NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: JULY 30, 2012


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has been cited for excellence in instruction and outreach by a national education advocacy organization.

NCDPI received two awards from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) earlier this month.  P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student through support of local, state and federal policies that provide resources for educators. 

"North Carolina is at the forefront of instructional innovation, and our outreach to educators and our communities is on the rise. These things are especially important during this time of positive yet rapid change," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "The P21 recognition is yet another indication that our work is meaningful and effective not only here at home in North Carolina, but also in its service as a model for our colleagues across the nation."

P21's Educational Support Systems and Intentional Design Award went to NCDPI for the READY Outreach Meetings that were held across the state earlier this year.  Superintendent Atkinson and other NCDPI officials presented a total of 15, three-hour sessions in eight regions across the state between Feb. 28 and March 23.

Most sessions featured maximum-capacity crowds.  Audience sizes ranged from 150 to 500-plus. More than 4,100 principals, teachers, superintendents and communications directors attended, representing more than 80 percent of the schools statewide.

The presentation included an overview of why the state is undergoing a number of changes this school year, including the new Common Core and Essential State Standards, revised assessments, a remodeled accountability system and a refined educator effectiveness system.   Participants were given the opportunity to work together on sample lessons under the new standards, and time was provided for audience questions.  For more information on the READY Initiative, visit (www.ncpublicschools/READY).

The Recognition of Achievement in 21st Century Education John Wilson Award also was presented to NCDPI for the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Occupational Course of Study (OCS) Blended Learning Program.

NCDPI , primarily the Division of Exceptional Children, partnered with the NCVPS to create the OCS Blended Learning Program.  This highly successful initiative pairs an NCVPS content teacher with a face-to face OCS classroom teacher to provide blended instruction to OCS students across the state. 

The term "blended learning" refers to the provision of high-quality content in an online delivery with classroom interaction and live instruction to create personalized learning and differentiated instruction for students.  The NCVPS OCS Blended Learning program now offers six courses and has plans to develop additional courses so that the OCS Course Catalog will be available to North Carolina schools in the blended learning format.

The awards were presented to NCDPI officials in Coeur d'Alene, ID earlier this month at Institute.21, a day-long summit and best practices awards ceremony that preceded the Council of Chief State School Officers' 2012 Summer Institute. This event recognizes leadership states in implementing P21's comprehensive 21st century skills framework. 

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.