JUNE 7, 2012 - Principals' Biweekly Message
Thank you for your work and dedication to bring your students through the 2011-12 school year. I am grateful to you for your continued positive work on behalf of students. As the school year closes, I hope you will take a well-deserved break, but also I encourage you to continue watching your emails and other communications regarding the General Assembly's activities this summer. The General Assembly's decisions will make a significant difference in our work together in the 2012-13 school year and beyond. It continues to be important for you to communicate with your lawmakers about what you need to run a strong school that educates all students well.
In this Biweekly Principals' Message:
- State Board Meeting Highlights
- NC Receives NCLB Waiver Approval
- K-2 Mathematics Assessment
- Future-Ready Core Course of Study Mathematics Graduation Requirements
- Formative Assessment Webinar Round-Up
- CECAS Update
- Over 100,000 Educators Participate in Teacher Working Condition Survey
- Grant Provides Elementary School Students More Access to Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
- NC Students and Teachers Earn More Than 51,000 Microsoft Certifications
- Morganton Early Head Start Program Receives Five-Year Grant; Site to Serve as Demonstration Model for Fighting Poverty
- Durham Elementary School Receives National Award
- Avery County School Bus Driver Tops in State
- ChildObesity180 Recognizes Three North Carolina Physical Activity Projects
- 2013 Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers
At today's State Board of Education meeting, members approved Supplemental Educational Services providers for 2012-13, grant recipients for the Mathematics and Science Partnership and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, and changes to the policy delineating the components of the ABCs accountability program for 2011-12. Members discussed Interscholastic Athletics policies changes, the Driver Education Reform report, the high school accreditation framework and reading preparation for pre-service elementary education IHE programs. A summary of Board action items will be available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/highlights/2012 .
North Carolina is one of eight states receiving flexibility waivers from key provisions of No Child Left Behind in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the new round of waiver approvals last week. To date, 19 states have received waiver approval, and another 18 waiver plans are under review. North Carolina's waivers allow the state to move away from the Adequate Yearly Progress measure that is an "all or nothing" measure. While schools will still be measured against annual measurable objectives (AMOs) calculated and reported under NCLB, it will no longer be the "all or nothing" measure of the past. To read more, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."
In response to North Carolina legislative and State Board requirements, the NCDPI provides districts with state-developed assessments to be implemented for kindergarten, first and second grades. These assessments include documented, ongoing individualized assessments throughout the year and a summative evaluation at the end of the year. Districts may use these assessment instruments as presented, adaptations of them, or adopt unique assessments. The newly revised K-2 Mathematics Formative Assessment Tasks and the K-2 Mathematics Administration Manual will be available electronically at: http://maccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/ by June 15. A mid-year benchmark assessment and end-of-year summative assessment will be provided directly to district directors in early fall 2012. For additional information, questions, or comments, please contact Barbara Bissell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Scrinzi at email@example.com.
The document's first page provides an overview of changes to the Future-Ready Core Course of Study Mathematics graduation requirements effective in the 2012-13 school year. Of particular note is clarification of the lab requirement for MAT courses (#6) and the mathematics credit for CTE courses for students in the substitution pathway (#11). The chart is available online at http://maccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/Policy+Information . Questions should be directed to Barbara Bissell, NCDPI Mathematics section chief, at 919.807.3838 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback also may be given at email@example.com.
Over the past three months, classroom teachers and other educators have presented a series of webinars with information about implementing various formative assessment principles as outlined in NC FALCON. Special thanks to Donna Wade, Millbrook High School, Wake County Public Schools for her assistance with Webinar No. 1: Implementing Formative Assessment; Amanda Horne, Gray's Creek Elementary School, Cumberland County Schools for her assistance with Webinar No. 2: Collecting Evidence of Student Learning; and Lori Beasley, Nicole Hazelwood, Jan Varney, Dobson Elementary School, Surry County Schools and Pat Widdowson, Surry County Schools for their assistance with Webinar No. 3: Learning Targets for Common Core Standards. A recording of each webinar is available in NC FALCON (http://center.ncsu.edu/nc) in the additional resources section and the documents and resources presented during each webinar are available in the Falcon Forum in a thread (named by the webinar number).
As a reminder, All North Carolina educators have access to NC FALCON if they have created a login through NC Education at http://center.ncsu.edu/nc . If you have not created a login, go to the URL above and click on login in the upper right hand corner. On the login page you will be prompted to enter your login, find an existing account (if you have forgotten your login), or create a new account. When you click on "create new account" you will be prompted to enter information to set up a login. If you have trouble with the login, contact the help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.515.1320. For more information on the formative assessment webinars, please contact Carmella Fair at Carmella.Fair@dpi.nc.gov.
The NCDPI Exceptional Children Division has just completed several enhancements to the Comprehensive Exceptional Children Accountability System (CECAS). These enhancements provide more efficiency and greater access to Exceptional Children data. CECAS users have applauded the increase in speed, which is a result of a hardware upgrade. Another enhancement allows CECAS users to pull and print Review of Accommodation Forms containing pre-populated accommodations for testing. This feature decreases the time in manually pulling and documenting planned accommodations for testing. CECAS users also now have an Analysis Tool, which gives them access to build customized reports containing real-time and certified Exceptional Children data. The most recent enhancement is the addition of the Private School Service Plan module. This module gives users the ability to complete and store the state Private Schools Service Plan form within CECAS. The NCDPI Exceptional Children Division offers CECAS as a free resource to each LEA, charter school and state-operated program. For more information, please contact Exceptional Children Division Director Mary Watson at email@example.com.
More than 100,000 North Carolina licensed teachers and principals participated in the 2012 NC Teacher Working Conditions (NC TWC) Survey, according to the Initial Findings report by the New Teacher Center this morning presented to State Board of Education members. NC TWC findings are used to help inform state education policy, develop schools' annual improvement plans and more recently, in the state's educator evaluation process. To read more, as well as access the link to the NC Teacher Working Conditions website where school, district and statewide survey results are available, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."
Students at 143 North Carolina elementary schools will enjoy more fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day next year thanks to a $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant will be used by schools' staff to promote healthier food choices through the purchase of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as daily snacks for students and by helping teachers incorporate nutrition education in lesson plans. This is the ninth consecutive year North Carolina has participated in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. To read more, as well as access a list of participating elementary schools, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."
Over the past 18 months, North Carolina public high school students and teachers earned 51,225 free professional, industry-recognized certifications in Microsoft computer applications thanks to North Carolina's Microsoft IT Academy. In November 2010, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to offer the Microsoft IT Academy Program through public high schools and since then, the program has been implemented in 98 school districts and 344 high schools statewide. The Academy features access to eOnline learning content, official Microsoft course materials, instructor resources and support materials, including lesson plans, software licenses, and professional, industry-recognized certifications. For more information, visit www.ncpublicschools.org/msita/. The full press release is available online at www.ncpublicschools.org under "News."
Morganton Early Head Start Program Receives Five-Year Grant; Site to Serve as Demonstration Model for Fighting Poverty
The Family, Infant and Preschool Program in Morganton recently received a five-year, $375,000 grant to serve as the NC Head Start P.A.L. Family Partnerships Demonstration Site - a model hub for showcasing evidence-based, best practices for transitioning low-income families out of poverty. The grant will be used to support coaching, mentoring, and information-sharing opportunities to Early Head Start and Head Start programs across the state. The full press release is available online at www.ncpublicschools.org under "News."
Congratulations to R.N. Harris Integrated Arts/Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School (Durham Public Schools) for being one of seven elementary schools throughout the nation to receive the 2012 National Excellence in Urban Education Award. The National Center for Urban School Transformation gives the annual award to: recognize and reward exceptional urban school educators and students; provide a benchmark of excellence that motivates reform efforts; and expand the knowledge base of best practices for promoting urban school transformation. Staff will receive a check for $2,500, a banner and certificate. In all, seven elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools received awards.
After navigating a big yellow school bus through an obstacle course that tested drivers' skills in mastering a diminishing clearance, backing, making a tight turn and parallel parking, Mitch Banner from Avery County Schools was named the best school bus driver in North Carolina at the annual State School Bus ROADeo recently held in Raleigh. To read more about the event and the winners, visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."
A North Carolina teacher, a business school student and an elementary school recently received awards from ChildObesity180 as part of its children's physical activity contest. Last February, First Lady Michelle Obama asked schools throughout the nation to submit effective programs that promote activity and prevent childhood obesity. Over 500 schools from all 50 states submitted information about their programs. Receiving the $25,000 "Technology Innovation" award were:
- Laura Fenn, a fifth grade Chapel Hill teacher, who developed "The Walking Classroom," which uses an all-in-one dedicated audio player to deliver educational podcasts to students as they walk.
- Coleman Greene, an UNC-Chapel Hill Business student, who developed Sqord, an online social game powered by physical activity.
- Ward Elementary School (Winston-Salem-Forsyth Schools) received the "Praiseworthy Pioneer" award and $2,500 for developing the Read and Ride program (www.KidsReadAndRide.com). Students can ride exercise bikes while reading fun magazines and books. For more information on this innovation competition, please visit www.activeschoolsasap.org/innovation-competition .
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers is a five-year, $175,000 award available to outstanding science or mathematics teachers in North Carolina public schools. The purpose of this award is to recognize teachers who have demonstrated solid knowledge of science or mathematics content and have outstanding performance records in educating children. This five-year award presents opportunities for professional development and collaboration with other master science or mathematics teachers who will help to ensure their success as teachers and their satisfaction with the field of teaching. The Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers is a partnership between the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The SBE is providing additional salary support to secure 12-month contracts for award winning teachers. Teachers may self-nominate, but be sure to read over the guidelines for more details. Program information, including guidelines are available online at www.bwfund.org/pages/379/CASM/ . The deadline to apply is Sept. 18.