MESSAGES 2012 :: JANUARY 19, 2012

JANUARY 19, 2012 - Principals' Biweekly Message

Beginning on Feb. 28 and throughout most of March, key leaders from the NC Department of Public Instruction will be traveling to all eight regions of our state to meet with you and a teacher representative from each of your schools about our effort to remodel NC's system of public schools. The last time we held meetings of similar scope was during the early years of the ABCs of Public Education. Now with the advent of a new school accountability model, a new Standard Course of Study and so many other advances for North Carolina, we feel that it is critical that we make sure you all understand what these changes are and how they might affect you. To that end, we believe we need to meet with you face-to-face to lay out the changes and address your questions. The focus of our meetings will be on illustrating how all the new things fit together and support you as you work to promote student achievement for North Carolina students.

The effort to continuously improve our system is at once the most challenging and also the most exciting aspect of working in public education – we are always trying to align with the needs of our students in order to help give them the foundation they need for success. I look forward to seeing all of you in the coming weeks to describe the READY initiative that kicks off in the Fall 2012. If you did not receive your email invitation, please reply to this email, and we will make sure you receive it right away.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. Teacher Payment Changes
  2. Information and Technology Toolkit
  3. Webinar Focuses on Career & College Promise
  4. STEM Announcements
  5. Nominations Open for Jay Robinson Leadership Awards
  6. 2012 Intel Schools of Distinction Awards
  7. Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors
  8. High School Seniors May Want to Consider National Youth Science Camp

Teacher Payment Changes

The following item appeared in the Jan. 13 Teachers' Biweekly Message: The new year brings a number of changes in North Carolina law, some involving public schools. One significant change for teachers is the law change that ended the option of paying teachers an entire month's pay in the August paycheck. Instead, as you know, local education agencies are required to pay only for time actually worked. This means the August paycheck for most teachers will be a fraction of what they are used to seeing. On the other end of the year, teachers will be receiving a check in June for time worked in that month. Most teachers are not used to receiving a check in June. The exception to this is teachers who work 11 or 12 months.

Several groups, including the State Board of Education, NC Department of Public Instruction, NC School Boards Association, NC Association of School Administrators and NC Association of Educators requested some technical corrections in the new law, but these were not made. So, for now, the only compliant option is to provide partial payment at the end of August (for days worked in August only) and full payment at the end of September (for all days worked in September).

The new legal requirements do not allow the delay of teachers' first payment until the end of September and will not result in any change in pay rates or annual amount of pay for teachers.

Information and Technology Toolkit

A digital toolkit has been created to assist teachers in identifying information and technology resources, strategies, objectives and tools helpful in understanding essential standards, common core and professional standards. The toolkit, which is available online at, provides practical resources and ready-to-use techniques that help teachers build the relationships and teamwork needed to face the challenges of assessment, teaching and learning, and student-centered classrooms with success. This toolkit will be invaluable in providing guidance as teachers infuse information and technology essential standards into their classroom instruction.

Webinar Focuses on Career & College Promise

An interactive webinar on Career & College Promise will be held Monday, Jan. 30, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The webinar is part of a series of sessions co-hosted by the NC Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and the NCDPI. Career & College Promise enables qualified students to begin their two- or four-year college work, tuition free, while they are in high school allowing them to get a head start on their workplace and college preparation. Participants will join State Superintendent June Atkinson, State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison and NC Community College System President Scott Ralls to learn more about this opportunity for North Carolina students!

STEM Announcements

  • Webinar Scheduled - The NCDPI in collaboration with NC STEM will host a STEM Webinar on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 10-11 a.m. The webinar will focus on a new service for North Carolina schools called the NC STEM Learning Network. This webinar is designed to elaborate on STEM tools, resources and professional development programs for schools, school systems and programs. To register, please visit . After you register, you will receive an email message with participation instructions. For more information contact Tina Marcus at or 919.807.3423.
  • Invitation to join the NC STEM Learning Network - The NCDPI is now accepting applications for schools and school systems interested in joining the NC STEM Learning Network. The NC STEM Learning Network's purpose is to connect schools and school systems with national and state organizations committed to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Network members will have access to best practices through technology tools, professional development opportunities, on-line convening's and webinars. Application review process is now open. First round of application reviews are being accepted through March 1. Individual schools or school systems can apply at . The NCDPI is working with the NC STEM and other partners to develop and manage the NC STEM Learning Network. For additional information, contact Rebecca Payne at or Tina Marcus at
  • STEM Conference Announcement - Join North Carolina educators and students with leaders from business and government from across the nation sharing strategies to implement STEM practices and demonstrate STEM's impact in the community. Registration is now open for Scaling STEM: Transforming Education Matters. Please visit to register. This conference will be held April 16-18 at the Sheraton Imperial. For more information, contact Tina Marcus at or Linsey Dyson at

Nominations Open for Jay Robinson Leadership Awards

Nominations for the Jay Robinson Leadership Awards are now being accepted. The original award was established by the Public School Forum Board of Directors and the NC School Boards Association in honor o Dr. Jay Robinson, former superintendent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, UNC vice president and chair of the State Board of Education. In 2011, the award was expanded to two awards: Exemplary Educator with statewide impact in K-12 education and Exemplary Leadership in Public Service with statewide impact in K-12 education. The awards may be given to anyone who has displayed innovative, creative and effectiv leadership for the public schools of North Carolina. The nominations MUST be postmarked by March 1. The honor includes a cash award sponsored by BB&T. To obtain a nomination form, contact Pat Franklin at or 919.781.6833.

2012 Intel Schools of Distinction Awards

Does your school demonstrate 21st century teaching and learning environments that promote excellence in math and science? Then you will want to enter the 2012 Intel Schools of Distinction Awards where they could win up to a $25,000 cash grant from the Intel Foundation and more than $100,000 in products and services from program award sponsors. Six winners will be selected – two from each grade range (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) – in each of the two categories of math and science. Don't miss this opportunity to apply at . The application deadline is Feb. 23.

Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors

The NC Strawberry Association is now accepting applications for scholarships for 2012. The scholarship program accepts applications from high school seniors or current college students accepted to, or currently enrolled in, a land grant university who are interested in or have declared a major in a program of study directly related to the strawberry industry (for example, small fruit production, marketing, food science, nutrition, entomology, agronomy, etc). This year's award is $750. Full information about the program and links to the scholarship application may be found online at . The application deadline is May 1.

High School Seniors May Want to Consider National Youth Science Camp

Two high school seniors will have the opportunity of a lifetime: to participate in the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). Selected students will receive a full scholarship to exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals from the academic and corporate worlds. The nearly month-long experience includes lectures and hands-on research projects presented by scientists from across the nation, overnight expeditions into the National Forest, and a visit to Washington D.C. The selected delegates must not only demonstrate academic achievement in science, but also show potential for thoughtful scientific leadership. The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to its participants so that selected delegates may attend regardless of their financial status. Educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage on scheduled airlines are provided free of charge. Delegates arrive in Charleston, West Virginia, on Thursday, June 27, and depart on Sunday, July 21. The NYSC is held near Bartow in the eastern mountains of West Virginia, within the Monongahela National Forest. Application forms are available on the NYSC website at and must be submitted directly to North Carolina's selection coordinator: Lisa Rhoades, . Applications must be received by Friday, Feb. 17. For more information, please contact Lisa Rhoades, NC Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, at or 919.991.5111.