MESSAGES 2012 :: MARCH 2, 2012

MARCH 2, 2012 - Principals' Biweekly Message

More than 800 principals, teachers and other local educators joined NCDPI and State Board of Education leadership on Tuesday in Greensboro for the first in our 2012 READY Regional Outreach meetings. I look forward to seeing even more educators next week in Elizabeth City, Wilmington and Fayetteville. This is the first time in more than a decade that we have had regional meetings with the goal of meeting with all principals and a teacher representative of every public school in our state. Throughout the meetings, we are providing opportunities for you and your colleagues to learn about the remodeling effort that is underway in our state's system of public schools, why it is important and how to help their school communities understand all of this. I very much valued the opportunity to hear feedback and questions from principals and teachers so that we can address those through FAQs online and in webinars and other means.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. State Board Meeting Highlights
  2. District/Charter School Team Information for 2012 Summer Institutes
  3. Severe Weather Awareness Week Reminder
  4. March 4-10 School Social Work Week
  5. Gov. Perdue Declares Feb. 27-March 2 Students@Work Week
  6. NC Teacher Corps Recruitment
  7. School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest Targets Elementary and Middle School Students
  8. K-6 Students Can Honor Their School Bus Drivers Through Essay Contest

State Board Meeting Highlights

At yesterday's Board meeting, members approved Arts Education courses eligible for Honors Weight, Educator Effectiveness Policies, the Board's 2012-13 Supplemental Budget request, 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants, Fast-Track Charter recommendations, and School-Based Calendar Waiver Requests for Educational Purposes. Board members also approved a resolution reflecting the Board's position on the importance of pre-K education, a motion stating the application of any "fast track" charter school that cannot open by its set starting date to be null and void, and a motion granting authority to the State Superintendent to grant districts waivers of up to five instructional days if the days are to be used for specific professional development. A summary of Board action items, in addition to the full agenda and executive materials, are available online at .

District/Charter School Team Information for 2012 Summer Institutes

RttT Coordinators for each LEA and RttT Charter School will receive information next week about the expectations of the leadership team attending the 2012 Summer Institute. Before your team registers, we will communicate directly with the RttT Coordinator and share helpful information about developing your leadership team and who should be included in the composition of your team. RttT Coordinators will help us communicate who will be representing your district or school at the 2012 Summer Institute training prior to the registration period to ensure a clear and successful registration process. While some participant representation may change, this institute is for the same leadership team that attended last year. Should many changes be required, team participants need to update new attendees. As a reminder, the 2012 Summer Institute website at is currently live and includes helpful information to prepare this year's participants for their professional development experience. You will find information about the purpose of the two-day training session, local lodging options around each location, information about the makeup of the team and a link to the new registration site. Registration information will be available to you early March.

Severe Weather Awareness Week Reminder

As a reminder, Severe Weather Awareness Week is scheduled for March 4-10. The statewide Tornado Drill will take place on Wednesday, March 7, at 9:30 a.m. At that time the National Weather Service will issue a Required Weekly Test over the NOAA weather radio system. This will serve as a signal for school administrators to begin their tornado drill. The drill will conclude when participants complete their drill activities. No all-clear message will be issued. If this time is not convenient for your school's instructional program, you may schedule your school's drill on another day close to March 7.

March 4-10 School Social Work Week

Gov. Bev. Perdue has proclaimed March 4-10 as School Social Work Week and urges citizens to recognize the outstanding contributions made to the education of youth by school social workers. School social workers provide a valuable service by connecting children and families to needed health, mental health and other social services to support student success in schools.

Gov. Perdue Declares Feb. 27-March 2 Students@Work Week

Gov. Bev Perdue has declared Feb. 27-March 2 as Students@Work Week. Students@Work is a job shadowing initiative spearheaded by First Gentleman Bob Eaves in coordination with schools and businesses across North Carolina. The week is focused on raising North Carolina's graduation rate by giving more than 25,000 middle school students a way to connect their academic achievement with the workplace and future career options. The North Carolina Business Committee for Education and the NCDPI are the primary partners for the Students@Work program. Because of their support, more than 125 businesses will provide job-shadowing opportunities for middle school students in all 100 North Carolina counties. For more information about Students@Work Week, please visit .

NC Teacher Corps Recruitment

The NC Teacher Corps (NCTC) is now recruiting teachers to targeted LEAs across North Carolina. The NCTC is a Race to the Top (RttT) initiative to recruit, select, develop and retain recent graduates of NC colleges and universities with degrees in areas other than education, and mid-career professionals who have established success in other fields. NC Teacher Corps recruits professionals who want to expand the educational opportunities of NC students. In the first year of the program, NCTC will target the following eight school districts Anson, Cumberland, Duplin, Gaston, Hoke, Robeson, Scotland, and Union, and expand to other counties the second year. The goal is to place 100 teachers in cohorts of four to five members within an LEA, establishing a network of support. Approximately 20 recruitment trips are scheduled in the months of February, March and April in an effort to seek the brightest and best alternative licensure teacher candidates in North Carolina.

  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte will partner with NCTC candidates to obtain NC teacher licensure. Candidates will access their program of study through a blended model of online university coursework and face-to-face pedagogical training. They also will participate in a modified student teaching experience in the summer. Successful candidates will participate in professional development on six Saturdays throughout the year and will complete NC licensure at the end of the first year.
  • Race to the Top funds will provide full tuition reimbursement to NCTC candidates for NC teacher certification through UNC-Charlotte in the first year. In order to access these funds, NCTC candidates must commit to and complete a minimum of two years of successful teaching experience in the assigned LEA.
  • NCTC candidates will complete coursework in the first year that will count towards a MAT. If they choose to pursue the MAT in the second year, Race to the Top funds through NCTC will reimburse 50 percent of the MAT, which will be completed in year two. Should candidates pursue the MAT, they are required to teach in the designated school for a third year.

We are excited about this effort to recruit talented teachers to serve students in North Carolina! For more information, please visit .

School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest

It is once again time for the annual North Carolina School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest. This year's theme is "Stand Back from the Yellow and Black." By participating, elementary and middle school students will learn more about proper bus stop behavior, such as staying out of the street and waiting until the bus has stopped completely. Top category winners will receive prizes and compete for national honors. For contest rules and guidelines, please visit . May 25 is the submission deadline.

K-6 Students Can Honor Their School Bus Drivers Through Essay Contest

Thomas Built Buses is sponsoring an essay contest for students in kindergarten through sixth grade to honor their school bus drivers. Students are invited to submit essays of at least 90 words that describe what makes their school bus drivers so special. The winning essays will be featured on the Thomas Built website when the judging is complete. The child who nominates the grand prize winner will receive a laptop computer and $1,000 educational savings bond, and the nominated driver will receive a $1,000 Visa® gift card. Grand prize winners and top finalists also will receive Thomas Built Buses jackets and Saf-T-Liner® C2 school bus lunch boxes. To enter the contest, visit for complete rules and an entry form. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2012. Completed forms and typed or legibly printed essays of at least 90 words should be mailed to: Children's Choice Essay Contest, HMH, 1435 W. Morehead St., Suite 140, Charlotte, NC 28208.