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PRINCIPALS' MESSAGES 2014

MESSAGES 2014 :: MARCH 20, 2014

MARCH 20, 2014 - Principals' Biweekly Message

These days, it seems that there are plenty of opportunities to share our views. Telephone surveys are common. Email surveys come into my email box regularly, and many businesses and services are quick to ask us to "take a quick survey" to tell them about our experience with their service or product. So, it's tempting to see another survey and choose to not respond. When it comes to the Teacher Working Conditions Survey or other surveys from the NCDPI though, I hope your faculty members and you will take the time to share your views. When we need to do surveys, we try to keep them succinct and straightforward so that your time is well-spent. The results are used to shape policy and programs that affect your schools and you. Even when the goal is to inform lawmakers, we make sure that we clearly communicate what you have said matters the most to you.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. Legislative Committee Holds Public Hearing on Common Core State Standards
  2. State Comprehensive Reading Plan and Reading Interventions/Strategies
  3. Comment Now on the NC Application for Grant Award Under Part B of the IDEA as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2014
  4. NC TWCS Window is Now Open - Your Voice Matters
  5. U.S. Department of Education Cites NC as a Leader in Reform Through Race to the Top


Legislative Committee Holds Public Hearing on Common Core State Standards

A variety of educators from across the state came to Raleigh this morning to attend a public hearing held by the Legislative Research Commission Committee on the Common Core State Standards. We appreciate those of you who were able to attend and/or enabled your teachers or other staff to attend and present their point of view.


State Comprehensive Reading Plan and Reading Interventions/Strategies

One component of the Read to Achieve legislation was the development of a state Comprehensive Reading Plan, which is available online at http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/850102.This plan was completed last September with input from parents, teachers, principals, curriculum coordinators, literacy experts and representatives from higher education across North Carolina. Throughout the document there is reference to a listing of research-based interventions and strategies. This listing of reading strategies that are separated by the National Reading Panel's five pillars of reading instruction also is available at the web location noted above. For more information, contact Carolyn Guthrie at Caroly.Guthrie@dpi.nc.gov.


Comment Now on the NC Application for Grant Award Under Part B of the IDEA as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2014

The NCDPI is making available its annual state application for receiving a grant award under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as amended in 2004. The proposed application will be available for public review until May 7. Comments will be accepted March 24-April 24. A copy of the state application is available on the NCDPI website at http://ncpublicschools.org/publicnotices and http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov under Hot Topics. Also, each local school district will receive a copy of the state application for public review. Interested citizens may submit comments via e-mail to IDEAGrant2014@dpi.nc.gov or by U.S. mail to: NCDPI, Exceptional Children Division, ATTN: Valerie Herndon/Ira Wolfe, 6356 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6356.


NC TWCS Window Is Now Open - Your Voice Matters

The 2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey (NC TWCS) is now being administered statewide through Friday, April 4. The NC TWCS is an online, anonymous statewide survey of licensed school-based educators that assesses teaching conditions at the school, district and state levels. All NC public school-based, licensed educators and instructional staff, including administrators, are encouraged to take the survey. This includes staff at all charter schools and special schools. Principals are reminded to:

  • work with your NCAE leader or other teacher leaders to set up a meeting and distribute letters/codes;
  • not ask teachers to sign anything; and
  • not remain in the room if you set up a time for your staff to take the survey in the school using the computer lab. Also, let your teachers know they can take the survey from any location, anywhere, anytime during the survey window. The computer lab is offered as a courtesy.

There are already a number of schools recording 100 percent participation rates. Let's keep up this pace! If you have any questions, please contact Yvette Stewart at yvette.stewart@dpi.nc.gov.


U.S. Department of Education Cites NC as a Leader in Reform Through Race to the Top

North Carolina is considered a national leader in education reform based on the work it has done in public education via the Race to the Top grant, according to the US Department of Education (USED). The USED yesterday released its third-year report on Race to the Top. In it, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan named North Carolina as, once again, one of the top states making progress in serving students, supporting teachers and bolstering technology in its remodeling efforts. To read more, as well as access a copy of the report, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."