education Newsletter - July 6, 2021

STEMtastic News - July 2021

K-12 Education Office of Government and Community Affairs Update - Friday, July 9, 2021

CSADM Phase II Info

NCDPI School Counseling Updates

Opportunity: Announcing the 2021 Injury-Free NC Academy on Comprehensive Suicide Prevention

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

Resources for GLE, NC's Seal of Biliteracy

Digital Learning Standards Course for 2021

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



With the new fiscal year upon us, be sure to inform the Office of Charter Schools of any leadership changes at your school, preferably through Epicenter, but you can always email ocs@dpi.nc.gov 

Now is a great time to review Epicenter and ensure your school user accounts are accurate and up to date. If a user is no longer with your school, please deactivate them by following these steps.

Here are a couple helpful Epicenter tutorials:

Always be sure your EDDIE profile is accurate! (Edits are made with your NCID)


Planning Year Calendar 2021-2022

The Office of Charter Schools is pleased to release the dates for the 2021-2022 Planning Year Professional Development calendar. All schools (boards and school leaders)  in the Ready to Open process are required to attend five (5) planning year sessions as well as the New Charter Leaders Institute in June, 2022, as part of the successful completion of the Ready to Open and Planning Year process. While these sessions are mandatory for brand new charter schools, we invite those who may new to a leadership role at an established charter school to join the virtual sessions, or access the materials online, under the Planning Year tab of the Office of Charter School's website.

OCS Consultant Sites:

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:

Oxford grad

Oxford Prep Academy graduate, Alex Rote, delivered an impressive presentation to DPI leadership on June 30th.

Alex served on the Superintendent's council for the past two years. He will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall.


Rocky Mount Telegram reports - Charter school(Rocky Mount Prep) to launch new college, career paths

Leadership Opportunities:

American Renaissance School Spanish Teacher for K-5 and 5-8

Bonnie Cone Classical Academy - Multiple Opportunities!

Cape Fear Center for Inquiry: School Director

Carolina Charter Academy - Multiple Opportunities!

Carolina International School Principal

Carolina International Art, PE, Biology, 6th Grade, Interventionist

Casa Esperanza Montessori Head of School

Casa Esperanza Montessori School Finance & Operations Director

Chief Academic Officer for North Carolina Cyber Academy

Old Main STREAM Academy School Principal

Old Main STREAM Academy Staff

Pine Lake Prep - Multiple Opportunities!

Raleigh Charter High School - Multiple Opportunities!

Rocky Mount Preparatory School - Multiple K-12 Opportunities

Socrates Academy - Multiple Opportunities!

Union Academy Charter School Middle School Principal and High School Guidance Counselor

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