OCS Weekly Newsletter for March 12th, 2024

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Office of Charter Schools

March 12, 2024

Some upcoming dates of note:

See below for details.

  • March 19th 10am; SEL Office Hours RSVP
  • April 22nd; Charter School Lunch and Learn at North East Carolina Preparatory School.  RSVP.
  • April 26th; the last day to apply to found a new Charter School in this cycle.
  • Remaining NCStar Trainings; March 19th-20th Buncombe, April 10th-11th Wilkes, April 16th-17th Richmond, May 6th-7th Beaufort, May 8th-9th Craven

MEMO: Justification Required for Exceeding 1.0 Percent Participation in the Alternate Assessment

OPEN NOW: 2024 NC Charter Applications 

The 2024 North Carolina Charter School Application is now open, as of Friday, January 26th at 5 pm Eastern. The 2024 charter application window will close on April 26, 2024, at 5pm Eastern. Applicants who are interested in opening a charter school in 2025 under the accelerated timeline, or in 2026 under the standard timeline must submit their charter applications on or before the April 26, 2024 application close date. 


Both the online application and $1,000 application fee must be submitted on or before April 26, 2024 at 5pm Eastern. Applicant boards will be expected to appear in-person for interviews at the Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, NC that will commence during the monthly meetings of the Charter Schools Review Board meeting beginning September 2024. 

For questions about the charter application process, please reach out to Melanie.Rackley@dpi.nc.gov.  

The link to the 2024 NC Charter School application is posted on the NCDPI Charter Schools Application page found here

Important free resource: NCDPI K-12 Cybersecurity Program

Toolkit from NCDPI, NC Chamber Foundation Connects Employers with Students

School Business March 8, 2024

The FBS website continues to be updated with information related to School Business and our ongoing operations. Please check the FBS homepage regularly for updates. Please review the upcoming deadlines for due dates.

FBS Homepage

Updates to the Allotment Policy Manual

The following changes were approved by the NC State Board of Education during their monthly meeting on March 7, 2023. The adjustments have been made in the allotment policy manuals posted to our allotments webpage.

Digital Learning Initiative (DLI): Digital Literacy Solution (PRC 078)

The deadline to expend funds for licenses was extended from January 31, 2024 to March 31, 2024 to allow school districts time to obtain approval from their local boards.

Health Career Promotion (PRC 253)

This policy was amended to note that it is funded with ARPA Temporary Savings Funds that do not revert. The Department will not disburse any funds until the State Budget Director has notified the Department that the funds will be remitted, and a special provision in line with law was added, which allows DPI to 5 percent of those funds for the direct costs for the statewide administration of the program.

Plasma Games Grant Program (PRC 258)

Revisions included a note that this program is funded with ARPA Temporary Savings Funds that do not revert. The Department will not disburse any funds until the State Budget Director has notified the Department that the funds will be remitted. The policy was updated to add a special provision in line with law which allows DPI to 5 percent of those funds for the direct costs for the statewide administration of the program. The funding formula was also modified to address allotments if the total of all approved applications for funding exceeds the total available funding.

ARP - ESSER III - Summer Career Acceleratory Programs (PRC 188)

The funding formula was modified to allot remaining funds to the NC District Summer Learning Network participating districts.

ARP - ESSER III - Supplemental Academic Enrichment Programs (PRC 189)

The program purpose was expanded to cover supplemental enrichment activities in K-12th grade; the previous policy only covered grades 4-8.


*View prior newsletters online: Newsletters and Guidance | NC DPI.

Spring 2024 NCStar & School Improvement Planning Professional Development

The Office of District & Regional Support within the Division of District & School Support Services is excited to announce the Spring 2024 NCStar & School Improvement Planning Professional Development! 

This two-day training will be offered in six different locations across the state during the months of March through May. These sessions will cover content similar to what was shared during the Fall 2023 trainings, such as the continuous improvement pathway, and will offer collaborative work time for each school improvement planning component. Spring 2024 sessions also offer new resources and strategies including tips for implementing recent changes to the 12 Key Indicators. 


Day 1: Participants will learn about school improvement using NCStar and how to navigate the platform to assess, create and monitor school-based practices.  Participants will also learn about the components of Set Direction in NCStar, including the use of Performance Measures to monitor the progress of school improvement goals. 


Day 2: Participants will continue to learn about school improvement using NCStar with a focus on the Continuous Improvement Cycle (Assess, Create, Monitor) to create robust school improvement plans. Participants will also learn about best practices for school improvement teams, including how to run an effective SIT meeting, effective forms of distributive leadership and the critical role that SIT leaders and committees play in moving the school achievement needle forward, and the evaluation of a school’s School Improvement Plan.   


To register, please click on this link: Spring 2024 Regional Training - NCStar Registration. 

Required PD Survey for ML/Title III (Formerly known as the EOY Survey)

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) ML/Title III team is responsible for collecting specific information from Public School Units (PSUs) and reporting it to the U.S. Department of Education, NC State Board of Education, and NCDPI leadership. To simplify this process, NCDPI has consolidated these collections into a single survey. All PSUs serving one or more students identified as English Learners are mandated to complete this survey anytime between March 1st through May 1st, 2024.
This year, the survey has been moved out of PowerSchool and into Qualtrics for your convenience. You can now access and complete all survey questions directly through Qualtrics.  To assist you in preparing for and completing the survey, the ML/Title III Team has developed a comprehensive worksheet with step-by-step instructions. We strongly recommend completing this worksheet before accessing the survey in Qualtrics. This will ensure a smoother and more efficient process.
New to the survey for 23-24 SY? Please note that the US Department of Education mandates Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) counts. You will find this requirement in the second section of the survey, where you'll be prompted to input the number of students in the selected program(s).
If you encounter any issues accessing the survey icon in PowerSchool, please reach out to Susan Walz at susan.walz@dpi.nc.gov for assistance. Thank you for your cooperation in completing this important survey. Your participation is crucial in providing valuable data for our educational programs.
If you encounter any issues accessing the survey icon in PowerSchool, please reach out to Susan Walz at susan.walz@dpi.nc.gov for assistance. Thank you for your cooperation in completing this important survey. Your participation is crucial in providing valuable data for our educational programs.



PD Survey

NCSBE Rulemaking Information

Below is a link to the website where we post information about SBE Rulemaking. It typically gets updated on the Friday the week after the SBE proposes a rule.

Individuals who would like to stay informed of rulemaking can also join the Interested Parties listserv here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/NCSBE/subscriber/new. They’ll get an email any time the SBE proposes a rule.


RISE Call for Proposals

The 2024 RISE Back to School Safety Summit – the Center for Safer Schools’ signature event – will be held in Wilmington from Monday, July 29-Friday, Aug. 2. If you or someone you know has a school safety workshop that would be appreciated by participants at the summit, please complete the Call for Proposals form for each presenter and each topic.

The submission deadline is Friday, March 29, 2024, with notifications going out in late April. If you have questions, send an email to cfss@dpi.nc.gov.

Important MEMOs:


Office of Charter Schools (OCS) Updates

A Reminder about Driver's Education and Charter School Students

Charter School students who reside within a district but are enrolled in a North Carolina Charter School or Virtual Academy may enroll in the driver education program within a district school. The student is required to follow the fee structure established by the district. Districts should provide services and document these students accordingly on their quarterly reports.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Karl Logan (karl.logan@dpi.nc.gov)

OCS Title IX Guidance Document - 10.23

HOUSE BILL 219 Charter School Omnibus Guidance Document

March VOH AdAprOH
Here is the RSVP link- https://forms.gle/ZroYKYGi4RQVEBAh8

Other Resources from DPI and beyond

Connect logo.jpg
NCSSM Connect provides NC public high school students the opportunity to take tuition-free, honors-level, and AP NCSSM courses via interactive video conferencing. This format makes it possible for students to take advanced courses in STEM and humanities subjects while remaining at their local home schools. There isn't an application process to take NCSSM Connect classes.
To learn more, visit the review NCSSM Connect Course Schedule and Connect flier. Then, register to attend a personalized overview meeting.

NCVPS Updates

1. NCVPS Continues Tutoring Program

It is time for yet another upcoming, exciting, and highly beneficial semester of Edvantage Tutoring offered by North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS). As a quick introduction (or reminder) about the program, you may view their infographic for an overview of Edvantage Tutoring.


NCVPS Edvantage Tutoring is offered in the following curriculum areas:

• 7th & 8th Grade ELA• 7th & 8th Grade Math• 7th & 8th Grade Science• 8th Grade Math I• High School Math I• High School Math III• High School Biology

• High School Chemistry

*An asynchronous Writing Lab is offered

*ACT prep sessions are also offered


Tutoring for the Spring begins Monday, January 22, 2024, and will be available Monday-Thursday, 4:00 PM-7:30 PM nightly (through May 23rd). Daytime tutoring is also available per school/district request and may be utilized for students who are in ISS, suspended, homebound, absent, and/or working from home, McKinney-Vento, athletes needing extra support, etc.


There is a flat fee of $35/hour for tutoring. And, all tutoring slots are available in 30-minute increments. Please take a few moments to complete the NCVPS Edvantage Tutoring: Districts/Schools Partnership form to sign-up and learn more!


2. Earn CEUs with NCVPS Free Professional Development

Each month, NCVPS offers several professional development sessions featuring interactive conversations in our Digital Transition webinars. Sessions feature a wide range of topics and offer CEUs in various disciplines. Sessions are also recorded, archived, and searchable. January sessions include:

“Digital Tools for Core Subject Courses”Presenter: Nancy Hooper. Target Audience: All Are Welcome. CEU Type: Digital Learning.Register for January 30th at 7:00pm

WORLD LANGUAGES: “Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Create Escape Rooms for Language Learners”Presenter: Elena Allen. Target Audience: Spanish & World Language Teachers; All Are Welcome. CEU Credit Type: Spanish or Digital Learning.Register for January 31st at 6:30pm

School Counselor Cohort resource

Any school counselors who wish to network may share their information in this form.


You may also view the current list through this link.

Charter School Job Postings 

If you have current teaching/leadership positions open and wish to share them in this newsletter, reach out to Joseph.Letterio@dpi.nc.gov and provide a link to the posting/s. 

Whom Should I Contact at the Office of Charter Schools?

Email: ocs@dpi.nc.gov

Ashley Baquero, Director of NC OCS 

Office of Charter Schools Contacts

Jenna Cook









Accountability; Renewals



Melanie Rackley









Authorizing; New School Applications



Natasha Norins






(984) 236-2702



External Support; RTO/Planning Year



Brandi Gill






984 236-2705



Stakeholder Support, School Improvement, and Risk Assessment


Joseph Letterio M.









Performance Framework, Communications & Data



Julie Whetzel




Authorizing and External Support

Megan Carter









School Improvement, Performance Framework, and Renewals



Nicky Niewinski









School Improvement, SBE/CSRB, and Amendments



Barbara O’Neal









NC ACCESS Program Administrator



Please forward

School leaders, we encourage you to forward this newsletter on to your staff so they can subscribe to DPI bulletins directly through this link. They will enter their email and then it will bring them to another page where they can select “Charter School Comms Contacts” and any other public listserv to sign up for.