OCS Weekly Newsletter for August 24, 2021

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Office of Charter Schools

Office of Charter Schools Logo

6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307  

Weekly Newsletter- August 24, 2021

Melanie Spotlight

Teammate in the Spotlight 

With the new school year we are adding a new feature to our newsletter. Each month we will put a face to the name of one of the amazing staff at the Office of Charter Schools. First up is one of our newer consultants, Ms. Melanie Rackley!


Melanie joined OCS in October 2020. Prior to joining, she worked within the agency as an Education Licensure Specialist for five years. Melanie has held various roles at the Division of Child Development and Early Education including the NC Pre-K program. Melanie also brings Human Resources experience from private industry and UNC systems. In her spare time she enjoys travel, history and visiting museums. She is the reigning Jeopardy champion in her family. Melanie is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and the Executive Master of Public Administration program at North Carolina Central University. In her current role, she serves as Applications Team Lead for the Office of Charter Schools.

Upcoming Events and Reminders!

Save the Date!


Webinar Aug. 25 on 2020-21 State Test Results Release

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Accountability Services and Communication and Information divisions are hosting a webinar for media Wednesday, Aug. 25, to provide background information on the state’s test results release for 2020-21.

The preview webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to noon. Time is built in to ask questions. Please note that no data results will be shared during this webinar. Test results for the 2020-21 school year will be presented to the State Board of Education during its Sept. 1 meeting. To register for the Aug. 25 webinar, please click here. Once you register, you will receive directions for participation.

To support this webinar, the Background Brief: 2021 North Carolina Annual Testing Results will be posted online (under the 2020-21 Documentation heading) by Monday, Aug. 23. The brief provides background information on results from the state 2020-21 testing program.

We hope you will be able to participate as the webinar provides a great opportunity to ask questions and make sure you understand the details prior to the release of student test results on Sept. 1.

If you have any questions, please contact the NCDPI Communications division at 984-236-2000.

ACTION ITEM: School Mental Health Policy Report

Due September 15th (186 Schools Remaining)

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

New Homeless Liaison Training for Charter Schools

NCHEP will be providing the New Homeless Liaison Compliance Training for liaisons in charter schools (including Charter, Lab, ISD and Virtual Schools) virtually on Thursday, September 16, 2021. Participation in the training is required for homeless liaisons who are new to their position.  Please contact your Program Specialist, Tricia Lentz, to obtain the training session access link.

For session times and additional details, visit the NHLCT web page.

2021 OCS Office Hours Are Back 9/20 at 11:30a.m.

EL Stakeholders From: ESL/Title III Team - EL Program Quality

Inviting NC Public School EL Stakeholders including EL Coordinators, designees, and school leaders to join one session this fall.

Schedule and registration links

Title & Audience Date & Time Registration link

Program Quality & Compliance for New EL Coordinators

Monday, August 9, 2:00 - 4:00 pm  

Program Quality & Compliance Updates for Experienced EL Coordinators

Friday, August 13, 1:00 - 3:00 pm  

LIEP Training for School Districts Non-Title III Subgrantees

Friday, September 17, 9:00 - 10:00 am Register

LIEP Training for Charter Schools Non-Title III Subgrantees (Morning Offering)

Tuesday, September 21, 9:00 - 11:00 am Register

LIEP Training for Charter Schools Non-Title III Subgrantees (Afternoon Offering)

Thursday, September 23, 1:00 - 3:00 pm Register





Bradford Preparatory Academy will be hosting an active shooter situation training November 22nd-23rd. If you are interested, please find details linked.



Follow-Up for Monthly NCDHHS Joint COVID Call

Additional resources referenced in the call:

8.3.21 DPI Slide Deck

8.3.21 DHHS Slide Deck

At Home Testing Guidance

CDC COVID Symptoms List

CDC Antigen Testing Algorithm

Important Resources for Charter Schools:(Please Read)

Charter School Epinephrine Memo

Charter School Diabetes Memo


Charter Leaders call with DPI Senior Leadership

8/12/21 DPI Charter Leader's Call Recording

Adherence to the 10/20 Day Rule

Superintendents and Charter School leaders, 

Please find the attached memo on adherence to the 10/20 Day Rule. 

Thank you, 

Dr. Catherine Edmonds

Dr. Tammy Howard

School Business Division

Zero-out Processing

At the beginning of every school year, there is no zero-out processing for the month of July.  The zero out process will be starting with the August 2021 data files through June 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Roxane Bernard at roxane.bernard@dpi.nc.gov.


Confirmation of Funds for Annual Financial Statement Audits by CPA firms

DPI is providing the appropriate reports to your independent auditors via the internet. These reports for FY21 are now posted in a public application at: http://apps.schools.nc.gov/auditorconfirmationreports  (Annual Reports).

Please direct your independent auditor to the site provided.

Please contact Roxane Bernard at roxane.bernard@dpi.nc.gov with any questions.


OCR/CRDC - Office of Civil Rights Coordinator Contacts in EDDIE - Due Friday, September 24, 2021


Please read and inform other staff as appropriate.

Dear Coordinators,

The Office of Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) window for the 2020-2021 school year data will begin in early 2022.  Note:  PSUs that were not open in the school year 2020-2021 are not required to participate in this collection. 

  • The first step in preparing for the collection is ensuring the NCDPI has the most recent staff contact information.  
    • PSUs must verify or update the EDDIE system with two Staff who have been identified as the 'Office of Civil Rights Coordinator'. 
    • Delete any records in EDDIE for OCR contacts that are no longer with your PSU. 
  • These staff personnel are the technical contacts for the CRDC and will be responsible for running the PowerSchool CRDC Preview Report, verifying data, correcting and adding data to the Federal CRDC tool, and certifying in the Federal CRDC tool when the collection is complete.
  • PSUs are also strongly advised to verify or update the Student Information Coordinator contact as well.  Updates must be completed by the close of business, Friday, September 24, 2021

More information about the CRDC is located at https://crdc.grads360.org/#program.  Notice on the homepage that there is a timeline of the CRDC phases.  

It is important to keep in mind that the NCDPI assists all PSUs with the CRDC by facilitating the transfer of data to the federal submission tool.  No action other than to update your contacts in EDDIE is required at this time.  

For questions, please contact Terra Dominguez at terra.dominguez@dpi.nc.gov


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

Exceptional Children Division

Resources Galore

School Business Website

School Business – August 20, 2021

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

DTL Insider - August 20, 2021

Aug. 19, 2021 - Home Base Bulletin

Character Education News & Updates: August 2021

North Carolina Public Schools - School Social Work August Update

STEMtastic News - August 2021

NCDPI School Counseling Newsletter

Monthly ELD Standards Update -- Issue #1

Monthly Update: NC Healthy Schools

August 2021 K-12 Monthly Mathematics Update

K-12 Education Office of Government and Community Affairs Update - Monday, August 9, 2021

Special Edition August 2021: Social Studies Update

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

Digital Learning Standards Course for 2021

TD Bank grant opportunity - TD 2021 Ready Challenge

NC Lions KidSight Screening program

United States Senate Student Applications Available Until October 3rd

EXPERIMENTORS - An Exciting NEW Science Program!

Please be sure to keep EDDIE up to date!


Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates



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.
The link to registration for Planning Year Session I is here: https://forms.office.com/r/DeUStsgdBS






Session 1 - Creating a Culture of Collaboration: Professional development from the teacher next door - September 14, 2021, 4-5pm


The most powerful professional development is watching another teacher teach, yet we rarely have time for it. In this session we will look at how to create a culture of collaboration through encouraging teachers to learn and grow from each other. This session is geared towards administrators, professional development coordinators, and teacher leaders. Participants will leave the session with ideas they can immediately implement tomorrow. 



Session 2 - Digging the Data: Assessing students abilities in a way that cultivates and motivates growth  - September 28, 2021, 4-5pm


How do you get to know your students in a meaningful way, in order to build relationships and capitalize on students’ strengths? We will discuss how to collect meaningful data from your students in order to create relevant lessons that set your students up for success. This session is geared toward any educator or staff member who works to build a relationship with students and uses that relationship to make informed instructional decisions. Participants will leave the session with templates and resources to use in their classroom.



Session 3 - Teaching the Whole Child: Addressing the needs of each child in the classroom - October 19, 2021,  4-5pm

This session examines ways to address the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of students. This session is geared toward any educator or staff member that works with students. 



Session 4 - Embrace Your Space: Digital tools for the virtual, in-person, and hybrid classroom - November 16, 2021, 4-5pm



The past year educators spent countless hours learning digital tools to make their lessons dynamic and engaging. In this session we will dive into how to use different digital tools, no matter what your classroom space looks like. Come ready to share with and learn from other participants. This session is geared toward any educator who delivers instruction


Session 5 - Teaching Through a Literacy Lens - December 7, 2021,  4-5pm


We will dive into tips and tricks for teaching content area literacy. This session is for teachers of all grade levels and subjects. 


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:

HSA BtS Musical

Watch Healthy Start Academy Back to School Musical!


GLOW Academy Announces Grant and Partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Sony Global Social Justice Fund to Develop Media Technology Curriculum and Studio

OCS Consultant Dr. Darian Jones hand delivered 7 Principal of the Year appreciation checks to the 7 Charter One PoTy finalists! Thank you for all you do!

Leadership Opportunities:

American Renaissance School Spanish Teacher for K-5

Bonnie Cone Classical Academy - Multiple Opportunities!

Carolina Charter Academy - 6th Grade Math Teacher

Carolina International School Principal

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

Lakeside Charter Academy EC Teacher

Chief Academic Officer for North Carolina Cyber Academy

Old Main STREAM Academy Staff

Pine Lake Prep - Multiple Opportunities!

Raleigh Charter High School - Multiple Opportunities!

Rocky Mount Preparatory School - Multiple K-12 Opportunities

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